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So tired of my parents' lack of interest in our lives


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I am not their favorite, not even close. But I am just at my wit's end at their lack of interest in our life. It has become progressively worse. For years they were preoccupied with my grown brother as he was in and out of a lifestyle of drugs, petty crime, and the like. Now they are engulfed in my sister's ultra-dramatic life and have been for YEARS. My brother is still the same but he is getting older and slowing down a bit. He still can't hold a job and I think he just moves from one couch to another at almost 40 years old.

 

My sister loves dumping her kids off on my parents. They keep my niece at least two nights a week. She spends every Sunday with them and either Saturday night or Sunday night, sometimes both, and then during the week here and there. Whenever we have a family gathering my parents are "stuck" taking care of my sister's kids because my sister ignores them. They are enmeshed other life and all of her problems.

 

My kids spend the night at their house maybe twice a year. They never ask my kids to come over and on the rare occasion they do, guess who else will always be there? Yep, my niece. It drives me nuts. She has clothes, toys, and her own bed there. My kids feel like second class grandchildren. They are old enough that they are not blind to the inequity of it.

 

But now my parents have really kicked it up a notch. They never call, they never have us over except for Christmas dinner, and they never ask us or our kids to do anything.

 

My mom was supposed to go out of town this week. She texted me that a family member had died. I thought she texted because she was at the hospital and didn't want to leave the room and wanted to be quiet. When I called her, it turns out she had been at home for the last 3 days, she didn't go out of town, and she texted me from her house. Texted me to let me know my cousin had died. Maybe I am old fashioned but I thought it was impersonal.

 

So today we were at the memorial. I was talking to her and she asked how the kids were. And it was as if I was talking to a distant relative that didn't know my kids very well. It made me so sad. It has happened before but for some reason it hurt more face to face. It also didn't help that they had my niece with them at the memorial (sister wasn't there, I don't know why they had my neice, because my sister was at home). Neither my sister nor my brother came today.

 

Recently she said, "I need to have the kids over sometime" and I was like, "they would love it, just let me know when." and as usual she never follows up.

 

My parents are missing out on our lives. We invite them over and they come but they never reciprocate. And it hurts to hear her tell me in passing that my brother or sister was at their house for lunch or dinner. When they come over they act like a distant aunt and uncle instead of grandparents. Yet they are not like that with my brother and sister.

 

My dh says that I should confront them about it. But honestly, I don't think I could do it, and I don't even know where to start. And I can assure you that the relationship would not be repaired, they would passive aggressively take it out on me forever. For example, about 12 years ago we missed a Christmas Eve dinner with my dad's extended family because we were going to a Christmas Eve service, and my parents have made sure that we were not invited to anything of my dad's family ever since. They get together regularly and my parents tell my siblings when and where but never tell us. I have told them to please let me know when they are getting together and they still don't. It is bizarre.

 

My mom likes to be the go-between for me and my siblings and for me and our extended families on both sides. I have thought that she is the reason that my brother and I are not close. This may sound strange, but I think she has talked bad about me and made me out as a goody-two-shoes so that she can be closer to him and gain his loyalty.

 

Thank you for reading. I don't even know what I am asking... Maybe advice, maybe some of you have a similar situation and can offer some coping skills. All I know is that I want something to change. I want her to know that I am not happy with the status quo, and at this point I don't even expect it to change, I just want her to know that I don't appreciate it.

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I am not their favorite, not even close. But I am just at my wit's end at their lack of interest in our life. It has become progressively worse. For years they were preoccupied with my grown brother as he was in and out of a lifestyle of drugs, petty crime, and the like. Now they are engulfed in my sister's ultra-dramatic life and have been for YEARS. My brother is still the same but he is getting older and slowing down a bit. He still can't hold a job and I think he just moves from one couch to another at almost 40 years old.

 

My sister loves dumping her kids off on my parents. They keep my niece at least two nights a week. She spends every Sunday with them and either Saturday night or Sunday night, sometimes both, and then during the week here and there. Whenever we have a family gathering my parents are "stuck" taking care of my sister's kids because my sister ignores them. They are enmeshed other life and all of her problems.

 

My kids spend the night at their house maybe twice a year. They never ask my kids to come over and on the rare occasion they do, guess who else will always be there? Yep, my niece. It drives me nuts. She has clothes, toys, and her own bed there. My kids feel like second class grandchildren. They are old enough that they are not blind to the inequity of it.

 

But now my parents have really kicked it up a notch. They never call, they never have us over except for Christmas dinner, and they never ask us or our kids to do anything.

 

My mom was supposed to go out of town this week. She texted me that a family member had died. I thought she texted because she was at the hospital and didn't want to leave the room and wanted to be quiet. When I called her, it turns out she had been at home for the last 3 days, she didn't go out of town, and she texted me from her house. Texted me to let me know my cousin had died. Maybe I am old fashioned but I thought it was impersonal.

 

So today we were at the memorial. I was talking to her and she asked how the kids were. And it was as if I was talking to a distant relative that didn't know my kids very well. It made me so sad. It has happened before but for some reason it hurt more face to face. It also didn't help that they had my niece with them at the memorial (sister wasn't there, I don't know why they had my neice, because my sister was at home). Neither my sister nor my brother came today.

 

Recently she said, "I need to have the kids over sometime" and I was like, "they would love it, just let me know when." and as usual she never follows up.

 

My parents are missing out on our lives. We invite them over and they come but they never reciprocate. And it hurts to hear her tell me in passing that my brother or sister was at their house for lunch or dinner. When they come over they act like a distant aunt and uncle instead of grandparents. Yet they are not like that with my brother and sister.

