Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


Parents who don't seem to care or be interested

55 replies

Schwanengesang · 23/07/2017 02:47

I guess IABU to think this would ever change really.

DH and I both have siblings with kids. Grandparents are very, very involved with those kids, seeing them nearly every day, babysitting several times a week, taking them to extracurricular activities, paying private school fees, going on holiday with them several times a year, etc. Birth of each grandkid has been met with massive anticipation. Birthdays and Christmases are non-negotiable grandparents MUST be there to make grandkids' days special, help with the party, etc etc. All good — our parents are very good grandparents and clearly love their grandkids a lot.

DH and I have an 8 month old DS. My parents refused to even discuss the pregnancy with us but made it abundantly clear to anyone who would listen that they disapproved on the grounds I am too old, too dysfunctional, too much of a career woman and there are too many people in the world already. DH's parents were nice but clearly not that fussed. We phoned them whenDS was born, they talked about themselves and the other grandkids. First christmas- nothing from any of them. My family all went away together and were uncontactable. DH's family talked about themselves when we phoned them, and only one grandkid even said thanks for the presents we had sent. We visited - DH's parents went out with friends or babysat the other gc the whole time we were there, despite us giving them written notice of exactly when we were available to see them. My family were mostly available but with clear priority in everything for my sister and her kid.

My family have just made the point fir the 3rd time that they have better, more interesting things to do than visit us, this time for DS' first birthday. These things include "the Christmas party season will be started up by then so we'll miss too many lunches and dinners with people if we come over" "[other gc] end of school year concerts will be on then and we need to be here for those" and best of all "well I still need to sort out the front gate and the lawns grow really quickly at that time of year".

DH's parents at least had the tact to just say "no, sorry" when invited rather than rub it in.

Ok, we get it. We are not interesting and you couldn't give a monkey's about DS. We've always been self sufficient, our siblings have always been needy.

AIBU to be a bit pissed off though?

OP posts:

dadadadathatslife · 23/07/2017 03:25

If this is the case then back off and make yourself uncontactable - I'd tell them exactly what I thought of them first though

I don't understand why they would act like that though


Phosphorus · 23/07/2017 03:33

Are your siblings actually 'needy' or just closer to one another, and your parents, than you?

You sound rather dismissive of them, and if you were never really close, they are not likely to be interested in your child.

Giving family written notice of when you are available to see them is slightly odd too.


StinkyMcgrinky · 23/07/2017 04:46

I'm sorry, I don't have any advice but your poor DSSad

We have a similar situation with DHs parents favouring his siblings children over Ours, but not quite to this extent (they did get Christmas presents!). Luckily, they're too young at the minute to see it or u understand (2.5 and 1) but I do worry about what happens when they're old enough to realise their cousins get favourable treatment.

If it really is as extreme as you say then may be backing away and reducing contact is what is best for your own family, rather than cope with upset. Flowers


TroelsLovesSquinkies · 23/07/2017 07:53

I'd stop initiating contact and leave them to it.
I'd also make sure that I either stopped contact or got it sorted before the baby is old enough to notice that the cousins get more attention/love/presents that he does.


missyB1 · 23/07/2017 07:59

Do you visit your DHs siblings? What is your relationship like with them and their children? Are you and your baby invited to family occasions like their kids birthdays etc..
I would stop expecting any effort from the grandparents if I was you, but try to encourage a relationship with your child's cousins if possible.


MilkTwoSugarsThanks · 23/07/2017 08:02

Both sets of parents are like this?

I'm on the fence on this one, sorry OP. Obviously it must be hard and it's probably time to pull away a bit, but as it's both sets of parents it makes me wonder what their side of this sounds like.

It just makes me think of the advice I was given as a teenager - if you have a problem with one person it's probably them, if you have a problem with lots of people it's probably you.


missiondecision · 23/07/2017 08:05

Milk, your response is not helpful and infact s bit spiteful.


missiondecision · 23/07/2017 08:06

Some grandparents are so wrapped up in the lives of the granchildren they already have that they can't be bothered when a new one comes along.


MilkTwoSugarsThanks · 23/07/2017 08:07

It's not meant to be. Sometimes looking at things from another perspective is helpful whereas being blindly told "there, there of course it's not you" every time isn't.


Tiptoethr0ughthetulips · 23/07/2017 08:07

There's more to this than you're saying, surely?
One weird set...OK but two, doesn't sound coincidental.
What's the back story?


SolomanDaisy · 23/07/2017 08:08

Are you the only ones who live away from your home town? Have you made much effort to keep in contact and visit before you had children? At a guess I'd say that you had pretty much removed yourselves from their lives and now that you have a child and feel more family oriented they aren't willing to make that adjustment.


londonrach · 23/07/2017 08:11

Wow! You just written what i privately worry about my parents. Its getting better but like you i was too old etc. Im lucky my pil spoil dd. Now dd is older things are alot better. Dont think they like babies as dsis said they were similar when hers were babies. Hugs. Just back off, enjoy ds, send regular photos, keep contact open. Just remember they losing out in this.


