Talk

Advanced search

One Grandparent wants us to visit, one clearly doesn't anymore

(49 Posts)
VisitingDaisy Fri 22-Feb-19 01:31:30

We used to live at the opposite end of the country to my parents and therefore visits resulted in an overnight stay due to distance.

When the children where 8 and 11 we moved locally for my parents to be able to see more of the children which they wanted desperately and because
after ending up on my own with two children I was persuaded by them that moving up to their area would enable them to support us better especially as both myself and one of the children has disabilities and I was also struggling to work enough hours to support us alone. The support offered didn't happen after I moved (a whole other story) but they still wanted the overnights to continue and I was grateful of the company after leaving friends and supportive neighbours behind and ending up on my own in their area. Something that without the promised support made my life a lot harder in every aspect.

Fast forward a few years and I have suggested various times that we just come for the day as we are fairly local now but this causes upset and I'm told to stop being a martyr.

One parent wants us there but the other clearly does not. They would prefer to be on their own, are grateful when even my other parent is not in the house and has told us they wouldn't want us to move in if the other parent dies.( I've lived on my own since I was 17 and now in my 40s so not sure why that was brought up) I do get they want the peace.

One parent gets upset as they say they will take us back after we've had tea while the other is literally pushing us out of the door at 8am.It causes arguments between them.

The kids are now older so not and have never been not running riot (there's WiFi for a start) and we clean, offer to cook, wash up etc so not leaving any work for them.
One parent will play with one of the kids, tell me off for trying to keep them quiet and say they are only playing while the other parent will literally cringe at the other parent making them giddy.

I feel guilty even posting because honestly both parents have done loads for us and bought clothes and uniform and trips and bailed us out but it's not making a very nice environment when even the kids have picked up on not being wanted there in the last few weeks.

The parent who wants us there would be heartbroken if we didn't come and coming to ours isn't an option due to us living on the second floor and steps.

Help!

BestZebbie Fri 22-Feb-19 01:39:37

More frequent day trips which are largely based on you coming to the house to collect the keen parent and take everyone to the park/national trust tea room for the day?

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Feb-19 02:04:07

VisitingDaisy oh you poor thing, this sounds pretty shit.

Do you want to stay where you are now or would you rather move elsewhere? I think I'd probably think about whether I wanted to stay there or not first. If you wanted to move then the parent who wants to visit could have the option.

I think I'd sit down with the parent who wants to see you and work out how to do this. Day trips out or whatever.

I'd also explain to the kids that the grandparent who doesn't want to see them is just being quite selfish and it is not about the children.

Birdie6 Fri 22-Feb-19 02:04:48

I agree with the previous poster. If one parent is keen and the other one isn't, just go over and pick up the keen parent, then go out for the day. Or take the keen parent back to yours for the day. Since the two kids are teenagers now, they'd probably be happy to stay at home anyway.

VisitingDaisy Fri 22-Feb-19 02:06:30

I don't drive and the keen parent is disabled (and very unwell at the moment in general). The only place the keen parent goes at the moment is to the doctors and the hospital or to pick us up hence it makes it all the more complicated!
At the moment we get there late on Friday (literally bedtime) and leave Sunday at 8am.

I think we might just start going for the day and deal with the fallout.

VisitingDaisy Fri 22-Feb-19 02:13:24

The keen parent can't get up the stairs at ours as I said in the initial post as this would be the ideal solution.

I don't want to stay where I am no but we are stuck in a trap. I can't afford to move.
We went from a city where I had easy access to transport, shopping and supermarkets on my doorstep, friends and neighbours who were supportive to stuck in an area with little support, no friends, no hobbies and even getting out to do the most basic of things requires expensive bus journeys as does commuting to work and school.

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Feb-19 02:55:56

"I think we might just start going for the day and deal with the fallout."

Who is creating fall out?

"causes upset and I'm told to stop being a martyr."

Who is calling you a martyr?

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Feb-19 03:04:00

Is the person complaining the keen parent? if so, explain politely that if this continues you will not be able to visit anymore (since most teenagers don't necessarily want to spend too many weekends with grandparents).

If it is the un-keen parent they should be able to deal with seeing less of you.

OrigamiZoo Fri 22-Feb-19 03:11:11

Keep seeing the keen parent with a smile and wave and the less keen one, remind them that you will of course remember them being so fucking rude when they are in a home and wish for visitors themselves.

