to ask how often is a reasonable frequency to visit parents?

(70 Posts)
CurtainsForNow Mon 18-Mar-13 19:11:13

I have 2 DC - aged 9 and 7. My parents live about 30 minutes drive away. Until a few months ago, we (i.e. me and DC) used to go to see them every 2-3 weeks for 2-3 hours after school plus for odd days in school holidays/special occasions.

A few months ago, the children started extra evening activities (now have activities 3 nights a week) plus were getting more homework, and visits after school became impractical and too tiring. I've also started a new job which is full time and the final nail in the coffin of after school visits.

This year we have seen them at the end of January (day for DD's birthday) and for a day in the half term holiday. We will probably see them next during the Easter holiday. I expect over the year it will even out that we see them about every 5-6 weeks.

My mother complains about not seeing us (for this read the DC) enough and that I'm not making enough effort to arrange visits. We could visit at a normal weekend but they are often busy with DC's activities, seeing friends or visiting DH's parents (who live further away - we see them much less than mine) and frankly quite often DH and I are shattered and don't want to do anything! It doesn't help that my mum does not get on with DH (she's been very rude to him in the past) so he is not keen on meeting her more than the minimum necessary - hence I normally try to organise visits when he is at work.

So am IBU about my visiting frequency?

iloveholidays Mon 18-Mar-13 19:13:14

Can't they come to you?

weewifey40 Mon 18-Mar-13 19:14:36

is there a reason they can't come to you? Is it always you travelling there?

CurtainsForNow Mon 18-Mar-13 19:17:44

They could come to us, yes. We tend to go to theirs more so I can keep them and DH apart (he works at home) plus they don't like to leave their dog ... But regardless of who comes to who that doesn't really solve the how often we see each other issue?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 18-Mar-13 19:19:17

If your mum has been rude to your DH, she hasn't got a leg to stand on.

CurtainsForNow Mon 18-Mar-13 19:20:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CurtainsForNow Mon 18-Mar-13 19:21:34

Doh! Wrong thread ...

iloveholidays Mon 18-Mar-13 19:24:34

The reason I ask is that you said about the visits after school being tiring... Thought it would be easier for your DCs if they came to you.

I tend to see my parents 1-2 times a week but I'm a SAHM and my mum is retired. DCs all preschoolers. PIL we generally see once a month on average and are about 45 minutes away so mostly happens at weekends.

I don't think every 5-6 weeks is unreasonable but at the same time can understand why they'd be disappointed.

Skygirls Mon 18-Mar-13 19:28:13

It's a hard position to put you in, but to be fair, they see your dcs quite often, in the scheme of things. You DM needs to understand that as the kids get older, their time will be taken up with more activities, and if they are to get their homework (which is always increasing) done too, it leaves little time to go and see them during the week.

Realistically, weekends are probably the only time left to see them.
How about, per month, you visit pils one w/e, your DM one w/e and the other 2 w/e for your family.
They probably won't be happy with visits cut down to about once a month, but its better than not seeing them at all.

Hope you find a solution that's workable. Just remember that you can't please everyone all of the time.

Happygirl77 Mon 18-Mar-13 19:28:48

Sounds reasonable. My mum and the PIL are both over an hour away so we see them every 4-6 weeks. DCs 6, 3, 1.

TidyDancer Mon 18-Mar-13 19:31:32

It depends greatly on the family dynamic, but for a really short distance that doesn't sound very often.

I live closer to both my DM and ILs than you do to yours, but for some comparison, I see both at least a couple of times a week.

BackforGood Mon 18-Mar-13 19:33:47

We see dh's parents about once a half term now, maybe once a month, but they come to us usually, as, like you say, when you work FT and your dcs start being involved in other things, it's not so easy to make the time to travel over as it is for them to come to us. If they are at ours, then it doesn't matter if one of the dcs is out when they arrive, or needs to go out while they are there - life still carries on as normal for us, and they get to see us. We can still nip out and get a load out the washing machine or get on with sewing the cub or swimming badges on or whatever else needs doing while they are here. Generally they will come over when it is one of our birthdays / Easter / Christmas... they kind of act as a 'prompt' as they like to deliver the present / Easter Egg.
They live about 25mins drive away, and are retired, but relatively young and healthy. (My parents have both died, hence me using his as our example)

ENormaSnob Mon 18-Mar-13 19:39:43

My parents are about 40 minutes away and we see them about 5/6 times per year!!