 

My dh says that I should confront them about it. But honestly, I don't think I could do it, and I don't even know where to start. And I can assure you that the relationship would not be repaired, they would passive aggressively take it out on me forever. For example, about 12 years ago we missed a Christmas Eve dinner with my dad's extended family because we were going to a Christmas Eve service, and my parents have made sure that we were not invited to anything of my dad's family ever since. They get together regularly and my parents tell my siblings when and where but never tell us. I have told them to please let me know when they are getting together and they still don't. It is bizarre.

 

My mom likes to be the go-between for me and my siblings and for me and our extended families on both sides. I have thought that she is the reason that my brother and I are not close. This may sound strange, but I think she has talked bad about me and made me out as a goody-two-shoes so that she can be closer to him and gain his loyalty.

 

Thank you for reading. I don't even know what I am asking... Maybe advice, maybe some of you have a similar situation and can offer some coping skills. All I know is that I want something to change. I want her to know that I am not happy with the status quo, and at this point I don't even expect it to change, I just want her to know that I don't appreciate it.

 

 

I'm sorry. I have inlaws who have never really been interested in us at all, and my parents are dead.

 

It's bad when there isn't anyone who cares.

 

It doesn't sounds as if you have anything to lose by confronting them, gently. "Hey, Mom...I'd really like it if you get to know the kids a bit. They are growing up quickly, and I know you'd want a relationship with them when they are adults. Why don't we get together next weekend?"

 

The worst she can say is no, I guess.

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I am really sorry you are going through this. It's hard when your family isn't interested in your life, especially your kids. We have a similar relationship w/ my FIL and his wife.

 

I really don't have any advice. My dh tried talking to his parents about the relationship, but it resulted in disaster. Instead of them listening to my dh, they used it as an opportunity to berrate us. It fixed nothing, in fact it just made things worse. I am glad that my dh tried to repair the relationship, at least he knows he did what he could. I think talking to your parents about things is a good idea, just be prepared that it may not turn out as you hope. :grouphug:

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Grew up in that. What your kids are going through was exactly how I grew up.

And it bothered my mother too-- she kindly would mention it, but they refused to see it from that point of view... They had the attitude that our family had things going well, so they didn't need to "focus" on us.

 

My grandparents practically raised my cousin.

I would come and would see THOUSANDS of dollars of toys, fancy clothing, tv's, designer purses for my cousin.

 

I rarely got anything. And honestly I didn't want anything from them. What I wanted was their affection, not their gifts or money.

 

The result was that I eventually (as a kid/teen) got fed up with their actions. I lost my love for them. (you know that grandparent love that is so strong? That kind of love) I was never disrespectful, but they became like some distant family member that is so distant I didn't bother communicating with. I don't hate them. I don't feel anything.

 

It really hurts my mom that I feel that way. She seems to practically worship them, and it bothers her that I won't. Why would I? I was repeatedly rejected.

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I completely understand your position, and you have a right to be upset :grouphug:

 

However, I would look at their relationship with your neice differently. Your sister doesn't sound like she's a very good parent. She acts as though your neice is a burden, and gets rid of her every chance she can. It sounds as though your parents have stepped in to try to make your neice feel wanted by someone. Now, that can be construed as enabling your sister to be a poor mother, but denying your neices needs and desire to feel loved, isn't going to make your sister a better person.

I'd go easy on them that the neice is always around...if however, they always were buying things and spoiling your neice AND your sister was an actively involved normal person, at would be a different story. I think there is a lesson there for your kids that some kids dont have opportunities or caring and involved parents, therefore the grandparents are overcompensating/trying to make up for her mother.

 

I would try to schedule time where you can get the kids there, even if it's all of you as a family, if that's how you feel.

I on the other hand, have very uninvolved in laws, and I try to keep it that way, since they tend to go overboard and smother all of us if I make the effort. A little is not enough for them.

Good luck and deep breaths.

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What if, instead of looking at the situation as one of your parents enabling your sister and favoring your niece, you looked at it differently. What if your parents are providing a stable, loving 2nd home for your niece so that she has a decent childhood? Instead of a selfish act, they are being altruistic? And maybe they watch your niece because they feel obligated to, and are too overwhelmed to have your kids over as well? Obviously I don't know them at all so it could be off base, but it sounds like maybe you could choose to be grateful that they are stepping in and ensuring your niece has stable caregivers in her life since her mother seems distracted.

 

I do get it, though. I rarely talk to my father and only talk to my step-mother a little more often. They are overwhelmed dealing with their commitments and two girls in their 20s that they have more or less adopted into their family. Yes, I wish that my family was higher on their priority list, but they are mostly in crisis mode, dealing with their overfull plates, and it's not intentional.

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First of all: I'm so, so sorry. It sounds like one or both of your parents have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) where they make one kid the "golden child" and one the "scapegoat."

 

I sincerely hope you'll go to the forums at http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com. The women there are so kind, understanding and helpful. They totally get feeling like your mom (or dad in my case) is talking behind your back. Or isn't interested in your life. Or is disinterested in grandkids.

 

It's amazing to me how many people are out there who act like your mom. Very sadly, there are tons of them.

 

Take care of yourself -- you sound wonderful.

 

Alley

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Yeah, I feel the same way. My folks live 2-1/2 hours away. Last week my folks were staying at their camp which is 5 minutes from our house. My son had a soccer game, so I made a point to stop by camp and invite them since it doesn't happen very often that they're here when there is a home game. And they didn't come! I was really upset about it for a while, until I realized that I had been expecting them to behave like I would have. I was not taking into account their "normal" behavior which I have witnessed throughout my whole life.

