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Family slipping away

(91 Posts)
Nannyrosie Thu 06-Jul-17 07:45:29

My DD and family have lived abroad for 10 years and last month they moved. Contact has changed over the years to Facebook and maybe one call a week from either off us. If I phoned more ,they are too busy or don't answer. I have asked for the new address and phone number but get excuses and have had two videos on messenger since but I leave my sound down as I use the tablet overnight, so I miss their calls
It is DSIL birthday soon and we always send card and present ,which are never acknowledged, but this time we have no address and don't want to be seen to nag by keep asking. I am happy that they are so happy but sad that we are loosing contact. I mentioned us going to visit the new place but got a very lukewarm response. I love my family and want to improve this downhill slide. I feel I need their phone number in case my DH is taken ill as he was last year. Any ideas please.

vampirequeen Thu 06-Jul-17 08:10:41

Tell your daughter that you worry you're losing contact. They're maybe so wrapped up in their lives that they forget that contact is important.

TriciaF Thu 06-Jul-17 09:46:36

Nanny Rosie - I'm in the same position and it is a worry.
I was thinking about a discussion of the 'generation divide' on another thread (smacking children)also the long thread about alienation from family members. Maybe the fact that families are often so scattered nowadays has something to do with it.
So different from my own childhood when my maternal GM mostly brought me up, and other grandparents lived just around the corner.
But that's the way it is.
Currently trying to decide whether to go and stay with one family as it will mean grand-daughter will have to vacate her room for the old lady wink

Luckygirl Thu 06-Jul-17 09:53:36

Would it work to send a message saying you want to send a present and could you have the address please? It does sound a bit weird not to have notified you of the address, but presumably they told you of the move. Very strange.

Smileless2012 Thu 06-Jul-17 09:58:16

Good advice from Vampirequeen Nannyrosie. Perhaps your DD is unaware of your worries and may not realise with her busy life that the amount of contact is diminishing. Tell her how you feel; I hope her response is a positive one and your worries can be put to one side.

If you've been invited you should go Tricia. I'm sure your GD wont mind vacating her room if it means she gets to spend some time with "the old lady"smile. Hope you have a great time with your family.

KatyK Thu 06-Jul-17 10:18:16

This is a problem for many. Our DD lives 15 minutes away by car. They used to visit us regularly. I can't remember the last time they came here. If we want to see them we have to go to them. I feel very upset at weekends when I see all the neighbours having visits from their children/grand children but not us. If we invite them they are always busy. Not sure what went wrong.

gillybob Thu 06-Jul-17 10:21:33

I would be tempted to send an email, text, e card or whatever ... wishing you DSiL a very happy birthday. Hope you have a lovely day etc. Then add " I would have loved to send you an actual card and present as normal but sadly I do not have your address" .

gillybob Thu 06-Jul-17 10:25:08

I don't think you did go wrong * katyk* I hear this more and more and wonder if some young people are just so wrapped up in themselves and their "busy lives" that they really can't spare a single second to visit a relative ( their mum even). I would rather not be visited than think that my son or daughter were thinking " oh god, I suppose I will have to visit mum " not nice at all .

KatyK Thu 06-Jul-17 10:40:31

Thanks gilly We are beginning to think we have been bad parents although I don't think we have. DH always says to be 'let them get on with their own lives' but now even he is getting a bit fed up with it. I agree that we are now a 'duty'. How sad.

Luckygirl Thu 06-Jul-17 10:45:44

My DC are in and out because they are dropping off little ones to be cared for; but if I stop and think about it, there are very few times when they just drop by to pay a visit to us. That may of course be because they have seen us anyway when dropping the children off - who knows?

I like to see them getting on with their lives though and do not like it when they ring and apologise for not ringing before, as if they have been remiss. I just take a big interest in what they have been doing when I do see them; hoping to make it clear that I am happy that they have full lives.

KatyK Thu 06-Jul-17 10:51:29

What a lovely person you must be Luckygirl I think I have developed a 'poor me' attitude. blush Must try harder.

Louizalass Thu 06-Jul-17 10:56:30

Is there a deeper-rooted problem - does she have a controlling husband? Others have said that these days families are not as close, scattered and/or so wrapped up in themselves they forget how important it is to keep in touch.

BUT, this doesn't seem to be the case here. Your DD is avoiding giving you her new address. You get phone calls/texts so why wouldn't she want you to have her new address? Why is she trying to keep you away? Very strange.

