One Week

11 May

So here is the big issue of the week. It’s kinda annoying/angering/upsetting me and I feel like I just want to get it off my chest. This will probably get me in trouble but frankly I don’t really care.

A few weeks/months ago we talked to Brian’s parents about taking Jeffrey for a week in the summer. We asked for several reasons.
1) He only gets to see his grandparents a few times a year and then (usually) only when all of the other kids are around. There are six other grandkids and I worry that he never actually gets to see them on his own.
2) Our daycare closes for one week in the summer to repaint and do staff development and we have to shuffle him from friends, take days off, or pay someone else to watch him for the week.  So this would really help us out if they could take him for us.
3) We are having our hardwoods refinished this summer and we basically need to move out of the house for a week and it would be incredibly helpful to not have to worry about Jeffrey being underfoot and exposed to fumes while this happens.
4) Lastly, we never ask for anything and it would be nice if they could help us out.

Anyway, they agreed to take him. They said they’d mark it off their calendar and everything was great. Until last week.

Last week we got the phone call that Brian’s mom is “done with chasing around little ones and changing diapers.” and that they’d be glad to take him for a day or two but she’s just getting too old for an entire week.

WTF! Brian’s mom is 15 years younger than my mom. She walked the three day walk for breast cancer last year and came in 1ST place! They are taking their third? scuba diving trip for the year. Tell me you don’t want to see him but don’t give me this crap that you’re tired. And I’d love to bring him out for a day or two but we live four and a half hours away. I can’t afford the gas or the time to do that.

I just feel like we never ask them for anything and when we do they drop the ball. I grew up with family members that ignored me and that didn’t want to spend time with me and I grew up resenting them. I don’t want this to happen to Jeffrey. I want him to love his grandparents (both sets) and I want them to see what an awesome little guy he is. And you just don’t get that one or two weekends every year. I just feel like he’s missing out on them and even worse that they’re missing out on him.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Brian’s parents. But I just feel like we’re the black sheep or the kids that just get forgotten. I don’t know if it’s because their family is such a blended family or because we’re out here on our own, or what but I hate that we have to depend on my family for everything. To me family are the people you lean on when no one else is around and I just can’t trust his family to be there for us.

I don’t know. Someone will probably read this and get angry with me but I kinda don’t care. I’m mad and upset at the same time. I just want them to love my son. And to me that means more than some gifts twice a year and saying that he’s doing great. It means showing him that you love him by caring enough to spend some time with him. If you don’t want to take him? fine but then how about you try and come out to visit him. I know I’m biased but he is the most spectacular little boy on the planet and it bothers me that they can’t see it.

I’m not alone in these feelings either. Brian has been trying to be gracious on the phone with his parents but it’s really upsetting him as well. I don’t know how we resolve this other than venting and then bucking up and dealing with what we’ve been given. We don’t want to start some big family fight but we don’t really know how to make it better either.

*****Updated 6/25/08*****

I have read all the comments. I appreciate everyone’s opinions. I am sorry if I offended anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings, it was not my intention. I wanted only to express my feelings because I was very upset and didn’t feel like I had a place to go with them. The end deal is just that I want my kid to love all of his grandparents and I feel the best way for him to do that is to spend time with them. At any rate, I’m turning off comments for this post. Should anyone have more to say, feel free to email or give me a call. I’ll be happy to discuss it further.


Posted by on May 11, 2008 in Family, rant


10 responses to “One Week

  1. Happy Working Mom

    May 12, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Oh, I know exactly what you are going through! I’m so sorry you have to deal with this…it’s horrible. I’ve pretty much given up and accepted that we are the black sheep, and my kids will grow up with unequal time on each side of the family.

    Like you I went through the same thing growing up and was trying to not let my kids experience it. But then I realized that it’s not my choice…I can’t make people spend time with my kids.

    It’s their loss…Jeffrey is a great kid, and if they don’t spend the time getting to know him, they’re the ones missing out!

