• Thu, Oct 31 - 11:00 am ET

Anonymous Mom: I Hate My Germ Factory Nephews

germ factoryAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

I HATE my nephews. A strong word, you say? How about despise, detest, loathe? In short, I can’t stand the little brats.

Before I had a child of my own, I merely disliked them. They made me long for those proverbial “good ol’ days,” when children were seen and not heard. A golden age of yore when they had it half right (I mean, I’d rather not see them either, truth be told). However, thanks to their mother and grandmother, who, God only know why, have worked them up to a fever pitch over my new baby, my feelings have escalated to complete abhorrence (yes, I consulted a thesaurus in composing this piece).

When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to look at babies sideways. I actually recall my grandmother yelling “don’t look at the baby!” at me when I dared attempt a furtive glance in the direction of my newborn cousin. I don’t know what she thought would ensue as a result, but it was clearly very dire and not something she wanted on her conscience. I suppose I internalized the message that babies are not to be looked at, touched or in any way interfered with by anyone other than their mother, and it’s hard for me to let go of that early life lesson. Add to that my WASP aversion to human contact, and you’re dealing with someone who just doesn’t want someone else’s kids pawing at my baby, relatives or not. Period.

It was tough for me being a part of my husband’s family even before I had a baby. They’re huggers, which I find really annoying. And there are a lot of them, so the round of hugs takes for-bloody-ever when they all get together. Is there a polite way to say “no, I don’t want to hug you and I certainly don’t want to hug your snot-nosed little germ factory, who brings a new viral strain home from kindergarten on a daily basis.”

I was raised by my grandmother, who loved me dearly but never once hugged me, although she did give me a kiss on the cheek on the occasion of my first international plane trip (no, domestic flights, apparently, did not warrant any untoward displays of affection).

My husband’s family is also loud, obnoxious and demanding, come to think of it (gee, I wonder where the nephews get it from?). Before my daughter was born, I was able to take them in small doses with copious amounts of alcohol. However, that wonderful, liquid coping mechanism is now off the menu thanks to the mystical, magical, surprisingly-ineffective-against-kindergarten-germs breastfeeding. And I’m seeing more of them than I ever had to before becoming a parent.

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  • Momma425

    My mom felt similarly about my dad’s family.
    Mom comes from a small family, and we have no cousins- just grandma, my aunt, and my uncle (her only sibling).
    Dad comes from a huge family- he had 8 siblings and between all the step-children and every aunt and uncle’s kids and whatnot, I have 37 first cousins. My aunts and uncles are alcoholics and so family gatherings were always very loud and crazy and probably inappropriate for children to be around. My mom was a stay at home parent- we didn’t get sick a lot as kids because it was just my siblings and I. My cousins were all in daycare- so every time we saw them, we brought new and fun germs home to share with the whole family.
    My family lived 3 hours away from my dad’s side of the family, so mom really didn’t have to be around them that much.
    I will say that as a kid- even ar hard as my mother tried not to show it- I could pick up on her attitude and uncomfortable-ness mom had around my cousins. I resented her for it, and so did my siblings. As adults, we still resent her a little- because of her attitude, we didn’t visit that side of the family more than 3 times per year. Now that both of my grandparents are dead, and their huge house that could hold everyone all together has been sold, we don’t really get to have big family gatherings aside from weddings and funerals. I see some of my cousins regularly and keep in touch with all of them via facebook, but I miss them and wish I had grown up closer to them.
    I have empathy because I am also someone who DOES NOT like to be touched. I have OCD and it quite literally drives me crazy when I am in a room full of huggers. I also have empathy because I have been there- a first time mom of a little baby, and had my daughter’s dad’s little half-brother over from daycare exposing her to all these germs and colds and flus. I was horrified.
    The deal is, she is going to be a runny-nosed, germy kindergartener too someday. Sooner than you think. I stayed at home with my daughter until she was 3, and then had to go back to work. She got sick ALL THE TIME her first year of daycare and now it is not so bad. Kids build immunity by getting sick. So if she is not sick so often when she goes to school- it can be because of those baby days and her kissy cousins. I would also advise you to try really hard to never ever show your daughter the attitude you have about her cousins. I have empathy for how you feel, but I have been in her shoes and in the end of the day, I LOVE my cousins.

