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Were we so busy that we had no time for parents

(64 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. 😄 😉

TerriT Wed 01-Dec-21 17:32:09

I think if people are honest many would say the same. Certainly the people I know feel as you do but it’s how it is. Try not to dwell and feel it’s just you, it isn’t. Be wary of sounding needy when you do speak to them though. Looking back at my own life and parents, I was very busy and now see I didn’t realise that their life was pretty empty in their later years because of health and age. Now I’m in that spot as one day our kids will be! But it will be too late for them to say to you ‘now I know how you felt’

sodapop Wed 01-Dec-21 17:34:52

Haven't really found the same thing lippyqueen unfortunately my parents died when I was young. My own children visited and kept in touch when I lived in UK. Not so much now as I live in France and my grandchildren are grown up now. I am happy for them to get on with their own lives. They don't treat me as incapable of anything apart from technical phone and computer stuff. We all often ask for advice or support in our WhatsApp group.
I'm sorry you feel a bit neglected, as you say your cold is making things worse. Hope you feel better soon.

MerylStreep Wed 01-Dec-21 17:37:04

I’m afraid I can’t agree with our children’s generation not all children are like that.
My daughter phones me most days. Not necessarily to see how I am but more often than not to discuss some news item, advice on something. More often than not we have a good laugh.
Most of my friends children are much the same to their mums. I’m also aware that my ‘older’ neighbours get visits every week from their children

Hetty58 Wed 01-Dec-21 17:53:13

I really resented the 'duty calls' to parents taking up precious time when I was younger. They moved away yet expected us to travel to see them - pretty difficult with a young family and limited funds.

I do regret not spending more time with my much-loved father. I disliked my mother (it was mutual) so only made an effort for the sake of my siblings. I had to develop much patience. (If she weren't my mother, I'd have had nothing to do with her.)

I never wanted my children to feel duty bound to call and visit - but I'm sure that they do. Therefore, I'm fiercely independent, cheerful, capable, never needy.

For example, last week I really hurt my elbow, had to strap up my arm and couldn't use it for three days, yet said not a word - as they'd dash round to help and look after me - my worst nightmare.

Forsythia Wed 01-Dec-21 17:57:36

I have one in the UK and one abroad. We mostly all communicate by wattsapp, FaceTime and phone calls. I appreciate they are at work all week, need times to relax and unwind at weekends as I did myself when I was working full time and bringing them up. It’s not that they don’t care because I know they do. I saw my own mum once a week for a few hours after work and communicated by landline the rest of the time. Things change, there are more demands on their time nowadays I think. I know they care, they know we care and really what more can you want.

AGAA4 Wed 01-Dec-21 20:12:00

My children all have busy lives but they do keep in touch mainly by text and I am grateful to hear from them. I try not to expect calls and texts as I had a mother who demanded phone calls at certain times of the day to suit her not me and my sister.
This became a duty rather than a pleasure for both of us so my children know that I am happy to hear from them whenever it's convenient for them

VioletSky Wed 01-Dec-21 21:41:10

I talk to my Dad abroad a few times a week on average. Before I estranged I saw my mum once a week and did all the running around and usually called her at least twice a week.

Granniesunite Wed 01-Dec-21 21:57:37

My children have busy lives and very stressful careers to manage but are very good at juggling their time. My husband is ill and I have noticed a difference in the way they look us. We need managing now. Not too sure how I feel, about that.

ayse Wed 01-Dec-21 22:05:14

Well, I hear from my two in the UK two or three times a week for a chat or to have a moan or to discuss their issues. Daughter in NZ calls monthly for a long chat and catch up at a time of her choosing but usually my Friday night at about 8.30 pm.

I’m a very lucky person.

Kim19 Wed 01-Dec-21 22:11:43

Yes, I try to stay fiercely independent and make no demands on my children. I wouldn't dream of telling them if I was poorly. Much as my Mum was the most generous and loving of me, she was a little demanding of my time. I think it was a little understandable in that she had retired and had more time on her hands whereas I was in the thick of family life and all that that entails. Furthermore she had few outside interests and just !lived for seeing my children (I came a reasonable second!). Difficult indeed. I have one son who calls regularly and we have an amicable chat whereas the other one texts me spasmodically as and when I pop into his head. That's rather nice too. I make no demands and I admit I would love to see much more of them but what I get is quality and of the heart. That'll do for me every time.

