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Why is it always me ?

(71 Posts)
Kartush Wed 21-Aug-19 22:51:29

I have come to the conclusion that must be lacking that certain something that makes people want to be close to me, throughout my life it seems it is always my job to keep in touch, to hold the family celebrations, to do the phone calls and to be honest I am getting tired. My son and his family never call, hardly ever message, if I call them I am lucky if they answer one time in twenty. Oh I know they love me but it seems they seem to have forgotten that my husband and I are here. We make the effort to go to visit them (they live 2000k away)we have lived in our new house for almost three years and they have never seen it. When we do visit they seem happy to see us, I guess we are just not a priority in their lives. Am i being unreasonable to feel this way?

Gingergirl Thu 22-Aug-19 10:35:56

Well young families have full on lives it seems. That said, maybe you could invite them specifically, to come to you. Would they be able to stay over? Do they know that you want them to come? Perhaps gently mention to them that you feel you’re losing touch and that you can’t always be going to them every time. As you say, I’m sure they love you....just being a bit insensitive I expect. To be honest, as parents and grandparents, we possibly aren’t on their minds all the time....nevertheless they may be taking your presence for granted, in their busy lives.

Stella14 Thu 22-Aug-19 10:37:35

Crazygran, do you really think that is a constructive comment, or did you just want to add something hurtful? hmm

NannyG123 Thu 22-Aug-19 10:40:21

I sonnetime think mum's are glue that hold family together, that's the case with my mum, but when she died, at first it was an effort to keep in contact with my brother and sister. But now we are often texting and meeting up, and we really get on. But I think I'm the glue that's holding my 3 children together. But I also know that when I'm no longer here, they will get by with each other.

KatyK Thu 22-Aug-19 10:46:34

Sara Still it's nice that you see them. We only have a daughter. We used to see a great deal of her and she was always phoning. We used to do a lot together when DGD was small. We see much less of her now but at least we see her. We have helped them out in the past but it was our decision, they have never asked us for anything. She is always very generous (when she can afford it) and always pays her way. She'd rather be with her friends, which is normal. I was the same. I sometimes wish it was different but I can't complain. smile

Mercure Thu 22-Aug-19 10:52:14

You're right there Crazygran, it is a very cruel comment. sad

Calendargirl Thu 22-Aug-19 10:53:14

Times change. When my DH and I were courting, we went to his parents every fortnight for Sunday tea. 15 minute drive away. He came from a large family, and that was when we all met up. Several of them were married with small children, and it was an opportunity to see everybody.

Now, nearly 50 years later, with PIL long gone, we meet up once a year on anniversary of MIL’s birthday for a meal. Only time we see most of them, and if his sister didn’t organise it that too wouldn’t happen.

As for AC, DD lives in Oz, DS lives locally. Occasionally invited for a bbq, but usually ties in with wanting help with jobs. DS makes little effort to keep in touch with his sister, I know she feels she has to be the one to message etc. They all have busy lives and are quite self centred I suppose.

birchermuesli Thu 22-Aug-19 10:53:52

Good for you Plumcushion.

KatyK Thu 22-Aug-19 10:57:27

To be honest, I rarely gave my parents a thought when I was getting on with my life when I was younger. I helped my mum out after she left my horrible dad but I wouldn't have dreamt of including her in my social life. She died when I was 23 though.

TrendyNannie6 Thu 22-Aug-19 10:58:30

I have a different take on this, I’m quite happy to only see my grandchildren occasionally when I can be fitted in, hahaha I see one of my grandchildren regularly though, things are so different these days I remember when I was young we used to visit grandparents etc every Sunday. I certainly don’t take offence if I don’t hear from my children for a short time, I don’t interfere in there lives they have there own lives to live, as long as I know they are fine I’m happy,

EthelJ Thu 22-Aug-19 10:58:37

I think it might just be that adult children take their parents for granted. Think they will always be there and rely on them to keep the family together. They probably have such busy lives time and time passes quickly so before you know it a couple of years have passed. I think I am guilty of this with some of my siblings. Its not that I don't think about them and love them though.

TrendyNannie6 Thu 22-Aug-19 11:06:06

So are you saying then crazygran that just because we brought our children up it’s the parents fault why they don’t come round very often, what a nasty post

Sara65 Thu 22-Aug-19 11:13:50

I think our children are very time poor, both daughters seem to be rushing around all the time, one spends lots of time with us, and we’re very close to her children, but to be honest, I would rather see her out with her friends than hanging around with us at the weekends, she does have a partner, but it seems to be a very odd relationship, they seem to spend very little time together.

absthame Thu 22-Aug-19 11:18:24

My wife is bad at maintaining contacts with family and friends, these are for some reason down to me.

