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Out in the cold

(49 Posts)
Maudie Sat 31-Dec-16 23:12:34

I really don't know if this situation can be bettered? Any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated.
Here's the thing-
I relocated to live near my daughter, son-in-law and 2 grand kiddies, 5 and 8. I live alone (widowed 20 years),now aged 70
Daughter and son-in-law are a busy, hard-working, successful couple in their early 40's.
I happily do the school run, child mind as and when required and have the kiddies for the odd sleepovers.
Requests for my services are by text messages.
I am included in birthday and Christmas celebrations and we all had a weekend away last summer. Also get invited to school concerts and suchlike.
I am not included in anything else which irks me but what disturbs me more is that my daughter and son-in-law show absolutely no interest in my life or concern for me whatsoever.They seem to be totally self absorbed.
Once I told my son-in-law that I didn't feel part of the family at all. He was surprised, shocked and apologized profusely. Things improved but it was short lived.
I feel somewhat invisible if you see what I mean.
Fortunately I have good friends with shared interests and we support each other. Nevertheless I would love some companionship with my daughter.She is very independent.Occasionally seeks my advice but never pops in for tea or suggests a bit of shopping together.
My son-in-law is a reserved and serious intellectual and not one who seems to enjoy much social interaction other than with his peers and I cannot expect him to change.
Thanks ++ for any advice.

phoenix Sat 31-Dec-16 23:18:57

Oh dear, reading your post my initial reaction is that you are being treated as a sort of additional household support thing, without thought for you as a person, hopefully others wiser than me will be able to offer constructive advice.

Maudie Sat 31-Dec-16 23:21:09

Too right Phoenix! That's it in a nutshell.

merlotgran Sat 31-Dec-16 23:27:58

You see your grandchildren, you are included in birthday and Christmas celebrations, you had a weekend away with them last summer, you get invited to school concerts, you have good friends with shared interests.

Sorry to sound harsh but there are lots on here would settle for half of that.

Count your blessings.

Jayanna9040 Sat 31-Dec-16 23:30:41

Good lord. How much more do you expect?

mumofmadboys Sat 31-Dec-16 23:32:21

Perhaps ask your daughter if she would like to go out shopping or for lunch one day. Then say how much you enjoyed seeing her and hope she takes a hint!

Grannyknot Sat 31-Dec-16 23:33:08

maudie I feel sorry when I read posts like yours. Some modern family units are insular and don't leave much room for extended relationships. Perhaps they think you get enough out of being a grandmother and don't see beyond that.

I don't really have any advice, sorry.

It's great that you have good friends.

Grannyknot Sat 31-Dec-16 23:46:54

I could be wrong, but I think that maudie feels that the invites to outings and birthdays are perhaps "token" and not coming from the heart...

Synonymous Sat 31-Dec-16 23:48:56

Maudie you are clearly not out in the cold! According to what you say you have lots of contact with your family and in addition you have a circle of friends. Count your blessings! Not everyone is a bosom buddy with her daughter and if she has a husband, family and a career she would be unlikely to have enough time to do anything else anyway. Reality is that you are a very fortunate lady!

Maudie Sat 31-Dec-16 23:51:00

Thank-you mumofmadboys I am going to try that

starbird Sun 01-Jan-17 05:05:42

Presumably the reason you moved was to be able to help out with the grandchildren, as you are doing. I can understand that you might feel a bit used but I don't see how your daughter's family have time for anything further to what they already include you in - they need time to be a family on their own as well. You are so lucky to be this close and can look forward to having a good relationship with your grandchildren as they get older. As you also have friends it sounds like the perfect balance. I hope the comments on here will help you to see how lucky you are compared to many of us, Hopefully you can learn to enjoy what you have and not spoil it by wanting more.

rubylady Sun 01-Jan-17 06:37:19

I think you need to make it clear to the adults that you enjoy their company just as much as you enjoy the children. Maybe they don't realise this and I don't think they are doing anything on purpose, just living busy lives. You could take the initiative and invite them out to the theatre or something, just for the adults and like I said, say that you cherish their company and could you all do more things like that in the coming months?

It won't hurt to try this, at least you will have given it a go. I tried it with my siblings, organised a meal out, then waited for one or the other to organise the next get together. I am still waiting about 4 years later!

But it's worth a try. Good luck.