  • Mel

    Even as a childfree, husbandfree woman I’m a big fan of this site. One of the things that I usually like so much is that “we” seem to band together to support the posters/writers. The nasty and judgmental responses to this Anon has made me sad. Disagreeing is fine. Discussion is healthy. Lack of empathy and expressions of hatred are disgraceful. Those who are judging this writer should really look at yourselves and ask if all of your thoughts and negative attitudes towards whatever and whoever would pass the test that you all have laid out.

  • Ellen

    I TOTALLY GET IT. My in-laws are annoying at best and their kids are ill-behaved
    AND annoying. It takes a ton of energy to visit them and the always want MORE and MORE visiting. now that we have our daughter. I don’t want her to learn their weird and sometimes bad habits, which seems so mean sometimes but it’s true.

  • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

    I totally get the germaphobe thing – but I think it would be unfortunate for you to force your obvious boundary issues onto your child. I imagine they were passed on to you by your family – but they are obviously causing you some distress, as evidenced in this post.
    The ability to be warm and affectionate with others is actually really nice and something your child may enjoy – it may be nice to try to let her gage her own comfort level instead of passing on your aversions.

  • Mae Blackwood

    I sort of took this as a new mom being overly stressed sort of deal. Even if it does seem a bit. . . strong. But, maybe I somewhat sympathize more because of the extra stress of a baby on the way and I sort of dislike one of my nieces. Even if she isn’t technically my niece because my fiance and I aren’t married yet. But, she’s really sort of a brat and is treated instead as being “sassy”.

    I wouldn’t say “hate” or anything of that sort, but I may feel that way more once this one comes in a few months.

    I just sort of feel that she is majorly stressed and the nephews are sort of making it worse. So, this could have been a ranty type post more than a “I want to see them disappear” sort of deal. I’m sure we’ve all had the major blow ups after holding something in for a long time. Also, if she comes from a family that isn’t overly loving it is really hard when you enter into a family like that.

    My family was pretty reserved and entering into my fiances family of super loving and close bonding types of people was a major shock and I’m still really awkward and weird about it after all this time.

  • Mae Blackwood

    I sort of took this as a new mom being overly stressed sort of deal. Even if it does seem a bit. . . strong. But, maybe I somewhat sympathize more because of the extra stress of a baby on the way and I sort of dislike one of my nieces. Even if she isn’t technically my niece because my fiance and I aren’t married yet. But, she’s really sort of a brat and is treated instead as being “sassy”.

    I wouldn’t say “hate” or anything of that sort, but I may feel that way more once this one comes in a few months.

    I just sort of feel that she is majorly stressed and the nephews are sort of making it worse. So, this could have been a ranty type post more than a “I want to see them disappear” sort of deal. I’m sure we’ve all had the major blow ups after holding something in for a long time. Also, if she comes from a family that isn’t overly loving it is really hard when you enter into a family like that.

    My family was pretty reserved and entering into my fiances family of super loving and close bonding types of people was a major shock and I’m still really awkward and weird about it after all this time.

  • Snipe

    I sympathize deeply with the OP because I understand where these feelings can come from. My own family is loud, rambunctious, and sarcastic, while I gravitate toward quieter forms of communication and entertainment. As I grew up, I learned that the best strategy was to go along with everyone else because no one listened to me, and I was teased mercilessly if I deviated from their norm. This resulted in gaps in my socialization. I didn’t understand how to set boundaries, and I was afraid to speak up when people are doing things that make me uncomfortable. I have moved past this point, but there was a lot of anger before I got it sorted out.

    Some of you criticize the OP for her feelings and language, saying, “Why doesn’t she just tell them to stop?” Maybe she grew up without the skills to set boundaries. Maybe she set boundaries and sees them completely disregarded by people who think they can do as they wish because their intentions are good or because they are related. Maybe her husband isn’t supportive. Maybe she’s afraid to speak up because previous attempts have met with a negative reaction. Maybe she needs understanding, not judgement.

    Those of you who feel for the parents of the boys, would you be pleased if your children were roughly hugging, kissing, and shouting at an infant? Would you encourage them to greater boisterousness and volume? Would you continue to touch a someone who doesn’t want to be touched, regardless of their relation to you? The OP wants a measure of peace and control in her life, and she dislikes those who don’t respect that. Anon, I hope you find a solution to these problems, and I hope you find a source of support when you do so.

