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Were we so busy that we had no time for parents

(65 Posts)
lippyqueen Wed 01-Dec-21 17:20:14

Hello all, I just wondered what your thoughts were with regard to time spent phoning, visiting or just general thoughtful acts towards your own parents.
I must admit that my DD’s generation just seem to have very little time to do any of the above. I know DD has a busy job with their own business and 2 teenage children who are very busy themselves but it seems that as time goes on there is a smaller amount of time allocated for us as the grandparents! Perhaps I am just being a bit needy as suffering from the “super cold” but I do feel that unless I push to see them that visits happen very infrequently. I get quite a few what’s app messages which are pretty easy to do and take no time at all which is something that was unavailable for us. For some reason our children’s generation also think that as we get older we are incapable of any sensible thoughts or opinions. 😄 😉

henetha Fri 31-Dec-21 11:26:59

I'm very lucky that all of my family, except one grandchild, live withing a few miles of me so I get to see them often. And they call, text, whatsApp etc, regularly.
When I look back, I suspect that I was not a particularly loving or attentive daughter. I had a chip on my shoulder for many years.. I regret it now.

Humbertbear Fri 31-Dec-21 14:49:55

DS has no time except for a weekly phone call on his way home from work, I used to visit my parents weekly and have them over at the weekend. Later on I used to visit my DD in his nursing home every day followed by calling in on my mum. we used to go to Manchester to see my grandmother in every school holiday and also visit in laws in the Midlands regularly. There is a different attitude these days.

Namsnanny Fri 31-Dec-21 15:03:17

I think it wasnt spoken of quite so much in the past. Also each family is different of course then and now.
I do find the excuse 'I've been busy' or derivatives of, to be very hurtful.
Do people not realise that is shorthand for 'everything and everyone else is more important in my life than you, ergo I can only fit you in when I've done these everso important things first?!'
I wanted to see my parents and would have definitely kept up a relationship with my Nan if she had lived long enough.
So I made time to see them, especially my Dad.

aonk Fri 31-Dec-21 15:59:36

When I was a mum with small children our parents and other relatives came first. Try telling this to my DS! We come very low on his list after his in laws and his friends.

nadateturbe Sat 01-Jan-22 06:13:01

I agree Humbertbear different attitude. I visited my mum almost every Sunday as did my 6 siblings. I looked forward to it and often during the week too. I can still see her smile as I opened the door. Often the three sisters and mum would meet up on Saturday after shopping for tea. Lovely memories.

LOUISA1523 Sat 01-Jan-22 09:51:41

I see at least one of my 3 adult children daily.....I see at least one of my 3 GC every other day....I work full time DM live 2 hours from me but I see her monthly and ring her every 2 to 3 days....its not unusual for me to come home midweek and have all my DC and GC there .....mostly I love it and feel lucky

nadateturbe Sat 01-Jan-22 13:00:59

You are indeed lucky Louisa.

Aveline Sat 01-Jan-22 13:10:48

Visits and phone calls to my parents were at least several times a week and increased as they grew older and needed more support. Not a chore. We all enjoyed it and it was just part of everyday life.
These days I see my DD and grandchildren several times a week and speak to DS at least weekly too depending on his shifts. We go on holiday together too just as we did with my parents.
When MiL was in hospital we visited every day. Prior to that while she was at home we went in morning and evening and arranged company for her at lunchtime too. We both worked full time. Only thinking about this retrospectively after reading that other thread complaining about her mother. At the time we never stopped to think about it.

AmberSpyglass Sat 01-Jan-22 16:23:04

I highly recommend people read this article - it’s a look into how much the younger generation has on their plate compared to previous generations and the way even small tasks eat into a lot of time.

Aveline Sat 01-Jan-22 16:58:10

I did read the article. Sounds like they overthink themselves into paralysis. My motto was always 'Just do it'. I always felt much better once whatever it was was done.

grannyactivist Sat 01-Jan-22 17:29:23

There are 19 years between my eldest and youngest child so there has never been a time when I haven’t had to juggle competing demands: Managing teenagers, pre-teens, a toddler and baby whilst my husband and I were working in very demanding careers meant we have always had to prioritise.

So school holidays were always spent with our extended family - either we visited our parents, they came to us, or we all holidayed together. As our children grew those family holiday times have become ever more precious - and they have never ceased. We still get together as often as we can and our children are now all adults (the youngest is thirty) and are taking more responsibility for ‘family times’.

My children are scattered and we are now four generations, but we still try to eat together at least once a month. Easter and Christmas are spent together as much as possible, and we always have at least one summer holiday together. Our grandchildren all come to stay with us individually through the year - and just today one of our visiting three year olds asked me if he can come to stay ‘tomorrow on my birthday’ and make biscuits with me. (He’ll be 4 in May and is coming to stay for the bank holiday weekend.)

Our children have before them the example we set of including their grandparents in our lives - now they’re simply carrying on those same traditions by prioritising family times. Plus, we all like each other. 🤗 (Which really does help!)

TerriBull Sat 01-Jan-22 17:31:20

When my father died, I made a positive effort to see much more of my mother, she was a great mum to me and I valued that one to one time we had in the last eight years of her life more than I can say. It was a bit of a journey at the time from West London down to the Sussex coast where my parents retired, my mother having berated her own mother for leaving suburbia years before to do the same thing, telling her she would end up in a colony of widows then ended up exactly that way herself! Although she was better equipped than my grandmother to deal with it.

When my in laws were still alive we had lunch with them every other Sunday, which I found a bit of a penance, I did like my mother in law, she died first, but my late father in law drove me up the wall with his xenophobic attitude towards anybody or anything foreign, half my family are foreign, so I spent a lot of time biting my tongue. He presided over cooking the Sunday roast, or more like over cooking it, we had to sit round the table whilst he heaped praise upon his own efforts. Meat like leather and soggy green veg, which always made me recall what my own dad said about roast beef "The English only know how to cook one thing and they still manage to ruin it" Well that generation at any rate!

I see my own children quite a bit, one probably a bit too much and one slightly not enough. Grandchildren usually for a week end every other week. I'm close to my step daughter, see a lot of her our relationship is more defined as friends. Also enjoy seeing husband's grown up grandchildren, but not so often as we used to they are all busy now.

lilypollen Sat 01-Jan-22 18:08:55

AmberSpyglass thanks for the article recommendation. One of my offspring has just recognised ADHD due to millennail burnout and is going to seek help. Just recognising this condition has helped already.

Framilode Sat 01-Jan-22 18:42:17

My parents both died in the eighties and I know that I didn't give them the time I could have. We lived 100 miles away and it was an obligation at a time when our lives were extremely busy.

We are now in the same situation as our parents were. I think we are closer to our children but I know, and accept, that they have busy lives. I am always delighted when we spend time together but certainly don't expect to be at the top of their list of priorities.