There's no bad feeling or anything, we are very busy and they are very busy.

CurtainsForNow Mon 18-Mar-13 20:02:22

Hmm, mixed views. TidyDancer appreciate there is a difference between twice a week and once every 5-6 weeks, but where do you fit that in? 30 minutes may be "close" in the scheme of things but it's too far to just quickly pop over?

soontobeburns Mon 18-Mar-13 20:26:27

My mum sees her parents twice a week, doesnt drive and works full time.

I work full time, have college 2 nights a week and volunteer 2 nights a week also and I still see my GPs once a week for around 3 hours. (I live with my DM)
Oh and they too live about 30 mins away.

IMHO you are BU and should be able to make time but it depends on your relationship with them. My uncle and cousins see them a couple times a year but I couldnt go more than 3 weeks without seeing them.

Maggie111 Mon 18-Mar-13 20:47:43

Doesn't sound like enough to me - but that's ignoring family dynamic. But as a general rule, it's low.

bigTillyMint Mon 18-Mar-13 20:54:04

DH's parents live 2 hours away so we see them about every couple of months, alternating, but it is much easier if they come to us as the DC have clubs which they do/matches/comps all weekend and lots of homework now they are 12 and 13. And they want to see their friends.

I think you need to have a chat with them about how life is now for your family and get them to come to you more often. Maybe they could pick the DC up from school when they come (and it could be your DH's night out!) so as to help you out a bit too.

I don't think that there is a right or wrong frequency here.
I suppose in an ideal work it would be what makes/keeps both parties happy.

My family live abroad and my mum is unhappy about how often they see us, but they do make an effort to come to ours. We have 4 children, both work etc, my parents are retired. They have v busy lives, but are much more flexible than we can be.
DMiL lives 40 min away, we have never seen her very frequently because DH does not have a great relationship with her. She is now dementing rapidly which has actually made her much nicer. We see a lot more of her because she needs more support to allow her to stay in her own home.

Could you not take turns? Agree to meet, say, once every month or whatever and take turns making the trip.

My ILs live about 30 mins away and we see them about 3 times a month probably. I am a SAHM to toddlers and they are retired, although we often see them at weekends as well. We have a great relationship though, I think I'd miss seeing them before DH did grinblush

My mum lives around 3 hours away and tries to visit about every 6 weeks (we can't go there). My dad lives about two hours away and we see them a few times a year, as they have a busy teenager living with them!

It does depend on the relationship really, it's such a shame that your DH doesn't get on with your mum as it sounds like that would make it easier to see them more often sad

Eggsbon Mon 18-Mar-13 21:04:29

I don't think YABU, but can understand why your parents may feel like they are missing out.
Would it be possible for your parents to take your children to one of their weekend activities every few weeks? That would give them time to get involved with DC's more, plus give you and DH a bit of time together on your own....
I guess you'd have to be careful how you present it to them though, so they don't feel like you are just using expectations that they would have to continue to do this if it wasn't working or they didn't enjoy it.

TidyDancer Mon 18-Mar-13 21:23:02

Well two days of childcare account for some of it tbh. ILs have DD (and DS after school) one day, and my DM the other. Then they will stick around with us once they have brought the DCs home. The rest is variable. Sometimes it'll be for Sunday dinner, sometimes I'll go shopping with DM, or any one of them will pop over for an evening.

The thing is, we are a very close family and we like spending time together. If that's not the case in your family, then you will naturally spend less time together.

I just think when you consider that 30 minutes is a fairly standard daily commute for many people, if you do want to spend more time with people, the relatively small distance is not really a good enough reason not to make more effort.

Springsister Mon 18-Mar-13 21:34:27

My mum lived 350 miles away. A flight plus car hire and I visited every 10 weeks, so 5-6 times a year. She thought it wasn't enough but couldn't come to me. It was what I could manage at the time and seemed fair.

Do what is right for you and the children.