  2. Bonnie Malek

    May 12, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I’m sorry that you have to experience family that does not care to be a part of Jeffrey’s life. It kills me that I am so far away and can’t be more help to you. I’d take him for a month if I could! Be thankful that your parents are so involved and work really hard to just accept that Brian’s parents aren’t. The post above says it all – It’s their loss!!! They are the ones that are missing out.

    It’s better for Jeffrey if he is not around people that don’t care. That would do him much more damage than not having them in his life. I know from experience – Chris’ grandparents on her father’s side actually told me she was better off not knowing them because they had a better lifestyle than my parents and it would be too confusing to her if she saw their way of life and then compared it to my parents. Country club lifestyle vs steel mill lifestyle. What garbage. I actually thanked them and told them they were doing her a favor because I did not want her around people like them.

    I know it’s not exactly the same as what you are going through with Brian’s family but try to accept it and enjoy the family and friends that love Jeffrey totally and would do anything for you because they love you. That love will more than make up for what he is not getting from them.

  3. Rachel

    May 12, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I am so sorry you are going through all this. You have every right to be upset for several reasons, not the least of which is that they are missing out on very precious time with their grandchild. A grandchild that could very well not have made it having been born prematurely. He deserves to know them.

    They made a promise to you and Brian and they should honor that promise. They should WANT to honor that promise.

  4. mom

    May 12, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I have to respond to this.
    Look at it like this. The other grandparents have seven grandchildren. If they take Jeffrey for a week then they will have to take each of the other six for a week to be fair. … So , they would then have no summer at all!! Give them a break, they are doing the best they can.

  5. Brian

    May 14, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Woah! I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression. I love my parents very much and all of us really enjoy their company. But it is possible to be irritated at people you love at the very same time.

    I wish Jeffrey had more time with his grandparents. Heck, I wish I did. It feels alot like Cat Steven’s “Cat’s in the Cradle”, and I’m not sure which side I’m on. Am I (we) to blame for moving so far away? I often rationalize the distance with the fact that my Dad drives over 250miles to work – each way! That doesn’t mean that he wants to do it when he gets home, though.

    I don’t know what the answer is. The fond memories of my Grandma Charlotte and Grandpa Frank are my basis for a grandchild-grandparent relationship. That was a different time and a different place. I was very close with them, and I want my son to have that same type of connection with my parents. But it’s harder to compete with 6 other children. When I was growing up, it was just my sister and I.

    Another thought I have is that my parents haven’t hit “grandparent mode” yet. They’re still very young. My Dad is 50 and my Mom is even younger (see, I didn’t print it!). They enjoy scuba diving and snowmobiling. I don’t know if my Dad will ever “retire”. They’re just not at that stage where their life revolves around grandchildren. [Confusing blended family alert!] Dad walked into an “instant family” of my mother and I when he was just 21. My Mom was a mother herself just after high school. When my sister got pregnant, they became grandparents while 3 out of 4 of us were still living at home, and they helped raise my neice until my sister moved out after graduation.

    Now that our brood has finally grown up and moved out of the house, they finally have time to themselves. I think that might be it.

  6. Jenn

    June 13, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Hello, I read the blog and was left unsettled so I thought I would put out my opion. I am the other daughter in law. I have three children. As far as I am concerned Jeanne and Bill take a very active roll in their Grandchildrens lives. I believe they love Jeffrey very much. Unfortunitly when you choose to live away from your family your child is going to miss out on a lot of family activities. We just recently moved to Alaska and our kids are not going to be a daily part of their grandparents lives. That’s a choice we have to deal with. As far as not wanting to keep Jeffrey for the week that was a decision that Jeanne had to make since she would be the only one home with him. I don’t think in my opion she meant she is too old and tired to look after a two year old. I believe she meant she is done raising kids and would enjoy a day or two with Jeffrey but not a week. Dani you are an only child and Jeffrey is their only grandchild so its a lot easier for them to devote everything to him. Jeffrey is #5 of 7 grandchildren i9ts a little harded to make him feel like hes the most important child in the room when all the other kids are around. Maybe you should start planning out trips to see the inlaws when everyone is not there. Then he could get some quality time. Thats all I really have to say. I just was upset at some of the comments that Jeanne and Bill don’t care or love Jeffrey. I believe they love and care for all of their grandchildren. One of the benifits of being a grandparent is sending the kids home, thats what my mom tells me. Jeanne and Bill have worked very hard to be were they are in their lives now and don’t believe they should feel bad about not being a daycare service for their 7 grandkids. thanks.

