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To think this this favouratism by my mother is unfair to my DC

(21 Posts)
43638039840q398482 Thu 25-May-17 14:20:21

Have changed user name for this as the dilemma will out me..

Maybe I am BU but I genuinely don't know - it's long as don't want to dripfeed.
I am one of 3 daughters, born to reasonably affluent parents, of which the other 2 are a lot younger than me. Very happy childhood, close family etc.
By all accounts I am considered successful in that I went to uni, got two degrees, have good job, married to lovely DH, have a gorgeous DD, enjoy nice holidays, have nice house, cars, generally very happy etc etc. (This is all relevant, I'm not being a dick by saying this, or in any way smug).
The other two still live with my parents. One (DS2) of whom has mental health issues and has spent time as an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital, self harming history etc. Parents worry hugely about her but she is doing better now.
The other sister had a child fairly young, in fact very soon after my own DD was born but born into different circumstances. Although DS1 is with her DCs father, he lives alone while she and the DC live with my parents. Both DSs are back in uni after both dropping out for a period. Both also work in fairly menial jobs to support themselves. My parents look after my DN full time while DS1 is at work/uni.
Both DSs are doing well now and things are looking up for both of them. I adore both of them and am glad they're getting their lives together.
My issue is this. My parents, while they love my daughter, show very little proactive interest in her. When I send photos, they will always respond, say they miss her and they ask after her if we are on the phone, they chat on FaceTime whenever I call etc. (We do not live close by)
But if I never contacted my parents, I'd never hear from them.
I can't help but feel sad for my DD in that they are very involved in the lives of my DSs and DN but very uninvolved in my DD's life.
My mother will happily come and look after my DD for a weekend if I need her. But I always have to ask, it's never offered.
I suppose the issue is that I feel like my daughter hasn't got much of a relationship with her GP while my niece is with them all the time and they don't seem to care.
If my DS1 had never had her daughter, (I hasten to add that I am glad she did, I adore my DN), my DD would be their only grandchild and they would make far more effort to see her..
I have not mentioned this to my parents because they are coping with a lot with my DSs and probably think I don't need them, emotionally or otherwise (I do but that's another issue), it's more I feel annoyed that they don't ever seem to care about my DD, while effectively bringing up my niece. And a bit sad for her too, I always thought my parents would make terrific parents.

bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 25-May-17 14:23:21

What can you do when you don't live close by?

Are you sure your parents would never contact you if you stopped contacting them?

43638039840q398482 Thu 25-May-17 14:26:35

* terrific grandparents

Dianneabbottsmathsteacher Thu 25-May-17 14:27:45

I bet they are just bloody knackered being full time babysitters to their grandchild. I have my dogs part time and love him but am knackered. If he lived with us I think I would be on my knees. feel sorry for them and I think your dsis should start paying for childcare.

I bet they are so proud of you and see you as a coping wonderful mum so arnt so worried about your dd if you see what I mean?

Can quite see your points though. Why don't you invite them both to yours for a lovejy weekend and all spend time together without the others.

Dianneabbottsmathsteacher Thu 25-May-17 14:28:24

Dear grandson not dogs!!

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 25-May-17 14:28:43

I think possibly a little bit but I xan understand the frustration. You know your sisters need the additional support rather than a favouritism thing though surely.

They do come when you ask so maybe ask a bit more.

I live 3000 miles from my parents, my Dc's grandparents but ny sister lives 5 miles, gets given their old cars, free childcare but I think they still love my sons as much. My life is different to my sister's as is yours to your sister's. Maybe have a chat along the lines of we'd love you to visit more.

43638039840q398482 Thu 25-May-17 14:30:57

They live in a different country.
And they always know that all is fine with me because I speak to DS1 all the time (the cousins chat over FaceTime). In the sense that if they haven't heard that anything is wrong, then presumably they think everything is fine.

Dianneabbottsmathsteacher Thu 25-May-17 14:34:09

Would they come to you for a holiday?

arethereanyleftatall Thu 25-May-17 14:34:33

This isn't favouritism. It's circumstances. They're busy and they live in a different country. Yabu.

AppleOfMyEye10 Thu 25-May-17 14:39:46

Yabu, as someone mentioned they seem to be still caring for adult children and their load as well - how exhausting! Besides they live in another country, practically what could they do. Their plate is full, surely you can understand that. Seems like your sisters are heavily dependent on them which might have shifted focus of you and your family, but if you are to be upset it's at your adult siblings not your poor parents.

bushtailadventures Thu 25-May-17 14:42:22

My dd and dgd live with us, and as much as I like to think I would treat all my grandchildren the same, I'm not really sure I would be able to. I look after dgd quite a lot, not by design, but because she comes to us as much as she does her mum. I'm tired a lot of the time, and looking after another child when I could have a weekend to myself...

