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Anyone have parents that don't show much interest in your kids? - Page 2

post #21 of 61
With us it's the grand-dads who are less than interested.

My mom and MIL are great (as is step-FIL). We call and chat on Skype at least once a week usually, and I try to get over to Ireland to see my mom at least a couple of times a year, and she tries to get over to us at least once as well. MIL and step-FIL live about 3 hours drive away - they came up 2 weeks ago for a couple of days to help us out while we moved house and we're going down to visit them soon too.

But both DH's dad and mine are - bleh... If it weren't for step-MIL I don't think FIL would ever bother contacting us. When we go to visit him (infrequently - he's never visited us) he's happy enough to play with DD for a few minutes, but then gets bored and wants us to 'do something with her'. He's not bad, just not a kid person and not interested.

My dad's a bit weirder though. He dotes on my cousin's two kids (she's the only one in the family apart from me who's had any children yet), especially the older one who's 9 months older than my DD (and has the same name - long story..). He raves on about this kid to me, telling me how smart and cute and etc. she is, but then seems totally underwhelmed by DD. For example, he was praising cousin's kid to the skies to me because she'd potty-trained just as she turned two, which is great. But then when my DD potty-learned a couple of months later at 18 months he couldn't give two hoots. DD is pretty smart and very cute too, but it just doesn't seem to cut it for my dad - she's always comparing unfavourably with my cousin's kid in his eyes.

I actually cried about it to my mom once - I was so sad for DD that she wouldn't have wonderful grand-dads like I did. One died when I was 3 but I still have some great memories of playing with him, and my other grand-dad is still alive and has always been my hero. But then I realised that at least DD would have a better dad than either DH or I ever had, and I think that's much more important in the long run.
post #22 of 61
Yes. My ILs show little to no interest in our boys. They traveled to Italy before they saw our first, and that was b/c we flew to see them at 6 mo. My oldest calls his GP "that man with the tie." I have some anger over it, but what can I do, he was like that with his own kids.
post #23 of 61
My family has no interest in my kids. Well, sort of. My mom likes to talk about how great and smart and cute they are, but she has never ever babysat, does not buy for them, never visits them. She'll come over for thanksgiving btu she has no real connection to them.

The inlaws have no interest in my kids. They say they do but they don't attempt contact, don't reciprocate when we contact them, no birthday or holiday attention (except for this past year, and it was very small and very disinterested-kinda strange) MIL is far more interested in her other grandkids, by her own admittance.

It's sad, and it breaks my heart, but they are the ones who are missing out.
post #24 of 61
My parents are distant from the kids for the most part. They like the pictures I send, and ask for updates on the phone, but usually interrupt me shortly after I begin talking about the cute things the kids are doing.? I don't get it. When they do come over (they live a couple hours away but we see each other every few months) they mainly want to talk with me and dh. It's odd-we are moving out of state so they came over recently and we had the best visit we've ever had. I felt sad wondering why they couldn't have ever been this involved? I don't know. My IL's though, are very involved, visit often, we talk often, they adore spending time with the kids. I'm grateful for them. Mary
post #25 of 61
My dad has pretty much zero interest in my children. We have an awful relationship so it is not much of a surprise. He's a jerk anyway so I'm glad I don't have to deal with limiting their relationship.
It doesn't really upset me much except when I compare my family with my in-laws who are over-the-top involved (which I do find annoying and sometimes even enraging).
I can see how it would be really terrible if you had a decent relationship with your mom though. I'm sorry you have to deal with that! I would try talking to her.
post #26 of 61
My own parents really could care less about my children. They never call, email, send anything in the mail... nothing, not even for x-mas or birthdays. Honestly this is fine by me because I grew up with my parents acting the same way to me.

My in-laws... well they act like they are interested, but its not genuine. MIL and stepFIL will come to visit once every few months (we live about 4 hours away) but other than that they don't call, email, send letters to the kids. To me its pointless that they even come, but they do it so they don't feel guilty about spending all their attention on their other two grandsons (that are not even their real grandkids ).
post #27 of 61
Well, MIL is not all that involved. She isn't all that involved in her own kids' lives anyway, and even less with her grandkids. She makes noises sometimes about getting pics or seeing them, but they're so much hot air. We have paid for her to fly out and see DS, and we'll do it again when the next LO is born, but she always complains about leaving her dogs, and while she was here, she just talked nonstop about weather and dogs and the usual. She even called her friend who was dogsitting to ask about the dogs, and her friend had to ask her midway through the conversation how she liked visiting DS. She totally ignored BIL's kids when they were trying to talk to her one time, and she just kept talking about whatever she was babbling on about, oblivious.