CurtainsForNow Mon 18-Mar-13 21:43:24

Those people who think it's low and/or see their own parents/in-laws much more - can I ask how and when you fit it in? I can't see how we can fit it in after school which only leaves weekends. And (for example) this weekend DD had a party to go to on Saturday and DS was at a sporting event on Sunday. Both drop and go activities so no benefit in my parents taking them - and they wouldn't want to come over and not see one GC (or only see them for a short time). Next weekend DH's parents have a significant wedding anniversary so that's one full day out. It would be too much to got to see my parents as well - and they are the sort of guests that expect to be waited on hand and foot and would be offended if we got on with "jobs" while they were there so doesn't really help to have them here.

myron Mon 18-Mar-13 21:49:31

When we lived 30 mins away from both sets of GP's, we basically spent every Sunday with either set. As we were both working full time, we basically spent Sat doing chores like laundry & grocery shopping and had little quality time to ourselves! Now, we live over 2hrs away and our DC (9 & 6) have weekend activities although we have drawn the line at Sat sports matches only to enable us to have at least a Sunday lie-in! We still see the GPs every 3/4 weeks - we just make the effort because we want to (lots of people choose otherwise but it's horses for courses) and yes, the kids skip their Sat activities once a month. If you are starting to view it as a chore/hard work, it's obviously too much. We've deliberately chosen to take a step back from the DCs' weekend activities because I refuse to let them take priority over maintaining close family relationships. 30 mins is nothing - at least you can visit for say lunch/half a day and be home and it's handy for impromptu babysitting which is not possible with a 2 hr drive! We basically visit for the whole weekend and stay the night - it's just a tad too far to do a day trip.

MrsOakenshield Mon 18-Mar-13 21:51:27

haven't read every response, but I think you could see them more. It sounds, to be honest, that your DCs have a ludicrous amount of activities - evenings AND weekends? Your parents won't be around, or mobile, for ever - make the most of the close distance. My mum is 90 minutes by public transport (hideous drive through or around central London), MIL soon to be similar by car, and pretty inaccessible by public transport, FIL 3 hours away.

Make time for your children to see their GPs - it's a really important relationship, one to be cherished.

Portofino Mon 18-Mar-13 21:55:57

With these threads I always think it is helpful to imagine how often you would want to see YOUR GCs and what efforts you would go to. And work back from there.....

The right frequency is always going to depend on the relationship you have with someone.

I don't see a problem with your new frequency (I visit parents 2-3 times a week and MIL 2 times a week in the home, but they are close by).

I also think your parents will need a gentle reminder that as your DCs reach teenage years, the visits from them may decrease even further as they go off with their friends for things, which is what DD is doing these days.

CurtainsForNow Mon 18-Mar-13 21:56:37

Activities my DC do:
DD: Brownies (1 evening a week plus approx 3 weekend days a year)
DS: Cubs (1 evening a week plus approx 4 weekend days a year), karate (1 evening a week plus 4 afternoons a year)

Plus both have swimming lessons on a Saturday morning.
Probably invited to 1 or 2 parties a month (between the 2 of them).
Plus we have friends to play/they go to friends occasionally at weekends.

I've never thought of that as a particularly ludicrous amound for their age, but maybe it is hmm

firesidechat Mon 18-Mar-13 22:02:50

I'm not sure if there is a right or wrong answer to this. Everyone has different relationships with their family and what works for one won't work for another. Some families seem to live in each others pockets and some are slightly more detached (mine for instance).

We have no family closer than 2 hours away so visits are few and far between ie maybe once a month.

WeAllHaveWings Mon 18-Mar-13 22:09:44

ds(9) sees my parents about once every 1-2 weeks. We always go there and its always at weekends because they are about 20+ mins away and weekdays are too busy with work, homework, after school and/or activities.

Although they would never complain if I didn't, I do make an effort for him to see them most weekends as I want him know them well. They both have had a few serious health problems over the last year and will be the only grandparents that give a shit he knows.

I remember being very close to my grandparents when young and I want that for him too while I've still got the option, so for me it takes priority over some other things. I also think its good for him to spend time with them, especially recently, as he is slowly learning how to be with elderly people - being patient, taking others needs into consideration, helping, stop saying I'm bored and want to go home. He does have a laugh with them too!

We vary when we go, sometimes first thing in the morning, sometimes straight after footie, for lunch or in the evening. Sometimes we are only there for 1-2 hours, but it doesn't matter as we are seeing them regularly. Sometimes I pop in for 1/2hr then leave him there and go to their local Tesco's to do my weekly shop in peace and then just pick him up and drive straight home.

