All Articles Tagged "family"
How far would you go to support your sister in her pursuit of becoming a mother? One woman, who we’ll call “Amanda,” Is asking herself this very question and turned to Reddit for answers. Amanda and her sister, “Amber,” both struggle with fertility issues. Amanda and her husband experienced four miscarriages before they decided to stop trying to conceive. Amber and her husband have suffered at least two, but they are still trying. Recently, Amber asked for Amanda’s assistance in paying for fertility treatments, which is where the problems began. Not only is Amanda against the methods of fertility treatments that are currently being offered, but she doesn’t believe that her sister is in a financial position that is conducive to raising a child. Amanda explains:
I’m 32, married for 10 years. My husband and I, after four miscarriages, decided that children just aren’t in the cards for us. Neither of us is too broken up about this – we were in the ‘0-1’ camp anyways.
My sister, [who is 27], got married about a year and a half ago and is experiencing similar fertility issues. I know of at least two failures to carry, including a loss at 5.5 months gestation. She and her husband both really, really want kids.
This is the problem – my sister asked me for help paying for fertility treatments. Personally, I believe fertility treatments are unethical: you’re using your limited resources for a plan that may or may not succeed in order to pass on your genetic material that is pretty obviously flawed. That and there’s the whole adoption-of-already-existing-children angle.
The biggest kicker is that money is not an issue for my family, it is for hers. I honestly don’t think that they’re in a good position financially or emotionally for kids, period, let alone the rigors of fertility treatment. Buuuut… how do I tell her I won’t pony up the cash so she can be a mommy?
If you were in Amanda’s position, what would you do?
As an only child for all of my 24 years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my solitude and being dubbed the “only child.” Nonetheless, I’ve always wondered what life would be like with siblings, even if they weren’t necessarily related by blood.
Well, for the past two years I’ve gotten my own first-hand experience of what it’s like, as my mother and her boyfriend have slowly integrated our two separate households into one. While it’s just my mother and I, her significant other has three kids: two sons in their mid to late twenties and a daughter in her mid-teens. Although we don’t all live together, we stay in contact, visit, and gather for events and family gatherings often.
However, in the past two years I’ve distanced myself from their family for personal reasons. And in my case, it was one text message that started it all.
“What’s going on with us?” my phone read around 10 p.m. It was the oldest son of my mother’s boyfriend.
“Excuse me?” I replied.
“You know,” he continued.
In my mind I thought to myself, “Yes, I know what you mean and hell no I’m not going there with you.” I refrained though. Although that incest-like text truly warranted a swear-heavy reply, I stopped myself. Confused and very much disgusted, I sat my phone back on the table and went about my night. He had never made a pass at me before and was always cordial. Actually, I remember him coming to a party with a friend and I and us all having a good time. Nothing ever seemed sketchy with him until that night. But even the last time I saw him there was nothing hinting towards flirtation. We simply made small talk about my move to New York and on his on accord his girlfriend. While I was never one for small talk, when talking to him I kept conversation topics to a minimum, discussing school and work, nothing regarding my personal life/relationships, so you’d understand my confusion.
The next day I looked at the phone again hoping that it was all a dream. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. After weeks of debating whether or not to tell my mother, for fear of making things possibly weird in her own flourishing relationship, I finally decided to tell her. “What?!” she shrieked in surprise. I ended up telling her not to worry about the situation. I had decided to simply not respond back in hopes that he got the message that “us” was not happening. Of course, being a protective and caring parent, my mom brought up the situation to her boyfriend, but he didn’t seem to think anything of it.
At this point, I’m over the situation and find it quite funny. I haven’t heard from the guy since and being that I no longer live in the same city the likelihood of me running into him is slim to none. However, I am still faced with the task of showing up for holidays or family gatherings when I am in town. This year I skipped out on stopping by their house to catch up with their family because I just wasn’t up for explaining to him that even though we’re not blood, this “thing” he thinks that could happen between us would never happen in his wildest dreams.
If you were in my situation, what would you do?
