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Anyone have parents that don't show much interest in your kids?

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
i keep reading posts about grandparents that are possessive of the kids, or over enthusiastic with presents.

My mom is the exact opposite. She was there at my birth and seemed really excited about the baby before he was born, but now that he is here she just doesn't seem all that interested in him. Ds is 10 monthes now. I used to go to her house every week but i haven't so much now because I feel kinda hurt by how distant she is from Ds. When I'm there she almost never asks to pick him, she typically only holds him for a couple minutes if i ask her to while I'm in the bathroom or something. She doesn't ask what he's been doing, doesn't get happy or excited over any of his milestones. She bought him one toy when he was about three monthes old and thats it. Not that I care for material things but it seems odd to me. Sometimes she'll come by to pick up or drop something and the baby will be sitting on the floor and she doesn't even knowledge him.

Her brother was staying at their home a few monthes ago with his 11 month old and she was constantly holding his baby, bathing, feeding him. My other uncle has a 7 month old girl and she always talks about how cute she is, and when we're at family gatherings she holds his baby all the time.

When I was pregnant we all thought he was going to be a girl and she seemd so excited. Went to appointments with me, bought clothes, blankets, etc. But after he was born she's been so distant from him. I feel really hurt and confused about it. Even my inlaws whom I'm not big fans, and were not happy about me being pregnant, seem to love him more.

Btw, my realtionship with my mom has always been pretty good. She has always been my best friend, but we've been not quite so close since I got married.

Should I say something to her about it? If yes, what? Any one else deal with this?
post #2 of 61
Me!

I have such a long story, but to make it short my mother and my family aren't interested in my DD. It's hurtful and makes me so incredibly angry. With the holidays coming, I've made a decision not to visit with them this year. I have to, for my own emotional and mental health, as well as for DD.

My own feelings are this - true family calls you and asks how you are and if you need help. Family offers help without you having to ask for it. Family is interested, wants to hear what is going on, and wants to be part of the day to day. Family wants to hold babies, play w/babies, ask about milestones and laugh about things with you. They make you feel special and important. They offer advice, stories, and keep you up to date in their own life, too.

Since you and your mother used to be close, maybe you should bring up your feelings with her. Maybe just ask her if there's anything going on that you should know b/c you sense some distance b/w you since XYZ. Maybe it would help.
post #3 of 61

Yeah...My parents were like this with my son too...

Wouldn't have hurt too much if they wouldn't have fawned and over indulged my sister's kids though..I learned to get over it cause it never changed..My son though never got over it...He is grown and is still a bit resentful about it.



Yeah..I see the threads where parents complain about too much grandparent involvement and giftgiving and just shake my head...I would have loved for my son to recieve that kind of love and devotion..Espesially since my sisters kids did recieve tons of gifts all the time and they never included my son and thought he just wouldn't notice..Whatever..:irke


Oh well each to their own.

I don't know your mom so I can't say what to do but I tried talking to my parents about it years ago ...How hurtful and not nice it was..But they were in denial and made tons of excuses and nothing ever changed..You could try talking to your mom about it but you never know how they will react..Could be something wonderful will happen..But talk to her if you are comfortable doing that..

It still hurts though doesn't it?


Hugs to you...I know how you feel..
post #4 of 61
How horrible for all of you . OP I'd ask your mom what's going on, especially since you said that you and she have a decent relationship. I don't understand family that does this. Do they think kids are dumb, watching their cousins get treated kinder, receiving gift, etc? I'm peeved and it's not even my sitch
post #5 of 61
My mom and I do not have a good relationshop and I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. I called to tell her I was preg with her first GC and then never heard from her. She has only seen DD twice in her 2.5 years and that was because we went to them.
I have since given up on them and plan on not even telling them when this next little one is born. It's their choice not to be involved.
post #6 of 61
My parents and inlaws live 16 hours away. My parents are always all excited to see him on webcam, pics, etc. but every time we go to visit (because they are begging us to) they barely do anything with him. For instance, last time we went, he had just started walking, so I assumed my mom would watch him if I left the room. No, she sat on her laptop while he walked around and then fell down, so I couldn't leave him alone with her!
My inlaws acted all excited when I was pregnant and have visited a couple of times and been all excited-but then they never call, do webcam, or even look at the blog I set up for the grandparents!
It's annoying.
post #7 of 61
It goes back and forth with my mom. She was really involved with DS, to the point where when I was pregnant with him she kept trying to get me to leave my husband to go live with her so we can raise him again. That she'd do all the work. I think the best time of her life was when I was a little kid and she wanted to re-live that.

