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Old 11-03-2018, 07:11 PM
 
Location: The Outer Limits
1,453 posts, read 1,810,256 times
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Adult children that don't have time to pay respect ( call, visit ), help them out anyway they need, should be ashamed of themselves. No time for parents, their getting their lives together is total BS. I know all about adult children first hand.
I like you had to get my life together and still had time for mine, and wife's parents.
If you think your kids are ingrates, wait untill your grand kids become teenagers, you'll be lucky if your a passing thought.
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:36 AM
Status: "Excited to move to Vegas!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Beaverton, OR
5,530 posts, read 5,897,134 times
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I think, and I'm saying this as the kid in this situation, adult children relationships can be very difficult because of where you each are in life and it sometimes being a bit tough for parents to understand their sometimes conflicting desires. For instance, my dad has a lot of work events, parties, functions, etc. and there are times where I feel a bit trapped living in the same city (hopefully not for much longer), even though I love spending time with him in general, these aren't quality interactions. In fact, I've felt a bit hurt a few times when he seemed to make it a big deal how important it was that I show up, then I distinctly remember one time where I said hello, and I just started to mention something to him, literally first sentence not like I was holding him hostage here, and mid-sentence he cut me off, "Alright son well I need to go mingle with everyone," and it just really felt rude. Like why am I here then? I think parents often want their kids there almost as objects, like their little success objects, "Here's my dutiful son," but not so much as a person.

Then at other times, it's almost like "shame on you for not doing X, Y, and Z" when I'm thinking, seriously? Your work function wiped out one of the days of my week, so yes, you left me less time to do the work I need to do. You can't have it both ways. I work for myself, so I can be flexible to an extent, but I still have stuff to do. My sister works a more traditional job and he gets visibly irritated and annoyed that she's not at every event of his, "She needs to find a better balance between work and family," even though she works 35 hours a week so nothing crazy, but it's just inconvenient for him personally that she's not available at his beck and call whenever he has something going on. She doesn't have to work, she could just live off her trust fund and never lift a finger, but if she did that, he would be really disappointed and ticked off, so it sometimes feels like you can't win with someone like that. Do you want them doing nothing and available for every event of yours? Or do you want them too busy to go to every event / party / whatever that you hold because they're actually trying to make something of themselves?

I would say in general maybe I average seeing my dad twice a month, but it's kind of hard to say. Sometimes, it's weekly like lately, but other times he leaves town and I won't see him for a month because the dates just don't match up. Without fail, he will get back to town, though, and text me the next day at like 2 p.m., "Dinner tonight son?" On one hand, I try to think of it as sweet that he wants to see me, and not have negative feelings about it, but on the other hand, I find it very annoying because he gets somewhat butthurt that, no, sorry, I have plans tonight. It's almost like some parents expect you to be available for them whenever it's convenient for *them* and they have forgotten to make the transition to realizing you're another adult.

I envy the people I know whose relationships with their parents seem more like two friends, like my GF and her mom, whereas I often feel mine is more about a degree of control and since there's nobody else in my life who has any control over what I do, that's bound to create tension and friction in the relationship. I don't think it's necessary, as I love spending time with my dad and don't need to be controlled to do so, but even as much as I've just come out and said, look, I don't want to feel obligated to come to work functions and events just because I'm invited, he will acknowledge it but quickly forget.

I think the worst part is there's no credit given. If you show up to any of his important functions, which are honestly pretty often, then it's 0 points to you. If you DON'T show up, though, it's -5 and he won't soon forget about it. That just feels like a real lose-lose situation, because there's no appreciation that you were there at all. I remember at his last big birthday party, a bunch of people came into town, and he went through thanking every single friend, family member, basically everyone, his employees, and I never even got mentioned despite sitting at the same table. Thankful for this, that, and the other thing... never mentioned his son.

