to find it odd that my parents don't want to spend time with their grandchildren? Anyone else?

(86 Posts)
windygallows Fri 16-Sep-16 13:42:33

I have 2 DC, the youngest is 3 and we're about an hour away from my retired parents who live in London. Since my youngest was born my parents have come to visit once to see the newborn, but since then no interest. Every six months or so I drive down with the DC, plop them in front of parents for a few hours and then depart; my parents seem to be satisfied with this.

I'm baffled that it's been 3 years and there's been no real interest in spending time with DCs, especially the youngest. My parents barely know my children and I don't have a single pic of my youngest being pushed on a swing by grandma or grandpa etc.

Parents, by the way, are very active and my father still somewhat involved in work despite being mid-70s. They travel a lot and have an active social life so travel or energy isn't the issue. We get along fine, no falling out and no issue with where I live which might make them hesitant about visiting. I've invited them etc and never expect parents to do childcare etc, just a normal visit. They are happy to receive photos and find out how the DCs are doing (we talk every fortnight), just no interest in actually spending time with them.

I can only assume that they just don't like children that much although I've not asked since I probably don't want to hear the answer. Is this normal and have others experienced similar? Not much I can do, right?

1AngelicFruitCake Fri 16-Sep-16 15:11:00

I don't think there is. I also don't get it but then I love children and find them interesting. Maybe your parents will enjoy them more when your children are older.

M0nstersinthecl0set Fri 16-Sep-16 15:15:20

Did they enjoy parenting? Were your grandparents involved? You might be expecting a stock shot grandparent rather than the rather self involved baby boomers I seem to keep meeting (I hope they're not all like that).

Gatehouse77 Fri 16-Sep-16 15:18:12

My father shows no interest unless I instigate. He never calls, asks after them or anything. For me either! And considering he has other children of not so dissimilar age as his GC it's not an energy/doesn't know how to communicate thing either. He's never asked about their achievements even though they have exams, etc at the same time.

I can't get my head round it to an extent either. He clearly doesn't give a shit. And my kids just view his family as people who give them expensive gifts because that's all they see.

Ultimately, I see it as his loss because my kids are bloody fantastic grin

dailymaillazyjournos Fri 16-Sep-16 15:27:26

Dd's FIL totally disinterested in dgd. Has spent about 3 hours in her company since she was born a year ago. I don't understand it at all. I sometimes physically ache to see her and hate that we live hours away from dd and family.

Kenduskeag Fri 16-Sep-16 15:29:10

My mother acted all delighted when I announced the pregnancy, talked babies all the time and came and visited when DS was born... and yeah, that was about it really. They're about 12 minutes up the road, so it's always "too far" to travel or the traffic is "really bad". I invite them here and they say 'no, your house is too small' so I ask if I can come to their house and they say 'no, I'm sure you're too busy'. They refuse to look after them, not even a little a bit - I've had to take them to my own doctor's appointments. No 'date nights' here. When I suggested she might watch them so I could have a smear test alone she cackled "Oh no, I've done my time" and then added "If you didn't want to look after your own kids you shouldn't have had them." I'm a SAHM for pity's sake. I was asking her for half an hour.

They see them about 3 times a year, basically.

It's depressing and honestly, really a bit of a dampener on the whole parenting thing. If I'd have known I would be doing this almost entirely alone, without a single relative lifting a finger to help (she came over when they were newborns and promptly complained I'd fallen behind with the hoovering), without a single person to rely on, with no clue who might look after them if I fall and break my leg, and with no Grandparents in their lives, no cousins, no aunts, uncles, no family gatherings, no other homes to visit, no relatives (other than their own two parents) to ask about what they do or congratulate their achievements or even pay them an iota of attention, simply no one... I don't know.

I hope they both find warm, loving extended families when they're older, and feel bad I have brought them into the most disinterested, dismal, ignorant extended family possible.

LaPampa Fri 16-Sep-16 15:33:29

Mine aren't overly involved either. We see them a few times a year, mostly when we take the kids to them. I just see it as a bit sad for them but it's up to them how much to be involved. My having kids doesn't mean they have to be involved grandparents.

pollyblack Fri 16-Sep-16 15:42:54

We have no interested relatives either. I can't imagine not being interested in relatives children, but there you go. Its easier to take when you just expect nothing from them.

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 16-Sep-16 15:47:11

Why do you only visit them twice a year if they are only an hour's drive away? Perhaps they similarly feel that you aren't interested in spending time with them?

AmeliaJack Fri 16-Sep-16 15:50:33

Thankfully both sets of your parents are very interested in the DC but I have friends with similar problems to you.

One friend's mother refused to come and look after her eldest grandchild as she was playing her weekly game of golf. My friend had gone into premature labour with baby number 2. sad.