I felt a strong need to distance our family and establish boundaries with her. Perhaps that backfired a bit. DS turned out to have special needs and although she always offered to help, the couple of times I took her up on it she basically told me how much of a hassle it was. Like, she invited us over "to rest" - so I drove three hours to her house (when I was really ill) so she could help out with DS, who was like maybe 4 months at the time. He cried too much (colicky) so she basically sent us home. Or she offered to take him for a few days so DH and I could go on a short vacation (we took DD with us as she was still nursing). She was SO looking forward to their time together but once it happened, she totally just complained about how difficult it was and how she's tired now and etc. Like, yeah, I know, try two of them on a permanent basis, never mind one for a couple of days. She hasn't really shown too much interest since then.

What hurt more was that she totally disregards DD. She will always send both of them something (like two of the same present usually) but other than that she is just not at all interested in her. DD is a bit of a mama's girl and she gets scared of strangers easily. One morning my mother surprised her and she started crying because it was the first thing in the morning and she wasn't expecting to see anyone but me. (Plus she'd seen my mom like three times total in her life, so she was practically brand new.) My mom actually got an attitude and said something like, "Fine, I don't want to see your face either." And then proceeded to ignore her for the rest of the visit. Like, huh? It's a one year old, and you're holding a grudge with her?!
post #8 of 61
My mom is super involved, but my in-laws are much the way you describe your mother being. They will come visit under the pretense of coming to see the kids, but once they get here, they only seem interested in talking to us (me & DH) and don't really even acknowledge the kids much. It's very odd. From what DH tells me about his childhood, he & his siblings were basically sent to play outside very early in the morning and weren't allowed back in the house until dark except for meals... so I'm thinking my in-laws aren't "kid people." It's really bizarre that your mom takes on over other babies, though. Maybe her personality & your DS's don't mesh well? Or maybe she's having a hard time seeing you have a relationship with your own child and not totally depend on her anymore? I'm sorry. It sucks.
post #9 of 61
Neither my parents or my ILs seem to care much about DD. We all live within about 15 minutes of each other, so distance isn't an issue!

My ILs only know one of their 5 grandchildren. My MIL didn't come to any baby showers for me or my SILs. When she was healthier, she'd watch my nephew, or take him places with my FIL -- for like the day. Other than a couple hours the last 2 Christmases, they've only seen her for a few minutes at a time every few months. They also didn't come to her baptism or birthday parties (mostly b/c other relatives they don't like were invited. )

My parents don't ever call or come over either, and my mom used to watch my niece and nephew a few times a week, for the whole day! She's always "working" -- she runs my sister's old HS's kitchen for bingo on weekends. My sis graduated in 2000....there's really no reason that she still needs to be doing it. Except they tell her how much they need her. She skipped out on DD's baptism as well.

It really sucks, and although both grandmas are a bit crazy, you think they'd want to know their beautiful and fun and sweet granddaughter.
post #10 of 61
My parents are off doing their own thing 'spending my inheritance' they say. Traveling and such, I had my first son at 40, and they never expected grandchildren as I am an only child. They have been supportive and I know they love my 2 boys, but they don't call or email or seem interested when I reach out to them.

They were here for my oldest son's birth but it was old hat when my second came. They DONT want sleepovers or grandpa/grandma time alone with them.
post #11 of 61
Yes, we're in that situation here. Fortunately it is only one of the four grandparents- my mother- who is uninvolved. My Dad and IL's are very interested and engaged. But it is still hard. My mother doesn't call, rarely emails, rarely visits, expects us to always go to her, and then only a few times a year, doesn't send cards, doesn't ask about milestones, etc...

My older child will soon start noticing this and I haven't figured out how to explain it to her. As a child I was devastated by my mother's lack of involvement and interest in my life (despite living in the same house) and I worry about my children going through this too.

No words of wisdom here, just know you're not alone.
post #12 of 61
yup same boat. falls all over my 3 of my brothers kids. (he has 4, with differant woman)one of his is ignored its a shame. i just dont question it now.
post #13 of 61

Similar but different situation here...

It's not so much that my dad & SM aren't interested, but they certainly aren't willing to make as much effort as the other two sets of grandparents. Like we asked them to babysit for an evening during the week, and they said if we drop DS off & pick him up again... um, yeah, it's a 40min. drive each way, we'd spend more time driving than at the movie...

BUT then my dad gets upset when Eric is shy around him but absolutely adores my mom (who lives 45 minutes away but makes an effort to see him at least once a week). What d'you expect??

Particularly after other posts on here I've decided to be grateful they're pretty balanced grandparents. I also thought about it a bit and realized that they don't really babysit for my SM's kids much either, so at least it's not lopsided.