  • Aussiemum

    This chick needs a serious reality check. And a kick up the bum. If I were your nephew’s mother and I found out you thought this about my kidlets, I would run you out of the family. Clearly you are a self center biatch, and you deserve a kick in the shins from these lovable boys! Get a grip, what’s going to happen when your bubs is a todldler and discovers hugging is awesome? “No sorry, I’m not a hugger, so how bout a high 5 and some antibacterial hand wash so you don’t give me any germs.”

  • Meeshelle

    I get you 156,000%. My husbands family is loud, over bearing, obnoxious, and nosey. Not to mention drama central. Do they love my son? Of course they do, but do they annoy the ever loving piss out me? ABSOLUTELY. And as for my nephew? He may only be 4 years old, but he is the most spoiled rotten, pouting, germ carrying kid I know (Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree on this one). Maybe when he gets older I will not find him so annoying. But right now the kid has green snot coming out of his nose at least once a week and cries over the littlest things. I know he’s only 4 but when him and my son play together he hits, bites, and steals toys. When you questions him, he lies! And of course gets away with it… and the worst part? My MIL and SIL baby the kid like there’s no tomorrow. I feel you. Keep trying it might get easier as the kids get older. Right now it’s a fight to not have her knocking on my door everyday. She needs to be up in our business and talks about EVERYONE- including us. But that’s another story for another day!

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  • Greta

    I was a bit surprised when I got to the comment section. My nieces and nephews (all FORTY of them) are always carrying some germ, and there are a few I *enjoy* less than others, but I love them all. However, I have a good friend and neighbor who has three boys my kids’ ages. The 2 year old is a delight, the 5 year old is annoying, but tolerable in small doses, but the 3 yr old….I don’t think I can say I can hate him, because I don’t see myself using that word for anyone, but I certainly don’t like him. At. All. A three-year-old! And my husband /has/ come out and said he hates him. My friends/relatives who come to visit are left speechless when they meet this kid. Since I’m posting anonymously, and this is relevant to the article, I’m gonna be a little bold, down-votes be darned. This kid is gross, rude, weird-looking, too “touchy,” bratty, whiny, a little dumb (though nothing clinically wrong with him,) and just down-right unpleasant. I may not *hate* him, but I hate being around him. I hate when he’s within three feet of my kids. I cringe when I see him come outside. All kids are a little annoying. Some kids are very annoying. And then there are some kids that are just beyond that and you’re not obligated to love or even like them. Since this author is talking about family, she’s gonna have to suck it up, the best she can. But I certainly sympathize with her.

  • Greta

    I was a bit surprised when I got to the comment section. My nieces and nephews (all FORTY of them) are always carrying some germ, and there are a few I *enjoy* less than others, but I love them all. However, I have a good friend and neighbor who has three boys my kids’ ages. The 2 year old is a delight, the 5 year old is annoying, but tolerable in small doses, but the 3 yr old….I don’t think I can say I can hate him, because I don’t see myself using that word for anyone, but I certainly don’t like him. At. All. A three-year-old! And my husband /has/ come out and said he hates him. My friends/relatives who come to visit are left speechless when they meet this kid. Since I’m posting anonymously, and this is relevant to the article, I’m gonna be a little bold, down-votes be darned. This kid is gross, rude, weird-looking, too “touchy,” bratty, whiny, a little dumb (though nothing clinically wrong with him,) and just down-right unpleasant. I may not *hate* him, but I hate being around him. I hate when he’s within three feet of my kids. I cringe when I see him come outside. All kids are a little annoying. Some kids are very annoying. And then there are some kids that are just beyond that and you’re not obligated to love or even like them. Since this author is talking about family, she’s gonna have to suck it up, the best she can. But I certainly sympathize with her.

  • Alexandra

    “Had I known how they would chant her name over and over as though she were some kind of rock star, I swear I would have named her “Shut the Fuck Up.””
    OMG I almost choked on my lunch SO FUNNY!