It's not uncommon OP but I understand that it must be extremely hurtful and disappointing.

FabFiveFreddie Fri 16-Sep-16 15:52:47

I find being a parent of small kids exhausting and not especially enjoyable most of the time. Tbh, I don't think I'd want to be an especially involved GP. I'd love them as my flesh, and of course would be there in an emergency and also the odd evening/afternoon babysitting here and there, but I think I'd be happy to spend a few hours with nicely fed, washed, rested grandchildren old enough to hold an interesting conversation with. And a few baby cuddles. But that's it. I can't wait to get my life back, tbh. I don't want to have to continue sacrificing my interests and life.

fluffiphlox Fri 16-Sep-16 15:55:10

I'm not a parent but of the age where I could be a grandparent. Spent some time recently with a grand nephew and niece (6 & 3) and I find them quite irritating and boring. The faffing, the inane conversation, the need to be the centre of attention, the misguided belief that they are fascinating, the manners, the smell! I don't blame grandparents for leaving well alone.

ineedamoreadultieradult Fri 16-Sep-16 15:57:40

My parents are 2 hours away. They see the kids when we take them there. Maybe about 4 times a year, other than that they don't visit or call despite being happy to visit my childless dB who lives about 4 hrs from them. Hey ho I leave them to it I'm not going to force them to be interested.

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 16-Sep-16 15:58:05

How offensive! What do these 6 and 3 year olds smell of?

RawPrawn Fri 16-Sep-16 15:58:32

As we have seen from several recent threads on here, being a parent (or grandparent) is no guarantee of liking children or wanting to spend time with them.

You can take a horse to water, and all that.

Vintagegirl1 Fri 16-Sep-16 16:00:03

My in laws are like this. Claim to dote on their gc's but in reality only see them for 3 hours every sunday when dh takes them and quite honestly that is only be a use they want dh there for dinner. EVER sunday! They also moan if they make the slightest bit of noise or act like, well...children. They have never taken them to the park or for a macs and have babysat the grand total of 3 times. Both long retired,get out and about,go on plenty of holidays etc. My mum on the other hand,despite working full time sees the dcs as much as possible and has them for a week in holidays to give dh and I a break. I am nc with in laws and they were a big factor in my recent seperation from dh.

fluffiphlox Fri 16-Sep-16 16:00:21

Well bibbity the smell bit was something of a joke. But you get the general picture.

Elphame Fri 16-Sep-16 16:01:54

I'm of an age where I could well become a grandparent. I'm afraid I don't enjoy small children and babies much and my own are well aware that I definitely won't be playing the doting grandmother if and when that time comes. In fact they often wonder how they themselves came to be born!

oldlaundbooth Fri 16-Sep-16 16:06:22

PIL'S are like this.

They live 3 hours away.

They only visit if they can see other people in the area too: so they'll see us on the Friday, his BIL on the Saturday, his SIL on the Sunday, and stay over at a different relatives house every night.

Thye have to get their maximum moneys worth out of driving for three hours by seeing as many people as possible! They'd NEVER drive down just to see my DH and DS.

It's not as if they are infirm or anything either - they are always holidaying in exotic places. Quite simply, they have stuff they would rather do.

RawPrawn Fri 16-Sep-16 16:11:49

The sooner people get real about family life the better, imho. Most of us have things we'd rather be doing than sitting cooped up with our rellies like the Royle Family.

Blood is thicker than water, sure. Custard is thicker than ginger beer but I know which I'd rather drink a pint of.

AmeliaJack Fri 16-Sep-16 16:13:49

Raw that's quite a sad way to look at it. Lots and lots of people like their families.

Joolsy Fri 16-Sep-16 16:15:49

I feel your pain. My mum and my OH's parents are deceased, so my DDs only have my dad & stepmum who live 1 hours' drive away. We've seen them twice this year. They're always busy, always say "yes, we'll sort something out" but unless I pin them down to a date it doesn't happen. When I ring them and my stepmum answers she says "oh hi, here's your dad" and passes the phone straight over. She has 2 grandsons and they seem to see them regularly even though they live further away than us. It breaks my heart that they never ring to see how my DDs are even though they are the only family we have. I can't imaging I could ever be like that with my grandchildren. They're your flesh & blood for goodness sake

Joolsy Fri 16-Sep-16 16:17:10

RawPrawn - Jeez, do you really think that's how most families are? Just sitting on the sofa all day watching TV?

Goingtobeawesome Fri 16-Sep-16 16:17:37

If you or the kids get no enjoyment out of the six monthly visits, I'd stop.

mygorgeousmilo Fri 16-Sep-16 16:19:45

No interest here from mine, retired and healthy and living five minutes away.... It's crappy and it's hard not to feel envious of others having these wonderful parents that dote on their grandchildren. Very frustrating

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