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Prematurely aged parents/grandparents

(38 Posts)
StillCounting123 Thu 20-Aug-20 10:48:56

My parents are good people - want to say that at the outset, and I don't want to slag them off. They gave me and my siblings the best start they knew how to.

But... Now that we are all adults with our own lives and DC it just seems like it's all fizzled out. No real interest, no real interaction from them to us - our hobbies or our children.

They seem to see our children as needing to follow a similar pattern to us as children and seem baffled that things in society have changed in the 30+ years since we were small. Another example is I have 2 extra children than what they had and this seems to blow their minds.

They are both in their late 50s, but seem so much older. Like their minds have atrophied - they have no hobbies and spend 90% of their waking hours watching 24hr news updates or soaps. The rest of the time they are drinking - as soon as 5pm comes they drink until bedtime. Going to Tesco is An Outing and will be their excitement for the day.

My DC are young and it's hectic here. My choice to have so many children, and I'm not complaining. But parents will ring, make a few cheeky comments about noise from DC running around in background then go.

I've given up trying to invite them to things - pre Covid when things like music concerts, school plays, etc were happening - as mum gets upset if things start before 2pm (when she wakes up) or occur in the evening (vodka time). Anything which doesn't take place within a 2 mile radius of my dad's front door is Too Far and Not Worth The Effort.

I've given up trying to change them, but just think it's such a waste as they are quite young still. They were like this pre-Covid, but lockdown has just further entrenched their mindsets.

Anyone else experiencing this? Advice?

OP’s posts: |
VivaMiltonKeynes Thu 20-Aug-20 10:51:14

Why don't they still work ?

Zaphodsotherhead Thu 20-Aug-20 11:02:16

I'm also in my late fifties. I work two jobs, travel and have hobbies (but not much money to indulge them) and friends and interests.

It seems as though your parents lives were based around raising their children. Maybe now they see their work as done and see themselves as officially 'old'.

Bloody hell, though, late fifties. They've got many decades of 'being old' ahead of them. Are they perhaps very insular as in only needing each other?

StillCounting123 Thu 20-Aug-20 11:08:17

Viva forgot that bit. They both work 2 days per week.

OP’s posts: |
StillCounting123 Thu 20-Aug-20 11:12:49

Zaphod perhaps, but part of me wishes they'd be more interested in interaction with the grandkids. They are quite insular, but strangely enough they don't actually get on very well together! confused

I'd like to go out for a cuppa or clothes shopping with my mum, but it's just not on her radar. Feel wick to even want to.

OP’s posts: |
pinkhousesarebest Thu 20-Aug-20 11:16:42

I would be more worried about the drinking in this scenario. Fair enough if they are not that interested in children at this stage. I am almost the same age with teen dc, work ft, like sport and and glad to see the back of small dcs. But the drinking sounds like it is dominating their lives.

PotteringAlong Thu 20-Aug-20 11:19:14

They’re not prematurely aged, they’re alcoholics.

thriftyhen Thu 20-Aug-20 11:40:10

I think it's the drinking that's the problem.

namechange12a Thu 20-Aug-20 11:44:26

OP they're clearly alcohol dependent. Alcoholics are into one thing, it's their primary source of entertainment and it supersedes every other activity in their lives - booze.

StillCounting123 Thu 20-Aug-20 11:44:53

I think you're right about the drinking sadangry is there anything I can do to help them? Or convince them?

OP’s posts: |
HelloHolaGutenMorgen Thu 20-Aug-20 11:48:19

In the nicest way possible op, it sounds like they both have drinking problems.

namechange12a Thu 20-Aug-20 11:48:26

No there isn't and I really wouldn't bother trying. I'd get in contact with Al Anon though for a chat: 0800 0086 811

I'd also watch out for co dependence, often found in Adult Children (children of alcoholics).