    Read more: http://www.mommyish.com/2013/10/31/anonymous-mom-i-hate-my-nephews/2/#ixzz2jQ2tMbdD

  • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie
  • blh

    You sound like a raging bitch, honestly. They’re you’re child’s family, why wouldn’t you want them to be close? As long as his family’s not terrible or anything. You’ve got some issues from how you were raised.

  • blh

    You sound like a raging bitch, honestly. They’re you’re child’s family, why wouldn’t you want them to be close? As long as his family’s not terrible or anything. You’ve got some issues from how you were raised.

  • Rly ppl?

    Get off her back ppl, she’s free to voice her own opinions and feelings. So they’re not candy coated in rainbows, get over it. I can totally relate on some level actually.

  • Magpie34

    I think part of the problem with this piece is the writer tried to be clever and funny and, as she noted, use her thesaurus, so it came across as over the top. It was difficult at first to understand exactly what she was getting at. Maybe it’s not in the spirit of Anonymous Mom, but more editing would have helped her more clearly express her thoughts and cut down on the adjectives and hyperbole.

  • Yves

    I think the anonmom has some deep issues thanks to a slightly strange upbringing (who’s told not to look at a baby? I find that strange!) But what disturbs me about this post is the nephews don’t sound like actual brats, there was nothing mentioned that made them sound like bratty children (wanting to kiss a baby does not make you a brat, sorry). get not liking bratty kids, believe me! But they sound like normal kids, displaying normal affection. And she hates them for being…normal? The anonmom also sounds like she has some germ/OCD issues. Your baby lives on Earth now, she will be exposed to viruses and bacteria. And it’s actually good to get her exposed to build up her immune system so she’s not getting sick all the time when she does enter school. Also, your baby will soon be a toddler, preschooler, schoolager…who has a runny nose herself. Watch out! But seriously, see a therapist because I think you need some support.

  • Katia

    This was cute. I don’t know if anon wrote it or mommyish changed it up, but either way, really fun to read. (Good writing). Are you sure you’re not misdirecting your resentment though? You realize these little kids are basically products of the environment? It seems like you really don’t care for your in laws. Maybe you and your family should move away so the hug sessions would be less frequent. Otherwise it’s your house- don’t be afraid to offend your sister in law as long as you keep your dignity / manners intact. Tell her straight up the baby always gets sick and you want to stop the hugging. Have the baby in a carrier when you are with these people. Don’t be afraid to answer her questions honestly/directly. My inlaws drive me crazy too. I never freak out but I always say no nicely when I don’t like something they suggest (like taking my kids for a week). I might make white lie excuses or tell the truth, depending. Anyways, less grinning and baring it means less resentment. I was extremely passive before but my mil is such a witch that I had to become assertive and it feels great. It’s really liberating.

  • kim

    You don’t have to like everyone, definitely not. But this just makes me kind of sad.

  • kim

    You don’t have to like everyone, definitely not. But this just makes me kind of sad.

  • Can’tstandmynieceandnephew

    I have nothing but empathy for this mom. My husband’s niece and nephew are on my one year old daughter every time we go around, they are taken care of or clean, they are always sick, and my daughter is always sick within a week of seeing them. I know they are children and they can’t help their own situation, but they are spoiled brats and nobody says anything to them about boundaries. They should not be trying to hug my baby around the neck or pull her to the ground. There is something wrong with being overly affectionate when they can’t control themselves to keep from hurting a baby! I went to the bathroom once and came back to find my three year old nephew had loaded my 10 month old into a powerwheels and was zooming around the yard while my mother in law cheered him on! My baby can’t have any time with her grandparents because my sister in law is constantly dumping her kids off with them because she doesn’t like being a mother. I know my problem is more with my sister in law and the fact that my in laws refuse to discipline, but when your own child is affected negatively it gets difficult to separate your emotions and not start to feel terrible towards a child no matter how wrong you know it is logically. Anonymous Mom is not alone!

  • Rachel

    Wow, I usually have an extreme amount of empathy for anon mom columns! Even when I don’t necessarily agree with the anonmom, I typically sympathize with whatever plight she is having! This one though strikes me as…what’s the appropriate expression…stuck up? Snotty? Up her own ass? The in-law from hell?

