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"I'm sorry, but my life doesn't revolve around your children."

I’m not the maternal type and right now, I have other priorities.

“I’m sorry, but life does not revolve around your children. Did you not get them memo?”

This is exactly what I wish I could say to my sister’s face but at the risk of starting a rift in my family, I’ve kept my mouth shut. But that doesn’t stop the anger from bubbling underneath my skin every time I’m told I’m a sh*t aunty.

I have two nieces and I love them both dearly. While I don’t really consider myself the maternal type, or the sort of person who will have children of their own, I care about them as though they’re my own.

But I do have a life.

I have a very demanding job that sees me working odd hours, often out of business times and doesn’t leave me much time to do anything outside of it. I believe in life, you need to make sacrifices to get ahead and as a 28-year-old, I’m very career driven.

"I believe in life you need to make sacrifices to get ahead and as a 28-year-old, I’ve currently very career driven."

I also enjoy time by myself, to do my own things and sometimes, I just don’t want to be around other people. I much rather enjoy my own company. I’m in a serious relationship and have a small but tight social circle. So in the little time that I have outside of work, I try to spend time with my partner and catch up with my friends here and there.

This is exactly what my sister appears to have a HUGE problem with.

I’m constantly being shamed for not going to my niece’s dance concerts. I’m constantly told they won’t remember my name because they don’t see me enough. I’m constantly told they don’t want to give me a hug or a kiss because I don’t spend enough time with them. I’m constantly told that they will hate me when they are older because I didn’t invest more time in my relationship with them.

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It’s making my blood boil.

"I’m constantly being shamed for not going to my niece’s dance concerts."

Every time I go over to her house, the first thing that happens when I step through the door is get told how rarely I visit. Clue. Why would I want to come over if every time I walk in I get made to feel like crap?

I’m not at a point in my life right now where I have time to take my nieces to the park or sit around making muffins with them. While I see them as much as I can, it always seems as though it’s never enough.

I fully support my sister’s decision to become a mum. But I did not choose to become an aunty. I am one by default. So, as much as I want to spend time with my nieces, I don’t think it’s fair that I be guilt tripped every single time I can’t.

I’ve tried to explain this multiple times but the message just doesn’t seem to get through. It’s become an ongoing joke in my family that I’m the bad aunty. A label which I’m sick and tired of. I constantly get made out as though I’m selfish, self-centred and inconsiderate. This isn’t the case. I’m simply time poor.

I don’t know what else to do.

What advice would you give?

The writer is well-known to iVillage but has request to remain anonymous to protect her family's identity.

If you have a dilemma that you would like advice about, please email [email protected] with Don’t Judge Me in the subject field. You will be contacted before publication, and your identity will be protected.

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