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  1. #1
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    Default Lack of family support, advise welcomed

    Hi, (this post may be lengthy) I am new today and after 3 years and almost 3 children I thought maybe I could find some support and advise from other people in my situation.

    My husband and I moved to my home town where my parents and 4 siblings live, mostly for work however being pregnant with our first child (and me being child no 8, to "start the family" at 36) we thought it would be good to have some family support. How wrong we were. We have realised its a result of a few factors, mostly my spot in the family (being the bottom feeder, lol) my eldest sibling is 17 yrs my senior, so my parents have had grand kids for 30 years, we guess by yr 36 they are over it after 17 gks. So we are very disappointed.

    My parents have hardly visited in 3 years, only on request and even then they appear hours late due to other siblings "dropping in" or phoning. Doesn't do much for the self esteem. The last two occassions in the month my girls, 2.5 and 1 were v sick with broncitis, I asked my parents if they could visit so I could go for a walk, they didn't appear, last week was our 1 yr olds birthday, again I asked if they could visit, they didn't appear. I used to brush it off and now both my husband and I are very upset about their lack of interest.

    My mother in law was diagnosed with repeat breast cancer last week, she is in hospital, my husband has to go to Sydney this week, I have told my parents again hoping to receive some support as I am very stressed at present, also pregnant with number 3! both my parents made excuses for not being able to visit. So I think now, do I disregard it and let them continue treating us this way (my mother also won't kiss or cuddle my girls, she says each time she has a cold) or cut them off, either way we may as well be living on the moon.

    My husbands parents didn't talk to us for 2 years because we eloped, they have seen our girls twice last year for the first time, and now grandma is sick she is regretful for this, however I don't think my parents even think about how they are missing out on their beautiful grandkids (although when I meet people up the street they are quick to tell me how my mum raves about them). Any views? I am feeling low about this.

  2. #2
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    That's horrible that you don't get the support from them, and even worse that they don't want to spend as much time as possible with your kids. My dad was 1 of 9 and I have loads of cousins and my grandparents were there for all of us so having lots of grandkids is NO excuse.

    Have you thought about maybe adopting some other parents? It sounds stupid, but I have a friend who was living in an area with no support so she visited the local retirement village with her kids, and they now have about 5 sets of grandparents and she has loads of support should she need it. The "grandparents" think it's great that they get extra love as well. There was also a story in either That's life or Take 5 recently about a grandmother who wrote away asking for some "grandkids" to be part of her life and she recently updated it said she now has many of them around the country that she writes to and keeps in touch with.

    It's absolutely rotten that you don't have the support though. But if you can enrich your life and the life of someone else then I would go that way. Our kids have several "non family" aunts and uncles in their lives and they love it.

    I wish you the best with it - and come back and let it out

  3. #3
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    have you sat down and talked to your parents about this? Maybe they don't realise how you feel.

    If after talking to them about it, they still don't offer more support, at least you'll know where you stand.

    Have you got other family (aunts etc) that you can call on for help. I often find my mum springs into action (she's a bit like your mum) when I go to my aunts for help.

    Lisa

  4. #4
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    Thankyou both, yes Lisa, in fact the last 2 times I have seen them I spoke to them about it, even going in to see them on a weekend on my own, I commented that I feel the other siblings and gks have spent more time with them and we don't have support and find it difficult at times. Their usual response, complete denial and change the subject.

    To add to today's post, I just rang my mother for her birthday and she said, "and the baby's birthday this week" she knows very well it was last Friday as they left a phone message, I reminded her of this and also reminded her they didn't show for it, to which the response was "oh you need to write it in big black letters on my calender", my response was if you can remember toenail and hair appointments surely you can remember your youngest grand childs birthday. And before anyone asks, no she doesn't have any form of dementia, she remembered quite clearly today that 2 of her daughters were taking her to lunch (I have asked many times for her to join us for a coffee and always excuses). My sister just says "she's old and had enough of kids" however I don't buy that one. We feel for the kids however because they will not get quality time with their grandparents who are elderly, it breaks our heart because we have tried so much over the last 3 years you have to get to a point surely where you just say, ok enough is enough?

    We have a few older friends who do love the kids dearly, we talk about them often so we try and keep in contact and visit.

  5. #5
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    I feel for you Biccy........It's hard when we seem to have realistic expectations that just don't get met.I suppose in a way maybe your parents are done with kids but it seems unfair and unfamily{is this a word} for them to be so disinterested in your life......i ,too,struggle with no family support but due to living in another state and little support from inlaws,who do live in my state but can't be bothered to drive the hour and a half to see us or share in the kids birthdays ,sports days etc.....does my head in but i am lucky that i have quite a few friends in the same situation so we are there for each other....I think as i have got older i have come to realise that we can't depend on many people including family to be there for us in the way we want or need them too so we just operate on our family needs,our immediate family me dh and kids....we have our life and we make all things for us important and special and include anyone who wants to join us....There are others in the family who won't visit us [but expect us to make the journey to visit them] and we don't see some people as often as we should but if people won't put themselves out I don't either ...i know 2 wrongs don't make a right but i make myself crazy if i do everyone else's bidding and don't get something back.....The only people we do put ourselves out for is the great grandparents as they no longer drive and we wouldn't expect them to make the long drive either.....It depends how much you want your parents in your life and whether it's worth the effort to keep them there.....You could always pick your mum up and take her to a park with you,or go and have a coffee or just take her home with you......We are not the same sort of society we use to be and your mum raised 8 kids ,now is her time too......maybe you need to redefine your view of her....saying that it sucks you have come along wanting this now as your siblings would have got the best of her so you can still feel ripped off it just won't change things ......Maybe you could join a mothers group or playgroup ,give you some support ......... sorry for the rant....

  6. #6
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    Thanks Deb for your words, not a rant, I understand and agree with your views, I know they are over it and after a few more attempts last week just realise as you said Mum in particular is just at the end of her energy levels for kids.

    My dh and I agree as you do, our family unit is the most important and we make sure we have happy times with our little girls and pay them lots of attention (doesn't make it easy though when my 2.5 yr old asks why the grandparents don't visit us).

    We live in a very small town and I joined a mothers group when my first child was born, however after a few years and another child, I found it difficult to get to and the group diminished rapidly due to boredom I think. The girls go to family daycare which is great and we go to music group once a week, pre school and ballet next year so things are starting to pick up socially.

    However we have had a lovely offer from one sister who lives 1000 km away, she has offered to come and stay with us after the birth of my 3rd child, due in about 4 months, so we have taken her offer, she can help with the 2 girls and take them to parks etc, so I felt very overwhelmed by that esp because my 4 siblings in the immediate area don't even call.

    thanks again and it's nice to hear from others in the same boat.


 

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