Mum says her sister-in-law banned her four-month old baby from a family birthday party, because her fertility struggles make it tough for her to be around the baby.

“It’s not something I wanted to post but I need advice,” the mum wrote on Mumsnet.

“I have a four month old daughter, the first grandchild for my parents, I am the youngest of four.

“My brother and his wife have been trying to conceive for over four years.”

The mum explains how she is very close to her “people pleaser” brother, and has been understanding of the fact his wife has chosen to ignore her at several events.

However, it’s now birthday season in the mum’s family, and one of the celebrations happens to be for her brother’s 40th, with a full weekend of fun planned.

“It’s a big family thing where all the children from her side have been invited including her nieces and nephews (ages from one month old to 7 years).

“My partner and I have been invited but not my daughter as it’s too hard for her to see her.

“My brother on the other hand sees her as much as possible but alone.

“Would I be unreasonable to take this personally? It’s very hard to be singled out because obviously I won’t be going anywhere without her.”

Infertility undoubtedly one of the most painful struggles a person can face, but the sister-in-law’s inclusion of her own nieces and nephews made other mums suspicious.

“I can understand why having babies around would be tough,” wrote one mum, “but why does that not also apply to her side of the family?

“If it’s a ‘no children’ event fair enough, but it does sound like your daughter is being unfairly singled out.”

Other mums agreed.

“I’d be finding it difficult not to take this personally,” another added. “No children or no babies at all I could understand. ”

Would you take it personally?

Share your comments below.

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  • You should ask your brother if he knows your baby has not been included when those on the other side of the family have. He may not even be aware of it. If you are breastfeeding and the other Mums aren’t maybe that is her excuse. Maybe she is jealous because you are his only sibling with a baby too.


  • It just seems really bitchy to single out her daughter but all the other kids are welcome. Maybe the brother should have rethought such a big deal of his birthday if it was going to cause his wife so much pain.


  • I think you are right, Clarke. This is surely not the last family occasion. And you can’t get stressed every time the occasion is approaching. Better to talk and clear everything out.


  • I guess we don’t know the full family dynamic to truly understand this. As someone who has failed to successfully carry a pregnancy with my husband (since we blended our families) I know the distress of being around babies is real.

    I also know that some families are oblivious to this hurt or ignore that family member’s hurt to get things their own way. Honestly, we don’t know if one of her family members have basically imposed the need for those young children to attend against her wishes. (Honestly, I know families where the head of the hen house creates expectations that actually pits family members against each other because that one person can’t get past their own narcissism.)

    In this woman’s shoes, I’d catch up for coffee, without kids, and point blank ask the question as to why. What is the worst that can happen? (You might get an honest answer?) In my view, it’s better to know if it’s your worst fear than having it affect your life because you are spending way too much time ruminating about it.


  • I would definitely take it personally – seeing as all the children from her SIL’s side of the family have been invited! Yes, I can understand how painful it must be, but surely if that was the genuine reason, no babies would be invited, not just one! I sympathise with the SIL, but this is so unfair!


  • I would take it personally if her daughter was the only child not invited. Otherwise not. I suffered of infertility and I know how hard it was being around pregnant women and young kids.


  • Yes, Id take that personally. It’s only understandable if she also bans the kds on her side.


  • I would take it personally and l don’t agree with it.


  • Sorry, but that’s a terrible excuse. Yes, infertility can be upsetting but we face upsets every day. If a friend dies, do we stop seeing our other friends? If a grandparent dies, do we ditch our other grandparents? No. It’s an insane reaction and I would take it personally. I wouldn’t have even been understanding of the fact of been ignored at previous gatherings. Seems to me the wife in question is attention seeking and jealous and hiding it behind the mask of ‘it’s too painful. It’s not a child free event. She’s singled out the baby because it suits her purposes to do so.


  • I struggled and found the opposite – it was a joy to have babies and children around.


  • No, I don’t think I would take this too personally. It’s clear that this is a massive pain point for sister in law. I would long to have a chat about it with my brother though, just to see if he’s ok and if there’s anything we could do to help.


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