11 Mar The Sad Truth About Siblings
It’s safe to say that my sister and I do not get on. I’m sure she would agree.
After 30 years of bust ups punctuated by the odd brief moment of friendship I recently decided that enough was enough. For both of us.
Despite the relief it did get me to thinking what if my two daughters grew up to be the same?
How can you safeguard your own daughters against hating each other?
I have worried about this a lot recently.
Niamh had a week or so after Esmé arrived of refusing to acknowledge her. I’m not sure that she ever really accepted that the bump would be an actual baby.
“Can we not take her back to the hospital Mum? I’m not sure I love you the same now you have the baby”.
Not the best thing to say to a new Mum in the full throes of the 3 day baby blues, where your eyes leak as much as your nipples.
I understood it. Her entire world had shifted and it no longer revolved around her. She had to wait to be responded to and learn consideration for the sleeping bundle that was always feeding.
Everyone cooed over the new baby and despite best efforts to make a fuss of her too she felt pushed out.
She sometimes took the brunt of my concern for the baby too, my patience not being what it used to be.
Even now, despite her finally falling in love with her sister, she will express feeling like she isn’t as loved as she was every now and again and of course it is met with a reassuring hug and kiss, which may have been all she wanted.
I explain to her that the attention that Esmé gets now is only the same that she did at that age. She probably got even more as I had the time to indulge in the one baby and my maternity leave then was before running my own business so I waddled out of work on that last day flicking the bird as the lift door closed. No such luck with your own company.
I don’t ever want her relationship with her sister to suffer because I failed somehow to administer my adoration in exact equal amounts.
That wasn’t what happened with my sister & I. We were and are from different planets and whilst I will always love her, we just don’t like each other.
I have friends with daughters that fight like sworn enemies but also cousins that have grown up incredibly close to their sister, even living next door. This is my idea of hell on earth. I’m sad I feel this way.
In the long run we are all individuals – even siblings – and no amount of effort will ease that relationship if it isn’t there.
At times I think ‘life is too short to be estranged’ but then isn’t life too short to keep making each other unhappy too?
I imagine that at some point in the future our lives may be at the same point and we find common ground again but until then I’ll concentrate on refereeing my own sparring daughters.