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Need a younger person's perspective on this

(50 Posts)
Dressingdown1 Fri 02-Aug-13 09:41:04

A bit of background DH and I have 3 DC, all grown up, we did have 4 but oldest died a few years ago, I mention that because it obviously affects family dynamics and makes us aware that our DC are very precious.

The 2 oldest remaining DC stay in close touch, but DD2 (mid twenties) is sometimes more emotionally distant. She lives about an hour and a half away from us. She has a very busy job with long hours and a fair amount of foreign travel, but also has a lot of time off. Normally we keep in touch via e mails and texts and brief phone calls, unless she has a problem, when we have more contact. We see her about once a month on average; if we go to her we always provide food or take her out for a meal as we know she's very busy.

DH and I are involved in a couple of family businesses but only on a part time basis, so we are quite flexible about seeing everyone. We have a lovely life with lots of travel, entertaining and a wide social circle, so not too needy when it comes to DC, given our family history (we hope)

The current issue is that we need to go and see DD2 in the next week or so, almost any day will do from our point of view. This is a business matter which will benefit the whole family and also specifically benefit her in a small way. This was agreed a few weeks ago but we need to tie up some loose ends. She is on holiday from work at the moment.

I texted her about 4 days ago to ask when would be a good time to visit - no answer. I called on her mobile yesterday - no answer. Normally if she sees she's missed a call she will ring back, but no response so far. I could e mail but normally don't get an answer if she's not at work.

I know she is very involved in her hobbies which she normally doesn't get a lot of time to pursue, so I cut her a lot of slack and never moan about lack of contact. I know someone would let us know if anything had happened to her.

What do you think I should do, should I turn into an old nag until I get a sensible reply? Or honestly do you think I should back off and wait for her to contact us? Am I just being a nuisance? I need someone of her sort of age to give me her perspective PLEASE .

JustinBsMum Fri 02-Aug-13 09:48:39

I would be an old nag on the pretext that you are worried something has happened to her as she hasn't replied. At this point you have no idea what the reasons are.

ALittleStranger Fri 02-Aug-13 09:48:50

Well it's not just an age thing, it's a lifestyle phase as well. As 26 year old MNetter with kids and a star chart on the fridge is hardly going to relate. But yes, it sounds normal not to respond. People are busy, exhausted, having fun etc. I frequently forget to respond to parents texts/calls and I see mine far less frequently than once a month. If they are persistent it reminds me to get in touch. If this is genuinely for her benefit (although does she agree?!) I think a bit of nagging is involved. But bear in mind people don't always want to get involved in family businesses, ventures, and silence might be her trying to strike out on her own.

BrokenBanana Fri 02-Aug-13 09:50:36

How old is she? When I was a late teen I was terrible at keeping in touch with family, now I'm mid 20s and a lot better.

If you've never had a conversation about her lack of effort then I think it could be a good idea to bring it up soon. Obviously you don't want to go in all guns blazing about it, but a firm yet gentle word about how you feel and how you'd like her to put effort in from her side might work. All depends on your DDs attitude and personality though.

Missbopeep Fri 02-Aug-13 10:07:14

I don't think age has anything to do with this....

I have a DD of similar age who is 2 hrs away, and I've spent 35 years as a DD myself 4 hrs away from my parents ( in the days before mobiles and emails.)

Both my DCs who are mid 20s live away and we have a similar pattern of contact to you- if we call they see a missed call and usually call us back that day or next day.

In your situation I'd be worried about no contact for 4 days.
I am sure that there is nothing to worry about, but we have recently had a similar 'no contact' scare, and decided we need to put some measures in place which don't exist for us.

Namely- the phone nos of someone they live with ( house shares) or work nos- we don't even have the exact extension in their large companies- in case of emergencies. maybe you don't need this or have it covered.

We also expect a return call within 48 hours or a quick text .

In your case, it's possible she is just busy as she is not at work. But I'd say you need a 'chat' about how you expect contact from her within a certain amount of time- even if it's just a ' I'm busy but will get back later.'

farthingwood Fri 02-Aug-13 10:07:57

Hi I am 29 and am a bit like your dd, I think if you get shirty with her she will be less inclined to call back because she will think she'll be told off.
Just let her be, when she has children of her own she will be more in touch but for now it sounds like you see her enough

bluestar2 Fri 02-Aug-13 10:15:48

I don't see any harm in telling her if she hasn't responded after a day or so. You are her parent and entitled to nag. Even if she can't talk just a brief text to say all ok call at weekend or whatever. I wouldn't have minded this at her age. Also you are doing something for her a little reminder wouldn't go amiss. I realise she is caught in the whirl wind of youth but at her age she isn't a child or a teenager and should know better.

artychick Fri 02-Aug-13 10:18:29

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your DC sad

We have something similar in our family after a tragedy a few years ago, and I know my mum worries if she can't get hold of any of us (within a reasonable timeframe). I understand this.

I think as this was already agreed a few weeks ago and it relates to a business matter, I would say it is not unreasonable to expect a response and that you should pursue it with her.

If you feel it's relevant, it might be worth saying when you do see her that you can sometimes feel concerned when you can't get hold of her, and that even just a quick text would ease your mind. I'm sure she'll understand.

Prozacbear Fri 02-Aug-13 10:21:11

TBH I am a bit like this and occasion it has frustrated my mum - also in my mid-twenties

But to give perspective ... I work all hours, have DS, DP, try to keep up a semblance of a social life. I don't see my mum once p/month and she is 1.5 hours away on the train. I genuinely do try to make an effort - have you tried her work email? At least you know that that gets checked on a daily basis - texts are easy to save til later.

Dressingdown1 Fri 02-Aug-13 10:27:23

Thank you all for your help, mostly you have reinforced my own feelings that she is busy and cba to respond quickly.