  7. Deanna

    June 13, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Hi, my name is Deanna, I am Brian’s sister. I just wanted to leave a quick response to this. First I want to start by saying that I think that you 2 have done an amazing job with Jeffrey. You went through so many ups and downs with him at first and you should be so proud of what you have come through and accomplished with him. With that being said, I don’t think this is the appropriate place to be complaining about family. It is one thing for you and Brian to be pissed off and to complain to one another. I can understand that, whether it is warranted or not. But for you to put it up on the internet where all of your friends and family read your blog is not only totally immature, it is degrading. She’s not some driver that pissed you off, or some horrible waitress that no one on this board knows. She is your mother in-law! And you knew that all of these people would respond and feel bad for you, so she not only has you thinking that she is a bad grandmother but she has all of these other people (who she has never met before) backing you up and saying she is a bad grandmother. What I think would have made her a bad grandmother would be if she had gone and bashed Jeffrey in a 9-10 paragraph rant on the internet where all of her friends and family frequented. But she didn’t do that. I also want to say that I live fairly close to her (within an hour) and she doesn’t take my kids for a week a time either. I wouldn’t expect her to. 1. You guys can certainly come here other than to get some “gifts twice a year” It shouldn’t all be held on their shoulders. 2. one of you or the both of you could try and schedule your vacations around his daycare closing for that week and maybe even come visit us at that time so they could have quality time with Jeffrey 3. I have had my floors done and my kids didn’t go anywhere. My furnace even broke at the beginning of February and my kids stayed with me.

    This is certainly not meant to add fuel to the fire but you can’t expect to start a fire and not have the owners of the house be pissed.

    Merry Christmas 🙂

  8. kelly

    June 14, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    You know Danielle it is a shame that you feel the way you do and wrong for you to go and bash our parents for everyone to read . We all love Jeffery and you guys but you guys do live 4 hours away which is your choice which is why we don’t see you and no one gets to spend time with Jeffrey did you ever take that in to consideration? maybe when you guys come out the reason all the other grandkids { which are also your nieces and nephews} are around is cause maybe just maybe we want to see you to and spend some time with you and our nephew. you know mom does have a business to run and a life of her own to live I would never expect them to take any of our children for a week at a time especially at that young of an age . I live 45 mins. from mom and dad and I’m lucky if I see them once a month they take Tory maybe 2x’s a year over night and she’s back in the morning so don’t go thinking we all get special treatment and you guys are just pushed a side . It kills me that I don’t get to be a part of my nephews and nieces lives but that is what happens when you grow up start your only family and move away. Dee and Dave live maybe 20 mins from me and I hardley ever see them or the girls either that’s what happens when you lead a busy life that is life and you just have to live with it.
    As for Brian It’s not the same as with Grandma and Grandpa cause there is so many of us.I don’t know what else to say but we love you guys and miss you very much but I think what your wife did is wrond and I think she owes mom and dad a appology

  9. Dani

    June 24, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    I have read all the comments. I appreciate everyone’s opinions. I am sorry if I offended anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings, it was not my intention. I wanted only to express my feelings because I was very upset and didn’t feel like I had a place to go with them. The end deal is just that I want my kid to love all of his grandparents and I feel the best way for him to do that is to spend time with them. At any rate, I’m turning off comments for this post. Should anyone have more to say, feel free to email or give me a call. I’ll be happy to discuss it further.

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