Few people probably can push your buttons the way your meddling in-laws can. For some, learning to love them as family can be a challenge, especially the ones who are not so easy to love. Take Janet’s sister-in-law, Amy, for example, who has apparently been spreading rumors that Janet’s husband is abusive. What made Amy jump to this conclusion, you ask? Well, Amy, who is married to Janet’s brother, paid her a visit over the holidays after not seeing her for a long time. Since they last saw each other, Janet has dropped 20 pounds, ditched her glasses and taken an interest in makeup and more “girly” attire. In the past, she’s been known to dress like a tomboy. Well according to Amy’s logic, Janet made these changes because her husband is abusing her. Janet explains on Reddit:
They came up for Christmas, and it was the first time I’d seen them in about a year. In that time, I’ve improved a few things about my appearance. I’ve lost 20ish pounds, got Lasik, so I don’t wear glasses anymore, and changed and colored my hair. I was also dressed up nicely and wearing makeup when I saw them, which isn’t something I do regularly.
None of these changes are really big in their own right, but I guess all of them together meant I looked different from how [Amy] was expecting me to look. She complimented me when she saw me. “You look really happy,” were her exact words. I was flattered, and there was no drama while I saw them.
Now Christmas is over, and they’ve long since returned to their home. And then, slowly, I begin to hear that she is apparently spreading rumors about me? I’ve heard from a cousin that lives down where they do, that [Amy] seems to believe that I didn’t make these changes to myself because I wanted to, but that my husband forced me to? [Amy] has only known me as a plain-dressing sort of tomboyish person. I guess she sees these changes as me being more ‘girly’ and thinks that isn’t my normal so my husband must be a sexist pig who is making me be more of a girly girl? Because…reasons? Presumably, this benefits him in some way? I don’t even know.
Needless to say, this is all nonsense. My husband hasn’t forced me to do anything; I made all these changes myself. They make me healthier and feel happier. My husband is mostly supportive and at worst is merely indifferent to these changes
Initially, Janet thought that she could just ignore the whispers, and they’d go away, but the rumor has gotten so out of control that Janet’s aunt reached out concerned about her wellbeing.
At first, I just sort of ignored these rumors. Because, seriously, they’re so crazy what else can I do? I didn’t figure anything could come of it. But today I got a call from an aunt asking if I was okay with my marriage. I guess I’m lucky this aunt knew me well enough to not believe the story outright but was concerned enough to check on me.
Now she’s unsure of how to deal with the situation.
What do I do about them? How do I talk to [Amy]? What’s the tactful way to say, “You’re crazy and why are you making this up? Stop it!” I feel sure if she actually thinks I’m being abused, that me telling her they’re not true will probably just make her think my husband has brainwashed me. On the other hand, if she doesn’t actually believe it, if she’s just trying to hurt me for some reason (in which case, WHY?), then obviously me telling her they’re not true will change nothing.
How would you handle this?
What would you do if you realized that your new partner’s relative is someone from your past? Would you say something to your partner? Would you pretend that you don’t remember and pray no one brings it up?
Recently, a man who we’ll call “James” turned to Reddit after meeting his new fiancée Janie’s sister for the first time. Apparently, the sister is someone he hooked up with ten years ago, after college and well, that made things kind of awkward during the holidays. James explains:
Ten years ago I was fresh out of college and starting my career. I was on a dating site and asked a girl a few years older than me out. She was really pretty, but it became obvious within the first hour of the date she wasn’t girlfriend material. Near the end, I made it clear I wasn’t looking for anything, but I thought she was cute. We went back to her apartment and had great kinky, dirty sex. I never talked to or saw her again. A couple of years later, I moved across the country for a job opportunity. Three years ago, I met the love of my life. She’s incredible. Smart, hilarious, ambitious with a great career, a total sweetheart, and an absolute fox. Here’s where the trouble is: we just got engaged over the holidays, and I couldn’t be more happy. I’ve never met her family so we recently went to go meet them since I will soon be a part of theirs. Well, we walk in the door and…yep you guessed it: my one-night stand from 10 years ago is her older sister.
Interestingly, James’ future sister-in-law doesn’t seem to remember the tryst.
