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To expect DM to want to spend time with me & my sons when we visit

(50 Posts)
Albertatata Wed 12-Mar-14 19:01:38

This is long as i don't want to drip feed. We live over 200 miles away from both sets of grandparents. We have two DS 2.5yrs and 5 months, so DH booked this week off work & we hired a car and decided to spend a week seeing the grandparents (both sets live about 30mibs away from each other).

My DM house is small so the plan was just for myself and DS2 to stay over at DM and DH and DS2 to go back to PIL for the evening. We were meant to be spending tues & wed with DM.

Arrive early tues and suggest going to local farm (my DS1 definitely needs to run around to burn off energy, staying inside would not be an option on such a beautiful day). DM said she didn't want to go but I suggested the we wanted to spend time with her so in the end she came & we had a nice time - although she never interacts with the children (but she isn't very mumsy). In the afternoon she refused to come to the local playground or the shop or for a walk around the park so she sat at home whilst we went out. DH and DS1 go off for the evening & she was able to walk to local bar to have a couple if glasses of wine!

Next day we had planned to meet up at local national trust property with amazing gardens & great for kids - take picnic etc. one hr before we were due to set off she announces she doesn't feel up to it and will drop me off but doesn't want to come.

I feel really upset that she doesn't seem to actually want to spend time with me & my family. She lives alone and I think she does find it tiring when she sees us but I get grief for not visiting her but when I do she just doesn't want to actually spend time with us or I feel like I have to force her.

In the end we went to spend the day with PILS instead and not staying over there tonight now.

AIBU to feel a bit let down, I'm struggling with two and it would be nice if DM could just help a little or at least show some sort of interest. I have one older sister who is the same and has absolutely no interest in my children so feeling a bit sorry for myself!

mrsjay Wed 12-Mar-14 19:07:48

yabu A little bit you went to see your mum but wanted to do things with the children and expected her trail round a farm park and then to a national trust place thats not really spending time with her that is you taking your children out and having her as an extra pair of hands, maybe she isnt that granny type you hoped for maybe she would like to spend time in the house with the children amusing themselves,and chat and catch up with you , I understand you are feeling let down but not everything visit should revolve around entertaining your children

sandyballs Wed 12-Mar-14 19:12:23

I would be very hurt, it's not very often is it that you're asking her to change her routine and spend time with her grandchildren and daughter. How old is she?

sandyballs Wed 12-Mar-14 19:13:36

Mrsjay, not sure a 2.5 year old and a 5 month old would entertain themselves while they chatted grin

Albertatata Wed 12-Mar-14 19:14:24

That would be fine if she did interact with them - but she doesn't. There is absolutely nothing to keep them entertained in her house (no toys, no garden, not even TV!). my 2year old DS would be climbing the walls if we all stayed in all day, esp on such gorgeous days - he is like a dog & really needs to be walked twice a day. I really don't think its too much to expect a grandparent to want to push him on a swing in a park a 5 min walk away.

Surely its nice to go out and do things together?

Albertatata Wed 12-Mar-14 19:15:44

DM is 64yo so not elderly (often goes swimming & cycling)

mrsjay Wed 12-Mar-14 19:16:12

it just seems a very busy visit thats all i know the op is upset but you can stay in or go out to adult places for lunch or something with children

WooWooOwl Wed 12-Mar-14 19:16:25

It sounds like your Mum didn't want to spend all day at parks, not that she doesn't want to see you or your children.

Maybe she just feels like she isn't any good with young children, some people do find it hard to know what to say to them.

mrsjay Wed 12-Mar-14 19:18:22

MY mum was a granny to that age at 40 odd she wouldnt want to go to the park and the farm and a national trust place all in a weekend or whatever

BubaMarra Wed 12-Mar-14 19:19:24

YANBU. I would feel the same.

Albertatata Wed 12-Mar-14 19:19:33

Mrs Jay - adult places for lunch, with a very active 2.5yr old? Not really particularly compatible with a relaxing lunch!

paxtecum Wed 12-Mar-14 19:19:54


I feel quite sorry for you.
How old is your DM?
How is her health?

I struggle to keep up with my DGC, but want to live closer to them to see them more.

mrsjay Wed 12-Mar-14 19:21:26

now you are arguing with me confused all i said was the visit didnt suit your mum because it all revolved the children outside in march when maybe she just couldnt be arsed

paxtecum Wed 12-Mar-14 19:22:04

X post.

