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to ask how much you see of/speak to your parents?

(93 Posts)
MrsMedlock Fri 08-Jul-16 14:48:18

Particularly your mum. Mine work full time and live an hour away. But they rarely ever call me, if I call them they are always rushed, busy and appear bored/dismissive of anything I have to tell them. They come over for a couple of hours approx once a fortnight and just sit and chat, occasionally play a little with DC then make their excuses and leave. They were never really around for me or my sister growing up so I don't know why expected better with their grandchildren but it still hurts. My children would love to see more of them. It always feels like they do the bare minimum to fill the requirements of what they see as 'involved' grandparents (this is the term that they actually use). I've tried to talk to my mum lots of times about how I'd love to see more of her and it's always brushed off as 'I had to bring up you with not much help, my mum wasn't interested etc' but she always seems to miss the point.. it's not the help of babysitting etc I'm after. It's just her being more emotionally available. If I gently press my point she will become angry/tearful and say she's busy with work and doesn't need to a guilt trip. Almost every single one of my female friends and acquaintances are much closer to their mums than I or at least see a lot more of them. I often pretend to them I see more of my mum than I do because I find it embarrassing to explain her disinterest. What I can't understand is within my mums own friendship circle her close friends and sisters are very close with their own daughters and go for lunch, holidays etc together. And yet she never seems to notice it's not like that between us? She spends a lot of time with her friends, always has done and goes on holidays and dos breaks with them. But then she's too busy for us. She's never once booked a day off work to spend with us. I just feel so sad we've never had a close relationship and don't spend any time together. I suppose I am just looking for solidarity and wondering if anyone else has experienced similar with their parents or even any viewpoints from the opposite side.. I am 26 and my mum is 53 so maybe some mumsnetters with grown up daughters/grandchildren can help give me some perspective. Please be kind, I understand my mum has her own life, has no obligation to spend time with us and my children are the responsibility of myself and my husband alone. I just wish either of my parents had more time for us, that's all. 

MrsMedlock Fri 08-Jul-16 14:53:35

I like I should add that my parents and I always 'get on' albeit in a distant, distracted kind of way. They probably feel that they have a great relationship with me. They are reasonably supportive, encouraging and understanding and have often praised me as a person and mother. So we don't have a 'bad' relationship. They just don't seem to have that enjoyment of just being with their children and grandchildren that I see in other people their age.

Redglitter Fri 08-Jul-16 15:01:00

I speak to my mum several times a day. I see her once a week for dinner. I often stay overnight as dinner can involve alcohol and sometimes more if for instance my brother and his family are visiting

massivearse Fri 08-Jul-16 15:04:06

I speak to my Mum a couple of times a year, usually via text. She lives 5 miles away.

Miserable old boot.

Dear old dad ain't around anymore. See above.

Jenijena Fri 08-Jul-16 15:10:21

My mum is retired and 65, and I see less if her than you do. Similar distance bit complicated by logistics and cost of a ferry journey. Since my eldest son was born, four years ago, they've made less than ten trips just to see us (they'll sometimes pop by if they're over here, but it might literally be a 20 minute visit before a hospital appt. and I always feel we're just a convenient place). On average we probably see them 10 times a year.

Particularly sucks as during my first pregnancy I saw my mum very often as she was a patient at my local hospital and she talked how she'd be 'a proper grandma' (neither of mine were) but we're so far from that. Neither of my parents know my son; recently they were really excited to find a range of toys they thought he'd love but it's something he's not interested in. I just want to scream at them 'if you spent time with him, you'd find he's not 'generic 4 year old boy' he has likes and preferences and interests all of his own'.

It does hurt though. I've got a friend who I'm not really close to but see a lot of (lives round the corner) and she's really close to her mum. I think her mum was more excited/concerned/pleased about my baby son than mine was.

Yet if there's a Facebook meme on how much you love your grandparents, my mum shares it.