 

It makes me sad too. There are usually grandparents at my kids soccer games, just not their grandparents...

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i had a lifetime of pain as the least favored/outsider in the family. My dad and brother were always close as were my mom and sister.

 

My sister lived an hour away from my parents. She woud pack a bag and go spend the night with my parents one or two evenings per week, often times more. My brother never really lived on his own. When sister and I had kids, the favoritism passed down to the kids. My parents did SO much with my sister's kids and they went to all their games, performances, etc. I lived much closer and they rarely ever attended my kids events.

 

One day I realized how sick and co-dependent their relationships were with each other and I was so thankful that I was nothing at all like them! I also realized that I was strong and independent, a GOOD thing, and my siblings were not. That's when I became grateful for being the one on the outside looking in. My parents and siblings were good for each other. They were sothering and had no boundaries.

 

 

My parents changed and we ended up having a beautiful relationship for 10 years before they died. My kids all loved them dearly. I wouldn't expect the same for your situation, but it would sure be nice if it happened. One thing I did have to do for my own sanity was to be realistic about my parents and have NO expectations. I also tried not to say things about the situation around my kids because I didn't want to project my pain on them.

 

Please try to focus more on your own family unit. You can't change other people. :grouphug:

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Is there any reason why you can't just say "mom, we're coming over"?

 

If I waited around for an "invitation" to my parents' house, I'd never see them. They just don't do things that way. It sounds like your siblings don't wait for a "special invitation" either. So why do you feel you should? Just make sure you show up between meals or bring something to eat. ;)

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I'm sorry you are going through this! :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

My parents are the same way. They have never been interested in our lives or what we do, but my mother is BFFs with my sister and they do stuff together almost every day. Before we moved here, we only saw my parents on major holidays and birthdays. Now, since we are 8 hours away, we see them about 4 times a year (two of which are Thanksgiving and Christmas, within a month of each other), and otherwise we don't hear from them at all the rest of the time. It has been worse since my sister became pregnant with her now one year old little boy. They have no use for us.

 

I have become close to my MIL b/c of it, though, and she is like a surrogate mom to me. I just ignore my parents. They are the ones that are going to regret not having a relationship with us when they get old and die. Yes, my son misses them, but he is old enough to understand that this is something they are doing and that he didn't do anything wrong.

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Is there something up with your sister that your parents are parenting you niece?

 

Maybe your mom is overwhelmed and burned-out from caring for your niece that she doesn't have enough of herself left to interact more with your family.

 

Before you confront your mom, look closely at the situation and try to understand the dynamic without getting emotionally involved in who mom likes best. There maybe more here that you're not seeing.

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My inclination is to suggest that you focus your attention elsewhere. Make your own relationships with your extended family. Keep in touch with them directly rather than through your mom. That way you have a broader set of connections and don't have to rely so much on this very unstable and negative one. Also then this one won't hurt as much, I'll bet.

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Is there any reason why you can't just say "mom, we're coming over"?

 

If I waited around for an "invitation" to my parents' house, I'd never see them. They just don't do things that way. It sounds like your siblings don't wait for a "special invitation" either. So why do you feel you should? Just make sure you show up between meals or bring something to eat. ;)

 

:iagree: I ask my parents if XYZ weekend will work for a visit and they'll invite us several times a year, but I don't wait for a specific invitation to visit. I'm sure your siblings don't either.

 

I understand your situation somewhat because all of DH's siblings and their kids have lived with his parents during at least part of their adult lives. DH is the only one who has not. They are closer to their other grandkids. Though I understand why (they practically raised two of my nieces, and one is living with them now), I still hope my kids don't notice the preferential treatment. They would never exclude us from family get-togethers, though. That is strange and hurtful.

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Maybe your mom is overwhelmed and burned-out from caring for your niece that she doesn't have enough of herself left to interact more with your family.

 

I agree that this could be part of it. But purposely excluding you from extended family gatherings is still kind of pissy.

 

:grouphug: I hope you are able to just let it go and chalk it up as their loss. You and your kids surely rock and it is your family that is missing out. Sucks to be them.

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:grouphug:

I'm sorry. I know how hard that can be. My dad/step-mom are the same way. They haven't asked DS to come over or do anything in YEARS. They don't call or even come to Christmas or birthday parties. In fact, whenever I see my dad he always says, "I have Q's birthday and Christmas gifts from last year. I need to bring them over." We live 5 miles away. :glare: My step-sister, on the other hand, had a baby a few months ago and they're all up in her business. They go shopping, they're over there all the time etc. DS has done karate for about 8 yrs. and is a 2nd Degree Black Belt but they've never once seen him test. He's played baseball for 9 yrs. and they've been to HALF of one game.

 

Thank God my in-laws are BEYOND involved. They came to his black-belt ceremony 2 yrs. ago, come to a TON of his baseball games and just come up to visit in general at least twice a month. They live 1.5 hrs. away.

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It sounds like your parents like to play the hero part and quite frankly you just don't need saving! I think if you want them in your kids' lives you will need to initiate it. The saying, "The squeaky wheel gets greased" is probablt true in this instance. I have the same relationship with my mother. She is more interested in saving my lost soul of a 28 year old sister.

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:grouphug: So sorry you are going through this. It really stinks.

 

My fil has nothing to do with our kids. He used to bring Christmas gifts and they didn't even know who he was. Now they don't see him at all. He lives 40 min. from us and never came to see the kids even though we invited him all the time.

 

My parents used to be completely involved in our lives up until about a month ago when they got angry at me for something stupid and decided they'd rather hold a grudge than be around their grandchildren. The grudge thing is nothing new for them...just one against me is and I am having a difficult time with it especially because the reason is so ridiculous and I was the wronged party in the initial incident.