NotTooOld Wed 01-Dec-21 22:23:56

We get messages and the occasional visit from the one nearest to us. The other one we get messages fairly regularly with the occasional long phone call at weekends. I would like more contact from both of them but I know they are busy with their own lives and I certainly do not want to appear needy, so I never say anything. We did see more of them when the grandchildren were young, for which I am grateful.

lilypollen Wed 01-Dec-21 22:34:15

Both DC live within an hour's drive so see them quite regularly. My problem is I don't like to intrude on their busy lives so feel that even phone calls are intrusive.lippyqueen I do agree that our opinions are seen as less relevant by our adult children. I could never have take that attitude with my parents.

Peasblossom Wed 01-Dec-21 22:54:36

Actually I can remember that stage of my life when my teenagers wanted me to run them about and listen to their woes, when work made demands on me, when my husband wanted time with me, when I had friendships that were important to sustain, when my parents and parents-in-law wanted me to spend time with them.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see them or spend time with any of them.

It was just that there wasn’t enough me to go round.

Betterlatethannever Wed 01-Dec-21 23:28:00

lippyqueen

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. 😄 😉

I have four children and 5 grandchildren and they are in my face 24/7 we all live near each other so that will be a factor as well as they all need childcare so this may tail off as they start school.I love them all but sometimes just want two minutes of peace on my own!

freedomfromthepast Wed 01-Dec-21 23:46:28

I have teenagers and I can say that 1) they hate talking on the phone and 2) my teens are almost a full time job for me. Must worse than when they were toddlers. I am very blessed that I am able to stay at home with them. I am in awe of parents who work full time and have the "normal" teen things going on. Especially more difficult with a self owned business IMO.

You say that they Whatsapp you often. Texting and social media is the preferred way for teens to talk to others, including their own friends.

The questions I would ask you are:

What does a good visiting schedule look like to you? What is a good visiting schedule look like for your children? Have you had a conversation about expectations with your children? Mismatched expectations can often lead to conflict in families, so it is best to discuss it.

Do you have other endeavors to keep you busy and fulfilled? If not, is there a way you can look into something? I know with restrictions, that can be difficult.

Unfortunately, busy families can sometimes get tunnel vision . It isn't right, but it does happen.

I hope you feel better. I know being sick doesn't make anything better.

Shelflife Thu 02-Dec-21 00:09:54

I try not to intrude into the lives of my AC . My Mum was amazing and when I married I remember her saying " I will never be a Mum that expects regular phone calls on set days nor will I expect to come for lunch every Sunday" She was true to her word , we had a wonderful relationship and she came to live with us in her 80s - I still miss her love and wisdom . I follow her example , my children have busy working lives and children of their own and I respect their privacy. The result is we see them quite often but there are no set times or expectations, it works well !

paddyann54 Thu 02-Dec-21 00:31:05

When we married we lived half a mile from my mum and dad and I stopped by most days on my way home .Not a long visit just a "what kind of day has it been and do you need me for anything" visit
.After our daughter was born I walked home from work with her in her pram and my visits were a wee bit longer.Mum and Dad would often walk the last half mile with us and when wee miss was walking were delighted to take her hand and walk with her.
Sundays were inlaws day ,we went to theirs, 40 miles away for lunch until our daughter was old enough to be left with them,we didn''t want then to miss out on her ,their only GC so when she was just about 2 we would leave her from Friday until Sunday .She also spent a couple of weeks in summer with them on the farm .
Consequently she had a brilliant relationship with all her GP's .As did my son when he arrived 10 years later.
My children have much the same routine with us ,we see our son most days and our daughter calls and msgs throughout the day .I think its just because it was the norm when they were small and growing up .My daughter also called her granny at least three times a week because she cant travel to see her .
Some of you will think we're odd.but we just love each other and like to spend time together whenever we can .

paddyann54 Thu 02-Dec-21 00:35:09

freedom from the past I had my own business when my children were born ,my daughter came to work with me when she was 8 days old and stayed until nursery when she was 3 .We had our business for 45 years only closing it because of covid .If you want something to work you can make it happen .Our children were both used to sorting mail,putting stamps on envelopes ,helping in the shop from a young age.Didn't do them any harm

Teacheranne Thu 02-Dec-21 00:50:39

I lived miles away from my parents after I got married until I moved back home ten years ago. So my relationship with them centred around irregular phone calls, I had three children less than four years apart and was working once the youngest went to school. My parents were busy as well, enjoying frequent holidays around the country on their bikes and I had a much younger sister as well.