I don't know why we bother flying her out. I'd just as soon not.
post #28 of 61
My parents are not involved in any aspect of ds' life. My mom has been in a nursing home with debilitating mental illness most of MY life, and my father has never been involved in my life either. Leaving my ds with:

one paternal grandmother who recently retired, but has not come by to see ds despite living 15 minutes away. She will not drive her precious PT Cruiser to our place because we live within the city limits and 'too many kids are running around outside' and might 'damage her car'. Trust me, we wouldn't be raising our son here if the area was as bad as she makes it sound!! She was not at the birth, and didn't visit in the hospital. She has never stayed overnight here with ds, never taken ds to her home or out anywhere, and unscheduled visits by her home are a no-no. Even now, when she's retired and literally stays in her pj's all day and watches QVC. I am, by no stretch of the imagination, being mean or overexaggerating with that observation.

and, one paternal grandfather that lives quite literally across the street from us but needs a constant kick in the a** to be reminded of that fact. He currently has a much younger girlfriend, with 4 year old twins of her own, and I know where we reside on his priority list. I recently dropped by hoping to leave ds with him so I could just run to the gorcery store, and the gf's children were already in his care. I am in no mood to compete, so I don't even bother asking him to be involved with ds anymore. Unfortunately, neither does he. And I don't mean to say I expect them to only babysit, I repeatedly offer visits to our home or theirs, with zero interest from them.

I have learned I cannot make these people be involved. Ds is their first (and quite possibly will be their only) grandchild, and it is not MY loss they choose not to participate. I have given up on guilting them, it simply cannot be done. I have also let go of my own guilt of not being able to provide a full 'family' to ds. It's not my job to provide grandparents to him, it is only my responsibility to be the best parent I can.

OP, sorry to hear your situation isn't turning out the way you'd expected. Focus on what YOU can do, and do it with love and sincereity. They may or may not figure it out someday. Hugs!
post #29 of 61
My dad has only seen DD 3 times since she was born. Now at 5.5 months I don't bother calling him with updates etc because he has never ever called once since she was born. This is his first and probably only grandchild for a while and while it disappoints me extremely I am not surprised. Our relationship before she was born and before I was even pregnant was the exact same, so it is something I have been attempting to make peace with since I was, oh I don't know 12 probably. Ah well...
Sometimes you just can't push them.
post #30 of 61
I had my first child and for almost 6 years I lived within a mile of both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles. My husband's mom (1 out of 4 sets of grandparents/stepgrandparents) is the only one that ever sought out contact with my child.

All the others we only saw once or twice a year- living down the street from each other! No one ever offered or insisted on babysitting/spending time with my children.

Now we live 2.5 hours away from everyone and we get an occasional phone call, but no interaction.

Weird too because I was a teen mom. My parents were totally disinterested and hands off.

No one visitted me or asked to help. 2nd child came along when I was older and the same thing.

My MIL was the only one that cared and she passed away. Of course, it always seems like the ones you can't stand to lose or the ones that get taken.

My grandma though- she cared a lot but she was a great grandma to my kids and she passed away. During her time with them she cared a great deal, but was too frail to really interact the way she wanted to.

I don't get disinterested grandparents, I really don't. I think grandparent relationships are priceless, but maybe that's because I had disinterested parents and my grandmother was the only one I felt that loved me or cared for me.
post #31 of 61
Could she have some unresolved feelings about being a grandmother? I noticed the two other babies were her niece and nephew, not her grandchildren.
post #32 of 61
My parents are like this. But I blame my sister. My parents were pretty normal parents and instead of gently educating them on how she was going to parent (AP) she would flip out at them every time they tried anything.