Musicaltheatremum Fri 08-Jul-16 15:12:16

I speak to my parents about once a week, they live about 2.5 hours away. I email them things too. I see them every 6 weeks or so. Sometimes see them lots sometimes not for 3 months. (I'm 52 mum and dad 80/84 this month)

my kids daughter 23 lives down south. Texts me lots and phones fairly regularly. I see her every 6-8 weeks or so sometimes longer sometimes less. My son 20) when he's at uni it's a few texts a week. See him once a term.
We are really close and there for each other but live our own lives too. As my parents get older I will see them more. I'm widowed too so they have been so good to me.

Jenijena Fri 08-Jul-16 15:14:54

And just to echo your post - it's not about the childcare etc that 'close' parents provide (although that'd be lovely, of course!), it's just that they don't know my children and they don't share in the joy of them. Whereas my mil, who lives the other end of the country, adores my sons, and knows what they like (and what they're like!)

Floralnomad Fri 08-Jul-16 15:14:59

I speak to my mum at least once a day and see her at least 3/4 times a week , it's always been like that from when I first left home nearly 30 yrs ago - my dad died 26 yrs ago . My DC see lots of her and always have . We live about 15 miles apart.

Balletblue Fri 08-Jul-16 15:16:51

I see my mum about every six weeks - she lives an hour away - and my dad once a year - he lives six hours away. I would not go to them for support and our relationship is civil.

OldBeanbagz Fri 08-Jul-16 15:17:09

I speak to my mum around 2/3 times a week and see them every couple of weeks. Like you i don't have a close relationship with my mum but i have come to terms with it. I figured that the end of the day it's her loss as she's missing out on seeing her grandchildren growing up.

I don't think you can change your mother, you just have to accept that's how she is. After all you can't make her want to spend time with you and your DC. Maybe she is taking after her own mother by not being involved?

DH and i were only talking about my childhood/family last night and in all honesty I couldn't recall my parents ever being truly happy. It's a sad situation to be in but i'm glad i have him to support me.

BorpBorpBorp Fri 08-Jul-16 15:17:18

I speak to my mum either by phone or by email probably once a month, we're equally likely to initiate contact. See parents at xmas and maybe 2-3 other times during the year. They live about 3 hours away. We have a good relationship, we just don't see much of each other. I feel like if I had kids we'd probably see them more often. I have an adult sibling who still lives at home so they might not feel the need to visit me as much because of that. I see more of my in laws, but that's because they're retired and have more time. I do feel guilty about not seeing my parents more, though.

EssentialHummus Fri 08-Jul-16 15:21:16

Once or twice a year. She lives a 4.5 hour plane ride away. Horrible woman.

HyacinthBouquetNo1 Fri 08-Jul-16 15:33:56

Couple of times a year, she stays for about 5 mins, always in a hurry to rush off. She lives nearby but is not interested in me or her grandchildren. She has never babysat or taken them out anywhere. They are adults now. I dont even know her phone number, she changed it years ago and didnt give it to me. Oddly though i have a younger sibling who she texts, visits and babysits all the time forhmm

ThinkPinkStink Fri 08-Jul-16 15:50:41

I speak to my mum most days - or at least 4-5 times a week (more now that I'm pregnant). We get on really well over the phone.

I see her approx. twice a year (though more now that I'm pregnant) - we find face-to-face meetings more stressful.

She lives about 1.5 hours away by either car or train.

We can both be pretty spiky, stubborn and opinionated, and we bring those traits out in each other. That means we're either we're cackling at someone else's expense, or we're butting-heads at each other's expense.


purplefox Fri 08-Jul-16 15:52:23

1-2 times a year, she lives 3 hours away, can drive and regularly visits other places a similar distance away but wont bother coming here.

missybct Fri 08-Jul-16 15:56:26

I speak to my Mum nearly every day. We/I see her usually once a week, or once every two weeks. I love my Mum dearly - she's the right mix of caring but hands off and lets me get on with it. We live about 15 miles away, but we drive past her house to get to work.

I haven't spoken to my Dad for over 3 years. I started to go NC with him about 3 years ago, slowly phased out over time and although I regret it had to happen, I don't regret making the decision. I've had to question it recently as he'll be a granddad soon (his first, by me) but I genuinely cannot think of how I could approach it without ending up hurt and/or disappointed.