I think I maintained composure on the outside but on the inside, I was freaking out. She gave absolutely no indication she knew who I was. No raised eyebrows, no flicker of recognition on the face, no double takes. Nothing. She smiled and greeted me warmly like the rest of her family, and that’s it. She also made casual small talk with me and chatted with my fiancée. She’s married now, and her husband seems like a cool guy. Now I can understand putting on a good show, but this one seemed almost too good. I am 85% certain at this point that the sister did not recognize me, and as far as she’s concerned, this is the first time she’s ever met me. My fiancée and I are back home, and I did a good job of getting through that visit without raising any alarms. Any nervousness I displayed Janie chalked up to just meeting her family for the first time.
Considering that Janie’s sister seems to be suffering from a convenient case of amnesia, James is wondering whether he should say something or just let it go.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to tell Janie I [expletive] her sister ten years ago. I don’t want to ask her sister, “Hey, do you remember me? Why? Oh, just curious!” I don’t want to lose Janie. If soul mates were a thing, she’d be mine. The only person who could possibly know what happened one night ten years ago is Janie’s sister, and I don’t think she remembers me at all. I’m so head [expletive]. Do I have to tell Janie? I really, really don’t want to lose her, and I certainly don’t want to cause her pain unnecessarily. If her sister had been a girlfriend and we’d been around the town together, that’d be one thing, but it was one night ten years ago!
What would you do?
While most folks are trying to get the hell away from their exes, there’s an ex-couple somewhere in the world thinking about going back for a second helping. Recently, a 35-year-old dad, who we’ll call “Adam” was approached by his ex-fiancée, “April,” about having another child. They share a 6-year-old son; neither have other children. In a Reddit post, Adam explained that both he and April are single and they both have experienced their share of failed relationships since they called off their engagement four years ago. They split because they realized that they weren’t in love. However, both desire to have another child and their son longs for a sibling.
The other night after our son’s baseball game the three of us went back to my house for dinner. We ate and then put our son to bed. Then the two of us just sat around and talked for a bit, and she eventually told me that she had something she wanted to discuss with me. Long story short, she said that she wanted to have another baby with me. She had thought it out, and it made sense to her.
According to Adam, some of the reasons April thinks he would be the ideal person to have another child with include that he is a wonderful dad, they still have a great relationship, they’re amazing at co-parenting with one another, and they each have solid careers. Adam is also pretty geeked about doing the horizontal mambo with April because as he put it, “the sex with her was amazing.”
We wouldn’t get back together as a couple. We would just continue with our current arrangement, and she would most likely move into my house for a period during and after her pregnancy.
To Adam, the arrangement seems like a no-brainer, but he’d like to know if he’s unrealistic or unreasonable for considering this proposal.
What do you think he should do?
Update: Six months after making the original post, Adam shared an interesting update. He and April moved ahead with their plans to conceive. April is pregnant and the pair have decided to rekindle their relationship as well.
My ex is pregnant. She is close to 11 weeks, and so far everything is fine. We plan to tell our son once she passes the 12-week mark. We read some materials which suggested we wait until closer to time for the baby’s birth, but we thought it would be better this way since it would give him more time to adjust to the changes–the biggest of which will be his mom moving in and us all being together.
There is one more bit of good news I have, or, at least I think it is good news. My ex and I rekindled our relationship. We are taking things very slowly, though, because we realize that the sex and hormones might be clouding our judgment. All I can say is that things are going really well, and we’re spending a lot of time together. We’re both happier than we’ve been in a long time, so fingers crossed that this continues.
What would you do if the state found that your sibling was unfit to care for his or her five children? Would you take them in? A 25-year-old wife and mom is faced with this exact situation. The woman, who we’ll call “Jalisa” turned to Reddit’s relationships message board hoping to receive some advice after relatives suggested that she take in her older sister’s five children. According to Jalisa, her sister, who is only one year older, can barely take care of the children she has. Even worse, she is already working on getting pregnant with her sixth child. Jalisa explains:
My sister and I have the same dad but different moms (my dad left her mom for my mom. I know. It’s kinda sh-tty.) Neither of my parents have more than a grade 9 education, and both make just slightly above minimum wage. My sister (like every other woman in my family) got pregnant when she was 16, and moved out on social assistance. I wanted to break the cycle, and although I got pregnant at 20, I went to university, married the father of my child and am now working towards my Masters. I have a lot of pride in the fact that I broke a 3-generation teen pregnancy, high school dropout cycle.
