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conflicted feelings about adult children
April 23, 2018
11:07 pm
tim page
Awaiting Moderation

April 1, 2018
8:05 am

Oh, Kelli, I see you said that neither son has a guest room any longer because they have children and the BIL lives with them. This is just how it is. Life is life. We never had a guest room when I was raising my kids because all the bedrooms were full of kids. Keeping one room empty for once a year guests made no sense to me and we didn't have the money for a bigger house. We had a sleeper sofa and my in-laws slept on that when they visited. If they would come during a school holiday, I might have given them a children's room but they always came during the week and when school was in session. Even though we asked them to choose a better time for us, they wouldn't. See how one sided my in-laws made it? So visits were always a little tense. My kids needed their sleep, had homework to do, and school started at 7 am so we needed our routine kept. You can stay in a hotel, you might find this is preferable. It got so that we started staying in motels to visit our relatives as time when by and it was a lot easier on all of us. But that meant we had to either drive or rent a car. I think you are looking at this from your perspective which is not serving you well. Try to look at this globally and that there is no right nor wrong. It just sounds like they are living their own lives and not harming you. It sounds like they are welcoming of your visits. If they do not welcome you, then don't visit. 

April 1, 2018
7:38 am

Hi Kelli,

You write that your relationship with your adult children seems fine except they don't come visit you. This is a huge good thing. Most parents on this forum have difficult or toxic relationships with their own children. 

May I flip this on its head and provide perspective?

Are your adult children willing to allow you to stay in their house when you visit them? Do they have enough room so that everyone is comfortable? Do you visit at times that are good for their work schedule and their children's schedules (if any children)?

How about your house? Is it clean and not cluttered? Is it full of stuff that small children could break? Do your adult children have children of their own? How is their income - enough to pay for airplane tickets for everyone, adults and children? (I have a friend who has become a hoarder and her adult kids no longer choose to stay in her house to visit but can't seem to tell her how horrible her house is and even I won't go over there!). 

Do you live in an area where there are things to do with small children? Do you live close enough to an airport that getting to and from your house is "easy"? Or do they have to drive that 750 miles, which is a day spent on the road? 

Do you see the picture I am painting? Maybe they don't visit for good reasons, please try to see how the situation would be to a stranger. Maybe just be grateful that you can visit them once or twice a year and they are welcoming. Don't let selfishness spoil your attitude of gratefulness. 

My adult children do not visit us. We finally made the guest room into an exercise room. I don't have a good relationship with 3 of my 4 children. We live close enough to drive back and forth but with small children or babies, even 2 hours in a car can be ceaseless crying so I recognize that they will never visit me. I once had 4 small children and there was always 1 crying in the car on the 8 hour drive to my in-laws or the 4 hour drive to my folks. It was extremely exhausting to pack everyone up and drive to visit or even fly to visit when we could save up that money. Visiting my in-laws was not fun. MIL had tons of breakables EVERyWHERE in the house on coffee table, stacked on the floor and I had to chase my kids around the house constantly so the didn't break anything. My FIL kept the house at temperatures to save money that were unbearable for us. Things like that made visits "not fun." There was probably 10-15 years when we didn't visit the grandparents much and they mostly visited us just due to the logistics and cost of taking so many people on a trip. We didn't vacation either.

Sometimes it just is how life is - and its not about us as the parents. 

March 22, 2018
10:04 am
Karen Jacobs

Hi Kelli~I see so much of these issues with our adult children and  we do offer a support group for parents dealing with these issues. Please see my info here~To the parents suffering in this nightmare. It is a huge tragedy, an epidemic that is something so hard to accept and breaks our hearts to something we could never would have imagined in our lives. It is  growing epidemic that many are starting to realize is far worse in our society today. No one ever wants to talk about it,  nor do our friends and family even understand. As Dr. Joshua Coleman states in his webinars, Q&A's, and talks to public groups, we feel like "I thought I was the only one."  we dont even know why our kids do this at times. Nor, we may never find out. I have learned to deal with this hurt in my life, and also how to handle my beloved estranged daughter and my relationship, and we have very happily reconciled thru the compassionate sessions with Dr. Coleman. Yes, bumps in the road, but I love my Daughter dearly, and am so thrilled to have her back in my life. Thru the webinars and Q&A's that Dr. Joshua Coleman offers, we have been able to start a wonderful, very compassionate and caring Facebook group that shares together how handle our lives and advice to others. (It is run in secret mode so that n one can see our group nor the members. Please contact me at We care, and no, you are not the only one. It is a worldwide epidemic and our group shares with international parents, not only thru our group, but with Retreats, conference calls and meetings and online support with our group that runs 24/7. Hugs to all who will read this, I do care!

March 21, 2018
1:35 am

Good morning Kelli:

I can understand why you feel a little rejected by your children and your visits to see them. However, it sounds like it's just a matter of logistics, money, and children. How long are your visits?  How big are their homes?  Will you literally be in someone's space?  Otherwise, a short visit camped out in your grandchildren's room shouldn't be too invasive? Figure it out objectively.

My daughter lives on the East Coast, I live in California. Her and her husband make money in the deep six figures. They send me a ticket. I would not be able to see them at all, or afford a hotel room if I depended on just my retirement money to visit. You don't mention that you don't enjoy your visits?  And you don't express that they don't want you there?  Figure it out, it sounds like it's a "money thing."  BTW, my other two kids live in California and I don't see them as much as I see the one that is 3,000 miles away.

My assumption and theory has holes in it. Design the visits with the different personalities of your unique children and their living situations.

March 7, 2018
11:06 am

I have two grown sons.  They live about 750 miles from me.  I moved away when their father and I divorced.

I have since remarried and they say they love my new husband and one has even called him his dad. (He has done more with them in the 10 years we have been married then there father has in 30).

Anyway, I know that they are very busy with their lives, however, when they want to take time off and go somewhere, they do.  But never to visit me.

When I go to visit them, our relationship seems fine.

I am frustrated/conflicted by the fact that I am the one who travels so we can see each other and they don't.

I want to plan a trip in the next month or two, however, now neither one has room in their homes for us to stay with them - they have had children and one has the DIL's brother staying with them.

Am I wrong for feeling frustrated/conflicted?  Should I not plan a trip and ask (again) that they come to visit me?

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