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Feb-19 03:12:05

Do you feel that your parents have let you down a bit. Promised things they did not deliver, promised help that caused you to move to be nearer them? Or do you feel mostly grateful for the help you have had in the form of finances?

Wither way, I do feel that maybe it is time to put your foot down and do things your way now. Visit them when you can or in the way you want to and don't feel guilty that you are not doing things how you did them years ago, things move on.

"I don't want to stay where I am no but we are stuck in a trap. I can't afford to move."

OP I don't know the full extent of your circumstances but I would say that in your shoes I would focus all my attention on getting the life I want. If you cannot see a way to move back to the area you want to live in, I would investigate further.

Is there a different area you could afford which would supply 'access to transport, shopping and supermarkets' etc?

Do you own your flat or rent it?

Are you working? Can you transfer job, if so, could you find a home in your area that you could manage?

Are you assuming you would not be able to do it? Or have you actually looked into it?

When we had dd we were living in a tiny two bed house and I longed for a bigger place, but dh was adamant that we could not afford it.

Then one of my neighbors moved and found a place within budget and with more space. Seeing her new home inspired us. We moved and have never moved since.

If your kids are teens is there a chance they may be working in a few years? If so, might this mean they could help with rent etc, or if studying nearby could they help with rent and still live at home. Or might they move out and you want a smaller place?

Just out of interest are your parents relatively young or relatively old?

I'd make the best of seeing the parent who wants to see you, but I'd put my energies into undoing the damage of the move and finding a place that suits you and your kids better. If your parents complain they could always move to be closer to you, but they won't and then you don't need to feel responsible for them.

CSIblonde Fri 22-Feb-19 04:34:21

As pp said, day trips. Being disabled you can get a Freedom Pass for free train, tube & bus travel in London. They're discretionary. I'd investigate your local council website to see if there are similar schemes & passes outside London. I just sent my Dr's letter together with 1page application form & got it within the week.

CSIblonde Fri 22-Feb-19 04:40:59

Just Googled: there is an 'older persons' national Freedom Pass for bus travel only tho.

NameChange992 Fri 22-Feb-19 05:29:13

Is this something that has just started recently? If so, why have they gone from being happy to unhappy to see you?

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Fri 22-Feb-19 05:40:44

How old are the children now, you say 8 and 11 when you moved and a few years have elapsed - so they are now 11 and 14 (ish) TBH the 14yo is not going to want to spend every weekend cooped up with elderly relatives for much longer, they will have friends and a social life of their own.

You sound quite rural now, frankly I'd move as soon as possible - mind you with GCSEs looming that's going to be a couple of years - back to city with employment prospects.

But you say this is only over the last few weeks - is it possible your parent is ill and worried ? Maybe actually has some financial pressures and cant afford to be running two house holds ? Work related issues? onset of dementia? strain of caring for a reliant and disabled spouse ?

Upshot is - have you actually spoken to them?

MagpieSong Fri 22-Feb-19 05:56:51

I agree with plain speaking that it’s possible they’re unwell and worried, or even under strain looking after the other parent.

That said, the day trips are a good idea but other posters need to remember it might not be possible. I am disabled and was very ill a few years ago and going out was a nightmare. Freedom passes don’t solve much. Waiting for buses, even in warm weather, was a problem because I still got so cold that I’d become very unwell from it and trying to navigate train stairs was a nightmare. Our local disability friendly station requires a bus ride and if the bus is full, it can be hard. We had to go out armed with almost more than when my DS was a baby - meds’, blankets etc.

What if you suggested to other parent that you stayed in with the parent who’d like you there and they went out for the day and did something they enjoy? It might give them a nice break. Sounds tricky OP.

AnyOldPrion Fri 22-Feb-19 06:04:20

Just wondering if there’s background here.

If this is new, what has changed?

Is the parent who isn’t keen now having to do a lot of additional work to care for the keen parent? Might they also be unwell? Or has this dynamic always been in place to an extent?

Just trying to work out what’s changed, in case that might shed light on a possible solution.

Margot33 Fri 22-Feb-19 06:07:47

I would save up and move back. There's no support for you there. Stop staying overnight. Sounds like one parent cares for the disabled other? Maybe had too much on his plate? He just wants a break himself?

