I know, strange title. But let me give you a little bit of background, and then I'll explain. Promise.
I had grandparents that were very involved in our lives. Even the ones in Utah. They would come to basketball games, baptisms, baby blessings, band competitions, little league games, swim meets, graduations, everything. And not just those things. They would come over sometimes for no reason. My Utah grandparents would show up unannounced at our house many times, usually bearing a big gift, and it was always something super useful like an awesome new vacuum or a huge freezer. They knew what was going on in our lives. And not just my grandparents. My aunts and uncles, mostly on my dads side, were there with my grandparents at meets, games and things like that. And we were there for my cousins. This is what I am accustomed to. And my parents follow right along. Since we live 3,000 miles from them, they will call and ask to talk to the kids. They are planning on coming to visit soon. Last year, they came and watched my kids while I went to Girls Camp. In my family (even on my moms side) we don't wait to be invited to someones house. If we want to go and visit them, we give them a call to make sure they are home and that we can come. Or if we want to come and visit for a few days, we make the phone call.
So, that is what I am used to. What I expect. And when I married Matt, I think I just assumed his family would be somewhere around the same. Boy was I wrong.......
Seven years later, I am still getting irritated. Because I expect them to make an effort. To not only keep up with us, but to want to get to know my kids. To talk to them, to want to try and come visit to spend time with them. And unfortunately, that is way off.
And it just kills me. Seriously. What are these peoples problems? Why don't they make any effort? To me, Love is a verb. You have to do things if you love someone. I guess for my MIL sending a card with a check for their birthdays says I love you. Never mind she never calls and talks to them. Or makes any plans to come and visit us. And neither does his dad. Which makes me sad. (his dad only calls when he wants to talk about his migraines with Matt)
So, back to lowering expectations. So, I have been having the expectation that Matts parents will do things to get to know my kids, to make efforts. And the reality is that they won't. They won't call us weekly or even monthly. They won't save up their money to come and visit us. They just won't. His mom wouldn't even drive an hour and a half to go and see her grand daughters soccer games. I don't think she saw maybe more than one or two. I have to suggest them coming to my parents house, because otherwise they will just sit at their houses waiting for me to drive to them. After I have already driven 1400 miles just to get that close. This is just the way they are. And I can't change it. So, now I just have to accept it. They will never change. My kids won't know them very well. (and I've discussed this with Matt and he isn't bothered by the fact his parents don't make much of an effort. he assumes that they will when the kids get older. I don't agree......) I have lowered my expectations. And it's going to take some getting used to. But I can do it. And in the end, I won't be so frustrated, so angry and so irritated. And I could sure use less of those things in my life.
Letters to a Beleaguered SCMC Member
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