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Old 02-13-2011, 02:25 PM
 
48 posts, read 225,677 times
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When my parents retired, they eventually moved to a buildt a house in Texas. It was a if they died, I mourned their loss. That was in the days when long distance calling was expensive! Letters and pics where usually very slow. My fault as well, remember I was in mourning and very caught up in the fact We had three kids, both worked full time, hubby was out of town a lot for his job.

Then the inlaws did the same thing, not as devestating but still, hard. None of the grandkids had anything in common with any other them. Inlaws came back in the summer, but, didn't really see them much, again, probably partly our fault.

Hubby was talking about retiring, "So where do you want to retire too?" I said "sorry, I don't want to be a absentee grandparent, but I will come and visit you where ever you are". He was like a deer caught in the headlights!! Hahaha. He had never considered I didn't want the same thing he did.

We call them, they call us, we are all on Facebook, by the way, you can limit what anyone can read about you and sign up to an account on another website just for that. Just don't put anything out there you don't want others to see. Send that in an email, just not banking information!!!, haha.

We had decided to rent something when we want to get away, we can try different places that way. We do live in a high tax state, soooooo, not sure how long we will really stay in this state, but, we will try as long as we can.

Right now my DFinL is 91 and still completes in the Senior Olyimpics, they are in Houston this June, and yes we are taking him, God willing. He is a gem, and time is going to quickly. He does live in assisted living as he is close to friends, that are still living. It is his roots, his comfort zone. So, even if you get upset with the kids, let them know you are there. Don't be afraid of technology, embrace it! Texting is not hard either, Hahaha.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Texas
5,230 posts, read 11,675,564 times
Reputation: 2647
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
Amen!!!!

I do wonder if sometimes this my-kids-never-call "problem" isn't due to the fact that some parents haven't made any lives for themselves other than being parents.

My mother called me ritually same day same time when I was an adult, and she had nothing to say.

When she put my father on the phone he was clearly doing his duty, said hi and got off the phone. When he had some real reason for contact, he made contact. When I visited them he and I had a congenial time, and he usually had a few things that had happened or that he was interested in since the last time we had visited that he would talk about. The thing was that he had an active social life and took an interest in various things, the fact that they didn't especially interest me was not important because I was hearing real news and about his emotional involvement in life. There was a real person with a real life there.

These same visits when it came to my mother were as tortured and pointless as her telephone calls. She had no life except golf and going from house to house to gossip with other women. She was interested in nothing, she was bored and always fretting over appointments, shopping, errand, etc....which I came to see as a kind of negative way of filling up the vacuum that was her life.

She was totally stuck in being my parent, which is to say, stuck in the past. Despite telling her about my job, friends, etc. in those horrible ritual phone calls.....she had no real interest in my "news." I came to the conclusion that because I had moved away after college, and, thus, she had no on-site (so to speak) involvement in what I was doing - it really didn't matter to her, and it certainly didn't stick with her. It was just information about me, but it wasn't about she-and-I, parent-and-child.

Thus, when I visited she related to me, my likes, dislikes, plans, etc. as if I were still in high school or college....my attempts to talk about the one, two, three decades that passed since then were always met with glazed eyes and polite attention that quickly melted into obvious uncomprehending boredom.

Probably one of the most shocking contacts I had with her as an adult was when I was forty-five. I had a nice paying job as a minor administrator, with a big, stable institution, a good pension plan, insurance, etc....all those things that marked "a good job" to her. On one visit when my father was not in the house, out of the blue she said, "I don't know why you don't do what John Smith (my high school principal) said you should do." I was totally gobsmacked by this out-of-nowhere remark, and said, "What!!!?" Which was an expression of my amazement and confusion, but she took it as interest. And she responded, "Get a good job in the Libary of Congress."

I had been sixteen when he suggested this, I was now forty-five.

He had suggested a career as a librarian, I think, because I was a very bookish high school student. However, I had never taken so much as a single course that would have equipped me to be a libarian at the county dog pound, much less the Library of Congress.
I realized in that instant, standing in her kitchen in Florida, that for the last thirty years this woman had kept herself a stranger from me and my life. And that was her own red wagon, not one I had given her.

After that visit I used to unplug the phone every Sunday, which was her ritual call day, and I stopped dutifully answering each and every letter, and I stopped spending each major holiday at their house and part of every vacation.

And I have known other people who have had similar experiences with one or both parents. I have sat and listened to the woman I am seeing talk with her mother and father. And it is very similar: her father talks about what he's doing and asks about what has happened with this and that in her life since they last spoke. But when she talks with her mother it is agony. This woman only sees her daughter as the mother of her grandchidren, but other than that she doesn't seem to care that as these grandkids are in their twenties her daughter has a life that is not exclusively devoted to being the mother of her grandchildren.