He still gets plenty of time at home, or out playing with friends and I still fit in a lazy morning or afternoon each weekend. We have limited him to one activity at the weekend (footie on a Saturday morning).

Occasionally we'll have a day out, but not as much anymore.

Suppose what I'm saying is, if you want to visit regularly it is possible, just a case of prioritising. Everyone wants different things (there is no correct answer to how often you should visit), you need to decide how often you actually want to visit and how close you want your dc to be to their grandparents and then prioritise that in the appropriate place with everything else you want for your family.

redwellybluewelly Mon 18-Mar-13 22:12:34

Both my ILs and my mother live within 30min drive. Just.

My MIL likes to invite us every fortnight, I used to see my mother more frequently but recently it hasn't been possible. Before that she would start to whine if we didn't see her for a fortnight. But DH and I both work FT, we like spending weekends relaxing and also part renovating the house we recently bought

I politely mentioned to my mother she was welcome here as it was easier than us trying to get to her. She has managed two trips in six months, she is in good health, semi retired and has a car.

Do what you can. You deserve time as a family as well.

soontobeburns Mon 18-Mar-13 22:15:13

Is there no way to fit them in OP it doesnt sound like a lot of activities.
I have college on Monday and Tuesday, volunteering on Wednesday and Thursday and on Saturdays. I also take Sunday to do coursework.
Plus I need to see my DP as I dont live with him.
I still manage to see my GPs on Fridays after work 4 until around 7.

firesidechat Mon 18-Mar-13 22:16:55

To add to my previous post, we have no children at home now, so trips to parents don't involve grandchildren.

soontobeburns Mon 18-Mar-13 22:17:52

Sorry OP that wasnt me saying YABU andyour immediate family does come first, just that there is always time if you want it.

I am extremely close to my GP and would hope when I have DCs they can have the same relationship. I do think it is a relationship worth preserving.

Misty9 Mon 18-Mar-13 22:32:06

I think the key part of your post is that if they come to you, they expect to be waited on hand and foot and get annoyed if you do household jobs. If they want to see the dc more often, that attitude will have to change!

Our ds is only a toddler still, but he sees dh's dad about fortnightly, dh's mum maybe every 6-8 weeks. Both live 25-35mins drive away - but dh's dad is retired and ALWAYS comes to us. Usually to help out/look after him while we get on with other things. Dh's mum has her own young ish children so rarely comes to us, hence the big difference in frequency.

As for my family, my mum is abroad (and we have a v difficult rel) so maybe 1-2 time per year, depending on how often she visits. Dad is 4-5hr drive away, so ditto mum really. I do think the gp bond is an important one, and one to nurture if circumstances allow.

Asheth Mon 18-Mar-13 22:32:36

Why wont your parents come over if there's only on DGC there? My parents quite often come over if one of my DC is at a party/activity. It gives them quality time with the other DC and means that the DC who don't have a party/activity have something to look forward to. My parents live about 45 mins away. We see them fairly frequently (several times a month) But they come to us more than we visit them. And they get on well with my DH.

stopgap Mon 18-Mar-13 22:42:42

If my parents lived close by, I'd probably see them every weekend or at least every other weekend. I would definitely expect to take visits in turn, though.

As it is, I live 3000 miles away, but see them four times a year, for between 7-10 days, which is important to me now that I have a toddler.

DumSpiroSpero Mon 18-Mar-13 22:44:30

I don't think your DC's do a ridiculous amount of activities at all, but I think perhaps you could see a bit more of your parents.

DD and I visit my parents every Sunday (they and DH also have a tricky relationship, as do I with MIL - you have my sympathies!). We go late morning - mid afternoon in winter, and stay later and have dinner in the summer as DH plays cricket.

TBcompletelyH, it can get a bit wearing - the fact it has become so much of a habit that it has to be a Saturday and we nearly always go to them but...

...they help me out a lot - both practically and financially on occasions, I am an only child and me & DD are the only local family they have and vice versa and they are in their seventies and won't be around forever.

I'd rather put myself out now than regret it later.

DumSpiroSpero Mon 18-Mar-13 22:45:17

My DP's are about 15 minutes drive away btw.