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Fri 22-Feb-19 06:11:01

Looking more deeply at what you've written :

both myself and one of the children has disabilities and I was also struggling to work enough hours to support us alone

I don't drive and the keen parent is disabled (and very unwell at the moment in general). The only place the keen parent goes at the moment is to the doctors and the hospital or to pick us up

Who is looking after the parent who is doing all the fetching, carrying, running round after a three generation family, all with additional needs? I assume they are the driver ? So they are at everyone beck and call.

There's a much bigger picture than originally seen

Decormad38 Fri 22-Feb-19 06:22:48

What’s the deal with the unkeen parent. Be frank and say their actions are upsetting everyone.

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Feb-19 08:33:36

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking "Who is looking after the parent who is doing all the fetching, carrying, running round after a three generation family, all with additional needs? I assume they are the driver ? So they are at everyone beck and call. "

Where are you reading that the parent does every thing for OP or her child?

Horsemenoftheaclopalypse Fri 22-Feb-19 08:35:28

Who is looking after the parent who is doing all the fetching, carrying, running round after a three generation family, all with additional needs? I assume they are the driver ? So they are at everyone beck and call.

This

Horsemenoftheaclopalypse Fri 22-Feb-19 08:37:25

I think it is pertinent to ask as there seems to be a change in one parent.

There is always a reason and understanding why may help the OP.

It may not be this at all, but in the other hand it could well be a factor...

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Feb-19 08:43:10

The OP said... "When the children where 8 and 11 we moved locally for my parents to be able to see more of the children which they wanted desperately and because after ending up on my own with two children I was persuaded by them that moving up to their area would enable them to support us better ....The support offered didn't happen after I moved..."

And

"I feel guilty even posting because honestly both parents have done loads for us and bought clothes and uniform and trips and bailed us out but it's not making a very nice environment when even the kids have picked up on not being wanted there in the last few weeks. "

So it sounds like their has been financial support but not practical help. Is that correct OP?

You don't need to feel guilty for posting for advice. At the end of the day whatever support your parents have offered now you sound lonely and isolated. You may just need to think long term here for you and the kids, their job prospects study etc.

I'd think about the kids, possibly work and home options.

I'd sit down with the keen parent and work out together what to do.

Then I'd tell unkeen parent how you and the kids will continue to see both parents if they want - or one parent if unkeen one doesn't want.

The real issue for the parents seems to be the different expectations they have. flowers

4point2fleet Fri 22-Feb-19 09:01:20

Would it not make a considerable improvement to all your lives if you learned to drive OP?

ColdFingered Fri 22-Feb-19 09:08:08

You say "the last few weeks". It sounds like the well parent has a lot of pressure on them at the moment, caring for the keen parent. Caring is tough, especially when you get older. Not just physical strain, but mental strain too.

SassitudeandSparkle Fri 22-Feb-19 09:14:23

I do get they want the peace.

The unkeen parent is probably doing everything all week and then has guests at the weekend which they find a bit much. Make the visits shorter, perhaps one night and do something while you are there that takes part of the load off them.

I would stop blaming them for the move as well, because it does come across very strongly indeed that you feel they make your life difficult. I'm not sure what the answer to that is but you do seem to resent them for it and that may come across IRL (I'm wondering if this is the cause of the martyr comment).

Sorry, no easy answers to this one OP.

jannier Fri 22-Feb-19 09:18:43

Could it be the less keen parent is shattered from caring for the other and the additional stress work and noise is just too much? Often the fitter carer is at the end of their strength and needs a break but feelings like duty and worrying about others being able to meet the partners needs make them soldier on quietly with outbursts on totally unrelated things. They often hide their own health problems too.
Can you offer them a break, either a day off while you stay home or an overnight at yours while you do the caring, it may not be accepted purely because of feelings mentioned above but it would show some understanding. Do you get time to ask them how they are coping or is it all about how is x, we must look after x's needs? Or is it about your own issues and how much you need the support?

Springwalk Fri 22-Feb-19 09:19:57

My situation is a mirror image of yours.

Important factors:

Was the not so keen parent once loving and keen? Or have they always avoided you and dc?

If they were loving before and now are no longer, then I would hazard a guess that this is due to ill health, age and exhaustion looking after the other parent and themselves. Under these circumstances it would be difficult but not impossible to move away given they have tried so hard to support you.

If the not so keen has always been not so keen, and hasn’t supported you beyond what was pushed on them. I would consider carefully the value of staying locked into your situation.