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My mom was the same way all my life. Before she passed she told me it was because I didn't need her, not like my siblings did. I see that totally. It still would have been nice if she gave us some time. My siblings were dependent on her till the last minute. They still need to grow up 7 years later, but that is a whole other story. Now I see it as a gift in a way, I know I am ok on my own.

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Gosh, that is hard!! I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. I have a bizarre mother, and I've went through the whole range of emotions from anger to sadness to feeling betrayed to now *almost* complete apathy.

 

My mother has always taken turns with who her favorite child is (there are 3 of us plus my step-sister). It's always the one with the most drama going on, and guess what!?!? It's not me. ;) It's usually my step-sister or my middle brother (problems with ex-wife). I am 100% certain my mother tried, all my life, to keep my brothers and me from being close. That didn't work. My middle brother is my best friend in the world, and I'm also very close to my baby brother. I am not close to my step-sister because we didn't grow up together, have nothing in common, and live in different states. You mentioned that your mom tries to make you seem like a "goody-two-shoes" to your siblings. My mom tried that too. :tongue_smilie: So weird!

 

Interestingly, my girls were ALWAYS the favorites until my step-sister ended up in a bad relationship with an alcoholic twice her age and had a baby. Now baby "G" is the fav. Whatever. I'm glad my kids aren't her favorites. I don't want them to have to deal with her more than is necessary.

 

My advice is to have ZERO EXPECTATIONS. That is what has gotten me away from frequent anger and frequent crying when dealing with my mother. I do not get in the middle of her crap. My brothers and I know how she is, and I make it a point to have a good relationship with my brothers. I don't know if that is possible for you and your siblings right now, but maybe it's a good goal. I try to live my life as drama free as possible. I am respectful of my mom, but I don't go out of my way trying to earn her approval anymore. She is not an emotional person and never says a kind word of encouragement to me. So I've learned not to expect those things. She will never be a source of comfort for me. And, finally, that's okay with me.

 

Well that got long, lol. Just know that you are a wonderful mother, and your kids will remember what you did for them as they grew up. Just try and let any resentment go so that they won't remember that. I don't really think you can/should confront her. It's not worth it.

 

:grouphug:

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First off, by pass your mom. Pick up the phone or email your extended family and make contact. Invite them to your house for whatever. You are grown so there is no need to wait for your parents to extend an invitation on extended family's behalf.

 

Next, your siblings have issues. Be thankful that your niece gets a nice stable second home where she isn't neglected. What would happen if your parents weren't there to care for her? Also it sounds like they are a bit overwhelmed. Maybe if you reach out and offer help you'll get a response. Did your mom's trip get canceled because she was once again roped into babysitting? Perhaps it is beyond her to say no.

 

Invite your parents to your home, your kids games and performances, etc. If they don't come, as sad as it may be, it is there loss. You shouldn't dwell on it. You certainly can't change it. No amount of confrontation will change it. Perhaps reality for you and yours isn't going to be like the Walton's Christmas special. It sucks. All you can do is protect yourself and your kids from hurt.

 

Don't tell the kids you've invited grandma and grandpa to ___. Do it quietly. IF they show up then great. It is a wonderful surprise. (Oh, and look, they brought your cousin to see you too.) If they don't they don't have to know and be hurt.

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my grandmother also played favorites, so I understand from your children's perspective. my suggestion is to STOP conveying to your children that your parent's need to be in their life. you are conveying a "i feel rejected/it's not fair" to your children that will hurt them. if your parents choose to put all their attention on two problem children (for whatever reason), then they do and YOU need to move on with what you want out of life. I assure you, you and your children will NOT get the level of attention you want from your parents and you are harming your children by focusing on it so much. time to emotionally distance yourself and realize your parents are not able to give you what you want.

 

I"m not saying don't have a relationship, just emotionally stop focusing on it so much.

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What if, instead of looking at the situation as one of your parents enabling your sister and favoring your niece, you looked at it differently. What if your parents are providing a stable, loving 2nd home for your niece so that she has a decent childhood? Instead of a selfish act, they are being altruistic? And maybe they watch your niece because they feel obligated to, and are too overwhelmed to have your kids over as well? Obviously I don't know them at all so it could be off base, but it sounds like maybe you could choose to be grateful that they are stepping in and ensuring your niece has stable caregivers in her life since her mother seems distracted.

 

I do get it, though. I rarely talk to my father and only talk to my step-mother a little more often. They are overwhelmed dealing with their commitments and two girls in their 20s that they have more or less adopted into their family. Yes, I wish that my family was higher on their priority list, but they are mostly in crisis mode, dealing with their overfull plates, and it's not intentional.

 

My step-daughter could have written the original post. Dh and I are in that position, of being overwhelmed by trying to take care of two of our grandchildren who have a mother (my daughter) who is addicted to drama, abusive men, and a lifestyle we don't understand. I can tell you honestly that we just don't have the energy or resources to spend the money or time with our other grandchildren as we would really like to. And as we get older it seems that our energy levels are getting lower and lower. It is very very stressful to be the grandparents in this situation, since we really have no control over the unstable mom and no real power to make sure that the kids are okay, yet we love the mom and the kids and worry about them tremendously. It isn't that we love them MORE, either. We do love all of our grandchildren. We DO think of them with love, and are grateful that they have the stable loving parents that they do.

 

I'd suggest trying to make it easier for them to spend time with your children. Invite them over more often, and invite your niece along with them. Offer to help them with caring for your niece. Do they mind if you just 'drop by'? We love it when our adult kids and grandkids come by just to say hello and spend a little time with us (and don't ask us to babysit!). It isn't the best situation, but maybe they are trying to do the best they can.