I'm pretty sure it's not favouritism, just them coping as best they can.

Also, dealing with someone with MH issues is exhausting in itself, you never stop worrying, not really, even when they seem to be doing well.

Finola1step Thu 25-May-17 14:47:15

Ah, but you are The Sorted One. The one that they don't have to worry about. The one who has always got everything under control. The one doing more than ok. The one who needs them less. The one who will ask if she needs anything.

Can you guess that I am in a rather similar situation?

I have resolved this by accepting the situation and never expecting too much. Make the effort now and then. Enjoy your family's company. Hope for the best but expect nothing - that way, you can never be disappointed.

BarbarianMum Thu 25-May-17 14:52:57

This isn't favouritism. It's circumstances. They're busy and they live in a different country. Yabu.

^This! Maybe give them a break?

CadnoDrwg Thu 25-May-17 14:57:00

I really don't think it's favouritism.

I'm pretty much in a similar situation and from the outside it appears as though my sister's children get far more love and attention than my own children from my parents but I know the reason they don't reach out to me first is sheer exhaustion.

They carry the weight of the world on their shoulders worrying about my siblings and their mental wellbeing, along with trying to create a positive environment for my sister's children to grow up in.

The time they do spend with my children is proper quality time and my children love to see my parents as much as they do the in-laws who are far more involved in their lives. It's just not equal in quantity.

I know it's easier said than done but try to see the positive in what your parents are doing.

It does feel sometimes as though I'm and by extension my children are being punished for being successful in education, career and being happily in love but in reality my life gives my parents breathing space because they rarely need to worry about us and my little regular updates keep them going with smiles rather than tears.

AvoidingCallenetics Thu 25-May-17 15:00:04

I would try not to take this to heart. The dgc who lives with them, doesn't have a dad on hand all the time, so they have had to step into a more parenting role. It doesn't mean they love you or your child less, only that they have to give more attention where they think it is needed.

lougle Thu 25-May-17 15:07:08

You moved away and you made that choice. If you want that closeness you need to make that effort. It's slightly different in my situation, but my children are close to my parents and my Dsis feels that her children miss out. We actually both live extremely close to them. The difference is that I take my children to see them almost daily and she won't do that and expects them (depression, etc.,) to visit her, when they are unlikely to leave the house. Then she blames them for the fact that her children haven't seen them. She can visit, but chooses not to.

You have to make the effort, you can't expect it to come to you.

chocatoo Thu 25-May-17 15:13:34

I'm afraid this is a pitfall of living so far away from them.

BarbarianMum Thu 25-May-17 15:23:13

And the fact your mother will come from another country to look after your dd for the weekend if you ask her to suggests that she is actually pretty supportive.

DeadGood Thu 25-May-17 15:29:35

"If my DS1 had never had her daughter, my DD would be their only grandchild and they would make far more effort to see her."

You can't possibly know that.

"If I never contacted my parents, I'd never hear from them."

You can't really know that either, or that they wouldn't treat your sisters the same way if they weren't living with them.

I agree with everyone else. They are busy. You might have a chat with them and express your desire for a closer relationship, but it sounds like they are busy rather than playing favourites.

The comment about how "if my sister hadn't had her child" etc sounds like a weird way to think.

43638039840q398482 Thu 25-May-17 15:29:47

That's it in a nutshell.

Thanks all for the comments. I have found the responses very helpful in the sense that I could vaguely see that I was BU (and irrational for that matter) but wasn't quite sure why (have been more caught up with my own perspective as opposed to theirs, thereby not seeing the proverbial wood for the trees).

By the way, apologies to any grammar/spelling police out there for my misspelling of the word favouritism in the title of the post. blush

Enidblyton1 Thu 25-May-17 15:46:28

I'm sure this isn't deliberate on your parents' behalf. I think it's amazing that your Mum will fly to a different county to look after your DC for a weekend if you ask. I guess they would never offer because they are exhausted from living with your two younger sisters with MH issues and young niece.
The only way you could change the situation would be to move closer. But that would be a bit drastic. As your DD gets older, perhaps she could stay with grandparents for a week every year and do fun stuff with them and her cousin.

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