We still see them, but not as much as they'd like and I'm so past the guilt and disapointment. If they want a closer relationship, they know where to find us!
post #14 of 61
Do you think it's because she prefers girl babies? I know lots of people who act like that, fawning over girls and ignoring boys. I think our culture makes it easier to adore girls, since they are seen as pretty objects, and sort of sets boys up to be boring when babies. Of course, it's all total bunk and it's terrible to treat your son like that. I'm sorry!
post #15 of 61
my mil was so excited when i was pregnant, but she never visits and she lives 10 min away. shes dissappointed because i wont let her babysit. hello! bf'ing in progress! and they have a gazillion cats in their house to boot.
post #16 of 61
My ILs were crazy about DS now 9. They spent tons of money on him....flew here to see him often and he was part of the reason they moved back here. I got prego w/#2 and there were less than excited. Right before I knew I was expecting #3 MIL said to my SIL "I really want another grandbaby" then she turned to me and said "but no more from you, you've had enough" funny thing I found out about #4 a week later. They want to take DS on trips and vacations but will not take any of the others....won't even take any of the others apple picking even though we argue every summer about why I won't let them take DS away for a week at a time.

I really can't come up with any reason WHY they wish I only had one. 8 years after he was born the only other grandchild was born to SIL and they now devote everything to mainly her....fine with me because now I don't have to constantly explain to the other kids why they only want DS1.

Oh and it's not a boy thing because I have 3 boys and they don't pay any more attention to the younger 2 than they do DD.

In the few times I've needed a sitter they've said "we will take DS1 if it helps" but that would leave me finding someone else for the other kids. I don't really have a back up because we've used sitters maybe 3 or 4 times in 9 years, when they won't do it I am usually stuck in a real bind :-(
post #17 of 61
My mom only really pays attention to the boys. Especially the oldest.

My nieces and my DD get ignored and pushed aside when we're all together. When we were at her house for a b-day party when DD was a baby (maybe 8 months old?) she insisted she take her from me while she was playing with my nephew. What did she do with her? Put her in an exersaucer and ignored her. I heard her crying and had to rescue her.
post #18 of 61
My parents (well, now just my dad since my mom died) pay almost no attention to my children. I am the youngest of 10 children (through multiple marriages, my "dad" is my stepdad) so the grandkids were all pretty old news when mine came along. It was so bad when my DS was born, my parents didn't even know his name for years. My parents don't know when my children's birthdays are, they might mention me buying something for them using their credit card for Christmas, if I mention a birthday has passed (when talking on the phone) my kids might get a check for $20. I've sent them updates on our family, pics of the kids everytime we've had them taken or anytime there's a cute one, but still almost a complete lack of interest. Granted, we do live pretty far away. . .my parents lived in FL and we've lived in Vegas, Utah, NC, and now Japan but I wish there was some interest. Perhaps part of it was my mom having dementia for the last 4 years and my dad just isn't as interested? But I think if that were true they would have had more to do with the other grandkids, but they haven't really. My brother who's 4 years older than me would send 2 of his kids to my parents for a month during the summers but my kids were never old enough to do that. Growing up, I can't remember my parents having anything to do with their grandkids except for when the my siblings would send them for a couple weeks or a month every year. . .but I don't remember phonecalls, letters, notes, buying holiday gifts or birthday gifts, ever talking about any of them at home (some of the grandkids are older than or close to my age all the way down to my DS who is now 5).
post #19 of 61
Wow, there are some pretty uninterested grandparents around
I guess my parents aren't that bad but I do get sad that they were all (both my parents have repartnered so my kids have 4 grandparents on my side) so excited when I was pregnant with DD and fawned over her from a distance (we live in a different state) for the first year and a half or so but apart from my mother coming to help out for a week after DS was born they've all seemed completely disinterested since then.
post #20 of 61
My dad lives close enough to visit DS yet doesn't. There are many reasons, health issues being one of them, but ultimately I just don't think he is all that interested in interacting with small children. When he calls, he always wants updates on DS, he gives DS gifts and he is excited to get pictures but that is pretty much it.

My father has a very difficult, intense personality. My parents divorced right after DS was born and I know DS's birth was part of the reason. My dad was very threatened and jealous of my mom's excitement over my pregnancies and DS's pending arrival. I remember an ugly phone call between him and my mom within hours of DS's birth.

DH and his mother never had a great relationship so her lack of interest didn't come as a surprise. She and FIL will send a card for b-day and Christmas and call a handfull of times but that is it. I used to send her pictures on a regular basis but stopped as she never said peep about them. Distance also plays into it, they live far away and never come visit.

They are, however, super involved with the other grandkids and thats ok by us. Those kids definately need them.
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