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To deal with the extended family, why don't you ask that they contact you directly with invitations for get-togethers? I see know reason for your mother to be the go-between. It doesn't make sense since you have your own family and you are not living with your parents. Then you know about the parties and you decide if you can attend or not.

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*snip*

 

I'd suggest trying to make it easier for them to spend time with your children. Invite them over more often, and invite your niece along with them. Offer to help them with caring for your niece. Do they mind if you just 'drop by'? We love it when our adult kids and grandkids come by just to say hello and spend a little time with us (and don't ask us to babysit!). It isn't the best situation, but maybe they are trying to do the best they can.

Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but I honestly think it's unfair to expect that they should invite the niece as well. I don't think that it's wrong for the OP to want her parents to spend time w/her kids, alone.

 

I mean, I get what you're saying about filling in for inadequate parenting. I do. I still don't see why it would be impossible to find an afternoon a month to simply spend w/the other grandkids.

 

I don't think saying no one afternoon a mth to the other sib should be a major deal, esp w/all the other time spent w/the other kiddo.

 

In my family, I and my kids were the ones that got ignored. And I had the only gkids for yrs. We were left out of family dinners, didn't know about baby showers, going away parties, dinners until wks after they'd happened. My parents told me flat out that a) they'd raised their kids and didn't want to babysit, and b) I was the one that had 2 kids w/out being married, so it was my prob.

 

Course, now that my younger bros have kids, they babysit while bros and wives work, see them several times a wk, etc. And I lived less than 15 mins away from my parents until Diva was almost 4.

 

 

So yeah, I get how favouritism sucks.

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My step-daughter could have written the original post. Dh and I are in that position, of being overwhelmed by trying to take care of two of our grandchildren who have a mother (my daughter) who is addicted to drama, abusive men, and a lifestyle we don't understand. I can tell you honestly that we just don't have the energy or resources to spend the money or time with our other grandchildren as we would really like to. And as we get older it seems that our energy levels are getting lower and lower. It is very very stressful to be the grandparents in this situation, since we really have no control over the unstable mom and no real power to make sure that the kids are okay, yet we love the mom and the kids and worry about them tremendously. It isn't that we love them MORE, either. We do love all of our grandchildren. We DO think of them with love, and are grateful that they have the stable loving parents that they do.

 

I'd suggest trying to make it easier for them to spend time with your children. Invite them over more often, and invite your niece along with them. Offer to help them with caring for your niece. Do they mind if you just 'drop by'? We love it when our adult kids and grandkids come by just to say hello and spend a little time with us (and don't ask us to babysit!). It isn't the best situation, but maybe they are trying to do the best they can.

 

:iagree:

 

Just on the information given in this thread, I'd say they sounded worn out...not uninterested.

 

My parents live with my sister, her 2 children, my brother, and my sister does in-home daycare there. My sister does not just dump them, and they are lovely girls, but it tires my parents out...my mom especially. Everything's always a mess, plus they have all my sister's boxes and furniture in the basement. Its crowded. There's rarely any privacy and the children are still children. They want attention at awkward moments, need help, and make mistakes.

 

Sometimes I'm jealous. My parents are obviously closer to my sister's children, and their exhaustion limits what they can do with my children. They don't come to visit much. Instead I try to rise above that and go the extra mile to make sure that their interactions with my kids are positive. I'll do extra planning, extra calling, travel to them, don't use them as babysitters, and even watch my nieces if necessary. I don't mind my nieces joining in things with my kids and I'm not afraid to keep them in line if they need it (gently).

 

Of course, it helps that I like my nieces and that my sister is just doing the best she can after a bitter divorce (even if it has been 3 years). If your niece is not a healthy influence I can imagine its harder, but I would still try and try to be satisfied with what they can give you in their situation. Sometimes people can't give you what you want from a relationship. That shouldn't ruin what you can enjoy with them. Things rarely work out perfectly. Sometimes we have to give grace.

 

I'm sure your parents' weren't looking forward to raising their grandchild or dealing with a daughter's irresponsibility. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can with what you've got, and sometimes it messes up how you would prefer to live. I might do some things different from my parents, but I haven't walked in their shoes yet so I prefer to extend all the grace I can.

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I honestly don't mean this in a mean way, but a lot of the responses on this thread are from people who clearly don't have any experience with a family member with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

 

These people are not just busy grandparents stretched too thin money- and time-wise. These are not just people who overlook sending an invite to April because of a time crunch.

 

People with NPD are seriously abusive, mean and scary. They're often passive-aggressive ("Oh, dear, did I forget to invite you? Silly me! I'm just so busy these days."). By the way, that's called a faux-pology. It's not real. This type of person isn't really sincere about apologizing for having made a mistake.

 

My concern is that April is dealing with a seriously difficult person and getting responses from people on this thread who don't understand how hard (impossible, the experts say) it is to interact with these people. (Which I'm happy about. The fewer NPD people in the world spreading their icky "charm" is a good thing for the planet. I'm glad there are people who don't have someone like this in their family.)

 

They're all about: dividing people up, ruining people's reputations with other family members, working one family member against another, picking favorites: the "golden child" and the "scape goat."

 

That's just for starters.

 

Hugs to April. :grouphug:

 

Alley

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Is there any reason why you can't just say "mom, we're coming over"?

 

If I waited around for an "invitation" to my parents' house, I'd never see them. They just don't do things that way. It sounds like your siblings don't wait for a "special invitation" either. So why do you feel you should? Just make sure you show up between meals or bring something to eat. ;)

 

Yup. It sounds like the culture is not back and forth reciprocal invites. Just go. See what happens.