In recent years my son has taken over as the instigator of celebrations often aided by his sd and my other gd is great at building and maintaining relationships both within and outside the family. So things look bright for the family's future.

Coconut Thu 22-Aug-19 11:22:04

Life is very different now with our AC so busy and stressed with work commitments, family time and chores at weekends etc it’s a nightmare trying to fit everything in for them. I think I’m included so much with my 3 AC just because I’m divorced, so I do consider myself very lucky.

Grandad1943 Thu 22-Aug-19 11:33:27

Kartush, we are lucky in the fact that our three daughters and their families all live within a few minutes of us here in North Somerset. They are always "popping in" to see us, but even in that we accept that much that they do in their lives will not involve us.

We are both still working in our business so that takes up a considerable amount of our time. However, for leisure time etc we have a group of friends that we have both known for much of our lives, and it is with them that we have days or evenings out. Only a month ago six of us went to Belgium for a week to see Andre Rieu in concert and visit the first and second world war memorial sites.

The above was a wonderful holiday with friends of our own generation. Therefore, Kartush perhaps you and your husband could set out your lives in similar arrangement.

Sadly our children grow up and move on in their own lives, but that does not mean they think any less in the love of their parents. It is just I feel that many homes these days have both parents working, and that can leave little time to consider very much outside the running those homes and families.

So, perhaps Kartush you and your husband could look more outside the family circle for friends and recreation, and that I feel would bring perhaps a greater satisfaction in both your lives.

Hope this helps with some thoughts.

LizVck Thu 22-Aug-19 11:49:38

I know exactly how you feel In March this year I had an accident and badly broke my ankle ending up in hospital for a week then 6 weeks in plaster unable to put any weight on it, I got messages from my children on facebook but none of them bothered to visit,my daughter lives 30 minutes away just left my poor hubby to manage looking after me our dog and chickens and go to work.on his own.

Sussexborn Thu 22-Aug-19 12:08:44

Can remember an article by Claire Rayner bewailing the fact that she had to do all the contacting and organising in her circle of friends. She came to the conclusion that people are either passive or reactive. If everyone tried to organise every event I suppose it might get quite chaotic.

Life is different now with families scattered far and wide. When my family were young apart from one brother in the army, we all lived in Sussex, Kent and Surrey. Now family live in London, Leeds, West Midlands, Hereford, some still in Sussex, unsure where some cousins now live. Some have lived in France (two have now returned to the U.K.)

The young Mums mostly work full time (some are the main earner), all drive and have their own cars. The logistics are very different and so are attitudes.

Then throw in laws into the mix who have different ideas and expectations. I brought my children up to be inclusive of their in laws but not everybody does and the family dynamics change.

I did realise that one of my younger brothers, like me, would like to have had more family gatherings and he and his wife hosted a really great party in his garden. Sadly he was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer not long after and is very sadly missed. A good reason for not prevaricating and assuming we can keep putting things off ad infinitum.

jocork Thu 22-Aug-19 12:23:09

I think families can be like this. I remember my father used to hire a car avery year for a day just before Christmas and go round all the Aunts and Uncles delivering Christmas presents. We didn't have a car and he hated driving. One year he decided enough was enough and didn't do it. Late on Christmas eve one of my cousins turned up with the presents and collected the ones for the rest of the family. They had realised by then that my dad wasn't coming and had to get off their backsides and do it for a change.
Previously for many years my mum had done 2 Christmas dinners each year, one for her side of the family on Christmas day then another for my dad's side on boxing day. I guess my parents were the 'glue' of the families.

For most of my adult life I've lived over 200 miles from where I grew up and where many of my family still live. Whenever I went to visit my mum I got in touch with my brother and his family to arrange to see them while I was there. Since my mum died in 2011 I've only seen my brother once apart from the week of the funeral. That was at my son's wedding in 2017. On a couple of occasions I've considered going up to that part of the country and asked if I could go to stay for a couple of days. He's always been vague and said 'I'm not sure if we are around that weekend' so I've not bothered since. My daughter has been to visit a couple of times and stayed over once as she moved to Glasgow so more often travels by where they live in Lancashire. She says I should ask my SIL instead of my brother - that is what she does - but it feels strange not to ask my brother himself. I have come to the conclusion they aren't really interested in me. Perhaps things will change when I retire as I'll be free to visit more if they are interested in seeing me.

