Anyone have parents that don't show much interest in your kids? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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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?
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#2 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 06:36 PM
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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.

Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
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#3 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 06:45 PM
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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..
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#4 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 07:39 PM
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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

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#5 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 09:07 PM
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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.

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#6 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 09:52 PM
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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.

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#7 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 09:53 PM
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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?!

mama of DS(3) & DD(2)
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#8 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 10:17 PM
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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.
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#9 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 10:48 PM
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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.

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#10 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 10:52 PM
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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.

Katherine, SAHM to 2 little princes
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#11 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 11:30 PM
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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.

Mom to DD 7 and DS 5.
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#12 of 61 Old 11-16-2009, 11:40 PM
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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.
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#13 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 12:15 AM
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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!

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#14 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 12:16 AM
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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!
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#15 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 12:27 AM
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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.

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#16 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 01:17 AM
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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 :-(
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#17 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 01:26 AM
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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.

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#18 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 07:49 AM
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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).

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#19 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 08:15 AM
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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.

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#20 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 10:49 AM
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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.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#21 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 11:49 AM
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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.

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#22 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 01:01 PM
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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.
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#23 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 01:10 PM
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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.

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#24 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 02:27 PM
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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

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#25 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 02:29 PM
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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.
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#26 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 02:55 PM
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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 ).
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#27 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 02:58 PM
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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.
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#28 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 03:17 PM
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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!

Since '05 just me and B, but in 2/08 E made three!
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#29 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 03:40 PM
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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.
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#30 of 61 Old 11-17-2009, 04:45 PM
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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.
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