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I honestly don't mean this in a mean way, but a lot of the responses on this thread are from people who clearly don't have any experience with a family member with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

 

These people are not just busy grandparents stretched too thin money- and time-wise. These are not just people who overlook sending an invite to April because of a time crunch.

 

People with NPD are seriously abusive, mean and scary. They're often passive-aggressive ("Oh, dear, did I forget to invite you? Silly me! I'm just so busy these days."). By the way, that's called a faux-pology. It's not real. This type of person isn't really sincere about apologizing for having made a mistake.

 

My concern is that April is dealing with a seriously difficult person and getting responses from people on this thread who don't understand how hard (impossible, the experts say) it is to interact with these people. (Which I'm happy about. The fewer NPD people in the world spreading their icky "charm" is a good thing for the planet. I'm glad there are people who don't have someone like this in their family.)

 

They're all about: dividing people up, ruining people's reputations with other family members, working one family member against another, picking favorites: the "golden child" and the "scape goat."

 

That's just for starters.

 

Hugs to April. :grouphug:

 

Alley

 

I have 2 family members who are NPD. Based in the OP, I don't really think it is clear that they have that. They have 2 irresponsible kids and 1 responsible one. They are practically raising their niece and it sounds like they need to. I don't see what screams NPD here. Maybe that is it but it could easily be something els as well.

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Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but I honestly think it's unfair to expect that they should invite the niece as well. I don't think that it's wrong for the OP to want her parents to spend time w/her kids, alone.

 

I mean, I get what you're saying about filling in for inadequate parenting. I do. I still don't see why it would be impossible to find an afternoon a month to simply spend w/the other grandkids.

 

I don't think saying no one afternoon a mth to the other sib should be a major deal, esp w/all the other time spent w/the other kiddo.

 

In my family, I and my kids were the ones that got ignored. And I had the only gkids for yrs. We were left out of family dinners, didn't know about baby showers, going away parties, dinners until wks after they'd happened. My parents told me flat out that a) they'd raised their kids and didn't want to babysit, and b) I was the one that had 2 kids w/out being married, so it was my prob.

 

Course, now that my younger bros have kids, they babysit while bros and wives work, see them several times a wk, etc. And I lived less than 15 mins away from my parents until Diva was almost 4.

 

 

So yeah, I get how favouritism sucks.

I think just from reading OPs post and Rainefox's post that the grandparents involved may not know when the other grandkid will be there. Maybe they can plan on having one-on-one time with grandma but understand that grandma may or may not show up with the other grandkid. Grandma may not feel she can go visit if other grandkid isn't invited. If grandma has to chose between visiting stable grandkids or other grandkid being left home alone, she will probably not chose stable grandkids.

 

If that is the situation, I think OP should volunteer to take niece to the park or run errands or something so her kids can get that one-on-one time with grandma.

 

If OP wants to see her mom alone for a bit she should head over early in the morning before sibling has a chance to drop off grandkid and take mom to breakfast.

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Your children have a wonderful mom. I'd take that any day over a wonderful grandparent. Any day.

 

Alley

 

Wow, thanks! That's the nicest thing anyone's said to me in a long time. :001_smile:

 

I just wanted to say that we were that family growing up too, and I do think my grandparents had NPD (manifested in different ways). From a very young age, I knew that I had the good mom. I wouldn't have traded that for anything.

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I just wanted to say that we were that family growing up too, and I do think my grandparents had NPD (manifested in different ways). From a very young age, I knew that I had the good mom. I wouldn't have traded that for anything.

 

:iagree:

Both my grandparents wer NPD, we were the black sheep on both sides of the family. But, parents are more important than grandparents, just remember that.

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I think just from reading OPs post and Rainefox's post that the grandparents involved may not know when the other grandkid will be there. Maybe they can plan on having one-on-one time with grandma but understand that grandma may or may not show up with the other grandkid. Grandma may not feel she can go visit if other grandkid isn't invited. If grandma has to chose between visiting stable grandkids or other grandkid being left home alone, she will probably not chose stable grandkids.

 

If that is the situation, I think OP should volunteer to take niece to the park or run errands or something so her kids can get that one-on-one time with grandma.

 

If OP wants to see her mom alone for a bit she should head over early in the morning before sibling has a chance to drop off grandkid and take mom to breakfast.

I went and reread the OP. It doesn't seem to be all about the niece, but also about brother and sister being invited to the gpa and to other family things, and the OP being left out.

 

Like I said earlier, I really don't understand why saying no to having the niece dropped off once a mth should be such a problem. I mean, I get that this kiddo needs some extra attention, and the gpa are providing that, but seems to me that the other gkids deserve some attention from the gpa too.

 

Why should the other gkids go w/out a relationship w/the gpa b/c they have healthy, stable parents? I mean, some effort can be made, once a mth, for a cpl of hrs, so the other gkids know they're loved and important to the gpa.

 

I wouldn't expect the gpa to spend equal time, etc w/all the gkids, given the situation. But *something* would be good.

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I honestly don't mean this in a mean way, but a lot of the responses on this thread are from people who clearly don't have any experience with a family member with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

 

These people are not just busy grandparents stretched too thin money- and time-wise. These are not just people who overlook sending an invite to April because of a time crunch.

 

People with NPD are seriously abusive, mean and scary. They're often passive-aggressive ("Oh, dear, did I forget to invite you? Silly me! I'm just so busy these days."). By the way, that's called a faux-pology. It's not real. This type of person isn't really sincere about apologizing for having made a mistake.