Yes, some kids grow up and grow away from their parents, and that can certainly be hurtful. But, by Harry, there are some parents that need to grow up themselves and stop sucking on the nipple of parenthood as their raison d'etre.
Excellent, true, and well written.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,130 posts, read 45,641,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canine*Castle View Post
For goodness sake, they have their own lives. My children call me occasionally as I do them. They are busy adults and I'm a busy adult. I raised them to be self-sufficient; they are. If my children were always around me or called me umpteen times a day, I'd wonder how I failed as a parent.
I, too, congratulate myself that I have raised 4 independent children. This does not, however, explain that they cannot give their parents a single thought, pick up the phone for no reason other than to check on our wellbeing, or that they cannot prompty answer a text message or voice mail...not OK.
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:06 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,516,359 times
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... and saddening as well.
__________________
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People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Arizona
419 posts, read 658,079 times
Reputation: 862
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I, too, congratulate myself that I have raised 4 independent children. This does not, however, explain that they cannot give their parents a single thought, pick up the phone for no reason other than to check on our wellbeing, or that they cannot prompty answer a text message or voice mail...not OK.
How true. No, it is not OK. It gets so tiring hearing the excuses out of peoples mouth that they are "too busy" to fulfill obligations. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. If something is important to a person it will get done. If not, of course, there is not enough time. Apply's to so called friends & family who never seem to have the time to return phone calls, texts or e-mails. Most of us see through the lame excuses. So, try again.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,130 posts, read 45,641,400 times
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This thread made me sort of gloomy yesterday, but when i got home from work, my son had dropped off a flower arrangement for Valantines Day. I was totally thrilled at his thoughtfulness after the pity party I gave myself that the kids never call. At least one of them threw Mom a bone.LOL
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,668,169 times
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Quote:
At least one of them threw Mom a bone.LOL
I do not think this is quite an appreciative statement to make about a son who cares enough to send flowers. "Threw mom a bone?" How about "What a great son to do this for me." And forget the fact that the others didn't. I wonder if your negative attitude shows through to your kids and they feel there is no pleasing you.

Last edited by Minervah; 02-15-2011 at 01:27 PM.. Reason: typo correction
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,978,143 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canine*Castle View Post
For goodness sake, they have their own lives. My children call me occasionally as I do them. They are busy adults and I'm a busy adult. I raised them to be self-sufficient; they are. If my children were always around me or called me umpteen times a day, I'd wonder how I failed as a parent.
While I see what you mean, I think you missed my point. I was talking about being very present for elderly parents under any and all circumstances...checking on them, doing grocery shopping, etc as needed, taking them out once in a while, helping with household chores, and being pleasant about it no matter what (that is, non-judgmentally--whether we "like" or "dislike" our elderly parents, and no matter what their behavior). The adult kids' "self-sufficiency" (or not) has nothing to do with this. The elder is in need, not the adult functioning kid.

At my age now I don't want my kids to hover around me or call every day. I do however expect them to be there for me when I'm old and nearly or completely incapacitated on any level. I would like them to show care and concern without me having to prompt them (my late mother's "prompts" were screaming, insults, hanging up on us, bitter words, suicide threats, you get the picture).

I have a very strong ethic (yes, you can say it is a duty and I'm not ashamed of that) of kids toward aging parents. It's all to easy for adult kids to ignore or neglect their parents because they're boring, they talk about their aches and pains, they can be mean and abusive. More than several times I have gone into my mother's house dreading every minute. Many times I have listened to hours of her boring talk, feeling trapped. Many times I have had to coax her out of a violent tantrum hurling hurtful insults, holding her in my arms till she calmed down.

Elderly people are not only often frail, but also often very, very lonely and afraid, feeling they have nothing to live for. Sure, no one wants to hang out with an elderly parent, let alone endure abusive behavior esp if that parent (in her right mind) refuses outside professional help. No one wants to call their aging parents and listen to the same old. However we are the adult kids of these parents and we bear responsibility and should exercise as much compassion as possible. They also have amazing stories to tell and would love to sit down with us and tell them


PS: I really don't think adult kids have to wait for their parents to be antiquated before they start showing some interest...

Last edited by RiverBird; 02-15-2011 at 04:58 PM..
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:54 PM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,774 posts, read 14,871,850 times
Reputation: 11886
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I, too, congratulate myself that I have raised 4 independent children. This does not, however, explain that they cannot give their parents a single thought, pick up the phone for no reason other than to check on our wellbeing, or that they cannot prompty answer a text message or voice mail...not OK.
Feel you pain we are in the same boat.
If it will make you feel any better you can be sure they will show up at the reading of the Will.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:29 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,943,432 times
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Originally Posted by ms.rain View Post
It's so obvious that your children are upset because you moved away! You say you had a close relationship and babysat almost every weekend, then just up and moved because of weather (your words)? I'd be upset also! They probably think that you don't care that much about them or the grandchildren. If I were you I would move back and find a retirement community nearby, every state has them! Tell them you made a mistake, and how much you missed them! Otherwise I'm sorry but you're going to have to live with not speaking to them that much. Sorry if I sound harsh, I'm just seeing it from their point of view!
Sounds like what the it was the free babysitter service if that is the case. But like always distance puts distance between relationships often.
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