HelloHolaGutenMorgen Thu 20-Aug-20 11:48:57

Maybe the first step is taking to them about it? I'm hoping someone with more experience will come along soon.

titchy Thu 20-Aug-20 11:51:14


I think it's the drinking that's the problem.

This. Sorry. Your mum gets up at 2pm and is drinking within 3 hours. sad

Skyla2005 Thu 20-Aug-20 11:51:48

If they were with different partners they would be different They are both enabling each other so the drinkings become the main focus of their relationship. It’s a shame but there’s not much you can do unless they want to change. Seems a waste with so much fun left to be had with their grandchildren

namechange12a Thu 20-Aug-20 11:56:35

Apologies OP, meant to give you a link to CoDA.

StillCounting123 Thu 20-Aug-20 12:15:08

Thanks for the link. Will read it later.

OP’s posts: |
minnieok Thu 20-Aug-20 12:16:10

They have drink problem and/or mental health issues, this isn't normal they need help

Mamette Thu 20-Aug-20 12:24:56

Hi OP, I just want to add that I know what it’s like when your parent isn’t interested in your children- for whatever reason- and it hurts.

harriethoyle Thu 20-Aug-20 12:25:12

OP, I am in the end game of this - M terminally ill with liver failure and F in a care home with alcohol induced dementia. It's absolutely heartbreaking.

The one thing that has made it made bearable is having tried on several discrete occasions to intervene with both of them about their drinking and been firmly rebuffed. Now it's come to the worst I know there is nothing more I could have done to avert it and that brings some comfort. So please do speak up - if only so you don't regret your silence if this ends as my parents have.

HazelBite Thu 20-Aug-20 12:38:59

I'm in my 60's and I also agree I think the alcohol is the problem here.
At their age most people are still working full time, as the retirement age is around 67 now.
It is very easy to get into a rut if you are home all day. Your Mum must be anesthetised by something if she is in bed until that time. (Most of us oldies can't stay in bed too long as your back or joints tend to become uncomfortable or stiffen.
Its very sad that they don't want to become involved with their grandchildren, and very telling, I see quite a few people in my age group who get very insular and have to keep to their routines at all costs.
I can't offer any advice except pointing out to them how sad and unhealthy their lifestyle is and how much they are missing not being involved with their grandchildren.
I sadly lost my grandson last year and I miss those fun times that just me and him had together. Being a grandparent is sooo different from being a parent, do they have friends who could point this out to them?.
Excessive consumption of alcohol (especially as you get older) can lead to dementia prematurely. perhaps a stern word is worth a try?

StillCounting123 Thu 20-Aug-20 12:42:38

Harriethoyle I have mentioned to my mum before about waking up at 2pm meaning that she is missing out and wasting time. I got told to "fuck off" and if she's tired she's tired. I am sad to read about your parents and the situation of their ill health.

Skyla my dad will take my older 2 (nearly pre-teens) for a walk with the dog when he sees them - maybe twice per month. I have 3 young kids under pre-school age and I'd love mum to take them to soft play or park.

Not asking for regular childcare, as I know it's just not in them to do it, and I'd rather pay someone to help. But just a bit of interest which is on the DC terms would be good. Not just when it is zero effort for my folks.

OP’s posts: |
ThickFast Thu 20-Aug-20 12:44:15

Were they like this when you were small? Or is it more recent? They do sound like alcoholics. And addition doesn’t leave much room for anything else

StillCounting123 Thu 20-Aug-20 12:50:44

Thick no, not at all. Just a few drinks on special occasions, Christmas etc.

OP’s posts: |
HildegardeCrowe Thu 20-Aug-20 12:52:25

Sad to say OP, your parents sound like alcoholics whose lives are ruled by drink. They’re only late 50s (I’m 63) but if they carry on drinking like this, they’re surely heading for trouble. It makes sense that if something gets in the way of drinking, they’re not interested. What was it like for you growing up? Did they drink as much then? Sorry to harp on about the booze but I think this is the crux of the issue.

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