 

My concern is that April is dealing with a seriously difficult person and getting responses from people on this thread who don't understand how hard (impossible, the experts say) it is to interact with these people. (Which I'm happy about. The fewer NPD people in the world spreading their icky "charm" is a good thing for the planet. I'm glad there are people who don't have someone like this in their family.)

 

They're all about: dividing people up, ruining people's reputations with other family members, working one family member against another, picking favorites: the "golden child" and the "scape goat."

 

That's just for starters.

 

Hugs to April. :grouphug:

 

Alley

 

I'm not seeing what you're seeing in the OP's posts or how what you've said above applies to the OP's situation. And given that NPD only affects a small percentage of the general population, an unusually high number of forum members have family members presumed to be affected by it. They may genuinely have NPD--but statistically, most people do not.

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I'm sorry. That really hurts and I'll never understand why some grandparents are so uninterested in their grandkids. That was basically my mom before I cut off contact. She never once came to see the girls, she insisted that we drive - with two little kids - 8 hours to her. She's able-bodied, she just didn't WANT to come. Yet she was so excited to have granddaughters?? Even my grandmom and aunt came all the way from Michigan shortly after Becca was born. Did she come or show the slightest bit of concern when I was on hospital bedrest for a month before having Sylvia? I'm sure you know the answer.

 

I don't have a solution for you. I just had to tell my girls that Grandma and Grandpa P said mean things to me and we wouldn't be seeing them anymore. This is the truth, broken down for a 7 and 5 yo (at the time). It's not a topic of conversation anymore. But it breaks my heart that they threw the girls away. :sad:

 

ETA: I should add that for a while, I was the second class grandkid. My mom's father (who also has never seen the girls, although he has plenty of money to gallivant around the country) and stepmother always had my cousin A at their house. She lived in the same state as them, whereas I lived so far away I had to fly there. They even GAVE BACK some pictures of me and my sister after they had "finished" displaying them. Who does that???

Edited by Mommy22alyns
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And given that NPD only affects a small percentage of the general population, an unusually high number of forum members have family members presumed to be affected by it. They may genuinely have NPD--but statistically, most people do not.

 

If you haven't experienced it, be very, very grateful. And I understand your skepticism, but it's really not as rare as you think.

 

From the Wiki article:

In 2009, Twenge and Campbell conducted studies suggesting that the incidence of NPD had more than doubled in the US in the prior 10 years, and that 1 in 16 of the population have experienced NPD.

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They are just not that into you. Sounds like they need to feel needed by disfunctional people. If they prefer druggies and screwups, and think of you as goodie two shoes, I would write them off. I would just rip that bandaid off ! :grouphug: It hurts. I had to do that with my inlaws.

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If you haven't experienced it, be very, very grateful. And I understand your skepticism, but it's really not as rare as you think.

 

From the Wiki article:

 

I'm basing that view on what I've read in a variety of sources, as I suspect a family member may have it. In all likelihood, though, her bizarre behavior is due to other factors. The Mayo Clinic says NPD is "rare." Most sources say it's found in less than 1% of the population, and even the less conservative estimates I've seen put the figure at 6 or 7%.

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Not being ideal grandparents does not equal NPD.

 

Not being equally close to all adult children does not equal NPD.

 

Being selfish or insensitive does not equal NPD.

 

Sociopaths are not as uncommon as would be ideal but they aren't hiding behind every bush. It doesn't seem like these parents are going out of their way to be hurtful. They are not going out of their way to be loving but that is not the same thing. Are they callous and cruel when you do see them? Do they stir up drama with glee? Do they make themselves feel better by putting you down? Do they have delusions of grandeur? Are they literally only concerned with themselves?

 

And as for the OP's kids seeing their grandparents with their cousin? Um, why is that undesirable? My father's happiest times are with all of his grandkids around. My kids are growing up with 5 cousins and it is wonderful.

Edited by kijipt
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I have decided that as people old they care less about anyone else. My mom was very involved when my kids were little. She came to visit every other month (5.5 hour drive). Now we see her only a few times a year. This past visit she hardly spoke to us while we were there. It was just a strange visit. I figured she was mad about something. I noticed she is always mad about something we have done.....so it's old age. It has to be old age. She says she wants to visit but doesn't. She says she wishes she could see the kids more but she makes no effort. I offered to fly her here but she said no. She would be busy for the next year. Retired woman. Busy and can't come visit. :confused:

 

Anyway, years ago we decided our family means us. Our holidays are done the way we want, not the tradition of our family. Dh's family no longer sends cards/gifts much less calls. They do the large family thing. We hated the scene, the drama, the effort and you dread it.....so we chose not to do it years ago. We are the black sheep and dead to them.

 

My own family being divorced it's different. We have done turkey day with friends in the past but my dad started coming up every year. Some years we eat out. Some we make fun stuff. Other years we do the traditional bird. At this point we expect him to show up. I would even consider going to him. Christmas is us at home b/c it's my son's birthday. You can't divvy up who gets that day with us...we are home, anyone is welcome but we open presents the night before and do birthday during the day. My mom shows up every year so we do end up having her Christmas presents too. My son racks up :tongue_smilie: But again, we do what we want. And we hope to go skiing one year. At this point I figure mom won't be showing up one year due to lack of interest.

 

I know life isn't about ME or my kids but yes, it hurts they have no interest. I see dh's family have huge interest in the other grandkids b/c they see them weekly. My kids were always an afterthought on birthdays/holidays and at this point none acknowledged dd's birthday in Aug. My own parents did thank goodness.

