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Lily Valley

"Family Values" What now?

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My sister is pregnant.

As background, I am 41 and my son is 20 years old.  My parents have "reached out" to us twice since my son was born.  It was awful.  Both times.  She is telling them Tomorrow.  I already told my sister that:

1.  A NEW PEOPLE IS SO AWESOME I CAN'T WAIT OMG A TINY NEICE OR NEPHEW IT'S MY FIRST ONE...(stop it).

2.  I hope our parents have grown up.

 

If my parents are awful tomorrow, what can I possibly do?  The one thing I will NOT do is answer their calls.

Thanks board,

Branch of US Irish that hates kids (wtf)

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Is your sister geographically close to you? All you can really do is be there for her. Let her cry /rage and never speak a word of what she says to others - and possibly not even herself. I've definitely ranted stuff that I don't think and don't want to discuss post rant.

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I might be missing some context...I assume your parents are not in principle anti-kids? What's the family value in question? Is your sister concerned because she knows what you've been through with them?

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I do not get it either. They do not want grandchildren? This strikes me as extremely uncommon but I am at a loss what to suggest because " A NEW PEOPLE IS SO AWESOME!" is basically all there is to say and it seems enough for most people...  Congratulations and good luck to your sister!

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On 24-11-2016 at 1:55 PM, Datepalm said:

I might be missing some context...I assume your parents are not in principle anti-kids? What's the family value in question? Is your sister concerned because she knows what you've been through with them?

 

On 24-11-2016 at 1:43 AM, Lily Valley said:

Branch of US Irish that hates kids (wtf)

 

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On 24/11/2016 at 1:43 AM, Lily Valley said:

Branch of US Irish that hates kids (wtf)

And yet they had at least two kids? :huh:

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On 11/24/2016 at 6:55 AM, Datepalm said:

What's the family value in question?

Guessing single women shouldn't be having kids?

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Lily - many hugs.  Hope it went ok for your sister.  I don't have any real advice other than to be there for your sister, and to add a "squeeeeee!" for a new baby. Just be there for her.  You can at least provide some of the "advice" type stuff that a mom otherwise might.  When the baby comes, maybe you can take a few days off to help her and her partner out around the house?  Or come over on weekends to do laundry?  Or bring a lasagna every once and a while?  Little things do help.

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Lily,

That's terrible.  I hope you know we love you and wish you, your sister, her child, and your son all the happiness in the world.

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Thanks all.  I realize my original post was a little confusing.  My sister is really far away geographically.  I should be able to get there after the baby is born sometime early summer.  This is a much anticipated and much wanted child.  I am over the moon.

My sister is married and her husband is great.  I couldn't have picked a better man for her if I had chosen him myself.   Their work and living situation is fine for now.  They'll need to move when the baby is three or four to a slightly larger space, but it is certainly not pressing and that's plenty of time to plan.  I really don't know why my parents would disapprove.

  I am pleased to report that my parents weren't awful, but neither were they very enthusiastic.  I just can't understand their total lack of interest in their grandchildren.  It's completely baffling to me.  I feel like I don't understand their motivations at all.  I realized over the weekend that some of my fear was caused by reliving my own disappointment in their lack of interest in my son's life.  It's been pretty heartbreaking for both him and me over the years.   This lack of interest has spilled over to the children of my step-siblings as well.  It is very painful to be rejected by your family.  Even if it is not your fault. 

The only thing I can think of is that because they were from a different era, they were able to afford things like buying their own house on early career salary.  Things were much different for us.  I struggle under a massive student loan burden and my sister has faced salary stagnation since she started working.  Maybe our precarious financial situations have caused their chronic disapproval. 

I'm simply trying to understand their lack of interest.  They are good people and they were good parents.

Moving closer is not really an option for me.  I made my own support network, family and career here.  She is on the west coast.  I can plan on Christmas and summer visits.  That would suit me fine.  I can also get my niece or nephew out of their hair when he or she inevitably becomes a teenager.  God knows I could have used a break from my son's constant surliness.
 

I'm going to do what I can.  The books I really liked when I was pregnant are somewhat dated.  If any of y'all have suggestions for pregnancy and early childhood texts I can send her, please post.  I'm also planning to open a savings account.  I can't do much, but I have learned the hard way that time is the best way to make money grow. 

 

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Just to address disinterest in grandchildren.  I know of parents of friends whose attitude is one of "I've done my raising of the kids, not interested".  And it's to go so far as timing down to the quarter hour how long the child was to be left with them.

I do not understand it myself.  I come from a family where the grandparents are in integral part of raising the children and a number of us spent at least some of our childhood living with our grandparents whilst our parents worked to pay bills. (That has it's own drawbacks).

Good luck to you and yours Lily.  It's not easy to deal with parental rejection but I hope you have enough love and support around to make up for it.

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I grew up in a family where my grandparents were around. They were at family events and holidays, they invited us over for dinner sometimes. They weren't omnipresent; they took us maybe a few times in the entirety of my childhood, and they picked us up from school a couple times.

If a grandparent wants to be more involved, that seems nice. Is it an obligation? Are they bad grandparents if they aren't more involved? I'm not so sure. Maybe this is a culture clash of what people are used to?

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