Rosieres Mon 18-Mar-13 22:57:50

Being about 30 minutes away is the worst of all worlds, to be honest. If grandparents live just around the corner you can drop in for short periods, or have them pop round for half an hour here or there. At a longer distance (mine are 4 hours away) you may only see them 3 or 4 times a year, but when you do you make a big thing of it - we have them visiting for long weekends, or we go and stay with them for a week over half term. But a half hour journey is neither one thing or the other, so it is a tricky situation.

nilbyname Mon 18-Mar-13 23:06:15

It's too low.

Pick up after school straight to GPs, chat, supper, home into pjs quick look at homework bed. Plenty of time. I would do that every other week. My pils live 20min away abs we see them 2/ week

BackforGood Mon 18-Mar-13 23:17:16

I agree with that Rosieres. When my parents were alive, I would often call in almost on my way past, stop for a cuppa, or drop something off, pick something up, and they would actually see me 2 or 3 times a week some weeks. My experience growing up was to see my Grandparents perhaps 2 or 3 times a year, but we would be staying with them for a few days or they would come and stay with us. I find the 1/2 hour distance much more tricky, in that you can't just 'pop', but you wouldn't be staying there / making it into a 'special' weekend either.
Agree with Misty9 as well, re their expectations. If they want to spend time with their grandchildren each week, then they need to be involved in what the grandchildren are up to, rather than expecting them to not go places, or not expecting you to need to get on with things sometimes.
I think I'd probably suggest they come over for tea on a Tuesday (or whenever it's not Brownie / Cub / Karate night), but explain to them that you have been at work all day, you will be at work the next day, and the one after, and that you would love to see them, but they have to understand you will be carrying on with your normal routine (washing up / a load of washing on / ironing / checking your e-mails / whatever, but if they can {don't know ages of your dcs exactly, but you get the idea}.... supervise bath time / read a story / sit and do a jigsaw or play a board game with the dc for 20mins, while you do that, then you'll be able to sit and have a natter once they've gone to bed. That way, they see you, they see the dc, and you get your normal amount of time to do stuff. dh is also in his own home so can presumably go off to another room and work after tea.

grovel Mon 18-Mar-13 23:29:33

Do they have other grandchildren?

piprabbit Mon 18-Mar-13 23:42:54

Is either of your parents retired? Could they come over one afternoon a week/fortnight and collect the DGCs from school, if they aren't allowed to take them home, perhaps they could drive them back to their house and you could collect them from there after tea? The arrangement might still work even when you start work.

I know a lot of grandparents who travel very long distances (much more than half an hour) to do before or after school run several days a week.

CurtainsForNow Tue 19-Mar-13 08:55:47

nilbyname did you miss the part where I said I worked f/t and the DC did activities 3 evenings a week?
I don't get home till 5pm (at least). DD could really do with being in bed at 7.30 (could maybe stretch till 8pm). Maybe I'm being incredibly lazy but quite frankly I don't want to drive an hour round trip after work for the sake of seeing my parents for an hour and a half which will be almost entirely taken up with eating tea and doing homework (the DC). Tiring for me and the DC and disappointing for my parents I would think.

CurtainsForNow Tue 19-Mar-13 08:59:48

grovel I have 2 siblings who both have children. One lives about 2 hours away and sees our parents approx. every 2 months but often stays overnight.
The other lives 30 minutes away, his wife is a SAHM and their children go to a school that is 10 minutes drive from my parents BUT they see them less frequently than us (unless they want my parents to do something for them that is).

CurtainsForNow Tue 19-Mar-13 09:09:00

(in response to various people)
My parents don’t do babysitting. So any picking them up from school /taking them out at the weekend suggestions are just a no-go.
I think that’s half the problem. I do find seeing my parents a chore. My mother almost entirely ignores me. My dad does talk to me for a bit but then busies himself with household jobs. Basically they treat me in a way that would get a barrage of complaints if I did the same thing. So it’s hard to want to make time to basically sit in their lounge for a few hours while they play with the DC.

MTSgroupie Tue 19-Mar-13 09:11:31

My parents are two hours away. We go up for Sunday lunch every 5 weeks or so.

The relationship you have with your parents is going to influence how much you see them.

Eg mum's dad lived down the road and I saw him almost every day.