 

But to avoid the hurt we have our own thing going on. We avoid the family drama and my sister has chosen the same path. She abhors Christmas but does show up at her inlaws house that day since she rents their house from them. But turkey day she's at home alone with her dh and happy about it.

 

I will say that being alone has drawbacks.....but like I said before...we are always open to hanging out with friends on the holidays. I used to have people over for Christmas who weren't going out of town. We celebrate with people we love, not blood relatives :lol:

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I'll also chime in about the eagerness to diagnose every imperfect family member as having NPD.

 

If I had the ability to diagnose based on reading one-sided comments on the internet, I'd say some of the people accusing others of this are actually a little narcissistic themselves. Or at least, some of them have not grown up enough to allow their parents to be human. You know, human, as in, entitled to be imperfect, tired, forgetful, choosy, and not 100% fair at all times.

 

My parents have 6 kids and I'm in the middle - the oldest daughter. When I was young, I used to feel my mom was unfair. She gave me more responsibility, and as we all became adults, she did a lot more for each of my siblings. More than was actually good for some of them, actually (IMO). However, I eventually realized that demanding that my mom act as just as God was a bit idiotic, considering she was just as human as I, and I had zero hope of ever being perfect. And secondly, my mom's "favoritism" was actually just a reflection of who was most capable of getting along independently. That happened to be me, and if I should feel anything about that, it should be gratitude. I'm thankful for being born that way and thankful that my mom nurtured that by giving me the responsibility I could handle. Thanks, Mom!

 

I'm 45 and I already get tired a lot faster than I did at, say, 35. If I had a bunch of adult kids whining because I didn't send out invitations to come visit me, I'd be rolling my eyes all the way down the street. Why should seeing one's grandkids be all on the grandparents and such a chore / responsibility? Maybe we should go back to the old days when the granny moved in on her ds and dil. Would that be better?

 

When I was little, my grandma (a widow) did not drive. Also, her youngest daughter, who'd had a nervous breakdown upon her dad's death, and who was widowed in her 20s, had a severely autistic son. Grandma spent a lot of time with "the boy" because it was needed. My mom had our ship under control. So for most of our lives, we saw Grandma when my dad drove over and brought her to our house, maybe 1-2x per year, or when we walked over there on our own (a few miles) in the summer time (to help her clean house). It never occurred to us to feel jealous of "the boy" for having more time with Grandma. Seriously? We thought Grandma was a saint for putting up with some of the surprises a severely autistic child brought to her life.

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I'm sorry that you are hurting so bad. Sometimes you just have to realize that some people suck, and move on. ( Said with a :grouphug: because I've been there. )

 

Is there any reason why you can't just say "mom, we're coming over"?

 

If I waited around for an "invitation" to my parents' house, I'd never see them. They just don't do things that way. It sounds like your siblings don't wait for a "special invitation" either. So why do you feel you should? Just make sure you show up between meals or bring something to eat. ;)

 

This is what we have to do. My inlaws come over maybe a few times a year, but everyone is totally welcome to drop in on them whenever we want. And there are usually a few grandkids there.

 

While I agree it is frustrating, I've noticed that grandparents often tend to focus their attention on the child or grandchildren who are most in need of rescue. Think of it as a compliment. :glare:

 

Yup. My husband is the most stable, well off, child in his family. THere is never an help thrown our way like there is to the other kids. I usually pay babysitters instead of taking the kids to grandmas, because she is worn out with taking care of the other grandkids all the time.

 

I'm sorry. That really hurts and I'll never understand why some grandparents are so uninterested in their grandkids. That was basically my mom before I cut off contact. She never once came to see the girls, she insisted that we drive - with two little kids - 8 hours to her. She's able-bodied, she just didn't WANT to come. Yet she was so excited to have granddaughters?? Even my grandmom and aunt came all the way from Michigan shortly after Becca was born. Did she come or show the slightest bit of concern when I was on hospital bedrest for a month before having Sylvia? I'm sure you know the answer.

 

I don't have a solution for you. I just had to tell my girls that Grandma and Grandpa P said mean things to me and we wouldn't be seeing them anymore. This is the truth, broken down for a 7 and 5 yo (at the time). It's not a topic of conversation anymore. But it breaks my heart that they threw the girls away. :sad:

 

ETA: I should add that for a while, I was the second class grandkid. My mom's father (who also has never seen the girls, although he has plenty of money to gallivant around the country) and stepmother always had my cousin A at their house. She lived in the same state as them, whereas I lived so far away I had to fly there. They even GAVE BACK some pictures of me and my sister after they had "finished" displaying them. Who does that???

 

My mom never had 'time' to come see us, but she had time to travel, and visit everyone else in the same city. I finally broke off contact with her.

 

As for the pictures, my inlaws are very loving and involved as they can be, but when we give them new photos, they give us the old ones back. They don't need to store them. :confused:

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my suggestion is to STOP conveying to your children that your parent's need to be in their life. you are conveying a "i feel rejected/it's not fair" to your children that will hurt them. if your parents choose to put all their attention on two problem children (for whatever reason), then they do and YOU need to move on with what you want out of life. I assure you, you and your children will NOT get the level of attention you want from your parents and you are harming your children by focusing on it so much. time to emotionally distance yourself and realize your parents are not able to give you what you want.

 

:iagree: That is where we are since my Dad died. He and my step-mother were together 20 years. My kids effectively lost both their grandparents when my Dad died. She has moved on and her bio kids are now having kids. I am doing well, so she focuses on the others. We were five minutes away, it could have been another state. I'm glad my step-mom is happy but it was very sad for my kids, especially my oldest who was there every week. Eventually I had to just let it go for all our sakes.

Edited by melmichigan
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