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Old 08-29-2012, 07:24 AM
 
29 posts, read 109,428 times
Reputation: 23

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I am torn as to whether keep asking my mom to visit her grandkids (only ones). She lives 5 hours away. She is single and gives many excuses as to why she cannot visit. It started out as I'm too sick to travel (she has GI problems), doesn't like to drive etc., or has too many doctors appointments. She hasn't seen her grandkids in 2 years (my daughter is 4 and son is 6). We have invited her to birthdays, holidays etc. and she always has an excuse. I have called her several times saying the kids are asking about you, miss you, they get on the phone and talk to her, and I have outright told her you really should come see us and them. She now has moved from making excuses to "you just need to tell me when to come, and I will come, give me some dates" And so I did, and my husband did and then she throws a fit. We gave her dates, saying mothers day weekend would be good, or my daughters birthday weekend or another low key weekend and then we get in return the fit "did you know you are asking me to come on this holiday, I dont know if I can travel" and she complains. Or on the other weekends we mentioned she says, "I need to come longer than 4 days, coming from Thursday to Monday (thru the weekend) is not long enough for me to travel 5 hours. I need time to recover from traveling" When the truth is we can't have her here for days on end, a 3-4 day period is about all I can manage with young children. She mopes, is sad, depressed, and then instigates fights. My husband is constantly putting pressure on me saying your mom needs to be more invloved, help out, he thinks her excuses are BS (she visits her sister and mom in the nursing home 10-12 hours away) so he knows she travels. I feel caught in the middle. I want my mom to see my kids and feel sad and try to find a way to get her to come, but it is at the point she is missing out and we just have to accept her level of interest in getting involved right? or should I keep asking? everytime she makes an excuse or complains I feel like I stick my neck and heart out and it gets rejected -- that is truly painful. Getting rejected by my mom over and over. Ugh. She refuses any form of transportation, flights (I offered to pick her up at the airport), train (station pick up here in town), driving. It basically comes down to it that she doesnt want to see us and it isn't a priority. It stinks. Do I keep asking? My husband says I need to send her pictures of the kids more often and show her what she is missing out on. I'm not sure if I agree. He thinks I am "letting her off too easily". I just dont know. I just want her to have some sort of relationship with them. I think it strange. She doesnt work, and lives alone in a one bedroom apartment so we cant stay with her. Any thoughts are most appreciated. I feel stuck. Many many thanks.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:33 AM
 
14,323 posts, read 11,072,408 times
Reputation: 17797
Two things. First stop TELLING her what to do. Maybe it IS hard for her to travel. Maybe she feels taken for granted that you assume she is going to visit you. You go visit her. And tell her, sorry Mom for being so demanding! I did not take your needs into consideration. We would really love for you to visit because we love you. Is there anything we can do to help make it easier on you? Then let her decide what SHE wants to do.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Texas
44,266 posts, read 56,083,934 times
Reputation: 73424
Meh, my wife's dad and stepmother live 4 hours away and have come to see our boy (9 months old) ONCE. When he was born. They are not ill or infirm (in their 50s). They are retired. They are super rich (so they could fly or rent a helicopter or whatever). But they never come visit.
Some people are just jerks about it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:40 AM
 