It was pretty ridiculous. She'd be eating and my nephew would give a tiny fuss and my dad would offer to walk him around so she could finish eating. (Please note: he didn't insist, but he'd offer) and that would spark a 15 minute lecture about not ignoring new born early hunger signs. While she was right, the way she did it was really off putting. She refused to teach her son not to rip leaves off plants instead insisting that my parents could either have wrecked house plants or none at all in their own home.

So they backed off. She has the second grandchild as well and my parents gave up. NOTHING they did was right. Nothing.

It's taken me 3 years of reassuring them that I won't bite their heads off for redirecting my DD for them to start interacting with her. I'm not talking about yelling at her, but things like asking her not to jump on the couch. Both my other sisters have told my parents that it's ridiculous for them to have couches and grandkids if the couches can't be jumped on.
post #33 of 61

sort of the opposite problem....

Hi, I have a different problem: my daughter, who is expecting the first grandchild in my family has become offended at any questions I ask about what the birth plans are, what kind of diapers they want to use, etc. It led to her calling me at work and yelling over the phone that none of this is my business (!!)
I am -on the one hand- trying to let her be...and -on the other hand- I want to know and be involved as much as she and my SIL will be comfortable with.
I am so surprised; this is from a daughter born at home w/her brother present, who was present when her sister was born at home, and who has grown up hearing me talk to others about not circumcising babies, and so on. The latest? She doesn't want to talk to me about any choices she makes about the baby, including circumcising. I hope they don't do it, and conversely, it makes me hope they have a girl.
I offered to be receptive of any letters (we live on opposite coasts) from her revisiting any old issues, anger, resentment, etc. so we can put all this sparring behind us. I would never tell my kids how to raise their children; but heck, I am curious about their plans for the birth and after. I am a nurse, and teach on a regular basis (every day). My stance has been, 'make up your own minds about what you want, and stick to your guns.' ---and whaddaya know, first thing that happens is the NMW scares the jeebers out of them about NOT vaccinating for H1N1 b/c a pregnant woman on the Coast died from it. Of course my daughter rolled up her sleeve and went for the shot. I am sad they succumb to fear-based teaching. Perhaps this is what is meant by letting go- my grown children must learn to live with their own decisions and mistakes. I really feel sick that they would choose to circumcise: her elder brother is intact, and I guess I presumed she understood why...her sister does...and says she's 'just being a brat'. Younger sister said to me, 'If I were having a baby now...I'd want you to come live with me, so I could learn everything and be reassured!' --Yes, I'm lucky to have more than one daughter. It would be devastating to be shut out from one's experience.
--so, I'm guilty of being 'too interested'.
I'm allowing a cooling off period after writing a loving letter saying she for sure calls the shots, and it isn't my intent to steal her thunder or anything. It is painful to hear my daughter doesn't want me anywhere around when she has the baby. Am I being overprotective?
The ultimate irony is that her grandfather on her father's side has seen the children maybe twice in their lives. He's the poster child for uninvolved grandparents (tee hee) I have to laugh -- otherwise I'd cry.
Thanks for listening. Any suggestions are welcome
post #34 of 61
my mother has admitted she doesn't 'do' children. she pops over once a week to talk about herself and is very happy if the boys are playing in another room so she doesn't have to deal with them. She has looked after ds2 a few times but tends to pop him in front of the TV. She is quite excited about dd1 and is planning girly things to do with her (not going to happen). For christmas and birthdays she gets me to buy the gifts and gives me the money. When she has friends visiting she likes to show off her grandchildren and offers to babysit and help with the house in front of people and then never does. We have come to the agreement that she is not the mother i wanted and i am not the daughter she wanted!
My MIL is great, really helpful and loves looking after the children, but she lives much further away so we don't see her that often (4 times a year).
I think the 'idea' of the grandchild is often more exciting than the reality which can be hard work.
post #35 of 61
My mom is an incredible grandmother, and she and my stepdad have been involved from the beginning with dd. My mom lives 1.5 hours away and won't go a week without seeing dd. Long story, but my dad is the exact opposite! He lived 20 minutes away with my stepmom until recently when they hit a rocky patch and he showed up at my door. I thought, well at least he'll have to be involved with Olivia if he's staying here... But he makes it a point to be distant it seems! He comes in super late, often after she's asleep. When she is awake, he definitely keeps his distance and almost never holds her. She crys when he gets close because she thinks he is a stranger, and he's been staying here over a month! Sorry that was long, just another voice of understaning! s
post #36 of 61
My mom/step-dad show less interest in my dc then they do my sisters dd. But I think there are valid reasons why. My sister is a single mom and needs a lot of help with her dd, and live minutes away from my parents. Maybe they would come up and visit more often (we live about 3.5 hrs away) if they weren't so busy w/ my niece. My mom is good about sending cards on holidays and I send photos. But my mom did say that my niece is "her favorite grandchild" because she was her first and they spend a lot of time together. I think my mom gets her grandma needs fulfilled by my niece. It makes me sad, but its her choice. The one thing I will keep an eye on is if I feel that my dc become aware that their GM favors their cousin over them, I will have a BIG talk w/ my mom about it.
post #37 of 61
Yes. Not my parents, but his. It's hard. Mostly hard for him because the example of my parents is impossible for him to ignore.