Oh, and yes, I would think all my birthdays had come at once if I got treated like you did with the other things you do with your family. You are lucky. smile

Antonia Sun 01-Jan-17 06:43:33

I think it is a case of your daughter and SIL being simply too busy with their lives. You say they are successful, which is lovely, but this often comes with a lot of pressure from work. I am sure they are very thankful for your help, and they are doing what they can to include you in the children's lives. It is hard for them to include you in other cases of their lives, such as their work, as presumably you can't be of any practical use to them in that area. Perhaps when you see them, you might start chatting about your own interests and they may be interested enough to ask questions about it, but otherwise, I hope you can be happy to be as included as you already are.

Anya Sun 01-Jan-17 06:46:30

Maudie I think it might help if you looked at the positive more. You are included and obviously appreciated even if it doesn't always feel like it. The fact that you were able to discuss this with your SiL and that he was shocked you felt like this says a lot. And they did try harder.

But they work and have busy lives - you recognise that. Try not to feel out in the cold because that's not how they see it. I'm sure you are loved and valued, but working parents have a lot of plates to keep spinning. Their children have hobbies and social lives they need to service, they have friendships they need to maintain, all this in addition to working, keeping house and home clean, maintained and ticking over.

Luckily you have your own social life and good friends. Yes, perhaps you could see more of your daughter and you might like to organise the odd meet up for a coffee or similar, but please don't think you're not important to her because I'm sure you are,

MarySunshine Sun 01-Jan-17 06:57:25

Sadly the parents of today do not seem to have same ideas or family values as we had when we were their age. I'm sure they think you are 'okay' because you always appear to be 'okay' to them.. You are very lucky to be where you are in their lives.

Arrange to spend some quality time alone with your daughter. Maybe treat her to lunch or an evening out, then suggest making this a regular thing. I do this with my Mum every few months and its great to just spend a day with her away from all the other family and goings on

thatbags Sun 01-Jan-17 07:49:20

I think a dose of positivity would be a good idea too. It's possible not to feel out in the cold from the family of one's grandchildren even if one only sees them twice a year.

The fact that they let you tag along to all the things you list sounds as if they are doing their best to include you in family events.

I think momb's idea is a good one but don't be disappointed if your daughter doesn't want to go out with you at the moment. She may not have the energy, she may actually be quite busy and she may really value her family time with her husband and kids. What you call self-absorption might just be that: valuing what time they have together.

loopyloo Sun 01-Jan-17 08:05:49

Maude, this sounds very familiar to me. I know where you are coming from. I listen to my daughter rant on about work etc but she is not really interested in anything I have to say. Because we moved to be nearer her, I have no local friends, and because she works different shifts it is difficult to join anything that meets regularly. I am working hard to make a life for myself here but find it is difficult.
You say you have lost your husband. Perhaps you should join a dating agency...........

Mumsy Sun 01-Jan-17 08:06:51

very true Merlotgran, what I would give to be Maudies shoes!

How can you say you are not part of the family Maudie? when they obviously include you!

kittylester Sun 01-Jan-17 08:20:35

Your daughter is probably feeling under pressure with all the day to day stuff she has to contend with and would welcome being taken out for lunch every now and again.

On balance, I think you are quite lucky to be included in the family as much as you are but you could take the initiative every now and again.

FarNorth Sun 01-Jan-17 08:59:12

I think the parents are very busy and include you as much as they can.
They possibly assume that you are mainly interested in the DGCs, rather than their parents, and that you have your own friends for companionship.

Some good suggestions have been made, but make sure not to become "needy" by trying to get more from your DD and DSiL than they are able to give.

rosesarered Sun 01-Jan-17 09:19:00

Also make sure not to give more of your time than you're happy to give.Don't always be available ( I speak as one wot knows.) Some adult children are more interested in our lives than others, so know exactly what you mean.Obviously you have moved there to help out and have close relationships with DGC, but do join clubs locally and make friends with neighbours, and even perhaps think of getting a small dog to walk and get you out.Good luck.

rosesarered Sun 01-Jan-17 09:19:49

That should read 'do not always be available'

rosesarered Sun 01-Jan-17 09:20:58

Also see if there are any local Gransnet groups for meet ups.

Culag Sun 01-Jan-17 09:26:24


harrigran Sun 01-Jan-17 09:37:06

I really don't see how you can improve your situation, you appear to have what lots of grans do not have.