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Sisters-In-Law From Hell Are The New Mothers-In-Law From Hell

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family politicsRemember when you first got married and realized, Holy crap, I now have a mother-in-law to deal with? Sure, some of you truly love your MILs, but just as many could live without the constant putdowns, not to mention all that unsolicited parenting advice (the worst!). Lately, however, there’s a whole new family member on top of many a mom’s shit list: the sister-in-law from hell.

That’s right, sisters-in-law are replacing mothers-in-law as a source of headache and drama for so many women. And the results are far from pretty. Take Amanda, for instance. She’s a New Jersey-based mother of three and a pretty laid-back person who rolls with the punches and somehow manages to work full-time, cook meals from scratch and shlep her kids from program to program, all with a smile on her face. She describes her sister-in-law – her older brother’s wife – as “neurotic as all hell” and, well, it’s starting to affect their dynamic.

Amanda can still recall the time she and her crew were invited for dinner at her brother and sister-in-law’s house 45 minutes away. Every time they get together, SIL asks Amanda, “Is anyone sick? No one’s sick, right? Is anyone sick?” She’s obsessed with keeping her kids germ-free (never mind the fact that they’re in daycare and school all day), and she refuses to get together with anyone if there’s nary a snotty nose involved.

Anyway, on this particular evening, Amanada received a text while on her way over: Just want to be sure no one’s sick. “Do you really think I’d come into your home if my children had the stomach flu? I’m not going to put your child in danger!” is what Amanda usually tells her. Well, it just so happened that Amanda’s little girl, then 16 months old, experienced motion sickness and vomited everywhere two minutes before pulling into SIL’s driveway. Amanda called her SIL and said she’s really car sick, this has happened before, can you please make her a bath so that I can throw her in?

SIL was convinced her niece had the flu and, when Amanda went to take off the baby’s diaper, SIL said, “That smells like a really sick poo.” Amanda told her, “Uh, no, her poo always smells like that.” By that point, however, SIL was offering to drive her home and spent the rest of the night grabbing everything the little girl touched to wash it off. (The kid was fine, by the way – it really was motion sickness!)

“I think she’s envious that I’m so lax and she’s so wound up because it paralyzes her every move,” Amanda tells me about her sister-in-law. The two families still make a point of getting together for the kids’ sake, but Amanda admits she’s thankful they won’t be spending too much time this summer up at the family’s country home. “It affects our time up there having her obsess over everything,” she explains.

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