The business matter is not a big deal, she will get some small benefit in a few months' time, but we are also going to give her a little money now as a thank you for her help. It will be more useful to us than to her at the moment iyswim.

I think I will contact her again later today if she doesn't respond soon.

Helltotheno Fri 02-Aug-13 10:31:50

Age or no age, I would say the following:
Firstly, you need to try someone else (e.g. work) to make sure she's ok. Secondly, it's a bit rude, no matter what the age, relationship, or context, for someone not to return repeated calls/texts from someone unless they're actively trying to avoid that person (in which case, see last point). I would point that out to her. I never had a wonderful relationship with my folks but that didn't mean not returning their calls!

Lastly, that special thing that will benefit her? Maybe just hold off in general.

QuintessentiallyOhDear Fri 02-Aug-13 10:36:44

Does she feel that you are "paying" for contact?

Missbopeep Fri 02-Aug-13 10:37:19

Have you taken on board what appears to be an imbalance between your care for her and her tardiness in replying to your calls etc?

You seem to be saying by your last post 'oh she's busy, that's fine'...

which lets her off the hook and doesn't deal with what you want, or what you'll do if this happens again.

Umlauf Fri 02-Aug-13 10:42:28

I'd be an old nag, she will understand I am sure. I once had the police turn up at my door because I'd lost my charger and not had my phone on for a few day, shortly after I moved to the other side of the country!! I wasn't mad at all, just worried for my mum.

Don't worry about being perceived as nagging, I am sure nobody, least of all your daughter, would see it that way.

CokeFan Fri 02-Aug-13 10:43:36

How do you respond when you do get hold of her? I ask because I went through a phase with my mum (after my dad died) when if I hadn't talked to her for a few days, if I did ring I got the "I could have been dead and buried" guilt trip. It made me less inclined to ring because I knew it would result in huffiness. Especially if I hadn't realised that she was waiting for me to ring because it was my "turn" and she was stewing about it. It's got better now because I do ring more often (and so does she) after we both backed off a bit and I told her just to ring me.

Maybe you could suggest a regular time to get in touch by phone or perhaps a 2 line email or a quick text instead?

CinnabarRed Fri 02-Aug-13 10:44:24

Actually, I think she'll being really rude.

I moved away from home at 18 and since then have never seen my DM as frequently as once per month (2 hours drive away), and would never ignore repeated attempts at contact.

If she doesn't want to do the business thing then she should have the guts to tell you, not just go incommunicado.

At that age (fairly recent but pre DC) I was not great at remembering to ring DM am still not great, but have 2.4 excuses now. But even I would have been able to drop a one-liner to say "not Thursday as I have a thing" or "not sure yet, will get back to you".

I saw on The Poke that someone texted her son after repeated non response to say "your dad and I want to give you some money - when are you available to talk?" and got an immediate response, to which she replied along the lines of "right, now I've got your attention ... by the way here's 50p".

ChippingInHopHopHop Fri 02-Aug-13 10:56:44

Dressingdown - I am very sorry to hear about your eldest xx

Mid 20's is old enough to stop acting like a brat. Frankly. You sound very reasonable and measured re contact with your DC (especially given the loss of your eldest child).

There is no excuse for her behaviour. It doesn't matter if she is busy, it doesn't matter if she isn't very fussed about the family business, it doesn't matter if she's faffing about with her hobby. You are her mother and you deserve far more respect. A single text back is not too much to ask.

You had loose plans to meet up and she knows that - she needs to give you a time that suits her (as you are being so flexible).

IMO and from this small snapshot alone, I would say you are actually enabling her bratty behaviour by being too understanding and too concerned about nagging/being posessive. Also, giving her money because she is doing this for the family business, to me, seems sad. She is your daughter, you don't need to 'pay' her to do her bit in the family - you really don't.

I say that as a 40 year old who is shit at keeping in touch with her Mum and is nagged to death about 'phoning more often' etc. I rarely instigate contact and I know I should. But I would never ignore my Mum's texts because, even without losing a sibling, I know she would worry.

She is being very selfish and unkind and it needs addressing.

ALittleStranger Fri 02-Aug-13 11:00:11

So, everyone under 30 has posted and said this is normal and it's not intended to be rude. Everyone offering an older perspective insists it's bratty. Yes, this is why mother-daughter relationships are difficult!

CinnabarRed Fri 02-Aug-13 11:02:17

Even in my 20s I would have replied by now. I really don't think it's an age thing,

CinnabarRed Fri 02-Aug-13 11:03:07

Unless you're thinking it's a generational thing?

Unlikely - the OP's other two children manage to keep in touch

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 02-Aug-13 11:04:22

As a parent myself I would also be anxious but would imagine she wanted a proper break so is no contact' with everybody not just you. Is she even still in the country? Impulse trip away? Exciting absorbing new SO?

PenelopePitstops Fri 02-Aug-13 11:10:31

Similar age to your dd and similar busyness level. She is being unintentionally rude. I have done fhis to my parents a couple of times but in a forgetful / crazy busy manner.

Try a text later, saying you are not nagging but worried could do with knowing. It doesn't do her any harm to know you still worry, you are her mum after all!

Missbopeep Fri 02-Aug-13 11:21:38

whats' stopping you just being totally honest and saying that after x number of unanswered calls or texts, you get worried, and you'd appreciate a quick text to say she is okay?

It seems in some ways you are making it unnecessarily complicated when all she needs is a quick lesson in being thoughtful about other people instead of being selfish.

cloudskitchen Fri 02-Aug-13 11:28:30

Not really a young persons perspective at 42 but I would try and call again, especially if this is unusual behaviour. if still no answer or returned call I would text something like tried to call and text but no reply. getting little bit worried/concerned. all ok? have your other dc heard from her lately?

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