All of this is to say, yeah, I'm looking forward to NOT living in the same city anymore, because I don't want to feel obligated to hang out with anyone, even my dad, and I think our relationship would be better if I only saw him every few months honestly. We can talk on the phone, keep in touch every few days via text, but there's something about living in the same city that creates a sense of obligation I don't appreciate. And I don't feel appreciated, either.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:06 AM
 
11,963 posts, read 5,102,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanLB View Post
I think, and I'm saying this as the kid in this situation, adult children relationships can be very difficult because of where you each are in life and it sometimes being a bit tough for parents to understand their sometimes conflicting desires. For instance, my dad has a lot of work events, parties, functions, etc. and there are times where I feel a bit trapped living in the same city (hopefully not for much longer), even though I love spending time with him in general, these aren't quality interactions. In fact, I've felt a bit hurt a few times when he seemed to make it a big deal how important it was that I show up, then I distinctly remember one time where I said hello, and I just started to mention something to him, literally first sentence not like I was holding him hostage here, and mid-sentence he cut me off, "Alright son well I need to go mingle with everyone," and it just really felt rude. Like why am I here then? I think parents often want their kids there almost as objects, like their little success objects, "Here's my dutiful son," but not so much as a person.

Then at other times, it's almost like "shame on you for not doing X, Y, and Z" when I'm thinking, seriously? Your work function wiped out one of the days of my week, so yes, you left me less time to do the work I need to do. You can't have it both ways. I work for myself, so I can be flexible to an extent, but I still have stuff to do. My sister works a more traditional job and he gets visibly irritated and annoyed that she's not at every event of his, "She needs to find a better balance between work and family," even though she works 35 hours a week so nothing crazy, but it's just inconvenient for him personally that she's not available at his beck and call whenever he has something going on. She doesn't have to work, she could just live off her trust fund and never lift a finger, but if she did that, he would be really disappointed and ticked off, so it sometimes feels like you can't win with someone like that. Do you want them doing nothing and available for every event of yours? Or do you want them too busy to go to every event / party / whatever that you hold because they're actually trying to make something of themselves?

I would say in general maybe I average seeing my dad twice a month, but it's kind of hard to say. Sometimes, it's weekly like lately, but other times he leaves town and I won't see him for a month because the dates just don't match up. Without fail, he will get back to town, though, and text me the next day at like 2 p.m., "Dinner tonight son?" On one hand, I try to think of it as sweet that he wants to see me, and not have negative feelings about it, but on the other hand, I find it very annoying because he gets somewhat butthurt that, no, sorry, I have plans tonight. It's almost like some parents expect you to be available for them whenever it's convenient for *them* and they have forgotten to make the transition to realizing you're another adult.

I envy the people I know whose relationships with their parents seem more like two friends, like my GF and her mom, whereas I often feel mine is more about a degree of control and since there's nobody else in my life who has any control over what I do, that's bound to create tension and friction in the relationship. I don't think it's necessary, as I love spending time with my dad and don't need to be controlled to do so, but even as much as I've just come out and said, look, I don't want to feel obligated to come to work functions and events just because I'm invited, he will acknowledge it but quickly forget.

I think the worst part is there's no credit given. If you show up to any of his important functions, which are honestly pretty often, then it's 0 points to you. If you DON'T show up, though, it's -5 and he won't soon forget about it. That just feels like a real lose-lose situation, because there's no appreciation that you were there at all. I remember at his last big birthday party, a bunch of people came into town, and he went through thanking every single friend, family member, basically everyone, his employees, and I never even got mentioned despite sitting at the same table. Thankful for this, that, and the other thing... never mentioned his son.

All of this is to say, yeah, I'm looking forward to NOT living in the same city anymore, because I don't want to feel obligated to hang out with anyone, even my dad, and I think our relationship would be better if I only saw him every few months honestly. We can talk on the phone, keep in touch every few days via text, but there's something about living in the same city that creates a sense of obligation I don't appreciate. And I don't feel appreciated, either.
Thanks for posting this. I think it's good that some people see the other side of the coin and a perspective from a child who loves his parent but yet doesn't want to live in the same town.
I know I still have this issue with my mother. I love her, but am grateful she is 100 miles away.

Last edited by marino760; 11-04-2018 at 06:37 AM..
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:36 AM
 
4,866 posts, read 2,345,623 times
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Well put Jonathan!

