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<p>I have seen this sentiment repeatedly in posts here.  For whatever reasons, grandparents/aunts/uncles just don't prioritize time with our children.</p>
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<p>I'm not sure if I am venting or asking for advice or seeking commiseration with your own stories.</p>
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<p>I would just love it if my kids' childless uncles would take them to games, movies, or build-a-kid-thing at Lowes each month.  For various reasons, these grown-ups are just not willing (able?) to do this.  It makes me so sad! </p>
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<p>My mom claims that if we lived nearby she would watch them 2-3 times per week!  Yet she has a hard time finding 10 free minutes to skype them on the weekends.</p>
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<p>MIL is dead, and aunties that spent time with us after my firstborn, now have their own direct descendents to prioritize. </p>
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<p>I dream of finding surrogate grannies/aunties that would come over for dinner, and nurture a relationship with the kids.  I don't know how to go about this!</p>
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<p>Part of me is jealous of other Moms that have so many people to help them (we have 0) .. and part of me just wants these special relationships to enhance our kids' lives.</p>
 

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Has it always been like this? Or is this a sign of the times? It is incredibly pitiful. And these are the same folks who are going to want to be visited when they are old.<br><br>
 
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>*bejeweled*</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16115968"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
Has it always been like this? Or is this a sign of the times? It is incredibly pitiful. And these are the same folks who are going to want to be visited when they are old.<br>
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Great point.  And so sad!  Reminds me of that Cat Stevens song "cat in the cradle".</p>
 

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<p>It would be nice, wouldn't it? </p>
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<p>I live near lots of family.  I have one SIL who invites the kids over for an annual afternoon of decorating gingerbread houses, which is great fun.  Otherwise, forget it.  To be honest, though, dh and are both younger siblings in large families, and we never made that much of an effort with our nieces and nephews.  We didn't live in town then, but still, our fault.  I really never much liked kids until I had my own, and even now, I'm not all that crazy about most other children.</p>
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<p>My in-laws do like to see the kids, but never babysat, and are now too old to do much with them.</p>
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<p>The one that really kills me is my father.  My mom died years ago, and he remarried a woman with a bunch of adult kids and grandchildren.  They do all sorts of things with her family and exactly nothing with his.  I don't blame her.  If he made a fuss about it, I'm sure she'd do something, but if he doesn't care, why should she?  But it does get tiresome hearing all about her family on the rare occasions we see him.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>*bejeweled*</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16115968"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
Has it always been like this? Or is this a sign of the times? It is incredibly pitiful. And these are the same folks who are going to want to be visited when they are old.<br>
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Most of the seniors I know live a very different life than seniors did a few decades ago.  They aren't moping around waiting for the grandkids to stop by.  They are out having fun, socializing, traveling, and are involved in hobbies and interests.</p>
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<p>My father and step mother live half the year in a sunbelt retirement home.  She told me that nobody there displays photos of their families or even talks much about them.  The focus is on making friends and keeping busy. </p>
 

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<p>I'm sorry.  :(  I wish my family was more involved, too, except that it's pretty much our fault for moving away.  When we lived in the same area as much of our family, they did help out and offer to do things with the kids at times.  Not a couple days a week - or even month - but that's totally understandable to me b/c everyone has their own life.  My mom is a busy midwife, my dad works, DH's parents work full-time (well, his dad is just now retired but wasn't when we lived there), siblings have families of their own and businesses/hobbies/jobs/etc. </p>
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<p>Do you get a chance to be that type of Aunt to your nieces and nephews?  Or are you just venting about the childless uncles you spoke of?  I just ask, b/c I know it's easy to assume that those who don't have children should have plenty of free time and a desire to do fun stuff with the children in their extended family, but I think when it comes down to it, they have a lot going on themselves.  That and like you said, their priorities may be different than you wish they were.  I guess I would just be grateful for the interaction they do have with your children, and know that it's better than nothing. </p>
 

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<p>I just posted a reply to the other thread. I think it's lovely when grandparents and aunts and uncles are a big part of children's lives. Big, happy clans and all that. But not everyone sees it that way, or has the time/energy to do it, and we must be careful to judge.</p>
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<p>I sure do wish my aunts and FIL, MIL spent more time with us and DS their only grandchild, but they do what they can and I can't decide what kind of relationship they want to have with him for them. DS doesn't seem to mind things being the way they are. Do I vent my feelings and frustrations about that? Sure! Just ask DH <span><img alt="winky.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/winky.gif"> But, really, it's out of my hands so there's no point moping about it.</span></p>
 

