Sad for DD

niveaSeptember 9, 2009

and myself to be honest. This is a long rambly rant, sorry. Ignore or give it to me, I just want to get it out.

Some of my best childhood memories was summer time when I got to spend time with my grandparents. There was usually a couple week long stretches where I got to visit. My grandmother taught me everything from gardening, cooking to holocaust history and womens rights. She and my grandfather taught me family history and showed me old photos and told the funniest stories about the family members I never met. My grandfather took me on fishing trips, we took road trips to see the house he was born in, the house his father built.

Its the end of summer and I feel bad for DD. I dont know what got me to thinking about it, but my father is not like that for her. They dont inquire about her much, dont take much interest. Sometimes I think it has to do with his kids now, they are still school age and it's like he has had 3 decades of children under 10. He just doesnt have time, he's in the same boat as me. Active parenting. Some times it just doesn't seem right. I'm not really these kids older sister, I'm like an aunt. I dont really have the time to bond as brother and sisters with them as everyone thinks I should be doing. I try, but its not a sibling relationship at all, Im just another babysitter or person to give them toys and presents. I dont really mind but I dont like the expectation of how I should be with them, when my daughter the grandchild is constantly snubbed. It's weird and unnatural, and yes I resent being put in this position without my consent lol. Dont get me wrong, I love all my brothers and sisters, this is just a pity party and you're all invited :)

I look at my boyfriends family and they are SO different. They get together just because! Not when someone needs babysitting or a holiday, just because they want to spend time together. There is no unnatural relationships, no tension, they dont feel forced to interact and establish relationships outside of their personal boundaries. It couldnt be anymore different than the balancing act of a family I and DD have. DD notices it too and asks why does bf's mother want to take me shopping? She doesn't get why and thats just so sad to me. She (yes an older grown up) wants to get to know you and finds pleasure in spending time with you! DD doesn't know that side of families and dangit, it makes me sad.

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I am sorry you are so unhappy about this, but it's just life. I am not close to any of our 5 kids, because I was not at their beck and call.

I didn't baby sit unless it was an emergency, I tried it but had as many as 9 grand kids in town at the same time. I had a life with my husband, garage sales, auctions, flea markets, doll shows and outings with his club. That caused a problem with our kids.

After loaning each child money a couple of times it caused hard feelings between us, especially when the last few loans weren't paid back.

As far as the grand kids are concerned we loved them dearly and spent time with them. They would call and want to come over, I don't think we ever refused them. They were a lot of fun.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 2:41PM
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Oops, forgot to add, it won't be a problem with your daughter unless you make it one. For her it will be normal, you don't usually miss what you have never had.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 2:43PM
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I dont relate to anything you just said Stargazzer. I never expected anyone to be at my beck and call. It is difficult for any role to be in a stepfamily and Im mainly just venting the difficulties Im seeing lately. It is hard being 20 plus older than some siblings. I've babysat more for them (waaaaaay more lmao, look at all those kids, jeez) than they have for me.

Thats just fyi for the beck and call comment, Im not really keeping score or really mind. But I do think its sad that they dont show an outward interest in DD, they dont see her or spend time with her unless its a holiday or I ask them to babysit. It is not really a grandparent/grandchild relationship. He is too busy with all the younger kids and his own life and I get that, but yes, I do think its sad he cant call on her first day of school or anything like that. But Im expected to do that, kind of weird, all the expectations placed on me but there is none for them.

I do get what you're saying about it wont be a problem for DD, obviously she doesnt know any better. But I will say it is a problem when she is suspicious of an older lady trying to get to know her, she doesnt understand it because she's never had that interest shown to her by anyone in our family. And I do think thats sad, your family growing up is how you relate to the world.

I know different families operate differently and there are different norms, Im not lamenting over just anything. I am sad about the fracture that happened and knowing that there isnt much to do to fix it. Im sad that the youngest of my siblings dont know much about their grandparents, and whats more they dont really care at this point. Maybe someday. It does strike me as pretty sad, but hey as long as you give them a toy on their birthday, you're a good big sister lol.

I guess what Im saying its that you can physically have family, but the relationship is what counts above all. Im sad about the example that was set for our generation and Im sad seeing how it is being played out in my daughters generation.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 3:18PM
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I know how you feel. I feel kind of like that about my mother.

She's a wonderful grandmother and spends lots of time with DS. But she wasn't so involved with my siblings and me when we were growing up.

