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Old June 24th, 2017, 11:31 PM
Wandarlust Wandarlust is offline
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Thinking of removing myself from my adult children's lives

I'll try to keep this as short as possible. My husband passed away close to 11 years ago. My daughters were 19 and 23 at the time.

My eldest is married to a wonderful guy who is in the Marines and they now have 4 children. They have never lived close as they have been stationed in other places most of the time accept for the past year. They are set to move again soon.

My youngest is now married also and expecting her first child. They live in my general area and always have. I like her husband also.

The problem is this: since my husband passed, they each seem to have gone on about their lives and just left me to go on. Not saying that I haven't visited my eldest and her family during the times they weren't in the area or that I don't do things with my youngest (ever so occasionally). And, of course, I hear from them on the "obligatory" occasions; birthdays, Mother's Day, the holidays, etc. But more often than not, my texts are ignored for days, if they're even answered at all. Most of the time when I see them, it's because I've reached out to them, not because they have me over for dinner or ask if I'd like to do something with them. Several times over the years my eldest and her family would visit her husband's dad, who lives in the same general area I do, and I wouldn't even know they were in town until after the fact. The excuse was "you were working, etc." I'm nearly always the last to know of anything that's going on with them.

Now the general excuse you hear for this is "people are busy". Well I get that. I totally do. My eldest has 4 kids; I understand that this can get busy. The youngest and her husband both work. But I say this is an excuse. It's what you choose to do when you're not "busy" that is telling.

So I'm thinking of just not reaching out to them anymore. If I hear from them I do, if I don't, I don't. I'm even considering making plans to be "away" this coming TG and Christmas.

I know this sounds harsh, and I love the grand kids to death (when I see them) but I'm tired of this. I won't live forever and perhaps I should just go on and say "to hell with it" and start planning my life as if i may or may not be included in theirs. Perhaps I should just admit the fact that even though they like to say "family is everything" their actions don't reflect this. Not with me anyway.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 05:27 AM
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LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
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Re: Thinking of removing myself from my adult children's lives

Your children aren't abusive. They're busy, and you aren't being included as much as you want to be. They aren't meeting your needs, but making sure your needs are met isn't their job; it's yours.

I think you shouldn't do anything official, but definitely live your own life and do what you want. You are still young, independent, you should pursue your own interests as long as you can. They'll be there when you need them.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 12:59 PM
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Re: Thinking of removing myself from my adult children's lives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wandarlust View Post
I know this sounds harsh, and I love the grand kids to death (when I see them) but I'm tired of this. I won't live forever and perhaps I should just go on and say "to hell with it" and start planning my life as if i may or may not be included in theirs.
Honestly, I believe this is how it should be. Certainly, I think you *should* be included in their lives and I sincerely hope you will be. But I think you are on the right track.

There's some saying that I don't recall at the moment, but basically the gist is to give people the effort that is returned to you. If your girls don't make the effort in the relationship that you do, you will feel taken advantage of. Just like everything in life, to best value a relationship with you, your daughters need to work for it. I don't know if that's making sense.

Ideally, we all grow up knowing that our parents are there for us 100% no matter what and we take it for granted. As we grow and move forward, sometimes it's hard to remember that there is a parent behind us on the launch pad. I have been on both sides of this, as the kid who went away and now the parent being left. The hardest part is trust - I trusted when I left that my parents would always be there (they have since died, so I appreciate the sentiment of not being there forever) and now, watching my kids testing their wings, I have to trust that they love me and won't forget about me even though they sometimes don't seem to show it.

The one thing from your post that I will encourage you not to fall prey to is backing off from their lives as a punishment to them. Please make sure you are doing it with the right motivation. Withdraw (and I don't mean totally... just "match their effort") for your own good. Do it for your own sense of well-being and self-respect.

With respect to making plans to be away at TG and Christmas, will your youngest have her baby by then? I might hold off a year, or at the very least only make plans to be away for one of the two holidays. Something tells me that once the baby comes, she might want her momma around more to help her out.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 06:10 PM
Wandarlust Wandarlust is offline
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Re: Thinking of removing myself from my adult children's lives

First, thanks for the replies. I've been thinking about this a little and I think the answer lies somewhere in-between, probably something like Kay Kay is stating.

So, I think that I will make an effort to let them make the first move to invite me over, out whatever, and let the chips fall where they may! (The older one is moving away very soon so couldn't do stuff with them anyway). I'll just "hold on loosely" as the song goes, but leave it at that. As to Thanksgiving, my youngest is due right at the end of October/beginning of November so maybe this year isn't the best time. But I do plan on perhaps taking a Thanksgiving getaway one of these years just b/c it looks like it would be fun to go somewhere warm on TG!
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Old June 25th, 2017, 06:13 PM
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Re: Thinking of removing myself from my adult children's lives

(hugs)

I'm sorry that you feel left out


Do you ever talk/Skype with the grandkids?
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