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Rant Room Clean ranting only - No Swearing!

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  • 2 Post By Spacecadet
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Spacecadet
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My bloody parents.

My aged parents (80 and 74) constantly whine that my wife and I don't take their grandchildren to their house. They enjoy sitting and watching the children play, which I'm sure is lovely.

However, given my wife and I both work very long hours and really only get to properly see the children at the weekend for any quality time, we have not ever attempted to maintain this weekly 'requirement'. We pop over every few weeks.

Anyway, my parents have recently discovered emailing. They now enjoy sending emails to me every few days asking when they night see their grandchildren as its been soooooo long etc. Never more than three weeks!

Any ways to my rant. I have been trying to get the aged pair to actually leave the house and join us in things the children enjoy doing. Visiting local venues, the local farm, park etc. That way they leave the house, they see the grandchildren and the grandchildren get a relatively normal childhood.

In response, my parents now come up with every possibly reason to not join us. We have had - We can't because:
We are going shopping.
I'm cleaning the house.
The window cleaner is due.
I'm going to be making lunch.
I have too much post to read through.
I'm going to be going out later.
I don't like that place.
I don't like the lunches they do.

In fact, any possible reason to not come, followed by the many emails asking when they get grandchildren delivered to look at.

I've had my fecking fill of it.

If they want to see their grandchildren, they can damned well start putting some effort in. They aren't bloody performing animals, they aren't a visiting petting zoo. They are children and I am not going to be wasting their valuable childhood any longer.

Rant over.
 
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Nothing you can do, keep trying but don't expect much success. Since they've discovered e-mails maybe you could discover vlogs? Take video on your phone of the children having a great time at some event and send it to them with a 'wish you were here'.

Expect the 'it's too hot' and 'I don't like driving at night' excuses very soon.
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If they've mastered emails can you get them on facebook, facetime, skype etc? We had similar issues so got them a basic iPad and now we can't stop them facetiming!


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They live less than 5 miles away. They are just bloody minded.
 
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As a Grandparent all I would add is that you will miss them when they are gone. At their ages you may not have that much time left. Once they are dead you have the rest of your lifetime to regret any falling out.
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As a Grandparent all I would add is that you will miss them when they are gone. At their ages you may not have that much time left. Once they are dead you have the rest of your lifetime to regret any falling out.
Does that give the the grandparents a free pass to act inconsiderately? Including toward their grandchildren (who probably don't want to play in Grandpa and Grandma's garden every single weekend)?

I'd say no.
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Try playing the waiting game. Tell them that if they don't come you won't either. And wait. Don't answer the phone and mails for a week or two...And wait...And wait. Only ask them if they reconsidered coming or not. Eventually they break and come.
Bloody parents that's a bit harsh ;-) Let's see how we will do in they're age And TonyGR is right with one thing at 80 you can be here and on another day...
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Mmmmm, aged parents can be a nightmare indeed. You are quite right to stand firm and if they keep throwing up barriers as to why they can't visit, well that's their problem and you should have nothing to feel guilty about. I don't know if your wife's parents are still around or near by but I don't suppose it has occurred to yours that their world is not the centre of the universe. When I was a kid my parents used to leave me and my sis' at my grandparents (small holding and kennels, dangerous buildings and equipment) and we loved it. Any chance you could leave the kids with your parents occasionally?
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Been there, done that, just don't dig your feet in, and keep inviting them to your family outings. Our family rift lasted years over a similar issue. To this day there is tension and my dad went to his grave without the issues being sorted.

How about visiting after you've been out with the kids at the weekend, on your way home,

You can use the excuse, to keep the visit short, by saying "got to get the kids home for bed, bath, food"

I have a different tack, now I'm a grandparent, to that of my mother and father. If my kids and their rugrats want to visit they'll visit.

And if I haven't heard from my two kids for days I know everything is hunky dory

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I have had a very similar issue over the last few years. Though having lost my father recently I'd urge you not to get too exorcised about.
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My Mum is similar, lots of barriers in the way of doing things, coming out, enjoying herself etc. You generally have to put yourself out to accommodate them, despite the retired folks having the most time on their hands.

I think once you burrow into retirement appointments seem to loom large in your day. Mrs Pat's dad was always putting things off in a similar fashion "we are in the area, we'll pop and see you" - "No, I have to pay the milkman on Tuesdays" - "What time does come 'round?" - "07:30am"
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As an orphan, I rather wish my aged parents were still alive even though it used to be a 230ml drive to see them. You do what you can, that's all you can do. No need to get angry about it. As with kids, give them a choice: either you can come with us, which would be nice, or you can stay indoors and rot by yourselves, which wouldn't. Now which would you like to do?

All of us get inflexible and stuck in our ways as we get older and the world leaves us behind. It's a sort of separation by mutual agreement. You should meet my mother in law who thinks it's perfectly reasonable to expect 'someone' to drive an hour and a half each way through London traffic to take her to church which is just round the corner from her house.

The trouble is, it sort of is, from her PoV. Her mobility is lousy now, through not having used it when she could. She gets afraid easily, because she's never been especially independent. She also lives in a **** flat in a **** area, but it's where she grew up and it's home.