Underneath all of this there is one single thing that strikes me. Where is your life in all of this ‘care’ and responsibility? Where would you choose to live given the choice, after all your life will continue long after theirs. It strikes me you need to build up a life, friends and a happy life of your own and not just living out an extension of their life choices by default.

I also wonder what the true motivation was of getting you to live close by, their support of you? Or your support of them in declining health........

Start with restricting visits to a few hours only. No overnight stays.
Start considering the much bigger picture before it is too late.

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Feb-19 09:27:48

Springwalk excellent post.

OP please check everyone is getting their full benefits for caeing for others, disability etc. Go to an independent advice centre. They night be able to tell you.

E.g. when my mum got older and ill she got a xarers allowance to spend on her care. Not a lot but enough to lighten the load a bit.

My friend has a child with a hidden disability, she got a small allowance.

These things might mean you can all afford more things to make life better. O know it is a long shot bit worth looking into.

flowers

Juells Fri 22-Feb-19 09:29:08

Would you consider moving back to the area you lived in before? That all sounds like a nightmare of guilt.

alreadytaken Fri 22-Feb-19 09:36:30

it's probably a lot more than one parent wanting more peace. How do your visits impact the unwell parent? They want to see you but are they more ill after you leave? Is the fitter parent feeling the strain and also seeing a deterioration in the health of the ill person?

Are these both your biological parents?

I would encourage the fitter parent out for a few hours when you visit so they could have a break, perhaps even to stay overnight at your home.

Babdoc Fri 22-Feb-19 09:40:19

It certainly sounds like the best solution would be to move back to your original area where you have support, friends, transport, social opportunities etc. The present set up isn’t working for you or your parents. Surely it would be possible to find a job back there that would at least cover the rent on a modest flat? Your teens will also want to be in an area where they have transport and a social life - they definitely won’t want to hang out with grandpa at weekends.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Fri 22-Feb-19 09:45:47

@Italiangreyhound - read back what the OP has written - she stays with them from Friday night until Sunday night - she is picked up and dropped off, there is limited public transport, it is rural - the parent is also fetching and carrying for a disabled spouse, there are no trips other than to hospital/GPs. The endless cycle of people being reliant you you is wearing, demorilising - open your eyes @italian , read some other threads about carers ground down with bo respite or support.

Everyone else on this thread seems to 'get it'.

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Feb-19 09:57:43

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking "Everyone else on this thread seems to 'get it'."

Stop singling me out, please. I am interested on the OPs situation. I am not suggesting she visits every weekend. I am suggesting she thinks of her own situation. She sounds unhappy and maybe she can change things. She certainly does-t need to go every weekend.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Fri 22-Feb-19 10:00:34

@italian - well you were thone who got the snark and singled me out. So if you could kindly get back in your box and I'll ignore you too. Cheers.

Ali1cedowntherabbithole Fri 22-Feb-19 10:10:10

I think other PP have got it. The unkeen parent is struggling as it is and overwhelmed by additional guests and taxi service requirements. Their own physical and mental health may also be compromised.

As your own DC get older their social life with their friends will be important at weekends, seeing Grandparents, possibly less so.

Forgive me OP as I have no idea of your, or your DC’s disabilities, but you appear to live independently except for the driving. Are you able to offer your parents any practical assistance when you visit to help them out? Or could you or DC do some cooking or pay for a take-away perhaps?

Basically, what could you do within the limits of your own health, to ease the burden on your parent?

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Feb-19 10:12:27

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking maybe you are right and I should feel more sympathy for the unkeen parent. Sorry I didn't mean to be rude. flowers I'll get back to my box now! smile

babyboos Fri 22-Feb-19 10:20:23

the nature of disabilities may mean op is unable to drive even if wanted to or learnt

so is the keen grandparent whom is also disabled themselves driving to get you or the other parent?

4point2fleet Fri 22-Feb-19 10:30:06

the nature of disabilities may mean op is unable to drive even if wanted to or learnt

OP hasn't said that though, just that she didn't need to before.

VisitingDaisy Fri 22-Feb-19 11:24:31

'Who is looking after the parent who is doing all the fetching, carrying, running round after a three generation family, all with additional needs? I assume they are the driver ? So they are at everyone beck and call.'

I'm going back reading and answering now but just to add that no one is running around for me at all. I do everything myself as you would expect! Apart from the pick up and drop off which the disabled parent does.

If I offer not to come or to make our own way there it is the non keen parent who calls me a martyr and states that the keen parent will be upset.

