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How do you feel about this article in Daily Mail?

(35 Posts)
sunshinesupermum Thu 27-Apr-17 11:31:17

www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4449464/The-shameful-reason-grandparents-lonely.html

SallyVating Thu 27-Apr-17 11:42:57

Just read this.

I must admit to often avoiding spending much time with my 89 year old mum, and reading it from 'her' point of view makes me feel a bit shit about myself. I'm going to make more effort with her now.

By contrast, my daughter bombards me with messages all day long and I see her and my grandson most days.

OuchBollocks Thu 27-Apr-17 11:49:14

The author sounds sneery and horrible towards anyone younger than herself. If my mother 'made demands', talked about piggish shovelling, or came out with that passive aggressive crap about 'oh you can't say anything' (usually spouted by people who say an awful lot then sulk when pulled up on it) then I wouldn't be keen to see her either.

crosshatch Thu 27-Apr-17 12:08:58

I don't really relate to it. We see my parents and ILs a lot and we have regular big get-togethers with extended family too. And we enjoy it, it's not just out of obligation. My grandparents are all dead now, but they all lived with one of their children once they weren't able to live independently. I expect our parents to live with my family or one of my siblings when they become elderly. It's just part of our culture (I was born in the UK but parents are from SE Asia).

PossumInAPearTree Thu 27-Apr-17 12:14:35

I'm sure this is how my mother views/viewed me.

In reality I saw her as little as possible because she was a nasty cow who was not pleasant company. I would have loved to have had a mother who I could have had shopping trips, cinema outings with, etc. I used to try. Would see her a couple of times a month for an afternoon or even a day out and I would dread it.

She would always complain I didn't see her enough. But it was because she would spend the time being passive aggressive and putting me down that I didn't see her more! But she couldn't see this even though she had barely bothered with her own mother because it was exactly the same and she didn't like spending time with her mum!

She used to tell me I should ring her every day. See her more often.

After one last incident where she was very nasty to me I went no contact. She wrote me a long letter saying I'd got what I wanted. That I had been looking for any excuse to drop contact because I'm just so selfish.

BeMorePanda Thu 27-Apr-17 12:17:29

Oh yes this is my Mum.

She is lonely and I do make an effort to call more often (I live on other side of the world) - and then she might gets annoyed if I call at the "wrong time".

She is a combination of outright fury at the world for the lot she has "been served" and "don't worry about me I am very unimportant and undeserving".

Everything has always been somebody or something else's fault - she has had pretty much no say whatsoever in her life apparently.

It makes me very sad. We spent time together recently and she refuses any help (which in many ways she clearly needs now) and refuses to be treated or anything.

FishInAWetSuitAndFlippers Thu 27-Apr-17 12:20:34

My mother plays the poor neglected old lady card brilliantly.

I've had emails in the past from her friends begging me to see her, how I'm killing her and she can help with my 'mental health issues'.

In reality she was abusive through my childhood, allowed my stepdad to abuse me too, I went nc with her when she admitted she knew he had abused me but that she forgave me for my 'affair'.

She sided with my abusive ex, called social services on me.... the list goes on and on and on.

She has told everyone I'm mentally ill and that's why I'm nc.

I'm always very wary when I read stories about awful children ignoring their dear old parents.

PossumInAPearTree Thu 27-Apr-17 12:26:21

Yes, would be very interested to hear the dc version of affairs.

GoodEyebrowDay Thu 27-Apr-17 12:27:32

I posted a thread about this not long ago. My mother would write something like this, but it's all playing the victim & she's an emotion vacuum who is exhausting to be around.

Most elderly people who people I know don't spend a lot of time with are absolute PIA

Theworst Thu 27-Apr-17 12:32:31

The author sounds quite hard work.

I would have loved to have had a mother who I could have had shopping trips, cinema outings with, etc.

This! I have never had any pleasurable trips. My visits to my parents involve sitting at the table watching them drink a cup of tea. They take a keen interest in the activities of their friend's family, and also their siblings' families. Recently I was treated to an in-depth description of how my aunt and uncle had been out for coffee in a garden centre with their daughter. I piped up, 'I wish we could go out like that' and naturally instead of that being considered as a possible activity, I was told the daughter had only been taken along so that she could drive, and would not have been present otherwise. They have lots of days out with their daughter so this is bollocks. That's what normal people do, isn't it?

Ellisandra Thu 27-Apr-17 12:38:24

All around me are families I know with lots of grandparent contact.

Are people in their 20s-40s with kids less likely to see grandparents now?
Maybe...

I think compared to 30 years ago, more of us live in families where both parents work - often both FT. So there simply aren't as many hours to spend with other family members.

Also we're more likely to have moved away - changing economics, rising numbers at uni, house prices forcing distance. So it's more of a time effort to get to grandparents.

For many, there's more disposable income and I think FAR more out of school activities (so much franchised stuff that didn't exist when I was a kid) so many children to have more activities to go to. And re my point about working parents - that means we're already cramming them in on weekends.

So I think we probably do have less time for grandparents now - but still the deciding factor is the quality of the grandparent and changing attitudes to "duty".

Last year, my friends and I took our children and their grandmothers to a London show for a treat.

3 grandmothers were massively engaged with the kids. I brought MIL. Who sat there like she was chewing on a wasp, and didn't talk to my daughter at all. She hasn't got a maternal bone in her body. And she's not particularly nice. I still invite her... to be nice... but my sense of kindness (and it's kindness not duty, really) only extends to high days and holidays. I am not duty-bound to provide a social life for a woman who isn't very nice and just makes the occasion less good for me.