My sister now has five kids ranging in age from 10-3. Normally, I couldn’t care less how many kids someone has because it’s none of my business, but this whole situation is impacting everyone negatively.
My sister and her husband do not work. They have to get Christmas hampers, borrow money, and live on social assistance. They also don’t take care of their house. It’s literally like an episode of “Hoarders” in there. There is cat and dog poop all over the floors, moldy food everywhere, dirty diapers, etc. My nephew was once so hungry I caught him eating a bowl of moldy Cheerios once when I visited (I’m tearing up just writing that). We have all gone there multiple times to try and help them clean up, and have gotten 2-3 dumpsters full of garbage out each time.
Every time my husband and I take the kids, we have to take them out and buy them clothes for while they’re staying with us. The clothes they come in don’t fit, reek like cat pee and are always inappropriate for the situation. For example, every summer we take one of them camping (they never get to do anything without all their siblings, and it’s something they each look forward to each year). It was a 6-day camping trip, and all that was in my niece’s bag were a pair of her older brothers jogging pants (he’s 10, she’s 5!) and a weird ripped fleece dress that was three sizes too small. This is a common occurrence.
Well, apparently Jalisa’s relatives aren’t the only ones who have noticed her sister’s inability to care for her children. Children’s services has issued a stern warning to the young woman and the next time that they’re forced to step in, they will take the children away. Jalisa’s relatives believe that she should be the one to take the children in when this happens. Jalisa and her husband currently have two kids of their own and adding five more to their household would be no easy task.
The fact is, children’s services are already very involved. If things get any worse, they will lose all the kids, and the general family consensus seems to be that I’ll take them in when that happens. I love those kids, but my husband and I have worked extremely hard to be able to give our two children good lives. I don’t want to sacrifice their happiness and well-being because of someone else’s mistakes.
On top of all this, my sister has been diagnosed with some sort of personality disorder and her psychologist straight up told her she should stop having babies because it’s negatively affecting her. I’m so saddened by this. I want to help them, but I’m honestly out of ideas and patience.
What should she do?
When I was a teenager I was sure I wanted four kids. I just have one sibling, so my desire for a big family had nothing to do with my situation at home. I think I just felt like having a full house would make me happy.
Later in life, I met the man that would one day be my husband. We often talked about having children, and our conversations were interesting because at that point my number changed from four to two. My future husband, however, wanted four. We finally settled on this: Two kids? Definitely! Three kids? Possibly. Four kids? Hell no!
Now, after 6 years of marriage, we have a 4-year-old son and a daughter who is almost 2. They are wonderful kids and frankly, my house feels pretty full with just the two of them. But sometimes I wonder, should I have another kid? My husband is certainly on board with the idea, but he also respects any decision I make.
Having and raising children is a blessing but it certainly comes with challenges. Children require a lot of time, they have countless needs, and there is definitely a financial commitment that comes with every child you bring into the world. As I give serious consideration to the idea of having another child, there are a few major things that come to mind.
Here are seven things you should consider before you get pregnant again. I know they have all been heavy on my mind.
Leave a comment and share what you considered before you made the choice to expand your family.
Are you financially stable? This doesn’t mean that you can’t have kids unless your finances are in great shape. It does, however, mean that you should really think long and hard about adding another person to the picture if you can barely take care of essentials like housing and groceries. Even if your financial situation could use some work, if you are able to comfortably meet the basic needs of your current family and you have a financial plan in place, you should be able to make things work.
Do you have a strong support network? Having support from the people you love most is priceless. Think about your current network of family and friends. Will they offer support in times where you need it most? Doing it alone is no joke, so form a network or hold strong to the one you already have. It really does take a village.
What is the state of your relationship with your current children? As moms, we all make mistakes and will continue to do so. However, making mistakes doesn’t mean that our relationship with our children should be strained or in a constant state of distress. If you feel like things with your children are not working out well, try to address those issues in order to improve the situation. Once you get to a better place with your current children, you will be in a better place to manage things differently with your third child.