I can speak from both sides of the aisle. Growing up - my brother was the favored child by my mother. Being the oldest - I got grief for everything I did she didn't approve of and my brother pretty much skated - oh he got talked to but it went in one ear and out the other. I'm expected to be at my mom's beck and call because I live 5 min away vs the 40 my brother lives. Since she doesn't drive - she expects me to chauffer her around. I do what I can and would probably do more except no matter what I do isn't good enough - she bad mouths me to everyone as if I do nothing. I can't wait until my husband retires so we can move. I've already taken classes on what's available for seniors so I can feel a bit better knowing there are services available to them. How I feel about her would be totally different if she wasn't so negative and wanting her problems to be my problems.


As a parent - I've already told my kids - if you have something to say - say it now so we can work on the problems. I don't want them having ill feeling towards their dad and I when we are older. Once we move - I don't expect to see the oldest too often - but would hope to talk with him every couple of weeks. We hope to be moving nearer the youngest so I hope to see him more - he calls almost daily now and keeps in contact. Each child is different - but I also plan to continue to have a life of my own. I want my kids to still be part of that life - but know they have their own lives to lead. I don't want to be a burden and put expectations on them they don't want or can't fulfill.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:57 AM
 
11,963 posts, read 5,102,113 times
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When I was in my mid to late 20s I learned to disengage from my mother. She criticized everything in my life and any decision I made. Growing up, I was a good kid, honor student, never did drugs, never got into any trouble but it seemed no matter what I did, it wasn't good enough. I even played sports in high school and she never went to even one of my matches. When I lettered and bought a letermans jacket using my own money I worked for, she lectured me for a month about wasting my money on a dumb jacket. She had to always make me feel small. My sister was the favorite and she could never do anything wrong.
I made the decision not to involve her in anything personal. She never knew what I did, how my work was, where I went on vacation, who my friends were or who I dated. It saved my sanity.
I see her about once a month and we are cordial to each other and never have harsh words but have very little to talk about.

Last edited by marino760; 11-04-2018 at 09:16 AM..
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:50 AM
 
1,630 posts, read 557,035 times
Reputation: 3076
As I look back on how I handled my relationship with my parents there are two things that stick out. FWIW, I went directly from living at home to living with my boyfriend for about 10 years before we got married. So there was no period in which I was a single adult living on my own (until age 50.) My parents and his lived in the same town, which was about 15 miles from where we bought our house.

My parents and his were as different as night and day. His parents thought nothing of either dropping in on us on a weekend when they were out socializing with their friends (and sometimes bringing their friends with them; both of which things horrified me for multiple reasons); my parents would never dream of dropping in on anyone without an invitation. My MIL demanded that both of her sons call her every Sunday without fail; my dad felt that a forced communication was meaningless because the caller/writer was only doing it because they had to rather than because they want to. [I totally agree with this, by the way] However, my parents would drop everything, go to the ends of the earth, give you the shirt off their backs, etc etc on a moment's notice for any kind of request or even suggestion that I or my son might make; my in-laws always put their own lives first. And if they did any favor for us (rare) they'd put it in some big mental ledger of What We Did For You/What You Did For Us and never let anyone forget it.

Two favorite phrases sum it all up. My MIL would always say to her sons "I carried you for nine months and wiped your bottom when you were little, so that means you owe me." (with strong vocal emphasis on those last three words). My dad's favorite phrase to me was "Anything you ever want or need, princess, just ask."

That said, I confess I never called my parents to just talk/chitchat. It was usually when I needed to borrow something or ask a favor or a question. We would talk about other things during the conversation (usually) but that was almost always the reason for my call. My dad would sometimes call me if he'd seen something in a store or in a magazine that he thought I might like or could use -- but most times he'd just go ahead and buy the item and give it to me as a gift, LOL. I was just too caught up in what was going on in my own life (fulltime job during the week, social life with boyfriend/fiance/husband at other time, then raising a child) to have my parents on the front burner, so to speak.