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<p>I have the same issues with my dad's entire family.  But at this point, I've given up.  There's no reason for me to waste my time (not to mention the emotional toll it takes) on trying to make sure my kids know them when they have absolutely no interest.  I'd rather use my time to be with the relatives who actually do want us around.</p>
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<p>It sucks, but they are the ones missing out, not us. </p>
 

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<p><br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>HappyMommy2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16115975"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br>
Great point.  And so sad!  Reminds me of that Cat Stevens song "cat in the cradle".<br>
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That was about a man who didn't have time for his own son, not about the obligations of other people to spend time with this son.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>HappyMommy2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16115975"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br>
To be honest, though, dh and are both younger siblings in large families, and we never made that much of an effort with our nieces and nephews.  We didn't live in town then, but still, our fault.  I really never much liked kids until I had my own, and even now, I'm not all that crazy about most other children.
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<p>Same here. Before I had kids, I still had a very full and busy life that did not revolve around my friends or sibs kids. Similarly, I do not expect a great deal of involvement from childless friends or relations with my kids. They may be the center of my world, but I do not expect them to be the center of everyone elses' world.<br>
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<p>I frequently get disappointed with my mother, and wrote a huge vent about it recently. She lives 20 minutes away, is young, healthy, does not work, has almost no social life, she seriously has 2 friends that she rarely sees. She will drive 20 minutes to Wal-Mart 2-3 days a week to shop in a blizzard of all things, but rarely wants to do anything with my children. She watches a lot of TV, reads trashy novels, she does volunteer 3 hours a week at the humane society, and obviously spends time at Wal-Mart. I wouldn't be so annoyed if she didn't play the part of the very involved grandmother. She calls daily, wants to know what they are doing, she stops by once a week on her way back from volunteering for *maybe* 20 minutes. I ask about every 2 months for the older two children to stay the night because by then, they have asked me 40 billion times. She never attends any sporting events of theirs/school functions, etc... The thing is, if I have an absolute emergency then she will help out, very sick child in hospital and she helps, if I get into a real bind with a sitter (I work very part time) I can ask her. She might grumble about it but eventually she will. I know she gets to choose to do whatever she wants with her time, but since her mother was so involved in our life as children, and helped out so much, I am just blown away that she doesn't think about doing the same, she is a very kind person, will go out of her way to help others. </p>
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<p>Part of me thinks because I had more then the 2 children that she expected of me that I did this and I have to deal with it now. All 3 of my children have different SN, none severe but all requiring frequent medical appointments or therapies. I am run ragged and just her helping out a couple times a month is greatly needed. Last week Dh was out of town, my regular sitter bailed on me, another back up sitter was ill, DS had more x-rays scheduled which meant no siblings along and I had a 4 hour work training, I asked her to help those two times after not asking for ANYTHING for 2 months, and I got a lecture on how I was asking too much. <img alt="gloomy.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/gloomy.gif"> I ended up finding someone I had never used before to help for the 4 hours and then she got her feelings hurt that I basically "fired" her the day before, um, you made it clear you were not that happy to help me out?! I have no idea sometimes. </p>
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<p>ETA: My children are and will always be the only grandchildren so she certainly is not overwhelmed with family requests. </p>
 

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<p>DD is lucky to have one set of devoted grandparents--my MIL and her second husband are wonderful, even though they live more than 5 hours away. They visit often, MIL will stay for a week or month here or there to be full-time childcare for DD, they send presents, they talk on the phone, they're very much part of her life.</p>
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<p>Sometimes the extended visits and so on tax DH and I, but I can't help but feel this is the one shot DD has at a close grandparent relationship, so we should go the extra mile to help nurture it. My parents are, sadly, not really involved in my life at this point, and FIL and his second wife are busy with their own young-ish children and schedule. It's fairly obvious that they're going to be the twice-a-year kind of grandparents. All of them live 5+ hours away from us.</p>
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<p>Her aunts and uncles really pick up the slack, though. Lots of video chatting, phone calls, gifts, visits whenever they can manage. Hopefully with all of that, DD won't really miss out!</p>
 