Are you in good health? I’m in the process of improving my health right now. I’ve lost 20 pounds in the last year, and I have 20 more to go (although, I’ll take 15). I am also working on managing my stress better and finding more time to pray. This is all in an effort to improve my mental, physical, and emotional health. Keeping up with just one kid when you are in poor health is tough. If you want to expand your family, become a little selfish and focus on your health.
Is your mate on board with the plan? Whether you plan to adopt or become pregnant, if you are in a relationship, the person you are with should be on board with the plan. Having a child is a pretty big deal, so forcing anyone into it is risky business. Have a conversation (or many) and make sure you are both on the same page.
Is your home in order? My kids sure know how to make a mess. Sometimes it gets out of hand, but I always find a way to bring the home back to order. I’m no Martha Stewart, but I know where to find stuff and we have plenty of bins and baskets to keep things organized. If you feel like your house is completely out of order it could be the sign of a deeper issue. Dig a little deeper to find out what’s really going on and get your home in order before you add a new mess-maker to the picture.
Is your spiritual life in order? I think the quality of your life is directly correlated to how connected you are to a higher power. If you feel lost, confused or frustrated, make that connection. Choosing to have children should be a decision you make in a state of calm and peace, not chaos and confusion.
Martine Foreman is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and life coach. To follow her journey as a busy mom, wife and honest chick from Brooklyn, NY (now living in the burbs), check out her personal blog, CandidBelle.
Over the weekend, The Post reported that Nicki Minaj had bailed her brother, 37-year-old Jelani Maraj out of jail.
Last week, we reported that Maraj was suspected of raping a 12-year-old girl. Naturally, we hoped it wasn’t true.
Sadly, at least part of it is. While we don’t know if Maraj is guilty of the crime or not, he was officially charged with first-degree rape and first-degree sexual conduct against a preteen.
Nicki Minaj, who was already connected to the story by association, became even more involved when court papers revealed that she put up the $100,000 bond to remove Maraj, at least temporarily, from jail.
Minaj used two homes she owns to support the bond, the one occupied by her brother and the other by her mother Carol. Typically bond is either 6 or 10 percent of the total bond, which would be either $6,000 or $10,000.
According to The Post, prosecutors asked for a $500,000 bond. A source told them that if it came to it, Minaj would have opened a letter of credit from a California bank account worth more than 2 million dollars.
Celebrity bail bondsman Ira Judelson, who has worked with Lil Wayne, Kat Williams and Plaxico Buress, refused to comment on the terms of the case as did Maraj’s defense lawyers Ben Brafman and Andrea Zellan.
When the story broke over the weekend, I saw that Nicki Minaj was being slammed all over the internet and social media alike. People were saying that he was a sicko and she was enabling his behavior by procuring his freedom by posting bond.
And I found that interesting.
I don’t know what is really going on in their family, but let’s take the celebrity out of it and bring the situation to an every day, person to person level. If your brother or sister, or close family member were accused of doing something like this, you would likely find it hard to believe.
In most cases, whether they were guilty or innocent, I imagine that your family member would vehemently deny such a claim. So you would have to ask yourself do you believe your family member who you’ve known all your life or do you believe strangers, law enforcement and attorneys. Being that the last two groups have a long former and present day practice of pinning cases on people they know are innocent, particularly when those persons are of color, the decision almost seems very intuitive. Unless there is a suspicion or pattern of this type of dysfunction, you’re going to believe your relative. You would need proof that your family member committed this heinous crime.
Seeing how the media is finally starting to pay the slightest amount of attention to rape culture and rape cases, I’m sure people might liken this incident to Bill Cosby and wonder why Nicki Minaj’s brother deserves bond money while people, including myself, were ready to dispose of Bill Cosby.
As more information about this case is revealed my opinion might change. But as it stands now, Nick Minaj’s brother has never publicly praised the benefits of “Spanish Fly.” And Nick Minaj’s brother never admitted, in sworn testimony, to obtaining Quaadludes for the purpose of “having sex” with women. And as it stands with Maraj there is only one accuser, not over 50 like there are with Cosby.
But more than comparing facts of both cases, this particular article is about Nicki Minaj’s response to this situation and how she is being faulted for helping her brother.
