A Question for the Moms


#1

On December 5th, 2007, I became an aunt to a perfect baby girl. She wasn't planned... she was an "oopsie" baby. My sister and her then-boyfriend got pregnant the first time they had sex, even though she was on birth control.

She is a single mother and my niece's father is somewhat in her life but that whole thing is a source of stress for my sister.

I know my sister loves my niece more than anything but sometimes I worry so much about a lot of the things she does. For example, my sister is CONSTANTLY texting. We have unlimited texting and our average phone bill shows she sends and recieves about 21000 texts a month. I did the math and thats 30 texts an hour on average, but she isn't texting the 7 or so hours she sleeps, so it's more than that. Now, normally I would say... so she is a little addicted to her phone, so what? But I have witnessed, day after day, her paying so much attention to her phone that she isn't even paying attention to her daughter a lot of the time. Sometimes my niece will say, "Mama... Mama... Mama" and my sister won't even notice until I say, "Your daughter is talking to you." This isn't a new thing either. When she was just barely learning to stand, we were all sitting around the coffee table as she pulled herself up. My father told my sister to watch her closely because she was pretty unstable and looked like she might fall into the corner of the coffee table. She said, "she's fine" and continued texting away, not paying attention to her daughter. Sure enough, my niece DID fall and hit her head on the coffee table. My sister never, EVER sets her phone down for more than a few minutes unless she is sleeping. It goes everywhere with her, whether it's in the bathroom when she bathes her daughter or at the table when we're all eating dinner. She even texts and drives with my niece in the car, which scares me because I've been in the car when she does it and I've ridden with drunk people in the past who displayed more control over their vehicle. Also, she runs a child care center and keeps children during the day, all the while texting and paying far more attention to her phone than the kids. :(

She also dates... a lot... which is her right, I know, but it just worries me that she keeps bringing different men into her daughters life and tries to get her to form a close relationship with them when she has no idea if they will end up staying. I think it wouldn't bother me so much if it didn't happen so fast... she jumps into relationships and becomes emotionally intimate with them in less than a month... and that's when she tries to "take her time"...

My one last major worry, though there are many "minor" ones, and partially what triggered this post, is that she still likes to party. She doesn't do it excessively, but on average per month she probably goes out and gets drunk at least once a month... even more often than that in the past month with the new guy, who really likes to drink... daily. She stays out till 3 or 4 in the morning, and sometimes she doesn't come home at all until the next day (because she's too drunk to drive, I'd assume) and my niece stays at home with Grandma and Grandpa. This maybe wouldn't bother me so much if alcoholism didn't run in our family big time.

Moms, please give me advice... am I worrying to much? Is it none of my business? Is this acceptable behavior?

Signed,
The Worried Aunt :(


#2

This is absolutely NOT acceptable behavior!! Texting while driving? And while running a daycare center?

Depending on where she lives, she might get a ticket if she's caught texting while driving, and God help her, that's the BEST case scenario--as opposed to getting into an accident. And she could lose her daycare license!! I hate to think what would happen if someone's child got hurt while she wasn't paying attention. She could have a lawsuit on her hands.

Are you folks paying for the phone? They need to cut her off, NOW.

As for her relationships and partying, that's more difficult. There's nothing illegal about drinking (I'm assuming she's over 21) and dating a hundred men--irresponsible, yes, but the cell phone issues could have legal consequences. She sounds immature and full of self-pity--feeling that she "deserves" to have fun to make up for all the responsibilties she has. Except she doesn't sound very responsible at all.

Believe me, I've been there. I was widowed young and raised my children alone, and I would often feel that same self-pity. However, I was mature enough to balance taking care of my children (really taking care of them, not texting all day), work, chores, etc., with an occasional treat of a night out.

How close are the two of you? Can you talk to her without alienating her? Could your folks talk to her?

Other than that...cut the phone, and your family could refuse to babysit the next time she wants to go partying (but she might find someone else to do it)... and pray, pray pray. I'll say a prayer too.

Miz


#3

Thanks Miz...

To answer the question, yes, my parents pay for her phone. I've talked to them about it but they have always had this attitude of "don't rock the boat"... even though they agree with me, they are afraid to say anything in case it causes conflict. My mom also said she remembers how angry/annoyed she got when her Mom tried to tell her how to raise us... and yes, we are afraid to refuse to babysit because we think she might leave her with someone else and there would be no way for us to know if she was safe... :(

She and I are close, but I have tried hinting at things before and I am pretty sure she takes the hint because she gets very annoyed and quiet. But nothing changes... she has the mindset that because I'm not a Mom I have no right to say anything... It's difficult... I definitely need to pray for the whole situation more.


#4

first, pray. not just a little, "dear God help her" prayer, but storm the gates of heaven prayers. like decades-- lots of them every day. and Masses-- plenty of Masses offered for sister's conversion.

I was your sister in the pre-texting early 80's.

what I didn't know: by the time my son was 15 months old, my mom was documenting everything. she was building a case to protect my son from my neglect, my drunkenness, my promiscuity, and my boyfriends du jour. but she was keeping ever so quiet because she was the stand-in for all my small catastrophes. she didn't want me to limit her access to caring for my boy.

it didn't come to that because i got sober. (but i didn't get holy any time soon after that.)

you do the same. keep records for a month or two or three.

if the collective is bad, show the documentation to your parents. tell them the boat is already rocked and will soon capsize. tell them to shut her phone and to make demands on their daughter's behavior. (this will be **difficult **for them if they have often played codependent to the alcoholics in your family.)

then show sis. tell her if she doesn't straighten up you'll release all info to daycare parents. if she tries to deny you contact to your niece, you'll release info to the state department of protective services.

but don't do any of this until you storm the gates of heaven! no real change can come without immense grace from God.

finally, your niece is not an "oopsie." God has planned for your niece to be the greater good result of your sister's faulty behavior since the beginning of the beginning.


