First post so apologies if I did something wrong here.
It’s took a while and lots of thought to come to this conclusion but I really don’t feel a lot for one of my 4 offspring, his wife and 2 grandchildren. I’m sure that in some way I love them but I just don’t feel very strongly. The children are now 3 and 5 and belong to my DS and DIL who are mid to late 30’s professionals and frankly we have so little in common. Though we live quite close to each other we don’t see an awful lot of them to build a relationship unless they need babysitters due to their ‘busy lives’ however if I ask what they’ve done over the weekend they’ll say not a lot really which is a very non committed answer, later it will come out that they went to a place close to us where we might have met for a brief catch up.
My DIL is a nice person and we get on well, My DS has done well for himself and they seem to be quite happy together, I notice that my DS just goes along with everything that DIL wants, no longer sees his friends and is often left looking after the children whilst DIL is visiting her friends all over the country for the day often on a weekend. He does most of the cooking, washing and general running around after the kids as well as holding down a demanding full time job.
The couple have a very different parenting style to us in that whenever the children want to do something the parents always tell them it’s not safe. There are no toys in the garden for the kids to play with and the things we have purchased to bring fun into their lives are pretty quickly sent off to charity shops etc. They do take the kids out to a local play park, a museum or the theatre. It’s clear that the kids are pretty bored and can be a handful as a result. When we babysit we like to play, have fun with games, DH even has a bit of rough and tumble with them, we feel it’s important to help them learn to risk assess for themselves. When the parents come back obviously the kids will tell the parents what we have been up to to which my DIL will say “oh I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that” and we feel like naughty children ourselves. The five year old is scared of own shadow, has little confidence and is quite whiny and manipulative and seems to need the 3 year old for security, the 3 year old is quite Pleasant in nature but is often in the doghouse having been bubbled up for something by the 5 year old which provokes a reaction and a telling off by the parents.
I rightly keep my opinions to myself because the way they live their lives and raise their kids has nothing to do with me but I do wonder if not feeling anything much for them is normal. Obviously there is a lot more I could mention but it’s not meant as a character assassination of them rather a why do I feel the way I do about them because I feel quite bad about it as we have other grandchildren that we feel differently about.
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