Grandparents that are always to busy to visit

Sue - posted on 05/16/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have 3 lovely young children 4,6 & 8. My parents live 10 minutes away but never visit (only pop in for a cup of tea every 3months or so). I do ask them over to B.B.Qs, B.days etc. but weeks & weeks go by without them coming over. Ive now got a part time job for a school so they have even more reason not to come over. Some years back they offered to get the kids from school for 2 days & take them back to mine - think I was sick - the same week I asked if they wouldnt mind taking my eldest to a party so he didnt miss out & my dad said the most horrible thing to me (bearing in mind they are hardworking, decent law obiding people) he said.. 'sorry, but we dont really want to be surrogate parents' & asked if I could find someone else. I cried for days & years! Since that day I have done my very best to avoid asking them for help in anyway - even to the point of being so desparate for help I would rather pay someone to help me. How sad is that! I have recently book them a 2 wk holiday in July (online, as they dont have a computer). We go away in June for 2wks - I asked them, 'if I we're to take our goldfish to them, would they mind feeding them for us'. The bloody reply I got was - We might want to go away so could I find someone else! Go away! Theyre off for 2wks abroad soon - why would they go away - they never do more than a 2wk hol! SO SORRY TO RANT - I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND WHY THEY ARE SO MEAN. They also wont look after the kids while I work - they dont believe that you should work when you have children to look after - thats why I had to work for a school. Anyone else with similar sad lives??

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Heather - posted on 05/16/2011

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ya know, all you can do is the best you can do with you. YOu cannot control who they are or how they act or what they contribute to your lives but you can control how you handle it. Do not let them have control over your emotions. It is their loss that theydo not have the relationship with you or their grandkids that many other people value and thrive on. You just need to set in your head that they are making their choices and altho they are not the choices you would make they are entitled to them. IT is not fair or right but you cannot do anything but move on. And when you do decide to move on do it with grace and dignity and kindness. Do not let their negaivitiy be reflective of how you act or what oyu say becasue then they have a negative effect on you that you allowed. Another suggestion is to reinforce with your kids stuff like "when you guys grow up and get married and have kids i will be so excited to babysit for you and spend time with you and your kids" so that they do not assume this is the norm and you do not miss out on your grandkids they way that your parents are missing out on theirs. If you brainwash your kids to believe that you will be their babysitter and their support and always want to be close to them adn their bond will stay strong and you will have your kids more in your life as they grow. Good luck, i am sorry youare dealing with this but you are not alone and don't let it break you down :o) Hang in there!!!

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Jenn - posted on 05/17/2011

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You aren't the only one! A friend's mother pretty much told her the same thing...she isn't a babysitter and isn't interested in raising anymore children.

I think we have high expectations of what a grandparent should be. Like gray-haired Grandmas baking cookies and elderly Grandpas taking the kids fishing. That's more the role of Great-grandparents these days! :) When my brother finally moved out of my parents' home, I had a 2 year old. My parents showed no kind of interest in watching her when we went to visit. Even my Mother-in-law got antsy after about an hour with her. They are done raising kids. They want no responsibilities. They want freedom they feel they've earned from watching, teaching and disciplining kids for so many years! When my second daughter came along and got out of infancy, my parents decided my kids were fun to hang out with. NOW they are finally the freaking grandparents I thought they should be. And NOW my MIL will also spend time with the girls...now that she doesn't have to hold them or wipe their butts. I've come to terms with it but the old hurt is still there. My friend's mother still avoids her grandkids. If the grandfather isn't there to help, my friend can forget about her mother keeping the kids at all! With my parents, I've just lowered my expectations tremendously and you know what? My children adore them just as they are. They don't know any different! If my Dad comes out his man cave long enough to fake grump "Hey, no fun in my house!" then my children screech with joy and happiness.

Sue - posted on 05/17/2011

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Hi Cristina, Its good to hear other people's stories - its makes you feel better to have a rant & to know your not alone! Its awful that your parents do that to you! My parents have never ever had the kids sleep over & wouldn't dream of asking to take them out for the day unless I go too. And unfortunately I dont have in-laws, so no help there. They 'pop' thats what they do . . . they pop in for 5mins when theyre passing by every couple of months. But as Heather says, you just gotta accept 'that is them & things aint gonna change' Good to get it off your chest - Sue

Heather - posted on 05/17/2011

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I am glad it is helpful. I come from a place where my mom always told me "don't ever expect me to babysit for your kids when you have them, they are yours and your responsibility not mine" I heard that so many times as a child that i am totally uncomfortable leaving my kids with my parents even tho they ask for them all the time. And i am also uncomfortable leaving my kids with my inlaws. My kids are 4 and almost 8 and i have never had a night away from them, if they do have a babysitter it is only for 1-3 hours tops, i put myself in a position where i had a job that i could bring the kids to with me, i really do have them 24/7/365. I am not complaining about this and i do like it 99% of the time but i am always telling my boys that they need to always live close to me and i will be their babysitter and all that so even tho i do not give my kids up i hope that someday they will give theirs up to me. I know my mom regrets always telling me that she would never watch my kids but it was not a 1x deal, she told me this all the time from the time i remember until i was out of the house. I have also come to a place in my life becasue of others around me making bad and hurtful choices that i know i can only do the best i can do with me. There is no use wasting stress over behaviours, words, actions of others that are hurtful becasue i have no control over them. I have complete control over me and the choices i make and i refuse to let others negatively impact me or the way i live my life. if someone does something unjust to me then i need to let it alone and know that karma will get them and i have stayed on higher ground with no regrets as to how i have behaved or what i have said. i can not ever change others but i can always be mindful of improving myself. All that stress that i used to hold on to only ages me and makes me bitter and sad and frustrated. If i let it all go and improvise in different ways then i will have a more peaceful life and a better quality of life for years to come. Unfortunately it took some people being really unkind to me and very disrespectful in order for me to adopt this way of thinking but i am so much better for it now :o) Good luck :o)

Christina - posted on 05/17/2011

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I have the same problem with my parents! It's annoying. They always ask me to come visit them, an hour and a half away, but they can't come visit me? They're always visiting my other two sisters and their kids who live just as far away. It's like I'm not important enough for them!
Worse yet, I'll ask them to watch my daughter and they say why do I have to watch her? Or sometimes they'll agree to watch her but at the last second back out or call me up and ask me to take her back earlier than we'd planned. It pretty much ruins any plans or vacations my husband and I had. There have been times where they agree to watch her but backed out to watch one of my nephews instead, even though they complain the my nephews are harder to watch! I love my in-laws because they help out a great deal more! My mother in law loves to watch my daughter and always asks if she could pick her up a day or two early! It's great! Maybe it's because this is their only grandchild and my parents have 5 grandkids! I'm glad I'm not alone and I have someone to complain to. Sorry for the complaining, but I feel better!

Sue - posted on 05/17/2011

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Thank you Heather, the most sense anyone has ever made to me! I will reinforce this with my children - I dont want this kind of life when they have kids - I'l be there for them. It just hurts me that my parents choose this path & I find it very hard to like them. Thanks again - sue

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