    And the worst part is…These aren’t strangers this nasty woman is braying about! It’s her own family! Who do awful things…like hug her and take an interest in her child! Honey, I can guarantee you that your husbands relatives don’t see you as a ray if sunshine to brighten their days, either. And, unlike you, they have good reasons.

  • Rachel

    Wow, I usually have an extreme amount of empathy for anon mom columns! Even when I don’t necessarily agree with the anonmom, I typically sympathize with whatever plight she is having! This one though strikes me as…what’s the appropriate expression…stuck up? Snotty? Up her own ass? The in-law from hell?

    And the worst part is…These aren’t strangers this nasty woman is braying about! It’s her own family! Who do awful things…like hug her and take an interest in her child! Honey, I can guarantee you that your husbands relatives don’t see you as a ray if sunshine to brighten their days, either. And, unlike you, they have good reasons.

  • Rachel

    Wow, I usually have an extreme amount of empathy for anon mom columns! Even when I don’t necessarily agree with the anonmom, I typically sympathize with whatever plight she is having! This one though strikes me as…what’s the appropriate expression…stuck up? Snotty? Up her own ass? The in-law from hell?

    And the worst part is…These aren’t strangers this nasty woman is braying about! It’s her own family! Who do awful things…like hug her and take an interest in her child! Honey, I can guarantee you that your husbands relatives don’t see you as a ray if sunshine to brighten their days, either. And, unlike you, they have good reasons.

  • Anja6819

    When I first had my daughter, the second my mother in law knew she was near, she would make a bee line for her, get 6 inches from her face and say “HI EMILY!!!!!” Loudly and enthusiasticaly. Then ask why the baby cried every time she saw her.
    So I understand the usage of all the synonyms for hate. I too am not a hugger nor do I like displays of untoward affection. So I also didn’t like all the people clamboring to hold and spread germs to my baby.
    And I got a great big chuckle out of the piece too!!

  • Kiki

    My mom is a “hugger.” I was forced to hug everyone I ever met growing up and now I avoid contact more often than not. There is a such thing as being too affectionate. Germs aren’t an issue for me, but I imagine AM’s poor baby getting overwhelmed with sticky baby kisses and not being able to fight off the cousins–ick!

  • LCBlahBlahBlah

    “wah wah wah my nephews like my daughter and treat her like a rock star”… you sound like an asshole

  • Pricette

    I actually sympathize with her a bit. I have 4 cousins on my dad’s side and 2 on my mom’s side. Because of distance and a ton of family drama, they might as well be strangers to me. My memories of them were that 2 lived in Hawaii and the other 4 were with family that sided with their sex offender grandfather. So I never experienced the “cousins are your first best friend!11!” stuff.

    If/when I have a kid, I’m really hoping this whole family thing won’t be an issue. I’ll never have nieces/nephews on my side because I’m the only kid, and if I’m lucky the dad won’t have many. If I were in the same situation as anon mom, I would of snapped a long time ago. I’m rather impatient, and if my baby was being slobbered on by kids, especially since she’s had several colds, I’d just make up an excuse and take my baby and go. I don’t care about that sentimental family “Oh it’s adorable” stuff. Nope. No.

  • Bintex Shah

    Winners lose much more often than losers. So if you keep losing but you’re still trying, keep it up! You’re right on track.

    Mijn Ing Inloggens

  • Frances Powell

    Oh, I’m sure you’re not, but you sound like a total cold fish and I’d probably hug you for even longer just to get on your nerves. My mother bought me up like that, and it wasn’t until I was in my late 30′s that I loosened up enough to start hugging my friends and family. She had that same supercilious attitude too, as did I – so much more superior, unlike these boorish oafs who insist on touching and affection and such.

    A bit harsh, aye? Not unlike you about your nephews. Seriously, mean much? Especially that crack about their parents breakup. That’s just horrible. Also, not getting your kid exposed to germs here and there can sometimes cause as much harm as too many.

    Incidentally, the first time I hugged my best friend she cried. We were 37 years old, and she thought I might be unwell or something. My kids complain that I’m not nearly huggy enough, too, and that’s after working on it for years. If your daughter grows up to be a hugger, you’re going to have to deal with it and while you’re there, stop being so bitchy about 1/2 of her family.

  • Shannon

    Yes, you are wrong. Get a grip. Good God.