But if I want my two toddlers to see them, I almost always have to go to them, taking time off of work, loading up all our gear, etc. Whenever I ask my parents to come and visit us, they say they’re too busy with things like a cocktail party they’re planning, starting a new club for my dad’s hobby (even though he’s already active in two clubs for it!), or something else they seemingly could step away from for a few days a couple times a year.
They currently haven’t visited since last year. For an upcoming holiday we planned to spend with them, they made plans with friends in their town — which we’re welcome to join, but they don’t really seem to care if that is feasible for us.
I’ve read enough of your columns to know I can’t change them, so how do I let go of being angry and hurt over this and keep giving willingly when they don’t give back? I don’t think the travel is too much for them because they travel much further for vacations, and I don’t think it’s that they’re not up for toddlers, because when we go there, they’re very engaged with the kids. We’re just behind cocktail parties, hobby clubs, painting classes, vacations and pretty much everything else on their priority list.
— Accepting Grands
Historically, emotional conversations just make them shut down, ever more so when we have touched on this topic.
— Accepting Grands again
Hax: Please stop holding the space in your life for these imaginary attentive grandparents.
” Choose only from the options available to you. You can make do without their company, and invest in a “local family” of people you care a lot about and who show an interest in you; or you can travel to see your parents and accept they won’t reciprocate; or you can make it your priority, too, to save your travel for touring interesting places.
Just, decide. Stop giving your power away.
hax or chat with her online at 9 a.m.
Pacific/noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.
(c) 2019, Washington Post Writers Group