The point is, we don’t know what she knows about her brother or the facts of the case itself.
Even if it my family member was guilty, I would like to think I still wouldn’t turn my back on him or her. I would most certainly let them sit in jail and face the punishment for their crime. No bond for you. I would still be there to support them emotionally and, more importantly, be sure that they received the help they desperately need, either in prison or outside of it. Even if the child he or she brutalized was my own, I might not be able to ever be in your presence again, but I had Nicki Minaj’s money, I’d still pay for treatment in hope that my sibling would never inflict this type of pain onto another family.
But right now, all of this is supposition. Until Nicki Minaj knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that her brother is guilty, I can’t fault her for deciding to stick by him and use a tiny portion of her resources to help.
My In-Laws Think My Hubby And I Should Buy All Of Their Kids Christmas Gifts Because We’re Childless
The holidays are here, which means family feuds are in full swing. It’s always interesting to hear what trivial things relatives choose to fight over. And a recent Reddit post proves that people are getting more creative each year. This particular Redditor, who we’ll call Sarah, has found herself in the middle of a nasty disagreement with her in-laws. The drama began on Thanksgiving Day when Sarah’s brother-in-law began demanding that she and her husband supply all 15 of the children in their family with Christmas gifts because Sarah and her husband are childless. Yes, the nerve! As you probably guessed, Sarah is pissed—and for food reason. She explains:
My husband has a very large family, in total I think his father has 8 brothers/sisters. They all got married and had 2-6 children each. Now all their children are grown up and starting families as well. We are looking at easily, I believe, 15 children in the family as of right now. We all get together for Christmas every year at his grandparents’ house… sounds great right? Right.
Normally after Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving, which they also all get together for, we pick names for the children’s gift swap. There is also a men and women gift swap which my husband and I, who do not have children, join in on.
Now, to give you and idea of how the gifting has been the last 10 years: Husband and I would buy gifts for his parents, his brother and wife and their 4 kids. Great, awesome. Works fine. Last year, they said they would rather we just bought gifts for the kids, so we did. Same thing we’d always gotten them books at their reading level, PJs, and puzzles of some kind. They were upset but we couldn’t place why. We also didn’t get any gifts at all, which we didn’t comment on, but my husband admitted he was a bit hurt to get nothing from his parents vs. his brother and sister-in-law getting gifts.
I am not a super social person so I spent most of Thanksgiving reading a book and watching one of the youngest cousins sleep. Eventually we all gathered up so the kids could draw names of their cousins for the gift swap. They finished that up and then husband’s brother, who we’ll just call ‘Timmy,” says: “And uncle Husband will buy all the kids a gift too!” Queue my husband and I giving him looks of ‘da f-ck and f-ck you.’ We laughed and said, “Oh no, haha we’ll just be bringing the candy again this year.”
As if that were not awkward as hell, Sarah explains that Timmy refused to drop it and continued to pressure them, which is when things got nasty.
His brother then started in that we should buy all of the children gifts since we have none. And that it wasn’t very Christian of us to not bless the children with our good fortune. My husband, at this point, pulled him aside into the kitchen and told him he wasn’t buying all of the cousins gifts, and if he wanted to, he was welcome to. They started to argue and Timmy yelled that we shouldn’t come to Christmas anymore.
Sarah and her husband decided to leave at that point, but it wasn’t long before they learned that other relatives—including her mother and father-in-law—agree with Timmy.
Things got even more heated when Sarah’s husband sent an email to the family addressing the issue. Apparently, Sarah’s in-laws feel that she and her husband waste their “time and life volunteering, and don’t spend enough time with their children/cousins/cousins’ children/family anymore.”
We’re flabbergasted by the fact that Sarah’s in-laws are counting her coins like this. What are your thoughts on this situation?
Holidays are a magical time of the year. It’s a time for reflecting on the year that was, looking ahead to the months to come and cherishing the friends and family that mean the most to you. It’s also a time when any chinks in the family armor show themselves in all their dysfunctional glory. Particularly around the Thanksgiving table tempers can flare after a few glasses of vino. But to keep things civil and laid back, let us give you some helpful advice to surviving Thanksgiving with the fam.