Dear Carolyn: Ive always had a warm and close relationship with my sister-in-law. Then, she had a baby, and everything changed. She seems to resent me if I talk about things Im doing for fun. Shell say things like, It must be nice to have that much free time, or ends conversations quickly if I mention a new hobby or somewhere cool I went. Shes also totally unwilling to socialize without bringing her now-toddler, despite having an involved husband and tons of available family to baby-sit. Ive specifically asked her to do something one-on-one with me, only to have her show up with the toddler, which makes it basically impossible to talk.
She knows Im happily child-free, but I try very hard to support her and be there for her however I can baby-sitting, bringing meals when she was pregnant and I try to be very affirming of her parenting choices, since I know it can be a hostile world out there for moms. I also try to keep our conversations focused more on her and how shes doing.
But when she inevitably asks me what Ive been up to, I feel like I cant say anything without offending her. It just doesnt seem like we have anything in common anymore. Will we ever be close again? Or is the child-free/child-having divide too much to overcome? Missing Sister-in-Law
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