View Full Version : Need Family Advice (long & ranty)

04-21-2007, 09:43 AM
My DH's niece is getting under my skin and I really need some advice.
She is 25, has two kids (1&3), lives with her mom and step-father, doesn't work, doesn't help at all around the house, doesn't do more than she absolutely HAS to with her kids and is generally a brat.
At every holiday event she either doesn't show up or comes for just enough time to eat, pick up her share of the gifts (as applicable) and then leaves without acknowledging anyone. She didn't show at all for Christmas. She sent word that she was mad at 'someone' and didn't think she wanted to be there. Her mother had my DMIL go around and ask for DN's (and her kids) gifts. I refused to cough up the Target gift card we had purchased. Instead I used it on the 26th to buy wrapping paper etc.
Each Easter I spend $$$$$ and a ton of time and effort doing eggs and extra stuff for the kids egg hunt. We do the whole thing, no one else helps in any way. This year was no exception. In the past there were teens hunting with the little ones so I put money in some of the eggs. This year our oldest hunter was five so I skipped the cash.
She shows up with the kids - NO BASKETS - sloths around the hunting grounds (inside this year due to weather) and finally borrows my basket to keep their booty together. After the hunt she and the kids retired to a corner and she opened all of the eggs - no money. Shortly after that she picked up the kids and left with little acknowlegement to anyone, including the Easter Bunny. Later we discovered that she left all of the eggs, bunnies, candy etc on the floor. She didn't take any of it.
Last night we had a message on our phone stating that she is throwing a birthday party for the kids in a few weeks and "grandma said you would bring food".
After all of my ranting it comes down to this:
Is it wrong for me to be completely disgusted at the fact that this person doesn't even know how to ASK for help with the party? She flat out TOLD me that I was going to bring food to her kids birthday party. It is all I can do to not tell this girl she needs to get a clue. Help!!!

04-21-2007, 09:50 AM
I realize forcing a confrontation isn't any fun but I would tell her no. You can only be taken advanatge of if you let someone and she sounds like a first class user if I ever heard one.

04-21-2007, 11:02 AM
@ 25 it's tough to change someone. Many people like that, despite your best efforts blame you or others for their problems and never take responsibility unless they are hit hard with the brutal reality. Sounds like she has not received a lot of negative feedback regarding these behaviors-- possibly growing up.
I would set my limits. Learn to say no and feel good about it. Sometimes you have to treat people like that as you would a child. Saying something like-- oh you didn't say thank you was something wrong or don't you like that candy? Did you say goodbye to... etc.
Sad thing is she sounds like she is only coming for the loot.
As far as the food. Do what you feel like doing. If that is nothing than do nothing. Stop going overboard. If you want to bring a dish then call her and say-- I wanted to make something to go with whatever you were doing? What would accompany it well? Sad thing is many people like that think it's to their advantage if you are someone they can walk on and often see it as your fault b/c you don't say no.

04-21-2007, 11:25 AM
Saying anything most likely will not help and will only cause bad feelings between you and her part of the family. There's a good chance that you will be seen as the one causing a problem or making an issue. Personally, I wouldn't say anything but I would do what I felt was right as the occasion required.

In this case, you can be gracious, bring a dish, and just let it go. You can play it her way and just show up for the party without food. Or you can talk to Grandma and find out exactly what she volunteered you to do.

I know your issue is really with the niece, but it seems that Grandma has some involvement here. Why is she saying you would bring food? That's where I would start, with just a casual inquiry to Grandma mentioning the phone message and asking what she volunteered you for, just to be clear. And if you have a problem with whatever that is, I would tell Grandma in a kind way what your issue is with bringing food.

04-21-2007, 10:08 PM
I realize forcing a confrontation isn't any fun but I would tell her no. You can only be taken advanatge of if you let someone and she sounds like a first class user if I ever heard one.

Bingo. I absolutely agree.

I talked to DMIL (grandma) after I wrote my original post. She was not happy that she had been mis quoted. She told the niece that we (DH & I) were not going to attend and never mentioned anything about food.
Thank you all for your kind words and voices of reason. I absolutely agree that confronting her isn't going to do anything but cause a big rift in the family political situation but at this point everyone but her mother (including her step father) feels like she is a creep and needs to get her act together.
We won't go to the party and if she is silly enough to poke an angry snake and call us on our lack of attendance - I'm going to tell her that she needs to grow up.
I feel waaaay better for having gotten this mess off my chest. You all are wonderful!:grouphug:

04-22-2007, 12:00 AM
Bingo. I absolutely agree.

We won't go to the party and if she is silly enough to poke an angry snake and call us on our lack of attendance - I'm going to tell her that she needs to grow up.

Good call! I'm glad you're feeling better about it. I'm glad you found a solution that works for you. I hope she gets a clue!

04-22-2007, 08:25 AM
I am so proud of you for dealing with it! You would feel like a simmering tea pot (steaming but never getting to blow!) if you hadn't. :thumbsup: The birthday is about the children. I'd get them a nice gift, but don't worry yourself about the food. That is her responsibility. And all the kids will care about food-wise is the birthday cake.

04-22-2007, 10:49 AM
:bang: :fit: :blowup:

Wow, I got angry just reading that. I can only imagine how you feel. I immediately thought of several four and five letter words that aren't appropriate to post here.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no better way to deal with this than to confront the issues. However, going into it angrily will only feul the fire. Use your obvious strengths, such as patience, intelligence, and grace to overcome what will obviously be a shallow, but stubborn, defense. Chances are you aren't the only one that feels this way, so use diplomacy to gain support for your argument, but be careful not to sound like a backstabbing gossipper. Chances are you'll find a l few others that have been taken advantage of by this slacker.

You also need to speak to grandma about the volunteering thing. (Nicely.)That really annoys me too.

Good luck. :mickey:

04-22-2007, 08:43 PM
DMIL (grandma) and I are best buddys. I am like the DD she never had. We love a lot of the same things and can laugh and joke our way through even the most difficult of tasks. I trust her more than I trust anyone else. She is delightful.
That being said, I know she told the niece that we weren't planning on attending the party today. I found out that only three of a possible 19 people showed up for the event. This should speak volumes to her and her behavior. Somehow I doubt that she will get the hint. Too bad for her though. The family is so supportive and could really help her get back on her feet - she just needs to start to stand on her own.
Thanks again for your support and kind words. You all have a good week.

04-22-2007, 09:14 PM
I'm really glad things worked out for you on this. It's great that you straightened things out with your MIL.. People like your niece will continue status quo and unfortunately her kids will grow up to be just like her if things don't change. Perhaps you should inquire with the niece how the party was, if she goes off about no one showing up you could try to explain the reasons, maybe she hasn't been told her behavior is not acceptable.

Marilyn Michetti
04-22-2007, 09:34 PM
We have a "group" of family members like that, and the best, actually ONLY thing you can do is DO THE RIGHT THING! At DD's wedding, she was agonizing about who "not" to invite, and we all finally decided to just treat them like we wish they treated us. Nobody has much fun being mean if you're not mean back. Just say "hi, glad to see you", and go on about your business of having fun and enjoying the occasion. If "they" are halfway human, they will either give up being snotty, or stay away. You won't have any regrets, and as for the children, they know, or will figure out, that some people just aren't very nice.

Rant to us - we all have an Aunt Ida somewhere. In front of the kids, smile even if it kills you - just cause it's right.:D

04-28-2007, 09:28 AM
If there's a disrepency between what you give and what you get, I guess you should give less. If she notices and makes an issue, then you have an opening to discuss how her behavior makes you feel because then she's brought it up