Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

My sister is pregnant before me, why am I sad about it?

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  • #880104 Reply

    For context. I am the first born in my family. I am 25 and my little sister is 21. I am married to an amazing guy and we plan on having kids one day.

    My little sister recently told me she is pregnant and while I am extremely happy for her, I am also feeling disappointed, sad, even a little angry about it. I am also feeling guilty because I feel that way.

    I have always expected as the first born to be the first one to give my parents a grandchild. I have been planning just how I would tell them when the day comes. In a way I was looking forward to the moment.

    I know there isn’t a rule written somewhere that the first born is supposed to be the first to give a grandchild. But it’s like right of passage almost? Idk.

    My biggest disappoint is I feel that my parents won’t have the same Level Of excitement for my first child when I finally have one.

    I know there are far greater issues right now but am I wrong for feeling this way? Am I a terrible person for thinking this way?

    How do I overcome these feelings so I can be completely happy for my sister and not hold any resentment?

    #880106 Reply

    You overcome these feelings by admitting that they are overly self-centered and selfish. You recognize that being the oldest does not entitle you to first grandchild, especially when you and husband only plan to have a baby ‘one day’. One day can easily turn into never, or having your child 8 years from now, when you’re 33. Why would you expect that your younger sister would put her life on hold waiting for your ‘one day’? It is totally unreasonable to expect that she would do so, if she feels ready to have a child now and you don’t.

    And no, the entirety of your letter suggests that you are not really happy for your sister. You resent her up-staging the great pregnancy reveal to your parents, which you’ve been carrying around in your head for years.

    #880107 Reply

    And it’s ridiculous to think that your parents won’t be as excited when you have a baby. Honestly. That’s not how grandparents think, unless you truly believe your parents are so shallow that they’ll lose interest after the first grandchild.

    Don’t get caught up in the superficial, like who had a baby first. Your parents will be thrilled by every grandchild.

    #880109 Reply

    Eh, somehow I very much doubt Your parents will be THAT thrilled their twenty-one year old daughter is having a whoopsie baby. Sounds more like a real headache to me. And a real disappointment.

    #880113 Reply

    It’s … not great that you have a script for how life is going to go, complete with planned conversations about events that haven’t happened yet. “Then I’ll say this, and then grandma will say that, and then …”

    You’re missing so much with that approach. I mean, what if you got off the track you think you’re on? What if you did something — gasp — off-script? What if you made decisions that were different from every other basic person in your age group? Do you even really know if you want the things that everyone else seems to want? Have you really asked yourself?

    Live a little.

    #880117 Reply

    You get over it by growing up and realizing life doesn’t always turn out as planned and that’s ok. You actively change the narrative you made up in your head.

    Your sister isn’t doing this to upstage you. She likely had a plan too and now it’s different. Support her.

    FWIW, I’m the oldest of three. My littlest sis had an oops baby at age 19. Both of my sisters married before me. I’ve honestly been nothing but happy and supportive because I know life happens. It’s a waste of energy to be angry.

    EDT: I assure you that my mom was equally excited for all four of her grandchildren.

    #880133 Reply

    Feelings can be irrational, but when you’re feeling them, remind yourself of that. I highly doubt your parents are going to be less excited for your eventual children. I doubt that they are thrilled your sister is having a baby at such a young age.

    If you’re really struggling with these feelings, call a therapist. Discuss these feelings with someone not involved in the situation, who won’t be hurt hearing them.

    #880134 Reply

    I’m with BGM. I doubt your parents are happy your 21 year old sister is pregnant. They’re likely pissed off that their empty nest is about to include a wailing newborn. I had a kid as a teenager. My parents love him to bits. 13 years later I had 2 more kids while happily married and stable. My parents love them to bits and were just as excited for every grandchild. You lost an expectation and fantasy. Grieve it if you need to, but life doesn’t always follow our fantasies. You definitely need to learn that if you’re going to be a parent.

    #880136 Reply

    I know my dad was disappointed to hear that my sister got pregnant at 19. I’m sure my mom was too. She hid her disappointment better. Once they got over the initial shock and had nine months to come to terms with it, they were fine. I know it wasn’t the “OMG, this is so exciting” feeling when someone is older and tells breaks the news.

    But yes, I agree with Helen and anon. Mourn this loss/fantasy privately. Speak to a therapist or friends with no skin in the game if you have to. Don’t resent your sister. Again, she didn’t do this at you or to spite you.

    #880137 Reply

    I don’t see anything in the letter about it being a whoopsie baby or unwanted. 21 is young, but its not a tragedy or particularly unusual.

    #880147 Reply

    It’s pretty unusual nowadays to have a child so young.

    #880149 Reply

    I don’t know anybody who had a planned child at 21. I just simply don’t. And I know a lot of people.

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