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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Keeping sane upon "mini-family" formation.

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Author Topic: Keeping sane upon "mini-family" formation.
-Lauren-
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Member # 25983

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For those who don't know, my younger sister (16) is due to give birth in a few weeks. This in itself is a change I'm looking forward to with great anxiety; I mean, I try to be optimistic, but I end up thinking of it as one more person around to be subjected to the stress of the household. I've gradually gotten used to what will be my important duty as an aunt.

The problem is, just tonight, it was made clear that my sister's boyfriend will be living with us from now on. This totals 7 people in a small 3 bedroom house, minus the baby.

Throughout the pregnancy, these two have spent so much time together that really, all that's changing is that he's sleeping over every night. Little things have begun to irritate me though, because of things being so cramped. I rarely even see the computer or video game system anymore, my favorite hobbies, since the couple in question are both devout gamers. They still have sex in the house, which I don't approve of. He leaves the toilet seat up. It's just a bunch of little things that I shouldn't let get to me, that make me want to shout "I didn't agree to him living here!".

Worst of all, and hardest to deal with, is the fact that they're simply too obsessed with the current situation. They see this baby as a truly romantic thing they share, and shut out everybody who isn't a part of their new "mini-family". My younger sis and I used to be good friends, but it's as if she lives across the country, even though only a bedroom door with a lock seperates us. I only feel like an intruder when I want to talk to them.

Moving out is not an option at least for another year. I guess I'm just looking for some good ways to cope with the changes without driving myself insane.

You guys are great, and I appreciate any advice or input.

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, when the baby arrives, things WILL change really radically for the both of them. If she's still early in her pregnancy, even in a few months, things will likely change a good deal, because she'll start feeling the strain of being pregnant a lot more.

Can you organize a family meeting, in the vein of "Let's all sit down together and gab to make all of us living in this small space more workable for everyone?"

If you can, you can do things like schedule computer time, make a system to share household duties better, etc.

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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
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Thank you for the reply, Miz S.

I could attempt to get everybody together, but it would be extremely difficult. Not much is set in the way of.. well, anything. My parents are and always have been horrendously permissive. The only thing they've expressed concern about is the state of the house (always filthy) posing a risk for the baby; and yet they don't enforce chores for anybody. I try to keep up, but when 6 other people don't give a crap it gets exhausting.

I'll give your suggestion a try, though, and hope that they'll at least give me a listen.

For the record, she's due to have the baby in just a couple of weeks. Her attitude hasn't changed at all, like she's just ignoring the fact that the cute gurgly thing growing in her belly will come out, and soon. She even waited until she was 8 1/2 months pregnant to take her first lamaze class!

Thanks for lending an ear, I truly appreciate it.

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
greenapp1es
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My boyfriend's sister had a child about 2 months ago now....and based on that I'd second Miz. Scarlets statement that things will likely change. Up until the very week of her child's birth, my boyfriends sister was out with friends nearly every night...from parties (where she didn't drink, but others did), to nights with friends at the pool hall, to spending nights with friends. This came to a very abrupt end when the baby was born....as she literally couldn't continue to do all that she had been. Part of what stopped her is outside pressure though...her family pretty much put their foot down when she tried to tote the baby with her (in early march weather in the midwest). If the behavior of these two doesnt change and is neglectful/risky to/for the child, action does need to be taken at that point...and permissiveness needs to come to an end.

I also support the idea of a family meeting...even if you can't get everyone together at least bring your concerns to your parents to see if you can at least get some sort of reparations made...such as a set time where you have access to the computer and game systems. (I'd give you a computer if I were in Cali...I completely feel for you there...but then mine is my lifeblood and my window to the world). You shouldn't have to give up your hobbies in your own home.

While it's great that the two of them are set on "being a family" and what have you, they are not the only "family" in the house...they are part of a much larger one. I truly hope you all can come to some sort of agreement to live in peace. Sooner or later they will have the real world to face, and what seems to be going on now does not seem to be helpful for any of you.

While not exactly the situation you're dealing with....when roomate issues got really bad for me in college(including my roommate deciding to turn her boyfriend into live-in in a 10-14 dorm room) I found somewhere else I could stay on weekends....just as a place to get away from an increasingly stressful and unhealthy situation for me. I know you said that you can't move out for a year yet....is there any chance you can stay away from home a night or two a week just to give yourself a chance to relax? A friends house? A relatives? It may be a way of giving yourself just a little bit of extra space where you have some time to focus on you and get away from the stress of the household.

Good luck...I hope you work something out that is an acceptable compromise for all of you.

Posts: 96 | From: Illinois | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
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Thank you so much for your reassurance, greenapp1es.

I'm really banking on this changing once the baby's born, so it's really soothing to hear that even wilder young women than her have been forced to settle down and face reality. Either way, I'm sure the fact that her pregnancy is "real" will smack really hard when she's in those stirrups.

Your suggestion to seek out a place to get away was excellent. I'm planning to get away for a weekend or two this summer once the baby's born. In addition, I have a lonely grandpa who would be too happy if I could stay over once in awhile.

Your well-wishing is appreciated. No matter how it goes, I'll find a way to pull through deal. Thank you for your concern and great suggestions.

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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