Welshmaenad Fri 08-Jul-16 16:02:47

My mum died 2 years ago. Always spent Saturday's with my parents and spoke daily. Maintain this with Dad, who is in poor health, so speak daily and spend whole of Saturday with him, this includes going his weekly shop and sny jobs he needs, plus often extra visits in the week when I can manage, he lives 45 minutes away. He's in hospital at the moment do visiting when I can, doing his laundry etc.

Welshmaenad Fri 08-Jul-16 16:04:47

We see DP's parents 3-4 times a week, they live nearby so it's a quick pop in for coffee and a chat job. See his grandparents approx once a week.

Ex inlaws are totally disinterested, DC see them 2x a year, I have been NC for a few years now. ExH co-ordinates their contact with the DC.

gamerwidow Fri 08-Jul-16 16:08:52

Too much. I speak to my mum everyday and see her at least twice a week usually for the whole day.
I find it a bit suffocating because I'm very introverted and would prefer the time to myself. She's also quite hard work as she can be a bit self involved and demanding because she's starting to get dementia and it's made her judgement a bit off.
However she dotes on dd and she has always been there for me and would do anything for me or my sister so as much as I moan I don't really begrudge it.
Op I'm sorry you don't have the relationship you'd like with your mum it must be hard.

TheRealAdaLovelace Fri 08-Jul-16 16:09:23

my mum died four years before the children were born, and my dad was remarried anyway with 'their own' children. Last time he and his wife came to visit us was three years ago.

dayswithaY Fri 08-Jul-16 16:09:34

I see my parents About once every 6-8 weeks, always instigated by me. They have a very active life, lots of holidays and days out and I feel like they feel they have done their time s parents and Its their time. I never remember them giddy with love the first time they held my babies. I never remember being comfortable enough to spontaneously hug my mum when I was a child. They even lied to me when I invited them to meet my new born daughter and they went to a shopping centre instead. Some people are just like that. What galls me a little is that my Mums parents were devoted to her and gave her endless help and therefore we grew up very close to our grandparents as a result. My children will never have that but they will have a very different kind of Mum.

sepa Fri 08-Jul-16 16:10:12

I see/speak to my mum a lot. OH mum on the other hand openly admits she doesn't really like babies/young children and it's hard to pin her down for her to see DC and when she does hold her she screams as she doesn't really know her grandma. MIL partner on the other hand (not biological grandparent) loves to play with DC and interact with her when he sees her. Still doesn't see much of her but it's not his biological grandchild

SausageDogGeorge Fri 08-Jul-16 16:11:07

It makes me sad reading your post - my sister and I don't have a close relationship with our mum - she's just not an emotional person. She almost physically flinches if you go to hug or kiss her (normally only at special occasions).

Both my sister and I would love to see her more but its asif she feels she needs to have an 'excuse' to ring or visit. She only rings if she needs something or wants to ask me something. She never visits me, I sometimes invite her for a meal but i find it hard work and unenjoyable as she is quite a critical person and makes little digs here and there about things and I always end up feeling down and disappointed after she's left.

She used to see a lot of my DS (13) and DD (10) however over the last couple of years, especially since my dad died 18 months ago, she has become much more distant and hardly ever sees the kids - she used to invite them round for tea regularly, maybe twice a week, now i can't remember the last time they went. She will look after them overnight if i ask (although I hate asking) but if i absolutely have to (for example i need to travel for work) then she will look after them although i always feel guilty about it.

My OH says to speak to her about it but he doesn't understand that i just never could - she is just not that type of person - she would go in a mood and be funny with me and tell my sister how awful i've been....just because I want to speak about something emotional.

I too feel embarrassed to tell friends about what my mum is like - i would love to have a mum that i go for meals with, go to the spa, have fun days shopping......but that simply isn't my mum and never will be.

Hope the situation improves for you! Btw I'm 41 and my mum is 67.

pearlylum Fri 08-Jul-16 16:18:21

My Mum lives with us.

Oblomov16 Fri 08-Jul-16 16:30:36

I speak to my mum twice a week. I visit once a month or so and we go to lunch or just sit and chat. I tell her everything. I love her so very much I can't put into words how much I value her.

I am so sorry but I'm not sure you can do much about your own relationship with your mum, but just accept it, and promise yourself your relationship with your dd, if you have one, won't be the same.

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