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<p>I am still grieving the loss of this relationship.  I guess the thing that hurts it that we mean so little to her.  I know people have busy lives and such, but really, at the end of the day, aren't people (esp. family) more important than things or experiences? </p>
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<p>My mom is young, "retired" (she came into some $) and lives about 1.5 hrs away.  She spends her time going to walmart and watching my nephew a few days a week.  I know a 1.5 hr ride is not just a quick jaunt, but maybe once a month she'd want to come and see my kids?  She laments not seeing them frequently, but the only thing stopping her is HER.  She thinks she is grandmother of the year, but she'll come watch a sports practice and show up as it begins and leave right after it ends- no desire to have lunch together or whatever, she's always eager to get home- which is basically sitting around watching tv and smoking cigarettes.  At Thanksgiving recently as I was finally making myself a plate (everyone else had alwaready made a plate and dh and I had to make plates for our four kids) she asks "Have you made the kids' plates?"  Like either (a) *I'm* so self-centered that I'd chose to make myself a plate before I fed my kids or (b) she's so helpful and would've helped make the kids' plates but alas it's already been done.  It appears she has a self-imposed no more than once a month visiting policy and even then that one visit is reserved for the obligatory sports game attendance (one per season though she didn't feel compelled to go to my daughter's first recital) or the "holiday"/birthday.  She never wants to visit just because. </p>
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<p>Like other posters she is the one who ultimately loses out.  And I make no attempt to hide her uncaring from my kids- they always ask me why she doesn't visit and I tell them I don't know- she must not like to visit because she never does it and there aren't health or work considerations that limit her availability.  Like someone else mentioned, my mom had my grandma to help her (from everything like paying 50% of the mortgage, bills, etc to being an always available babysitter, to helping out buying Christmas presents, etc) so I can't understand why she has so little empathy other than she's simply a narcissist.  It makes me mad, it makes me sad, but I've just got to accept it is what it is and move on...</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>pjs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16116700"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I am still grieving the loss of this relationship.  I guess the thing that hurts it that we mean so little to her.  I know people have busy lives and such, but really, at the end of the day, aren't people (esp. family) more important than things or experiences? </p>
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<p>My mom is young, "retired" (she came into some $) and lives about 1.5 hrs away.  She spends her time going to walmart and watching my nephew a few days a week.  I know a 1.5 hr ride is not just a quick jaunt, but maybe once a month she'd want to come and see my kids?  She laments not seeing them frequently, but the only thing stopping her is HER.  She thinks she is grandmother of the year, but she'll come watch a sports practice and show up as it begins and leave right after it ends- no desire to have lunch together or whatever, she's always eager to get home- which is basically sitting around watching tv and smoking cigarettes.  At Thanksgiving recently as I was finally making myself a plate (everyone else had alwaready made a plate and dh and I had to make plates for our four kids) she asks "Have you made the kids' plates?"  Like either (a) *I'm* so self-centered that I'd chose to make myself a plate before I fed my kids or (b) she's so helpful and would've helped make the kids' plates but alas it's already been done.  It appears she has a self-imposed no more than once a month visiting policy and even then that one visit is reserved for the obligatory sports game attendance (one per season though she didn't feel compelled to go to my daughter's first recital) or the "holiday"/birthday.  She never wants to visit just because. </p>
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<p>Like other posters she is the one who ultimately loses out.  And I make no attempt to hide her uncaring from my kids- they always ask me why she doesn't visit and I tell them I don't know- she must not like to visit because she never does it and there aren't health or work considerations that limit her availability.  Like someone else mentioned, my mom had my grandma to help her (from everything like paying 50% of the mortgage, bills, etc to being an always available babysitter, to helping out buying Christmas presents, etc) so I can't understand why she has so little empathy other than she's simply a narcissist.  It makes me mad, it makes me sad, but I've just got to accept it is what it is and move on...</p>
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To be honest, once a month for someone who lives an hour and a half away does not sound that bad to me. How often do you visit her?<br>
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<img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"> I totally understand. I tell myself, "It is what it is."<br><br><div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16116700" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>pjs</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16116700"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><p>It makes me mad, it makes me sad, but I've just got to accept it is what it is and move on...</p>
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<p>I haven't read all the responses, but whenever I see these threads, I always wonder how much effort people are putting the other way.</p>
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<p>Yes, kids are cute, but they are a lot of work as well. Same thing with (grand)parents. My parents are v. involved, and I have a support system for when I get sick, or need someone to watch my child, or make me dinner or whatever.</p>
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<p>But I do the same in return. I take off time for my dad's surgery, in lue of a vacation. Or do airport drop offs for my brother, instead of sleeping in the one day a week that I can. And I also have cousins that I was fairly close to, but just can't seem to find the time to put in for lately. If my son and my cousin's aren't close, the blame lies with me, not just with them.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>texmati</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16118493"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I haven't read all the responses, but whenever I see these threads, I always wonder how much effort people are putting the other way.</p>
