Arts & Leisure

Dear Mari: My sister won the baby race!

WHY CAN’T SHE be happy about her sister’s pregnancy? Dear Marilyn replies.

Dear Marilyn,

My sister recently found out that she is pregnant. Although I am very excited for her, I can’t help but be a little jealous. My husband and I had been talking about starting to try for a baby. But, to my surprise, my sister got pregnant first.

I was hoping to have a child first because my husband and I have been married longer than my sister and her husband. I just assumed that we would have the first child. Now I am hoping that we will be able to start a family of our own. I am almost obsessing about it. I think about it every day.

   I find myself a little sad, though. How can I get over this jealousy and be genuinely happy for my sister? I know that I should not be feeling sorry for myself, and that my time will come. Can you give me some advice?

Signed, Mom To Be

Dear Mom To Be,

   You have found out that life has a way of throwing surprises at us. You can’t plan everything, and things don’t always happen as we expect them to.

   It would be helpful to you, as well as to your sister, if you focus on the joy of the event, rather than your jealousy. I realize this is much easier said than done, but you will feel much better if you do. You can’t control the situation. All you can do is control how you react to it.

   The fact is that you do not know if or when you will have a child of your own. You can hope and plan, but the reality is that it may take a while. So, do what you can to enjoy your sister’s happiness. I hope that you will be able to make this a joyful time for yourself as well. After all, you are going to have a new niece or nephew.

   I wish you the best.

Dear Marilyn,

I have a conflict with my younger brother. He is always getting into my belongings without asking for my permission. I have asked him several times not to use my stuff without asking me first. He basically ignores me.

For example, recently, I spent a lot of time looking for my backpack, only to find out that he was using it. This sort of thing happens all of the time. I know that the answer is to tell him he can no longer use anything that belongs to me. Period. However I just haven’t been able to do it.

I know exactly what would happen. In his eyes, I will be a mean sister. I am afraid our relationship would suffer. Please give me your suggestions.

Signed, Irritated Big Sister

Dear Irritated Big Sister,

   You are looking at this situation backwards. Your brother takes your things without asking you first. You have asked him not to do this, but he continues to do it anyway. He is being selfish and unkind.

Yet, you are afraid that he will think of you as a mean sister if you take steps to prevent this from happening. As long as you are viewing it this way, nothing will change.

   So, you need to change your frame of reference. Lock up the things that you don’t want him to use. Do not worry what he thinks. He is the one who has been wrong in this situation, not you.

   Once he knows that you mean it, you can chose to lend him your things if you want to. It is quite likely that he will become much more respectful of them.  And, of course, you will know what he has of yours and when he has it. Don’t feel guilty. You need to take control of the situation.

Dear Readers:  Please send your questions to . Make sure to include “Dear Mari” in the subject line.


Leave a Reply