So we did try to visit each other every few months especially for special events but it was difficult to arrange, even phone calls were irregular! But it did not stop us loving each other and enjoying each other’s company when we did meet and my children have lots of lovely memories of their grandparents.

Nowadays, my children also live some distance from me and the two in this country have very demanding jobs. Daily WhatsApp messages are our way of keeping in touch and that suits me as I can post or reply when convenient and they can sneak a quick message when at work! In fact, if they phone me I initially get worried in case something bad has happened! Also, any phone calls always seem to catch me at a bad moment when I am rushing out or got visitors so can be very brief.

Kalu Thu 02-Dec-21 01:24:26

I don’t recognise this in both DDs/GDs. DD1 and both GDs often pop in after school and DD pops in alone if she if passing ours. GD1 (16) is busy with exams at present. I collected both girls from school on Monday, big smiles when they saw me. I asked DD1 if she could send me a link to a site she found for me, I told her I knew this was a busy time for her and she replied, I’m never too busy for you Granny.
DD2 and SiL live in Australia. We all keep in touch regularly via WhatsApp, FaceTime, texts and phone calls.
Both our sets of parents were a big part of lives as were our GPs and we had regular visits/meals together.
All our girls still seek my advice. We also all sound the same which baffles DH whenever he answers his phone hoping he can recognise which one of us is calling.

Calendargirl Thu 02-Dec-21 07:10:56

I phone DD in Australia once a week and we message each other if anything interesting crops up in between.

DS, who lives a few minutes walk away from us, we can go for weeks without much contact. He usually rings if he wants something. Used to see much more of them when the GC were small, as we did school pick ups, meals etc. but not needed now they are teenagers.

I know that if their roles were reversed, i.e. daughter living nearby and son overseas, we would see much more of her family than we do of his, just how it is.

M0nica Thu 02-Dec-21 07:41:46

Looking upward, until they died (at 85 & 92), it was my parents that had the frenetic social life that we had to fit round. They died before electronic technology took off, but we usually visited them or they visited us every 4-6 weeks, they lived 90 miles away, and we spoke weekly

My AC live 90 and 200 miles away respectively, and this obviously affects how often we see them. DD is with us at the moment, for the first time since July, but we have visited her twice and we are on the phone 3 or 4 times a week, plus Facebook and email. DS, wife, and 2 teenage GC stay a week in each school holiday, we go up to visit them, usually at half term and again we are in touch almost daily through telephone, email and facebook.

Cabbie21 Thu 02-Dec-21 09:00:55

Looking back( my parents both died in 2001) I did not give them enough time. I had a busy, demanding job and several other commitments, so I only visited about every three weeks for a few hours. I could have done more. But they were very independent and did not readily accept help.
My daughter lives near me now and I am grateful for that. We keep in touch by text and doorstep visits and occasional outings.
My son lives about 15 miles away but I rarely see or hear from him. He brought me some shopping early on in the first lockdown but since then, it is up to me to go over there. As they are all busy people, and mixing a lot through school, college, work, etc I tend to keep my distance. No problems when we do meet though.

JackyB Thu 02-Dec-21 09:13:03

Until my father died,I would phone them about once a week, then when my mother got frailer I phoned her every night at about 6. I miss those phone calls now and sometimes wonder at 6 pm who I can ring and talk about the day's events (limited as they are).

I can't complain about the 2 of my 3 boys who have children of their own, we have contact about twice a week with each of them.

But thank heavens for daughters-in-law, with whom I have frequent contact via Signal.

Now I'm a grandmother myself, I do feel guilt about not keeping in touch with my parents more regularly when the boys were smaller. They were in a different country, and must have wished for more letters and phone calls, although they never complained.