Dad's dad (the mums in both cases had already died) lived about a 10 min drive away and I saw him about 1-2 times a year. But then, he was a vicious nasty bastard who scared me and DBro so much we used to escape into the garden regardless of weather. These were my dad's duty visits only, and there were no tears when he died. I didn't even go to the funeral.

A 1 hour round trip, as in the OP's case does make things tricky. Not especially a good thing on a school night, after having been at work all day. And if your DCs school is anything like mine, they're going on a lot about making sure children have plenty of sleep, don't get over tired, etc.

There's no right or wrong solution, you'll just have to do what works for you.

HeathRobinson Tue 19-Mar-13 10:25:43

CurtainsForNow - you said 'My mother almost entirely ignores me.'

That's so hurtful, isn't it? My mum's the same. Only seems to come round to see the kids. She lives 15 mins away and I've seen her twice since Christmas.

So much depends on the relationship. Mil was so nice by contrast.

Iaintdunnuffink Tue 19-Mar-13 10:26:57

My pil's live in the same town and around a 10 to 15 min drive away. We probably see them once a month on average, sometimes we pop to them and sometimes they come to us. I like them and we all get on but we don't have regular visits, it depends on what family visits are going on.

We see my parents every couple of months, they live a few hours away so we tend to visit them for longer periods. Or I've left the kids with them for a few days during holidays.

Skygirls Tue 19-Mar-13 10:27:19

curtains you have to do the best for your family. Lots of posters here say your visits are too low, but they are basing it on their own relationships with their parents.

If your parents expect to be waited on, then either they become more hands on and thus see dgcs more often, or they just have to accept that the dgcs have their own lives and see them less often. Personally, I don't see a problem with once or twice a month.

I see my mum about once a week , on a weekend, with DCs, BUT she lives 10mins from me and we all get on( no problems with me or DH). We can't see her during the week because the DCs, like yours, have after school activities plus need time at home for homework. My DM doesn't mind- she knows she'll see then at the weekend- and certainly doesn't moan about it.
DM knows that we all have our own lives to lead and is happy for the time she does have with DCs. If she wants to see them more, she'll ask if she can come round, which is always welcome( except after school activity night where DCs finish at 5pm)

They are still young 5&4, so dinner time is 5.30, bath at 6.20 and bed for 7pm.

My Pils on the other hand, live about 2 hours away so see DCs about once every 4-6 weeks, at the weekend, when we stay overnight. Of course they would like to see the kids more but again, they don't moan about it. They know that we have lives to lead too and they are happy for the time they have.

Both sets of gps are very reasonable. They know its not fair to put pressure on us to see dgcs, and if they wanted to see them more, they would visit us.

I think it's unfair to be moody with you because they don't see dgcs as much as they would like.

Do you feel you should see your DP more? If you think that what you're currently doing is fine, then you explain again the reasons-laying out the DCs timetables if you have to.

You have to do what fits you and your family and not made to feel bad because your mum pulls a mood.
Hope you find the best solution.

mrssmooth Tue 19-Mar-13 10:42:24

Like others have said Curtains, you need to do what's right for you and your family. I personally don't think your dcs after-school activities are too much, I'd love my dds to do more! Why should you spend more time with your parents when they treat you the way they do? I wouldn't be busting a gut to go and see them, only to be ignored when you get there. They want to see their gcs, tell them to do something proactive about it then instead of moaning!

I have an OK relationship with my parents. They live at the other end of the country from me though. I (me personally) over the past couple of years have seen them on average once a year. My dds last saw my dad about 3 years ago when we went to visit them. They last saw my mum when she came to see my new niece earlier this year and we went to visit for the day. I think that was the first time they'd seen my dm for about a year. My parents have not come to visit me for about 6 years ...

PIL on the other hand, live about 15 minutes away. I meet mil once a week most weeks when the kids are at school, the dcs probably see pils once, maybe twice a month. 9 times out of 10, we go to them, or we see them at my sils. Just because they are close by, doesn't mean you have to visit them all the time! Live your own life, your dcs are your family now, you shouldn't have to be worrying about upsetting your parents because they tell you they don't see your dcs enough!

