Yesterday I received a text message from my sister-in-law. She wanted to know when I planned to baptise my youngest child. I got back to her immediately as I had intended to ask her to be the child’s Godmother and I wanted to include her in my plans as much as possible.

There is a whole process involved with baptising a baby, as I am sure there is with most initiation rituals. So I let my sister-in-law know that my husband and I had not yet discussed any of the details, but that as soon as we had a set plan and date she would be the first person to know.

She sent a message back saying that she had just bought the baby’s Christening present and that she had hoped I would baptise him before his first birthday because otherwise the child won’t be able to use her gift and she would be inconvenienced having to go and exchange it.

At this point I had a “micro snap”. A micro snap is a moment in my mind where I don’t hold back a single word and I express in great detail exactly how I feel about the person, except I simply keep it to the confinement of my mind, rather than telling the person what I think of them in the heat of the moment.

My response was incredibly reserved when I compare it to my micro snap. I reminded her that I had to first cover the expense of my second child’s birthday party next month, and that for the last few weeks my family have been managing without hot water at home but that we still really needed to have our hot water tank replaced. And that the time frame she was setting for me was unrealistic as the baby’s first birthday will be here in under three months.

She already knew our financial situation. Added to that she knew my emotional state as well because I did not attend a family function the day before as I was just too down about not having running hot water.

In reality not having running hot water does not mean the end of the world. It truly makes you appreciate the little things in life and raises your awareness of how blessed you are in comparison to a majority of people. It was just a little luxury in life that I have been missing and as the days fly by I realise just how much of a comfort a shower was.

I chose to have four little ones under my care all day. The only time I have to myself each day is when I have a shower. And that is the way it has been since the day my first son was born. It sounds really overwhelming, but it works. My social life is dead, but my life is still full and close friends will remain close no matter how often you keep in touch.

My sister-in-laws text caught me at a really bad time. I ended my response to her text with a question, asking her whether my plans will be suitable for her. And she never responded. Almost as though I had offended her by not being able to baptise my baby within the next three months.

Of course I understand it is going to be difficult for her to go and exchange the present she had bought especially considering that she is an excellent shopper and is so lucky that she is always able to find everything she needs on clearance, but I can’t help that we are unable to accommodate her time frame.

Things like this cause me to lose hope in humanity. I question her compassion if she can’t simply respond to me with either an apology for being so rude or even just something to say that she understands the situation I am in and doesn’t mind when we baptise the baby.

Perhaps there in lies the problem. She doesn’t empathise with me. My husband says that because his brother is a self made millionaire that they have lost touch with reality. Personally I don’t see how a persons financial status can make them so unreasonable, especially when it comes to family.

My sister-in-law may not have to worry about much financially, however I would imagine that financial comfort can be just as troublesome as financial hardship. The extent of my sister-in-laws worries would be when they will be going overseas next. And even though holidays sound fabulous, I am sure they aren’t easy events to organise.

My point is that no matter what the situation, everyone struggles with things. No matter who they are or how well off they are or aren’t everyone faces challenges in life.

For some it’s constantly saving for things and trying to make ends meet. For others it is the inconvenience of having to exchange a christening gift.

No matter what the situation is however it would bring peace to the world if we met one another with empathy and compassion rather than attempting to force our will on other people.

Posted by someonesmother, 24th March 2014

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  • It was your sister in laws issue about the present not yours, you have so much going on in your life you dont need that as well. I hope it gets better for you and that you manage to have some fun in all the crazyness


  • some people fair dinkum


  • nice story to have a read

    • This woman is struggling and you say it’s a nice read! I don’t even think you take the time to read the stories before you comment!


  • The present that was bought is your sister in laws problem, not yours.


  • You can choose your friends but not your family. If your sister-in-law’s biggest worry in life is having to return a christening gift that she bought, then she should be incredibly grateful.


  • People can be so inconsiderate and unaware can’t they. Of course your child’s baptism would be all about her???


  • hopefully she has a change of attitude soon


  • I think it was extreemly rude of her, to 1, buy the present before being notified of the christening, and 2, to make it all about her.


  • Understand your point totally. Tell her if she want to pay for the christening and organize it she can have it before the birthday. Do things in your own time….when you are ready to do so. I have people in my family who drive me nuts also.


  • If this happened to me, I would have suggested that if she was that worried about exchanging the gift then why don’t you go ahead and plan it and pay for it. I cannot believe that she was so concerned, why go buy an out fit if the date is not set in the first place and why can she not see what is happening in your life and understand the situation that you are in. You are correct in saying it does not matter how much a person has everyone has struggles in there own way.


  • I agree – I’m also surprised that they haven’t offered to help, some people really don’t have empathy!!!


  • ah family – always there to drive you nuts ;)


  • Hope by now you have managed to resolve this issue with your sister in law


  • I know alot of people who often do not consider other people or their situations, and feel inconvenienced by an offer. Just keep on keeping on. Don’t let it bother you.


  • Perhaps she should have asked yo before buying the present. It doesn’t really matter, she can return it. Its good of you to try see things from her point of view. Good luck, I hope you get on well in the future as you can’t pick your family…sadly! Hope you get the hot water sorted out soon as its getting colder and it can’t be easy for yo with babies in the house.


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