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AIBU?

Parents who don't seem to care or be interested

39 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?

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wizzywig · 23/07/2017 08:36

Op thats so hurtful! I feel for you and wouldnt blame you if you took a step back. Im sure both sets of grandparents make the right noises about loving their grandkids in public.

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mogulfield · 23/07/2017 08:36

This is awful, I have been there too though and the only sane way to deal with them is either no contact or seriously reduce contact.
I found myself getting too upset with the constant trying to get them to care.
I am much happier now I haven't spoken to my parents in 3 years and my DS doesn't have to endure their bullying.

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Phineyj · 23/07/2017 08:37

My DPs and DH's DPs have always been scrupulously fair between the various grandkids but we get this sort of crap from both siblings. We went to great lengths to support my DSis and DH's DB when they had babies (e.g. travelling long distances, always doing their choice of activities in their way, etc) but now we have a DD neither side makes much effort at all. My DSis has actually complained about e.g. buggies, naps, toilet training etc impeding on her day, while being openly jealous that my DM provided some childcare while I worked - she offered and we paid for equipment and activities - DSis didn't work so it was hardly the same.

DSis complained when I got pregnant because 'you're my role model of someone who works and doesn't have kids'...er...sorry?!

The advice to turn to friends and make surrogate aunties and uncles is very good. DD has two 'ungodparents' who take their roles very seriously.

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mogulfield · 23/07/2017 08:37

Oh and as one other poster said, we concentrate on friends, we've got some lovely friends who make such an effort- come and visit and play with him, give good presents etc!

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AnneElliott · 23/07/2017 08:38

I agree with everyone else. Reduce your contact and only bother with them as much as they do with you.

Make your good friends your family and make sure you remember this when your parents are old and need your help. Bet the favoured lot will not be putting themselves out.

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Moussemoose · 23/07/2017 08:42

Step back, let them make the effort, the distance will grow, you will stop thinking about them. We did.

Now DPs parents are elderly they "miss us" and wish we would visit more. Unfortunately the emotional damage they caused is deeply ingrained. They need to ask the beloved child for help we have other people in our lives.

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Phineyj · 23/07/2017 08:43

Basically don't give these people more care and consideration than they give you. You can't make people be nicer than they are and 'having it out' doesn't work with people unable to reflect on the feelings and needs of others.

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YetAnotherSpartacus · 23/07/2017 08:50

It's interesting that this has been posted twice and that comments are quite different in nature between the two posts :)

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2ndSopranos · 23/07/2017 08:57

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pinkdelight · 23/07/2017 09:20

When they say you're too old it makes me wonder - are they significantly older than when your siblings had kids? Just thinking that may be a factor, not your age/stage but theirs. I know in the case of my aunts, they were fab grandparents first few times but too knackered now.

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HeteronormativeHaybales · 23/07/2017 09:32

Stop bothering with them. Stop expecting/hoping for anything from them and stop running after them. If/when they notice, say 'Oh, we thought you weren't interested'. If they push for further explanation, say 'We were finding the contrast between the attention and focus you give to gdc XYZ and your barely seeming to notice ds too hurtful and decided we didn't want to chase it any more'.

It sounds like they (your parents certainly) like to feel 'needed', and I would suspect that that degree of involvement comes with a fair bit of control. It's certainly unlikely to be emotionally 'free'. They appear to have distanced themselves from you because they are uncomfortable with your ability to make your own way in life.

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Schwanengesang · 23/07/2017 09:38

Thanks all. Good food for thought here. Now to read other thread (didn't mean to post twice, nnot sure what happened)

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engineersthumb · 23/07/2017 09:39

I think you just have to accept people for who they are in these sorts of situations. You cant force such things, just decide you will do things differently when it comes to your GC.

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Neverknowing · 23/07/2017 09:40

I was this child. My grandparents clearly didn't care about me as much as their other grandchildren and even my sister. It's still clear now and I hate going to visit my mums parents as I feel so left out and even bullied.
Honestly I think you need to talk to them about it and if they continue go NC. I was such a nervous child and had severe depression because I thought i wasn't good enough. I know it sounds dramatic but imagine this from a child's perspective and if they're prone to feeling like that anyway it can be extremely hurtful! I really don't know how to emphasise this but it was (and still is) really bad for me, please don't allow this to continue.

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