She was a very utilitarian mother and my father, as great as he is, was the only one working so he was gone a lot of the time. We had the things we needed, but that was it. No nurturing or cuddling. Nope. Everything was about her. We had to be quiet because she didn't feel good. Or we had to be quiet because she was writing her book. It was a scary chore just to get her to get up and take us to school in the mornings. She always sat in the car during my soccer games. Attended 1 band concert, I think. Just generally uninvolved our lives. Never cared about my grades or anything. She actually advocated me going to summer school so I could graduate early so she didn't have to take me to school and I could take the younger 2. I'm not making that up. Got my brother a hardship license at 15 so he could drive himself and our younger sister to school.

Except for my sister who got pregnant at 15. She was WAY involved in her life. But I was already out of the house by then.

She's better now, but she still has a little bit of that. For example, at one point, I hadn't talked to her in a month because every time I called she was "busy". I just quit calling because I was done getting my feelings hurt. Another time I told her I missed her and she said "well, just get over it".

And I really never realized what I missed until I had my own kid. I vowed to sit out at every single one of his games come rain, sleet, snow, wind or blazing sun so that he would know I am there for him. I go through every single one of his papers he brings home from school. I help at class parties as much as I can. I will be there to help him fill out college applications and on the front row for Senior Walk.

I know it's easier with 1 kid than 3, but you'd think that if that was the excuse then she would've been involved with at least 1 of us. Nope. Not a one!

Nivea - I think you have a similar situation as a good friend of mine. Her father has (basically) 3 families and he's always way more involved with the current family than the ones he left behind. She hurts about it a lot sometimes and sometimes it doesn't bother her at all. I guess it just depends on the day. I'm sorry you have to go through that. I see her pain and I can only imagine yours is similar.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 4:23PM
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Nivea -- I am sorry about situation. This is kind of you, Ashley to at least sympathise.

Stargazer -- did you bother to read what Nivea wrote. The DD DOES already hurt -- from Nivea "DD notices it too" Nivea talks about families getting togethor just for the sake of it.

Different families have different ways of being there for people. Stargazer, you may think it is all about gimme gimme gimme. Its not for many families.

When Ima talks about the benefits of stepfamilies, I don't recall anyone mentioning that when taken to a parent having 3 sets of kids, attention for some, especially the oldest, may suffer.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 10:26AM
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nivea, so sorry for your DD. i think it is great that your BF has such family so DD can get attention she needs.

ona subject of X is a moron but I have to say that he does a good job with 3 sets of kids from 3 different families. I know that kids don't get slided or lack attention. DD is 21, her brother #1 is 10 and her brother #2 is turning 1 soon. they all get attention and time etc. Of course DD being grown up in college does not expect the same type of attention as an infant who needs his diapers changed but she gets attention just of a different kind. I also have to say that X's mom (XMIL) is equally involved with all 3 children. I don't know if and when DD has her own children, if X will be involved wiht grandchidlren but he probably will.

now my parents were very involved wiht DD and my nephew, they were very young grandparents. they aren't as involved wiht my niece. one of the reason they are older and just don't have as much energy. My brother said that sometimes it bothers him but that's what it is.

stargazzer it is very sad you have 5 children and aren't close to them. I don't even know what to comment on that. You are talking about grandkids in the past tense, you aren't seeing them either?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 11:54AM
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I am sorry. :(

I kind of relate. I am close to my dad in certain ways, and he loves me and he loves DD, but he is not a super-involved grandparent. He helps out in wonderful ways---he pays for DD's private school--but he certainly does not spend much *time* with her. I think a lot of it is that he is very busy with work, and then when he isn't working, he wants to golf or relax.

I have been hurt at times in the past but I've kind of come to realize that is just how he is. He doesn't ever ask me much about myself---how life is, how is DH, how is his business, etc. This sounds worse than it is but I feel like our relationship is kind of superficial at times. He loves me, no doubt, loves DD, but it's just not a CLOSE relationship in a lot of ways.

My mom and I are a lot closer in many ways and she is way more into grandparenting. She is always spending time with DD (and SS, too!) and invites us over for dinner weekly, etc.

I think some of it, not to sound sexist, but I really think it is a male/female thing.

And families are all different, some ARE closer than others.

(((HUGS))) Have you tried taking the initiative with your dad? Ask him if he wants to come over for dinner? Ivite him to a carnival or DD's school play or something? Suggest that he take DD to a movie?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 11:39AM
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