One thing I do regret terribly is that because my in-laws were so demanding, my boyfriend/husband insisted that we spend most holidays with them. What I didn't find out until many years later is that he looked down on my parents because they weren't college educated professional people like his were. I made the mistake of insisting that we go to my parents house for Xmas Eve one year and he was so surly that my mom called me the next day in tears, apologizing for whatever way she had offended him. I assured her she hadn't, and when I discussed it with him afterward he blew up and made my life miserable for a week until I apologized for upsetting him. We never went to my parents house again for a holiday. He was classic passive-aggressive and our marriage came apart years later, after both my parents were dead. I should have left him after that nasty Xmas Eve incident, LOL

Last edited by BBCjunkie; 11-04-2018 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,869 posts, read 1,399,615 times
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Wow, talk about depressing.

Now I know why I give thanks to God at night.

my relationship with my elderly parents and my adult children are great. My dad is in NYC so I don't get to see him often but we talk at least 3-4 times a month. My kids call him all the time to see how he's doing.

I find out about my mother in law more often than not from one of my sons. lol my oldest is married and I talk with my daughter in law more than him. Yes everyone is busy but jeez how long can a simple "hi, how are you" take?

op sorry I don't have any advice for you, the situations described here are so absolutely foreign to me and just seem so sad and disrespectful.

My 26 year old just left today for two week training in Indianapolis, he texted me when he was leaving to say he would call me when he got into his hotel. He doesn't need to give me an accounting, but I appreciate the fact that he knows even as a grown man I'll worry about him and I appreciate just a quick text saying he arrived safely.

hell I'm darn near 60 and still let my pops know if I'm leaving the country.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:32 AM
 
1,630 posts, read 557,035 times
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Originally Posted by eliza61nyc View Post
Yes everyone is busy but jeez how long can a simple "hi, how are you" take?

The thing is -- in my experience anyhow -- there's no such thing as a quick Hi How Are You phone call. It may start out that way but unless one of the parties is either at work or interrupted by something else, it can end up lasting for an hour. And I don't know many 30- or 40-somethings who have an spare hour to spend on the phone these days. My son certainly doesn't, and I didn't when I was his age and in his situation (working and/or with a young family to care for.)
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:38 AM
 
1,630 posts, read 557,035 times
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Originally Posted by eliza61nyc View Post
My 26 year old just left today for two week training in Indianapolis, he texted me when he was leaving to say he would call me when he got into his hotel. He doesn't need to give me an accounting, but I appreciate the fact that he knows even as a grown man I'll worry about him and I appreciate just a quick text saying he arrived safely.
I would think that most adult children would do that. I did, and my son does. That's just common courtesy. But unless I'm reading the OP wrong, she was talking about a greater desired level of interaction than this. My son and DIL used to travel a lot before the baby was born. Although I wasn't in the loop during the planning stages, I was kept abreast of when their flight would leave and would get a text either when the plane landed or they got to their hotel. Not for driving trips though. I guess we as a society still assume that driving is safer than flying.
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,869 posts, read 1,399,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCjunkie View Post
The thing is -- in my experience anyhow -- there's no such thing as a quick Hi How Are You phone call. It may start out that way but unless one of the parties is either at work or interrupted by something else, it can end up lasting for an hour. And I don't know many 30- or 40-somethings who have an spare hour to spend on the phone these days. My son certainly doesn't, and I didn't when I was his age and in his situation (working and/or with a young family to care for.)
ok so I must be an outlier. I have never spent an hour on the phone with my parents in my entire life. heck I don't talk that long with my best friend. even when I moved away my mom would call and say "hi hon, how are you". 10-15 minutes later we'd be done.

and on the remote chance of it turning into a long conversation one of us would usually say "let me call you back"

So my kids range from 24-29. again they all call me and they call their grandparents. Really, most times it's a very short easy conversation. My youngest still lives at home but is working 2 jobs so I rarely see him so lol, we still call. for example he texted me last night to remind me to turn my clocks back and to say he'd be out the house before I got up.

maybe because I have my own life also so I'm just as busy. my others usually call just to see how I'm doing, I ask about their jobs etc etc and then we keep it moving.

I read that op never talks at all or rarely does.
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