There will be selfish children, yes. But bottom line - you reap what you sew and I expect a good number of isolated grandparents simply weren't good parents and grandparents.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Thu 27-Apr-17 12:38:33

I feel very guilty reading that. My own grandmother lives in the next street to me after I made a conscious decision to move nearby when I had DS, as my nan brought me up for most of my childhood. I rarely find the time to visit her, and then I feel guilty so I don't phone, which makes it much worse. I must go and see her tomorrow.

The tone of this article though is awful. The author sounds very judgemental and if she voices one fifth of what she says in the article it's no wonder her family avoid her.

Ellisandra Thu 27-Apr-17 12:44:04

Ah, but her perfect family don't avoid her.
It's the woman the taxi driver told her about.
aka total made up DM bullshit

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Thu 27-Apr-17 12:47:14

Ah in that case it is also badly written. Although to be fair the adverts obscured a large part of the article about a third of the way down. I hate the DM.

unicornsIlovethem Thu 27-Apr-17 12:49:04

I have this problem with MIL. She is a lovely woman but doesn't want to be a bother so doesn't call us. When DH phones her, the conversation is not less than 2.5 hours by the time she as caught him up on everything - so he only phoned when he has that time free.

If we visit, we have to stay 3 nights or she gets upset - which means school holidays only... if she could have a 10 minute check in every day that would be great, but not these marathons, which then have long gaps because we both work full time with school age children.

Ellisandra Thu 27-Apr-17 12:53:11

But why doesn't your husband phone her more frequently then?

NotALottaPot Thu 27-Apr-17 12:58:06

I would love to have the kind of relationship with my mum especially but also my dad, where we can just randomly text or call each other and do things together, where they would visit us often and we would visit them often. We live in different countries but are in weekly phone/video call contact.

I do keep them up to date via social media. but I find that if I call them too often they argue over which one has to talk to me. 'I talked to her last time, I have nothing to say, it's your turn now. 'I don't have anything to say.' etc etc. So I guess they're happy with the level of contact we have at the moment. I don't know.

unicornsIlovethem Thu 27-Apr-17 13:02:59

2.5 hours minimum per call. That's why. When he did phone more often (before he got his new job and was home before 8), it was still 2.5 hours.

scaryclown Thu 27-Apr-17 13:18:18

Whilst we still have an economy that denies stability and living incomes, I'm afraid, we'll continue to have people we are too stressed and depressed themselves to be nice to everyone around them. If the daily mail wasn't so continually obsessed with making people poor, and then condemning them for it, people might feel better and more generous to others.

I often don't visit my mum, because i feel permanently humiliated by my own poverty, and seeing her reminds me of it. It turns the whole meet up into a discussion about my poverty and humiliation of being poor and reminds me that i cant help her financially, yet should be one of the wealthier end of the country given my quals. Health, experience and achievements. It's utterly damaging, this horrible economy and it's the economy the daily mail wants. It can hardly be complaining about an individualised isolated selfish society that hates itself. That's it's whole essence.

Laniakea Thu 27-Apr-17 13:28:38

I spend loads of time with my mum, because I like her! If she was anything like the author of this piece it would be limited to strictly duty visits. She sounds completely obnoxious, manipulative, martyrish, passive aggressive.

I didn't 'present' my parents or PIL with a grandchild - what a horrible expression. She actually sounds an awful lot like my mum's MIL & we grandchildren like her about as little as mum does. Dreadful woman.

Joysmum Thu 27-Apr-17 13:31:37

Anyone who complains about their kids needs to remember, they are the ones who raised them with those values.

GoatLePew Thu 27-Apr-17 14:08:28

How do you feel about it OP?

FerrisMewler Thu 27-Apr-17 14:15:51

I can imagine my mother reading this and feeling sorry for herself.

The irony is that she's the one who only allows visits if an invitation has been issued. (My 11yr-old had barely started primary school when we were last invited round).

She also cuts off phone calls very quickly with one word answers in a tone that makes it clear that she's annoyed at the disturbance.

She will however tell her friends and relatives that I'm keeping her grandchildren from her. You can probably imagine their surprise when we were invited to the same party and my mother left less than 10 minutes after her grandchildren arrived. confused

When another well-meaning friend decided to arrange another chance for her to see her grandchildren, she cancelled to go clothes shopping instead.

Sometimes you have to look beyond the "I'm so lonely" stories to see what's really going on in people's lives.

Offred Thu 27-Apr-17 15:41:10

I think even if you take everything as it has been written on face value I think it is an example of how people of my parents' generation and older do not understand the current world.

The work being described is the free domestic labour that women used to be expected to provide. Now, even if you want to provide this kind of social care to the older generations, if you are fit enough to work, you are required to work as much as and for as long as you are able. ALL the rest of your time is then taken up by your own other responsibilities.

It also pisses me off that her comment about her own son is how he has married a woman who shares her values. What about expecting her son to do all this social care work? Or is it just women she is finding fault with.

hungrywalrus Thu 27-Apr-17 16:10:23

Maybe there is some truth but they need to acknowledge a few things.
- A lot of people have grandkids as well as their own parents.
- Childcare costs are prohibitive and so grandparents often step in. There are only so many hours in a day for that person to then visit their own parents.
- People work until their late 60s now, whereas previously they would have stopped earlier and /or one of the partners might not have worked. Again question of time.
- People often move far away from their families to make a living. It means visits can only happen during holidays or extended weekends which are limited.
- House prices are so high that there often just isn't room for granny to live in without everyone going mad. In many cases there isn't even room for an overnight stay.
- People are living longer and longer and are surviving increasingly complex conditions. If someone doesn't take in their elderly relative it could be because they cannot physically provide them with this level of care.

That's all without even considering the relationships between parents, grandparents and grandchildren. So yes things are complicated. That being said, phone calls are still possible.

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