16,081 posts, read 21,277,760 times
Reputation: 26456
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumkin View Post
I am torn as to whether keep asking my mom to visit her grandkids (only ones). She lives 5 hours away. She is single and gives many excuses as to why she cannot visit. It started out as I'm too sick to travel (she has GI problems), doesn't like to drive etc., or has too many doctors appointments. She hasn't seen her grandkids in 2 years (my daughter is 4 and son is 6). We have invited her to birthdays, holidays etc. and she always has an excuse. I have called her several times saying the kids are asking about you, miss you, they get on the phone and talk to her, and I have outright told her you really should come see us and them. She now has moved from making excuses to "you just need to tell me when to come, and I will come, give me some dates" And so I did, and my husband did and then she throws a fit. We gave her dates, saying mothers day weekend would be good, or my daughters birthday weekend or another low key weekend and then we get in return the fit "did you know you are asking me to come on this holiday, I dont know if I can travel" and she complains. Or on the other weekends we mentioned she says, "I need to come longer than 4 days, coming from Thursday to Monday (thru the weekend) is not long enough for me to travel 5 hours. I need time to recover from traveling" When the truth is we can't have her here for days on end, a 3-4 day period is about all I can manage with young children. She mopes, is sad, depressed, and then instigates fights. My husband is constantly putting pressure on me saying your mom needs to be more invloved, help out, he thinks her excuses are BS (she visits her sister and mom in the nursing home 10-12 hours away) so he knows she travels. I feel caught in the middle. I want my mom to see my kids and feel sad and try to find a way to get her to come, but it is at the point she is missing out and we just have to accept her level of interest in getting involved right? or should I keep asking? everytime she makes an excuse or complains I feel like I stick my neck and heart out and it gets rejected -- that is truly painful. Getting rejected by my mom over and over. Ugh. She refuses any form of transportation, flights (I offered to pick her up at the airport), train (station pick up here in town), driving. It basically comes down to it that she doesnt want to see us and it isn't a priority. It stinks. Do I keep asking? My husband says I need to send her pictures of the kids more often and show her what she is missing out on. I'm not sure if I agree. He thinks I am "letting her off too easily". I just dont know. I just want her to have some sort of relationship with them. I think it strange. She doesnt work, and lives alone in a one bedroom apartment so we cant stay with her. Any thoughts are most appreciated. I feel stuck. Many many thanks.
Take the children and visit her....stay in a hotel. Leave your husband at home.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:42 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,419 posts, read 22,560,771 times
Reputation: 27501
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumkin View Post
I am torn as to whether keep asking my mom to visit her grandkids (only ones). She lives 5 hours away. She is single and gives many excuses as to why she cannot visit. It started out as I'm too sick to travel (she has GI problems), doesn't like to drive etc., or has too many doctors appointments. She hasn't seen her grandkids in 2 years (my daughter is 4 and son is 6). We have invited her to birthdays, holidays etc. and she always has an excuse. I have called her several times saying the kids are asking about you, miss you, they get on the phone and talk to her, and I have outright told her you really should come see us and them. She now has moved from making excuses to "you just need to tell me when to come, and I will come, give me some dates" And so I did, and my husband did and then she throws a fit. We gave her dates, saying mothers day weekend would be good, or my daughters birthday weekend or another low key weekend and then we get in return the fit "did you know you are asking me to come on this holiday, I dont know if I can travel" and she complains. Or on the other weekends we mentioned she says, "I need to come longer than 4 days, coming from Thursday to Monday (thru the weekend) is not long enough for me to travel 5 hours. I need time to recover from traveling" When the truth is we can't have her here for days on end, a 3-4 day period is about all I can manage with young children. She mopes, is sad, depressed, and then instigates fights. My husband is constantly putting pressure on me saying your mom needs to be more invloved, help out, he thinks her excuses are BS (she visits her sister and mom in the nursing home 10-12 hours away) so he knows she travels. I feel caught in the middle. I want my mom to see my kids and feel sad and try to find a way to get her to come, but it is at the point she is missing out and we just have to accept her level of interest in getting involved right? or should I keep asking? everytime she makes an excuse or complains I feel like I stick my neck and heart out and it gets rejected -- that is truly painful. Getting rejected by my mom over and over. Ugh. She refuses any form of transportation, flights (I offered to pick her up at the airport), train (station pick up here in town), driving. It basically comes down to it that she doesnt want to see us and it isn't a priority. It stinks. Do I keep asking? My husband says I need to send her pictures of the kids more often and show her what she is missing out on. I'm not sure if I agree. He thinks I am "letting her off too easily". I just dont know. I just want her to have some sort of relationship with them. I think it strange. She doesnt work, and lives alone in a one bedroom apartment so we cant stay with her. Any thoughts are most appreciated. I feel stuck. Many many thanks.
Either move to her city, visit her once a year and stay in a motel, or give up. It sounds like she has a limited income and her budget is probably already stretched by having to visit her mom and sister in the nursing home so far away. When you ask her to travel by plane or train, are you offering to buy her ticket, or just saying you'll pick her up at the airport or train station?