Letitrain · 23/07/2017 08:11

How very odd? Did your parents disapprove of your marrriage?


Rhubarbtart9 · 23/07/2017 08:14

School plays are non movable and a commitment. However generally they are sending you a clear message. So step back. Expect nothing from them. Give nothing to them except for cards/small token gifts. Accept they aren't interested. Move on. Make great friends and build family type relationships with them.


hackmum · 23/07/2017 08:14

milk I think it's much more likely that the OP and her DH recognised a kindred spirit in each other when they met. People are often drawn to others with similar emotional backgrounds. Personally I don't think either set of parents are worth wasting time on. Enjoy your own child, your friends and each other and leave your parents to their own devices. Their loss.


nutbrownhare15 · 23/07/2017 08:17

It sounds like there is a bit of a backstory re your relationship and perhaps that your values don't align with your parents and that has caused tension in the past? If it was me I'm not sure if I would be brave enough to do this, but what I would want to do is this, write each side a letter from their daughter/son, expressing your hopes for the future, e.g. we value you as parents, maybe something about your relatiosnhips with your own grandparents, we know things have been busy/difficult/whatever in rcent times but would love for you to play a bigger role in DS's life, please think about whether this is something you want and how we might do this together, lots of love, etc etc. And try to forge a relationship based on what interests them as well as what interests you. It can be hard when both sides feel they have little in common (which seems to be partly what's happening here) but try to forge those links and stay clear of 'controversial' topics. I'm still learning how to do this with my in-laws 10 years in!


redphonebox · 23/07/2017 08:18

This sounds like a really strange situation. There must be a backstory? Why wouldn't they buy presents for Christmas for your DS, that's just mean!


upperlimit · 23/07/2017 08:19

Hold on, I was thinking the same thing as Milk, I don't think she was being spiteful.

It is spectacularly unfair for one set of parents to treat different grandchildren with such disparity but when both sets of grandparents are doing it, well their is a good chance it goes beyond bad luck. Unless the op and her DH met at a shitty parents convention GrinBlush sorry.

Why do your parents consider you/ your relationship to be dysfunctional, what's that all about?

Anyway, it could be this is just two sets of parents behaving in the same shitty way for no reason and if it is, you are on a hiding to nothing begging for their attention and approval at every turn, time to let them drift into the background if that is the situation.


namechangedforthisreply · 23/07/2017 08:31

OP do you know you've posted this twice?


IrritatedUser1960 · 23/07/2017 08:38

I think that's just horrible and I can sympathise as I've always been made to feel as if I'm not nearly as important as my other siblings through NO fault of my own.
Whatever is going on with you and them it is not your child's fault and they are rotten to ignore her, she has done nothing wrong.
Some families are just horribly dysfunctional and it's important to concentrate on your making your life as meaningful as possible outside of that.
But I get it, however hard you try to make your own life it is and always will be very hurtful.


Allthewaves · 23/07/2017 08:41

Do your siblings live logistically close to grandparents? Where do u live in comparison?

Are siblings single parents?

I'm guessing you have bad relationship with your parents about the comments when you were preganant.

No presents on 1st birthday is awful. For your own sanity just step back. Be available if they want to speak to you but don't go chasing. Just concentrate on your own family you have created.


GelfBride · 23/07/2017 08:41

Upperlimit shitty parents convention - Grin Grin


YetAnotherSpartacus · 23/07/2017 08:42

milk I think it's much more likely that the OP and her DH recognised a kindred spirit in each other when they met. People are often drawn to others with similar emotional backgrounds

I was going to say this. The OP talks about being perceived by her parents as a career woman, etc. and it strikes me that those who are 'black sheep' are often ostracised from the flock. I know a few people who strayed from the core beliefs and practices of their families and are treated unequally as a result.


aaaaargghhhhelpme · 23/07/2017 08:42

What does the dysfunctional relationship but mean? Have you and your DH had public ups and downs? I only ask as a friend had a very rocky relationship (on/off again. Lots of tears) so that when they did finally settle down and live together, no one trusted him as they'd all heard the bad stories she'd tell them when they were rowing.

What is the family dynamic. Are you close with anyone. Are they physically nearer to your sister?

The thing is I doubt it's just the not being interested in grandchildren - it's a bigger and deeper problem but this is one of the symptoms. I would do as pp suggest - back off. You don't owe them grandchildren rights. If they're not bothered, so be it. Find close friends who can become your ds's extended family


Headofthehive55 · 23/07/2017 08:42

I think often it's the ritual of th excitement of the first born. Which unfortunately happened not to be yours.
Subsequent kids are less and less acknowledged.

My mil /fil have even asked the other set of grandkids (who were nearly adults) whether it would be OK if they visited us at Christmas!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?