DIYapprentice Tue 19-Mar-13 10:46:33

It's on the low side TBH. Your mistake is seeing them when you have free time, instead of considering seeing them as important as all of the activities you and your DC want to do and scheduling it in on a more frequent basis. Your DC don't HAVE to do so many activities. TBH, if it comes at the price of seeing GP then some of the activities should be dropped.

But.... that is not taking into account the relationship between your Mum and your DH - if she's been rude to him then what the hell does she expect??!!

nilbyname Tue 19-Mar-13 10:49:58

op sorry yes working full time does add pressure I can see that. You mention a poor relationship that they ignore you and play with the dcs and although that seems to hurt try and see the positive.

You can go round, take the paper, magazine, laptop and leave them to it? Or can you go over of a Saturday, spend half an hour gave a cup of tea, then leave the kids there for a couple of hours then go back and collect them?

I guess it really depends whether or not you see the value in your kids having a good relationship with them or not.

I have a poor relationship with my parents who live a flight/long drive away. We see them 8-10 times a year. They adore my kids and vice versa.

DontmindifIdo Tue 19-Mar-13 10:53:22

Well, my parents live a lot further away and are out of the country a lot, when they are here, we see them once a fortnight, but I work parttime and they come to me.

PIL are comparable, as they are just under 30 minutes away. They see DS every other week at least, sometimes weekly. However, MIL comes to our house, picks DS up and takes him over to hers for a few hours while I get on with a few jobs.

To be honest, it sounds like your parents are just not prepared to put effort in themselves to fit into their DGC's lives, so I see no reason for you to put yourself out to present your DCs in a way that suits your parents, but not you and not your DCs.

I would suggest you keep to what you do. If your mum whinges, say that you can't come over in the evenings, so unless she wants to change her mind about picking up the DCs from school and having a few hours with them before you get back from work, then this is as good as it gets. Or she can come to yours for tea, and she does the hour's drive.

Quite frankly, she's been horrible to your DH, she's not prepared to help you out, she won't do babysitting or have the DCs without you there to supervise, she expects to be waited on when she's at yours, but when you are at theirs ignores you, why the fuck should you put yourself out for them? She wants to see more of the DGCs? Tough, you reep what you sow.

GeorgiePorgiePudding Tue 19-Mar-13 10:57:55

I see my mum about two or three times per year - I go to her two out of the three times and she tends to come to mine once a year.

We see my partner's parents about five times a year - we go to them once or twice per year.

We live about 3 hours drive away, me and my partner don't drive and neither does my mum.

Loa Tue 19-Mar-13 11:19:14

I got dragged every weekend to see one set of GP - did not make for a close loving relationship between us.

DH was similar every week set time though for him in a public location so he was shown off - again not a close relationship. Not particularly fond memories either for him.

My DC see my parents once every school holiday - their choice they are an hour away. We saw IL pretty much every weekend last summer but not since Dec but they live 2 hours away.

There are times - like now - where we are very busy and the GP just have to accept that. In your case they haven't made it easy to see them - being rude to your DH and not very pleasant to you when you visit.

I'd ignore the guilty tripping, refuse to respond to it and focus on what best for you for a bit.

EldritchCleavage Tue 19-Mar-13 13:10:53

There needs to be more accommodation from your parents, I think. At the moment, it sounds as though it's all on you to make this work, make the effort and the sacrifices.

Your parents seem to be quite rigid about it: don't like DH, not coming over to you, like to be waited on, don't make an effort with you. Unless they are prepared to move on some of those, I wouldn't run yourself ragged trying to keep a certain frequency of visit.

And I would offer visits in a different vein, e.g. meet halfway for tea after school, or they come over, DH will be out but you will have things to get on with. If they refuse new arrangements, well then they'll have to accept less time with the DC. Your siblings have obviously decided not to bend over backwards-is it worth getting their views on this?

Don't be made to feel uncaring, or unfair-if my mother ignored me when I went to see her I suspect visits would be pretty token if they happened at all.

gardenfan Tue 19-Mar-13 13:33:36

i experience a lot of guilt about the frequency i see my parents. They are both 80, generally fit and healthy. They live about 100 miles away, on a good run, about 2 hours, but more usually 4ish (M25!!!!). I have 4 DCs, all at uni. We are trying to support them financially, as their loans hardly even cover their rent!!. We both have proffesssional jobs, with fairly long hours, weekends being our only time off, tho i often do some locum work at weekends to boost funds. My often should i visit. I try to go every couple of months, but as they get older, i feel it may need to be more. I have 2 sisters in a similar position. parents are lucky in that they can afford home help, gardener, decorater etc, but i still feel i should visit more, but my loyaltys are divided between wanting to support DCs, and DPs

DontmindifIdo Tue 19-Mar-13 13:57:19

Gardenfan - my view is always when it comes down to a straight choice, your are responsible for your children, not for your parents. It's only a couple of years before you will start to ease up on the costs for your DCs, and will start to have more time.

