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Dear children who ignore your feelings.

(17 Posts)
Yammy Mon 05-Apr-21 11:43:08

We have children with families . Once we were a really close-knit family.
Some facetime regularly sends cards and presents even in the current circumstances, one has distanced themselves since uni days. No Easter wishes or mothers day, Christmas presents that are bought but not thought about.
I used to get very upset but as time passes I am starting not to bother, it is the only way I can cope with it.
I try to make them all alike send cards and presents which are not always appreciated by one and barely know the grandchildren.
Friends tell me to stop making them all alike, let them see how it feels to be ignored. Also, money comes into this we make them all alike.
What would you do?

Pantglas2 Mon 05-Apr-21 11:52:04

You can’t do anything about their behaviour but you can change your own so lower your expectations and you won’t be disappointed.

Peasblossom Mon 05-Apr-21 12:05:11

Perhaps you need to try to stop thinking about them as your close knit family.

We actually have that little nuclear family for a short time, not forever, as they grow up, go into the world and create families of their own. They disperse like the seeds of a dandelion clock, to make lives of their own.

Even if they stay close and in contact you can never have that tight, exclusive unit again.

So pantglass is right, you will be happier if you can change your expectations. With some counselling if necessary.

On a practical level I would keep treating them all the same at Christmas etc. But the ones in contact would naturally get a bit more in the way of incidental gifts or treats out, just because they’re there to be treated.

Yammy Mon 05-Apr-21 12:06:07

Thanks, Pantglas2,
That is what I am trying to do, I try to no longer expect anything but wondered if I was doing the right thing.

Yammy Mon 05-Apr-21 12:10:45

Thanks, Peasblossom, you also have reassured me about my actions and what friends have said. I think the ones in close contact do get more little treats like help school uniform for children etc.
I was told by a friend to be the wind beneath their wings. I need to let them fly.

sodapop Mon 05-Apr-21 12:17:30

I agree with Peasblossom & Pantglas you are doing the right thing by continuing to treat them in the same way Yammy .
It's hard to let go of our families sometimes but we can have our own very fulfilling lives now we are older.

annsixty Mon 05-Apr-21 12:19:58

My own family are not what I envisage when starting out on married life all those years ago.
My late H and I both came from dysfunctional families for different reasons.
We both longed for a family life which was probably a dream.
We had a D and then a S. We were thrilled with our life.
It has not worked out precisely as planned.
Both my C, now in their 50’s have broken marriages so no big family gatherings.
My D lives a good distance away and I haven’t seen her and her C for 15months.
My S is very dis functional and can go days without speaking, no fall outs, just uncommunicative.
I have learned to accept and get on with life.
It is the safest thing to do to preserve your sanity .
Get on with your own life and don’t stress about things you can’t change.

Yammy Mon 05-Apr-21 12:39:32

I think I tried to make the perfect family after both DH and I had peculiar childhoods, it worked when they were young. Who knows maybe one was stifled by the rest of us . Your letters let me see I have to change my mindset and concentrate on the good things, not the ones that upset me.Thank you

EllanVannin Mon 05-Apr-21 12:49:05

As Pantglas said, lower your expectations, it works better that way. Most offspring have busy lives, some of us don't, so we have to realise a middle ground and get on with our own lives the same as they do. Running round after them has long gone.

BlueBelle Mon 05-Apr-21 13:07:29

Continue to treat them alike don’t differentiate or care differently, then neither you nor them can look back and think Mum was very unfair she gave her this and me nothing etc and it can leave a real mess and npbreak up after you ve gone

Maybe you expected too much and you are not alone
I think we all go into parenthood and then grand parenthood with this vision of hot soup on the stove little ones running around, a baby on the knee and loving children caring for us .....it’s so rare and even when it happens it’s often a brief interlude
Many on here have children and grandchildren moved overseas to live and see little of them or living a good distance away and are busy with their own lives, many grans and mums have estranged children and all the heartache that goes with that some have lost their children to illness accident or suicide

You have your children albeit not as you want or expected you have given them a great start and their freedom to continue as best they can
Try not to dwell on it Yammy life is rarely as we expected it to be 💐

midgey Mon 05-Apr-21 13:18:14

Trouble is Yammy you brought them up to be independent and now they are, each in their own way.

Yammy Mon 05-Apr-21 13:53:04

Yes, you are right. We did bring them up to be independent, after a stifling childhood where I had to toe the wider family lines. I tried to teach them to think for themselves, perhaps I am getting a dose of my own medicine. I would hate for them to think I have favourites which I don,t.

Smileless2012 Mon 05-Apr-21 14:05:14

You are right to treat them all the same Yammy they're all your children but have different personalities and different responsibilities.

Of course it's upsetting not to receive a card on Mothers day and Pantglas is right, if you lower your expectations you reduce the hurt too.

DS is hopeless when it comes to cards but as I no longer hope he'll send them, when he does it makes them all the more special.

kittylester Mon 05-Apr-21 14:09:59

But, everyone is different. We have 5 and they all respond to happenings in a different way. So they should. But, they are there when needed as are we for them. I think there is too much thinking going on here!

Baggs Mon 05-Apr-21 14:34:34

I'd be worried if my kids didn't distance themselves a bit after they left for uni. It's called growing up.

Baggs Mon 05-Apr-21 14:36:10

PS They don't ignore any feelings I tell them about and I don't ignore any they tell me about. But I don't expect them to need to talk to me about everything.

M0nica Mon 05-Apr-21 15:30:27

I grew up in an army family, I had several long hospital stays as a small child and my secondary education was at boarding school.

As an adult I learned just how hard these absences were for my parents, especially my mother whose father ded when she was 6.

Yet my sisters and I always remained close to our parents. I think it was because they always let us fly, they gave us autonomy, waved us off, but always welcomed us back.

I have tried to do that with my own DC and so far it has worked.