Thankfully my DS and DIL and my DD both keep in regular contact. DS and DIL have been to stay this week and spent 2 day grafting in my garden which is far too big for me to cope with on my own. They did a huge amount of work including some other jobs and we went out for meals in the evenings so we could just spend time together without slaving over a hot stove. Now they have gone to Scotland and are spending a couple of days with DD before going camping together. DD visits when she can and I go to stay with her too once or twice a year. I'm so glad DS and DD seem to keep in contact with each other as well as with me, and hopefully they won't end up as distant as my brother and I.

schnackie Thu 22-Aug-19 12:38:41

jocork your sweet story about your dad at Christmas, had me welling up. He must have been overwhelmed when the relatives turned up with the gifts. I am pretty lucky I guess, in that whilst my kids live in the US, I am invited to stay with my daughter's family once or twice a year, usually for a month. This past trip she and I flew to spend a few days with my son. The two of them apparently speak on the phone every Sunday which I love (though I often don't hear from my son for months.) Before children, my daughter loved coming to England and did at least twice a year. I envisioned having the grandchildren here as well and all the places I would take them. However after she had the two kids close together, in the past 7 years, they have not visited once. I understand how expensive it is to buy plane tickets for four people but she recently told me the amount of her husband's yearly bonus and I almost fell over. I guess it's also the fact that I live in a one bedroom flat so they couldn't stay with me. I have forced myself to remember over 30 years back and the small amount of contact I had with my own mother when my children were young. I think this is part of life and I hope I live long enough to see the children as teenagers when they will be able to (and hopefully want to) visit me on their own.

KatyK Thu 22-Aug-19 13:37:55

schnackie Hopefully they will. Our granddaughter is 19 and at uni. When she is back here for holidays, she will sometimes text me to say 'I haven't seen you for a while. Can I come over' and she drives over to see us by herself smile

trendygran Thu 22-Aug-19 13:45:53

I live 5 minutes (fast)walk away from my DD and family but have only been in their house once this year -on Mothering Sunday.They are very busy juggling jobs(both nurses) school and activities etc. We have no issues when I do finally get to see them -usually at a local coffee shop or garden centre. Again it’s potluck if they answer the phone-have given up on the land line! Lucky to get a reply to a text but do keep trying!
My other family are 300 miles away, so rarely seen -but actually going to see them in a few weeks time -for the first time in over a year.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 22-Aug-19 13:52:19

I have always had to get in touch with most of our friends and family if I wanted to see them or to hear how they are. I think they have come to rely on this, so they don't bother to get in touch themselves.

I honestly don't think they realise that I am always the one getting in touch. Right now, I am waiting to see if my nieces and nephew ever do ring or text.

Actually, I think Crazygran has a valid point. They grew up with a person who always got in touch, so they never learned to do so, or needed to, because we are stil the one getting in touch.

With friends, all right, they did not grew up with us, but they too have just accepted that we always ring or write, so they don't need to.

Washerwoman Thu 22-Aug-19 14:32:04

Our home is still the hub where family congregates and I'm still chief cook and hostess.But DH loves having his 'girls'.partners, GC and assorted dogs visiting.And so do I .Although increasingly I'm delegating some food contributions ,and simplifying meals as the family expands.As well as a lot of work it's getting expensive.My recent suggestion was a bring your own picnic and meet up for a family walk so no-one had to host ,or do it all.
Sometimes we invite them,often they invite themselves.They reciprocate by inviting us for an occasional meal either in their homes,or out at a restaurant.And we hear from them most days, even if just a quick What's app chat. tbh we had a very similar relationship with both my parents and the in laws.
We have a balance getting on with our own lives and friends,and they with theirs -but remain close.They can irritate the hell out of me sometimes,as I must do them!- but I do count my blessings. And indeed my closest long term friends see and hear from their adult DCs regularly too.So I never regarded it as unusual.
I would feel frustrated if all the contacting,and co -ordinating was left to me.This happened with a friend recently and I began to resent it and withdrew.It's not that simple with family though is it ?

Tris68 Thu 22-Aug-19 14:52:05

I got invited down town with my 2 daughters today & I really don't know why other than to look after the little ones. In the shop I'm keeping an eye on the 3 & 4 yo while they're looking at stuff & buying each other bits, literally felt like I was tagging along. Now sat in DD1 lounge feeling like a spare part/baby sitter & tbh can't wait to go home.

Sara65 Thu 22-Aug-19 14:53:56


I feel we must be a bit like you, our house is often full of children and grandchildren, the school holidays have been especially hectic.

I love them all, love seeing them, and know we’re lucky to have them, but sometimes we long for a quiet weekend