Hope you get it sorted and can get together again. smile

gillybob Thu 06-Jul-17 11:09:37

Wanting to see or hear from your children occasionally is not a "poor me attitude" at all katyk you mustn't think like that !
Is it really too much to expect a call or a visit (assuming they don't live hundreds of miles away). This has nothing to do with not wanting them to get on with their lives at all, which is surely what we all want that for our children and grandchildren. Just a case of them not being so wrapped up in themselves to spare a thought for their own mum/dad . Maybe it's my family who are strange? We are a very small group who (whilst we all get on with our own lives) we thankfully all still look out for each other and include the older members in the family in some of the things we do. Blimey just realised that with only my dad left I am one of the "older members of the family". Jeez how did that happen? shock

Luckygirl Thu 06-Jul-17 11:15:33

Wanting to see or hear from your children occasionally is not a "poor me attitude" at all katyk you mustn't think like that! I agree with that - I was not trying to imply that at all. I hope I was not misunderstood.

paddyann Thu 06-Jul-17 11:26:27

I saw my late mum every day ,I visited at lunchtime made her meal,cleared up did her shopping and any wee things she wanted done in the house.I was working full time had a teenager and a five year old and a 5 bedroom house and a husband .I cooked ALL her meals even when she was in hospital.Imagine my surprise to get a phone call from my cousin telling me I needed to VISIT my mother .Mum had called her and said she never saw me !!Apparently visiting meant I had to sit and chat for a couple of hours ..which wasn't practical on a daily basis ,she wasn't keen on my little boy being around her,she had osteoporosis and thought he was too boisterous .I wouldn't expect my kids to do the same for me ,I know from experience how it can wear you down .

JackyB Thu 06-Jul-17 11:29:02

Are you in contact with your son-in-law's parents? Maybe they have the address?

Luckygirl Thu 06-Jul-17 11:39:07

Blimey paddyann - talk about ungrateful! You must have the patience of a saint!

gillybob Thu 06-Jul-17 12:26:00

My late gran was a bit like that paddyann . Like you I vistited almost every day but always reminded her on a Saturday evening that "tomorrow is Sunday and I won't see you,but don't forget you can ring me in an emergency"
( she always got plenty of visitors on a Sunday ) Many a Sunday morning the phone would ring at some ungodly hour telling me that there was an emergency and that she had run out of bananas ! Grrrrr. I did have a little moan but would give anything to have her back .

NanaandGrampy Thu 06-Jul-17 12:31:49

I think you could definitely mention the need for a telephone number for emergencies. But it does seem strange they haven't been forthcoming with an address etc. Its not like you would or could turn up out of the blue.

Perhaps a quick call and explain your anxiety - its not unreasonable at all.

KatyK Thu 06-Jul-17 12:45:27

No Lucky you weren't misunderstoood. Not at all.

Tegan2 Thu 06-Jul-17 13:41:28

When I think about it, when I was the age that my children are now I only had time for the children and our friends. I suppose I thought it would be different in that our generation seem to be 'younger' than our parents were and more in tune with younger peoples lives. And also the fact that many of us treated our children as our friends rather than our children. I do see more of my family than a lot of people do, but can't remember the last time I was invited to a social occasion with DD other than the grandchildrens birthday parties. We do have a weeks holiday with both DD and DS, but that is mainly because we provide the accommodation.Weren't even invited to DD's for Christmas last year, but did get an invite to DS's [he kept tactfully trying to point out that we couldn't go to DD's every time I said that we were]! Families, eh...

Mrsdof Thu 06-Jul-17 13:43:39

Many years ago when my DC were small my DM looked after my youngest while I was at work (her choice). However my DMIL then started saying that we saw my DM every day whilst we only saw her once a week. My DM then said we only saw her because she was looking after the children! Damned if you do and damned if you don't. After a few years of getting it in the neck from both of them we moved 45 miles way. Neither were happy with this but we were grin. Just goes to show that you can't win whatever you do!!

TriciaF Thu 06-Jul-17 13:50:06

Actually there's one of our AC with who we have very little contact. She's my husband's daughter - she grew up together with mine for most of her childhood. She's married and has a daughter of 21 - very little contact. She and her Dad haven't actually fallen out, but they're both very stubborn. I occasionally speak to them all on the phone and we get on fine, but that's it.Other daughter sees them when she goes up north to visit her Dad (my ex) and they have a good relationship.
So I don't know what to do about them - present husband never mentions them.
People are different - I couldn't bear that if it were me.

Barmyoldbat Thu 06-Jul-17 15:41:14

My son lives about 20 to 30 min drive away. We are in contact most days by phone just for a chat. The children are teenagers and just 20 so they have their own lives and we in contact by Facebook. Saying, they do contact me when they want advice or help, e.g can you help me with my cv. But they don't visit very much. When I go to my local coffee lounge I see families of several generations enjoying a coffee or lunch but that rarely if ever happens tome but I don't feel I have been a bad parent or in the way. They just have their own lives as I do.

Nannarose Thu 06-Jul-17 16:13:37

I'd like to make some suggestions. Although I only lived an hour's drive from my mum, and as a family we were fairly close, I constantly felt 'bothered' by her. She would ring at inconvenient times, would get fussed when I didn't have time to talk to her, and want up-to-date information on everything! I just didn't have the time to make her feel the way she wanted to.

Moves are stressful & time-consuming, so I wouldn't read too much into luke-warm responses. I would message 'happy birthday, expect you're much too busy after the move to think about it! will send card & gift when we know your new address'

Could you afford to have a holiday in the area where they live, and include a visit to them? I think family visits can be so stressful, GCs routine interrupted, feeling crowded etc.
From families I know with Dcs/Gcs abroad, one of the best things is to either rent a property in the area, go out and about yourselves, visit the family weekends & some evenings; or plan a holiday of a few weeks travelling around their country / region, visit them for a few days on the way in and out.