DontmindifIdo Tue 19-Mar-13 13:57:35

BTW - OP, how often do you see your PIL?

tvmum1976 Tue 19-Mar-13 14:16:40

It seems kind of low to me- we now live abroad, but when we were living in the UK (just over an hour from my mum and about half an hour from in laws) we saw them both every week pretty much, and often more than that unless there was some real reason not to. we do prioritise family pretty highly which has it's real benefits and also disadvantages.
But I do sympathise with you, as it sounds hard, especially as your mum was rude to DH which adds a whole different dynamic.
Can your DC's go to them and stay overnight on the weekends perhaps after activities (you could drop them off?) or could you arrange for them to visit you on the weekends when your DH is out?

tvmum1976 Tue 19-Mar-13 14:19:18

btw sorry- havne't read the whole thread, so apologies if previous comment was offensive or didn't take circumstances into account.

ChristmasJubilee Tue 19-Mar-13 14:42:03

OP I think, given what you have said in your posts, 5-6 times a year sounds fine! IMHO working full time does not allow for evening visits. Perhaps it's just me that gets stressed but I find it hard enough to get them fed, to their, activities, homework and bed as it it.

You could go on a Saturday after swimming lessons once or twice a month if you wanted or they could come to you, but they sound like hard work and if they are not prepared to give a little then I think they will have to be happy.

Pigsmummy Tue 19-Mar-13 14:54:00

I try to see my parents monthly, they live 220 miles so have to make a weekend out of it. I would love them to be 30 mins away, if so I would try to pop to them weekly and would probably suggest some baby sitting too. I am sure that there is two hours free in a weekend and I think that IOU should encourage them to come to you too.

Kamer Tue 19-Mar-13 15:00:28

How do your DC feel about the situation? Are they bothered that they are seeing their GPs less? My PIL live about 30 minutes away and we probably see them every 1-3 weeks, depending on what everyone is up to. However, increasingly some of these visits might be them spending time with one DC while the other is busy, etc. If they were rigid about only seeing us all together for lengthly visits at their house we would have to see them less frequently.

piprabbit Tue 19-Mar-13 15:03:44

Given that it is them complaining about the frequency of visits, but they have alienated your DH, been rude to you and are unwilling to put themselves out in anyway (to come to you, to provide any sort of babysitting or to fit in with your family acitivities) - I would say they will simply have to be grateful for whatever visits you can manage.

badguider Tue 19-Mar-13 15:19:23

We see each set once a month (and we have GOOD relationships) so I don't think that seeing your parents who have alienated your DH once every 5 weeks is particularly low.

Weekday visits for us would be more stress than it's worth with f/t jobs etc. so we do sunday lunch once a month ish with each (giving us two sundays a month just us). Seems to work for all involved here...

MrsOakenshield Tue 19-Mar-13 19:50:07

sorry, that was me saying about the amount of activities - I read it as both DC each having activities 3 evenings a week plus weekends which does sound excessive - my mistake.

I can see that your own relationship with your parents isn't great, and they've alienated your DH, also not great, so the question now is - how important is it to you for your children to have and maintain a good relationship with their GPs? Do your DC love visiting them and spending time with them? Is it possible that you could drop them off and pick them up later? When they get a bit older will they be able to visit by public transport?

For me, relationships with GPs are really important. My dad died before either of his GDs were born, and my mum is getting on - she just won't be here for ever. My own GPs were older too, one died when my mum was a child, one when I was 7, other 2 when I was 19. And the GP we saw the most, as I got older I knew my parents didn't get on with her great but I loved going to her house and I wish I had made more of it now and not allowed their bad(ish, it wasn't awful, just an awareness they didn't get on or perhaps like each other much) relationship affect mine with her.

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