Your mom is not obligated to be involved in your life, assuming you're over 18. She probably sees your husband and kids as your life now, and figures you're not lonely, while the relatives in the nursing home might have no one else to visit them. Or maybe when she has come to visit, your husband thinks she's there to watch the kids so you and he can go out, or maybe it's just too tiring having to be super grandma when she's not feeling well.

If your husband's family is involved with your kids, great. It's wonderful to have relatives for your kids to get to know. But not all families are the same and you can't force your mother to conform to his expectations. When your mother says no, she's not rejecting you or your children. She has her own life, her own health issues, her own financial issues. Showing her more pictures isn't going to work either...it's not about how adorable your children are, it's about your mom's issues.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,505 posts, read 46,787,871 times
Reputation: 47567
Sounds to me like your husband is more of the problem than your mother. "Letting her get off too easily"? I don't understand what that means. Why is he pressuring you so much about this? Maybe she doesn't like him and doesn't want to be around him and not the kids. Try telling her your husband will be gone on a certain weekend and you would love her to come to keep you company and see how she responds.

Obviously she does not want to be there and no amount of pressure from you or your husband will change her mind. I would just lay off any invitations for awhile and not keep asking her.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:44 AM
 
530 posts, read 1,038,373 times
Reputation: 1140
It seems like you (and your husband) want your mother in your life if it is only on your terms, and you are pushing her too hard to have it your way. You could definitely travel to where she lives and find a place to stay, like a hotel. Or you can allow your mother to stay longer than three or four days. If you really want her to visit, why would you not let her stay longer than a few days? I don't understand the comment about that being all you can handle. Most of the work required with handling a visitor happens before they arrive (like cleaning and food shopping).

She also is under no obligation to "help out," as your husband seems to think. It doesn't sound like your husband in particular is giving an indication that he would be very welcoming. Your mom probably senses that. It can be tough with in-laws, and so maybe you could visit your mom without your husband if part of the problem is between your husband and your mom.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:47 AM
 
606 posts, read 833,674 times
Reputation: 822
She has no obligation to come and visit you. None. Nada. Zip. You're not 'letting her off easy' because there's nothing for her to be 'let off' from.

Now, of course, that goes both ways -- she's 100% free to make the choice to not visit, but she can't control how you react to the situation and how your relationship will develop into the future. You're free to say, "Mom, you haven't come in two years, and I find it hurtful," or "I feel rejected," or "Is there a particular reason you're not willing to come and visit?," and to adjust accordingly.

Personally, I'd say send an invitation (in the mail) to the kids' birthdays if you like, but let go of any expectation that she'll ever come and visit. If you feel an obligation to build the relationship between your mom and your kids, JanND's advice (visit yourselves and stay in a hotel) is probably your only choice.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:49 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,906 posts, read 38,120,935 times
Reputation: 42587
I don't understand the "letting her off too easily" part either. What is he expecting her to "help out" with?

Gas is expensive and plane tickets can cost an arm and a leg. Is your mom on limited income? Do you offer to buy her tickets, or do you assume she has the money to travel to see you? Perhaps she is worried about money?
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:56 AM
 
32,525 posts, read 32,447,289 times
Reputation: 32416
What is she supposed to help out with?

She may sense you want her there as a babysitter or house cleaner or car mechanic. She doesn't "need" to be there. She has her own life. If you want her just for a fun visit stress that. She may be sensing you want her there just so she can help out, not as Grandma come for a happy time.

How's her health? Maybe travelling isn't easy for her.
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