What a shame.

Catsmamma Wed 12-Mar-14 19:22:15

my ILs have always been a bit like that...

they come here and clearly have never enjoyed going out to things, we have tried all sorts. Lunches, snacks, stately homes, local attractions, out for a drive. More or less the only thing they seem to like to do is take the dogs for a walk, and that's just a there and back walk, no malingering or chatting and have a ride to tesco to get the fucking Daily Mail papers.

When we go to their's it's the same....they stick rigidly to their routine, never want to join us for days out

I cba with it all so I chat and feed them but have got over making suggestions or expecting them to join in when they are here And I don't go to their's anymore.

wretched pensioners

Catsmamma Wed 12-Mar-14 19:26:34

and in the interest of balance, my ma is not much better.... "shall we go for a nice pub lunch?" She's very generous and will pay, and this works much better now the children are older, but it used to be I'd end up with all the driving, looking for somewhere pubby enough and not too family diner stylee

And she likes shopping, but lives alone and spend all her time looking a giant joints of meat that she "could put in the freezer" or Multipaks of pillows ..."will I get this on the train do you think?"


NannyK7H Wed 12-Mar-14 19:27:50

How is your mum in herself? Could she have a bit of social anxiety or maybe a bit down/lonely? Maybe she would like some time with you one-on-one over a nice cup of tea. Could DH take the kids to a park or something for a few hours so you two can chat? Or even while Ds2 sleeps, he could take ds1 out.

mrsjay Wed 12-Mar-14 19:31:13

my mum is the same never wanted to do days out has her routines and gets a little twitchy if her routine is out and I do think the days out you had planned and went on was far to much for her I get she is your mum and you want her to be a proper gran to the children but I dont think you can expect her to trail round outside for all of your visit, and of course you can go out for lunch your husband could sit the kids and you have time with her on your own

mummy1973 Wed 12-Mar-14 19:37:31

Sorry for you but you have to accept her and how she is.

LettertoHermioneGranger Wed 12-Mar-14 19:43:49

I think you are being a bit unreasonable.

I understand you wanting your mum to come out and enjoy these activities with your grandchildren, and not keep them cooped up in the house, but I think you are possibly underestimating how tiring it is to spend days at parks and farms when it's not your usual routine. Presumably your mother hasn't chased after young children in many years. Regardless of health and activity level - these days can be utterly exhausting when you're not used to them. I definitely see how two in a row could be too much.

I think there's somewhere to meet in the middle here. I'm sure your mum wants to enjoy her grandchildren. Consider bringing toys, particularly 'special' activities that could be done at your mother's house, and perhaps discussing in advance, not the day of, one day of an outdoor activity that would be enjoyable for all.

mymatemax Wed 12-Mar-14 19:44:21

did you ask if there is anything that she wanted to do that would be suitable for all, would she of preferred swimming with them?

Mintyy Wed 12-Mar-14 19:48:32

Yanbu. I quite understand your disappointment. You have gone to a huge amount of effort to visit her. You'd like to think she'd want to make the most of the very limited time you get with her. And she's only 64 too! Plenty of people still have the energy to work full time at her age.

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 12-Mar-14 19:52:08

Also was this week a good time? When I go up to see my/dh's parents (also around 200 miles) I assume we'll work around them unless we've been invited specifically.

So we'll discuss plans but there's no obligation for anyone to join in a day trip just because we've descended and are using their house as a base although my dm is admittedly more into the farm visits etc than me

TheFabulousIdiot Wed 12-Mar-14 19:58:04

Could it be that she finds it hard enough having you in the house so going out with two small kids may just be extra hassle on top of having a houseful?

Could you stay somewhere else and then meet her elsewhere, she might be more inclined to come then?

Yamyoid Wed 12-Mar-14 19:59:23

letterto has made some good points but I think Yanbu.
When we visit my parents, they know the dcs need to get out of the house. We talk about things we could do and if it's not outside, it's galleries or museums.
The compromise is that we always go out after lunch, later than we normally would but that way everyone gets to spend time together.
However, I think some people become set in their ways and don't see it as a problem to stick with their normal routine.
I'm surprised so many think Yabu. Surely if you're visiting someone 200 miles away, the idea is to do stuff together.

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