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<p>Yes, kids are cute, but they are a lot of work as well. Same thing with (grand)parents. My parents are v. involved, and I have a support system for when I get sick, or need someone to watch my child, or make me dinner or whatever.</p>
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<p>But I do the same in return. I take off time for my dad's surgery, in lue of a vacation. Or do airport drop offs for my brother, instead of sleeping in the one day a week that I can. And I also have cousins that I was fairly close to, but just can't seem to find the time to put in for lately. If my son and my cousin's aren't close, the blame lies with me, not just with them.</p>
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Only speaking for me, there's volumes of history that I don't post in these threads.  There's only so much effort you can put into a relationship when the other person isn't interested.  It's emotionally draining.  I can't force my kids and myself on my father when he clearly isn't interested.  Besides the fact that in order to actually see him, I'd have to have them sitting in a bar. </p>
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<p>And so on with many other family members. <br>
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On average my mom sees my kids once a month, probably less, but that is not her coming here solely. for instance last month was thanksgiving at my aunt's house( I had invited my parents here but they were not interested so when they found out we were going to my aunt's they couldn't look so disinterested that they decided going to my aunt's was worth it but coming here was not). Over this past summer we went to my mom's once every two weeks. She came here once. If I try and make it a one to one thing it always ends up that I'm the one visiting. IMO, I have 4 kids 8 and under and it is much more work for us to drive to her than her to us. Plus not to mention we are a family of six living on one income ( with not even a cola for the past two years, and she is retired because she won the lotto. All I'm saying is all factors considered it is easier for her to visit than it is for us but I do my share which to her will never be enough ( those pesky narcissists)
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>choli</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16117039"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a>
<div class="quote-container"><a href="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16116700"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a>
<p><br>
To be honest, once a month for someone who lives an hour and a half away does not sound that bad to me. How often do you visit her?<br>
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Really?  My mom is 1.5 hours away, and we see her at least once a week, sometimes more.  My mom always buys us lunch if I drive over, and she often slips me gas money cause she knows the budget is tight. </p>
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<p>My dad lives in the same town, and we see him every couple of months.  LIke a PP mentioned, he also is much more involved with his new wife's family.  Part my fault, part his fault.  But it is.  So we deal with it.  He tends to drive over here (we live in the "city", so it's more exciting to come here, and he tags us on to a fun errand/shopping trip).</p>
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<p>My inlaws are 7 hours away, and wee see them 3-4 times a year as well.  Part of that is cost.  It's expensive to drive to them, and some months, it's just not happening.  They don't believe in helping out at all.  Not even bringing a loaf of bread when they come to stay.  At all.  They think it will ruin us and make us not be able to be functional adults.   It's also harder for my small children (3 under age 4) to behave to their standards for 3-4 days, when their schedules are all up in the air because of a visit, so it makes it stressful.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>EFmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285456/s-o-disappointed-in-amount-of-time-effort-family-invests-in-my-kids#post_16116045"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>The one that really kills me is my father.  My mom died years ago, and he remarried a woman with a bunch of adult kids and grandchildren.  They do all sorts of things with her family and exactly nothing with his.  I don't blame her.  If he made a fuss about it, I'm sure she'd do something, but if he doesn't care, why should she?  But it does get tiresome hearing all about her family on the rare occasions we see him.</p>
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<p>This is my dad too.  It's very depressing to hear about all the things they do with her family when they do nothing with us.  In all the time we've lived here, they've been here 3 times.  Only once did they make the trip specifically to see us, and that was for DS' 1st bday. </p>
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<p>I had pretty close relationships with my step-sister's kids until I moved out of the area 8 years ago.  Now they're off to college.  I saw them at Thanksgiving for the first time since our wedding, and there's obviously still affection there, which is great.  But they have their own adult lives to live now.  So I'm definitely guilty of the same. </p>
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<p>In our family, neither of our siblings is interested in a relationship with DS.  I don't have to worry about ILs, and my parents (dad and step-mom) are just starting to get interested.  Great-grandma would like to spend more time with us, but it's a lot of work for me (the drive, being on top of him every minute, etc.), so it doesn't happen very often.  But I'm grateful that he has 2 sets of surrogate grandparents.  One set is local and we get together regularly, they give him gifts and just really enjoy spending time with him.  Nana more than Poppa right now, but as he gets older, that'll change I'm sure.  The other set lives on the opposite coast, so we only see them once a year, but they send gifts and we send pictures.  There's definitely affection there, even though life just doesn't allow us more physical contact.  And then there's his godmother, my BFF, who adores him and would do anything for him.  And I have a cousin who is the same way.  We only get to see each of them every couple of months, but they are all about spending time with him when we get together.  So while we don't have a lot of attention from the blood family, the "extended" family adores him and he is truly blessed by them. </p>
 
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