I'm sorry you are grappling with this too. I just try to keep in mind that people are themselves and they are complex, and there may be a dozen reasons for the behaviour, and none of them may actually involve you.

Cherish the relationships you do have and keep the door open.

post #38 of 61

I feel for you. We are raising our daughter in a fashion similar to what you did, and I can imagine being in your situation years down the road. My poor DH can't buy soap without a pamplet from me... and it will be something I will have to be aware of as my DD grows-up.

All I can offer is that perhaps she is anticipating a flood of information and suggestions from you, and maybe she really wants to own this herself? To be in her own headspace?

Perhaps she is very sensitive to suggestions and feels pressured or infringed upon when she hears them?

Perhaps she doesn't want it to appear to her DH that you are influencing her more than he?

Becoming a mother is the most transformative and deeply personal thing that has happened in my life, and I really wanted to keep it between myself and my DH, despite the fact that my mom is a nurse and raised four children.... that was hers, this is mine, you know?

I share your horror over that procedure that I cannot even name, and I pray that she does as well. Maybe her DH wants to do it and she is desperate to have it NOT appear that she is just listening to you, and feels this way herself? I know my DH automatically rejects things from my parents, and if a suggestion appeared to be coming from them, it would doom the issue.

I have been in a similar situation with family, and I had to accept that after I made myself clear, short of physically grabbing the child and running away, there was NOTHING I could do to stop it from happening because it is a legal act. I had to let it go.

She KNOWS that she can turn to you for a suggestion or an opinion, I would just back off and shower her with affection and presents and a listening ear.

post #39 of 61
My parents (divorced) and my ILs love my son, but .......... DS was a high needs toddler and had a severe speech delay, selective mutism, and was horrifically shy. He was the first grand kid in 12 years on my side.

My mom lives 1500 miles away and tries. We visit once a year, she sends Christmas, Bday, Easter, Valentine's day, and Halloween cards. She asks about him, talks to him on the phone, and recently they started emailing each other. It's more a matter of distance.

My dad and stepmother love it when we come to visit, but they never visit us. They do send him little presents from time to time. My dad is very hard of hearing and DS was a late talker, dad getting a hearing aide helped a lot. My dad does better with my son now that he's seven and independent. My stepmom was very hands on with my sisters's and brother's kids years ago, but her own kids had children about three years ago. She pretty much lost interest in DS after that.

My ILs love him. Dh is from a culture where kids belong to the mother's family. There are some serious cultural differences and we live 4 hours away.
My MIL is very uncomfortable with AP. I have two SILs and there kids either live with my IL or MIL babysits almost every day, she just isn't as close to DS.
That said, she insisted that DS be welcomed into the culture, moved heaven and earth to make it happen. When he had some severe delays, she was my biggest supporter and his greatest fan. FIL is a big fat jerk and I'm glad he isn't very involved with DS.
post #40 of 61
Originally Posted by BrittneyMarie View Post
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.
Just curious, what does having a gazillion cats have to do with anything?

My own mother is very uninterested in DS... Maybe because she has 4 kids herself, the youngest is 13 (I'm the oldest, 25). But at least she ignores everyone in our family equally My gramma and I can't figure it out
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