#5

Thanks for your advice… it is good advice though hard to imagine how difficult it will be to actually do any of that if it comes to that. I will definitely pray pray pray.

All I meant by “oopsie” baby was that she was not planned for or expected AT ALL by anyone this side of Heaven ;). But she is most definitely the greatest gift of life I’ve ever encountered. :slight_smile:


#6

But she is most definitely the greatest gift of life I've ever encountered.

she is so blessed to have you. because of the immense treasure she is, it may become necessary to do some of the really hard stuff. document now. things may get bad fast. if things improve, you won't need to share your observations with anyone.

Magdelena, my oldest child suffered because of my failures. in ways i didn't know till many years later.


#7

Dear Magdalena,
I hope my response doesn’t sound harsh, but no! You are not worrying too much. It definitely Is your business. And this is not acceptable behavior.
Unless you want to be the aunt of a little girl who is either dead ( car accident or drowning in the bathtub), molested by one of the passing boyfriends, or traumatized by all these guys coming in and out of her life – she will never trust men if she keeps trying to bond with them, and they keep leaving.
Your parents are enabling very bad parenting. They need to cut off the cell phone and let your sister pay for her own, if she wants it. She needs to pay more attention to her child. Texting while driving is illegal in many states because it has the same effect on the brain as drinking.
Good advice to document what is going on. God bless you for trying to help your niece.


#8

Please everyone pray! It finally came down to the point of feeling it was necessary to bring things to her attention... and she got mad and took my niece and I think she is planning to leave... please pray for God to open her eyes and for the protection of my niece...


#9

[quote="Magdalena09, post:8, topic:181526"]
Please everyone pray! It finally came down to the point of feeling it was necessary to bring things to her attention... and she got mad and took my niece and I think she is planning to leave... please pray for God to open her eyes and for the protection of my niece...

[/quote]

Praying!

Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallowed by Thy Name
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done
On Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our Daily Bread
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil

For Thine is the Kingdom, The Power and the Glory
Forever & ever
Amen.

Hail Mary Full of Grace
The Lord is with Thee
Blessed art thou amongst women
And Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus
Holy Mary Mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death
Amen.

Glory be to the Father & to the Son & to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be
World without end
Amen.

Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins save us from the fires of hell
Bring all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.

Amen.

Consecration to Saint Joseph (Of Children)

O glorious St. Joseph,
to you God committed the care
of His only begotten Son
amid the many dangers of this world.
We come to you
and ask you to take under your special protection
the children God has given us.
Through holy baptism they became children of God
and members of His holy Church.
We consecrate them to you today,
that through this consecration
they may become your foster children.
Guard them, guide their steps in life,
form their hearts after the hearts of Jesus and Mary.

St. Joseph,
who felt the tribulation and worry of a parent
when the child Jesus was lost,
protect our dear children for time and eternity.
May you be their father and counselor.
let them, like Jesus,
grow in age as well as in wisdom
and grace before God and men.
Preserve them from the corruption of this world,
and give us the grace one day
to be united with them in heaven forever.

Amen.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly unto thee, O virgin of virgins, my mother.
To thee I come;
before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions;
but in thy clemency, hear and answer me.
Amen.


#10

God our Father, I ask You to help us to have peace at home

I ask You to keep Your Hand upon each of my family members and all those who live with me

I ask You to keep Your Hand upon me and hold us all close together

Remove O Lord all powers of darkness and strife

Remove O Lord all hatred and animosity

Remove O Lord all bitterness and pain

Remove O Lord all evil and spite

Wash each of us clean by the Power of Your Precious Blood

Unite us together with Your loving care

Preserve us in You all the days of our lives

Bless us today in a special way and may it stay upon us always

Help us to be faithful to You and grow in holiness

Help us to pray and worship You together

Bind us with Your love and keep us in Your will now and forever

I ask this in your most Holy name . Amen

“Come Holy Spirit, please touch each and every heart that will come across this message. Open our hearts to Your Word and Your Truth and let us walk in total abandonment to You. Bless us all and keep us from the snares of the enemy. Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit now and forevermore.
Amen


#11

I'll be praying for you and your niece. Keep us updated if you can. :hug1:


#12

yeah, been there. My sister had her out of wedlock son when she was 19. My parents never held her to standards after that because they wanted to take care of their grandson. He’s 23 now.

Here’s what I learned. You have no control. All you do is be a doting and prayerful aunt. It’s frustrating, I know.

Just try as much as you can to not worry. God loves them both more than you do.

After living on the roller coaster with my sister, I am a firm believer in tough love. And, believe me, there’s nothing you can say to influence your parents. You’ll worry, and fret. You’ll replay situations and conversations over and over in your mind. Your heart will break for your niece. You’ll be torn between anger and love for your sister.

It’s not worth it. You really have no control. none. The only people who can really influence her is your parents. And, they are too afraid to tough love her.

so…pray for your sister. Be as involved with your niece as you can. And, try not to get involved in the drama.

.


#13

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