Just the way she talks shows an amazing insensitivity to the needs of others, because she is so preoccupied with her own. She forgets completely that people have stuff like working stupid long hours to deal with. She just doesn't listen, and in many ways behaves like a petulant kid trying to get her own way. But behind all that, she is afraid, and rather lonely, and when we dig our heels in and get her out of the bloody house, she actually loves it and forgets she's 84.
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Whatever you do don't fall out over it. Try creating a system of 'turns' for visits so that if you visited them last time they come to you the next. That will at least reduce the issue by 50%. Make it clear they are completely welcome to come to you (I wonder if for some other reason they feel constrained?).

Small grand kids are wonderful in principle for grandparents but the reality of shouting, jumping, screaming children can actually be a bit much for someone who last had to deal with that stuff 35 years ago, so point out the advantages of coming to you so they can at least leave when it all becomes too much.
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The sad thing is that it was only when my mum became ill that her loving gentle side came out with those closest to her...i just wish she could have opened up to us more before she passed away.
I felt exactly the same as the OP.....families can be so weird when it comes to emotions....
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I know it sounds daft but have you told them how you see it from your side? Just like you did here really.

Liz and I are grandparents of six aged from 3 months to 18 years. We are lucky being in our early 60s and having our first grandchild when I was 45. This gave us the advantage of knowing (remembering) just how time consuming having young children is. Older grandparents do, I am sure, get very set in their ways and any alteration to the structure of their days is a major issue - no matter how insignificant it might seem to the rest of us.

We live 150 miles away from all of them and realise that bundling enough stuff for (say) 2 young children into the car for a day or overnight visit is a lot of work. We tend to drive down to them - gives the Spider a good run as well.

I think verbout's ^^^^ idea about popping in for a few minutes sounds like a good one.

Sorry to go on but please consider talking to them about it rather than letting it fester.

Good luck!

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Just a further thought. All our children live a good distance away so visits tend to be infrequent. The eldest is the only one with children but both he and his wife teach full time. That means if we visit them the DiL has to shop for and prepare a meal which takes time and eats into their weekend. They generally visit us because Granny cooks a damn good Sunday lunch which we all enjoy. We have friends whose children still live close by and they get given lunch most Sundays but don't have to stop all day.

Can you not arrange a quid pro quo. "Give us lunch but in the afternoon the youngsters have to go to the farm park (it's to do with a project for school would be even better) but you're welcome to come with us" That lays down that while you want to see them you have no intention of giving up the whole day.

What ever you do don't loose contact. My parents and FiL died when our eldest child was only a toddler and his sister less than a year old. The MiL wanted nothing to do with us (for various reasons unconnected with the children) so the children grew up without any contact with grandparents. This has left a permanent gap in their lives which can never be filled.

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My bloody parents.

I get the arguments both ways and I realise that my dad especially is not likely to live for much longer due to multiple health issues.

One if my major irritations is that my dad has been told by doctors that he needs to be more active. He has had significant heart surgery and a new hip in the last 3 years. He just refuses. Part of my cunning plan had been to force him out of the house to get some exercise and see the little ones. He doesn't want to know.


They have an ample cash flow and refuse to do anything with it. They moan about everything from immigration to bin emptying, to relatives and the neighbours who feed the birds too much. I've suggested they go away on holiday, a cruise maybe, or a catered 5 star hotel. Nope.

I shall continue to try and find solutions, but they are just waiting to die at the moment and it is both depressing and irritating.
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Depressing + irritating = Family

Do your best.
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Quote:
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They have an ample cash flow and refuse to do anything with it. They moan about everything from immigration to bin emptying, to relatives and the neighbours who feed the birds too much. I've suggested they go away on holiday, a cruise maybe, or a catered 5 star hotel. Nope.
Are you my long lost brother?

All this must be quite familiar to so many people. Whilst it seems we don't have a hope in hell of changing our dear old folks we can definitely learn not to turn into them! I think you will just have to accept that is the way they have become, sticks in the mud, and you'll just have to pop round as and when you feel necessary because you have your own family now and they are your ultimate responsibility and priority.
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How about something that is quite regular / routine and not too taxing, for example how would they react if you asked them if they might like to pick the kids up from school once a week / every two weeks? They could do this on a regular day, take them back to their house for a bit and later on, you / swmbo could go and pick them up.
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My bloody parents.

I wouldn't trust my parents in charge of my children. When my eldest was small, my parents volunteered to do childcare a day a week when my wife went back to work. I dropped my then 9 month old daughter off at 10am with a packed lunch of puréed goo and milk etc. For a trial run.

I arrived at 2.30pm as agreed to find daughter crying and hysterical.

Turns out they had forgotten to feed her or give her anything to drink all day. I grabbed her pre-packed drink and suddenly she stopped crying. Strange that!

First and last time I've ever left my children in my parents care.
 
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SC...I can sense this is causing you great angst...and i feel for you.
Have you ever told them how you feel like you have opened up to us?...perhaps that might break the ice...it may be a case of being cruel to be kind.
At times when i was growing up all i wanted was a hug....i wanted my parents to play with my kids rather than just handing them a tenner.....
Families.....a rollercoaster of emotion.....good luck !!
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