My parents take care of my younger brother, who is 30 years old and fairly high-functioning autistic. My mother has flown out to help after the kids were born, but lately has become phobic about travel. If they drove, it would take 22 hours. I understand it's a hassle, but I wish they would make the effort once in a while, like every 5 years. They sometimes talk to the kids on the phone.
My mil has some mobility issues and refuses to fly. Driving would take about 8 hours, but she won't make the drive by herself, and sil's driving scares her, so she won't make the trip with her. She occasionally talks to the kids on the phone and sends gifts.
My sil is married, unemployed, and never had kids. We keep inviting her and her husband to visit, but they never do. Sil has come to visit a couple times when we paid for a plane ticket, but she never sends the kids letters or talks to them on the phone.
We occasionally go to visit all these relatives, but the plane tickets are so expensive for all 4 of us, and it's hugely disruptive to everyone's schedules, stressful, no fun. We have paid for multiple plane tickets for others to visit us, but lately no one will come, even if we pay for the tickets.
Anyway, I'm fed up. I feel hurt that the grandparents take so little interest in the kids, I feel hurt that no one will visit us. I feel bad that our kids have so little contact with their relatives. Is it ok to grow up this way? Should I be trying harder? The whole situation just makes me so sad. What would you do?