The driver is actually the disabled ill person (the disability has come with age and a developing medical condition rather than born with disabilities if that makes a difference)
and they are fully self sufficient although clearly poorly at present despite being disabled but obviously this may change.
If anything they do all the shopping, running around in the car, hospital trips, taking the non keen parent to appointments etc.

While there I offer constantly to cook, I clean up after us all, I hoover, do odd jobs for them. I definitely don't add work for them.

It's not something that has occurred over the last few weeks. It's just the kids have picked up on it the last few weeks as the keen parent was vocal about being annoyed about us leaving at 8am.
The non keen parent is great in many ways but not so much on a practical or emotional basis. I don't think they ever have been thinking about it.
I think it's become more prominent recently because they are more vocal about it even to the point of being glad when the keen parent isn't in the house. I don't know how much of it is also the children aren't cute little kids tottering round the house after them but hulking teens.

If they were requiring care i would absolutely understand as I unintentionally as I lived the closest ended up as near enough the sole carer for my Grandmother for three years until she passed away while dealing with my own health issues and my children. As the only child this will be my duty again with my parents shortly at a guess . This is what has prevented me moving back. They are both getting on and will need someone to help sooner rather than later.

We go home at 8am Sunday not Sunday night as someone has commented. I'm happy to do less.

There's a reason I don't drive related to my own health.

Ali1cedowntherabbithole Fri 22-Feb-19 12:15:06

OP what do you think is the state of your parent's relationship?

I'm wondering if the keen parent with the disabilities is finding life with the other parent tough if their life has got smaller.

VisitingDaisy Fri 22-Feb-19 12:28:33

Ali tbh I don't think it's been great for years. Due to a major life event some years ago they have both suffered with depression in the past and I have memories of being younger than my children now and the less keen parent talking about divorcing them if they had had the opportunity.

In honesty the keen disabled parent is from what I witness good to the other parent. They ferry them everywhere, collect from events, pay for trips they can't go on so the other parent doesn't miss out, constantly buy treats and if there's anything the other parent wants and they have the cash they will get it for them but they have had depression which hasn't made them easy to live with I suspect. They both have had depression.

Horsemenoftheaclopalypse Fri 22-Feb-19 13:39:38

If your keen disabled parent (ie your mum) can drive to pick you up.
there is no reason she can’t spend the weekend at your house rather than you all going to non keen parents... surely this is a better result?

RoboticSealpup Fri 22-Feb-19 13:45:30

there is no reason she can’t spend the weekend at your house

OP has already said that this isn't possible due to stairs and mobility problems.

Horsemenoftheaclopalypse Fri 22-Feb-19 13:47:11

Ah I missed the the second floor and steps. bit

Ali1cedowntherabbithole Fri 22-Feb-19 15:58:51

That sounds tough for all of you. thanks

Do you think the keen parent would want a change or are they at peace with the situation? Could they be persuaded to discuss the issues with someone outside of the family?

In terms of your own situation, I think might need to put yourself and your needs first, but in doing so might actually be better placed to help your parent/s.

Mumoftwinsandanother Fri 22-Feb-19 20:11:23

Sorry to hear about this OP. I have faced a similar problem with my parents. I am assuming that the keen parent is your mum (although may be wrong). It seems to me anecdotally that a lot of men get less patient as they get older and less keen on having their children's families over regularly/prefer their own space.

I only see my parents every 6 months or so as they live abroad. I used to see my mum much more regularly as she came over loads whilst my dad didn't. Now she is too sick to come over, I go over as often as I can recently quite a bit as she is very ill). I love my dad but know he is always going to be happier on his own with her (and its nothing personal) - when I go there I just ignore the deep sighs etc because I want to see my mum and I know it makes her happy and he can just lump it/go out.

I'm not so sure about your situation because of how regular the contact is, I might have an honest conversation with her, tell her how much you love seeing her but you think he needs his space (and kids might also) so cut it down to every other week (but not too much as you'll regret it if you don't spend time with her when you have the opportunity.

sighrollseyes Fri 22-Feb-19 20:19:59

You might just have to "grow a pair" and say your kids can't spend every full weekend with grandparents they need to do hobbies, see friends, do schoolwork, chill in their own home etc.
Sometimes in life we have to have these difficult conversations.

Springwalk Sat 23-Feb-19 02:49:27

You need to ask yourself the question about where you and dc happiest?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »