Asking to much from grown upkids? (women over 50 please)

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Asking to much from grown upkids? (women over 50 please)
Sat, 11-24-2012 - 12:28am

Las year was my, 60th aniverssary. Decade birthdays have always been important for me.

My daughter wasn´t able to be with me, because she broke with her boyfriend, and was so sad, that she decided to take a trip. When she came back, I never received a present (eventhough she makes very good money) Or her intention to buy a cake. I GOT NOOOOOOOOOTHING!

My son lives in foreingh country and was also unable to be with me, but he sent me some money as a present, and callled for my birthday.

The next time the family got together, (me and my two kids.) I was waitting for them to acknowledge my birthady. Probably that they could buy a cake, and sang happy birthday. But that never happened. I also found out that my son (whom I rarely see), after his brief visit to our country, took some time to attend to a friend´s wedding in South America. I just saw him departute thinking "¿WHAAAAAAAAAT?"

This, besides other things have really broken my heart as a mom.

Am I asking for too much? Is that the way grown up kids behave with their moms? Are my kids extremely selfish? Sometimes I have the feeling; that I did something wrong! In the way I brought them up, or they just inherit from their dad (whom I dovorced) the "SELFISH" gene.


Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

<Is that the way grown up kids behave with their moms?>

Its the way some grown kids behave with their moms. Some are more connected, some less. Part of it may be due to how they were raised but that doesn't account for all of it. For instance your son did more to observe your birthday than your daughter did, and presumably they were raised the same way. Were your kids raised seeing family getting together as important and/or an obligation? Were you closer to your mother at their age?

Did your kids realize how important to you the 60th birthday was? Do they think that birthdays are important days in general? I think that your son's response was appropriate, especially since he lives in another country. I do think that your dd should have done something when she got back from her trip. You didn't say how long after your birthday your kids came to visit but unless it was within a couple of weeks I would not expect them to celebrate with cake or sing happy birthday etc.

The incident with your son traveling on to a wedding sounds normal to me. Your kids are at a point of building their own lives. My ds lives about 400 miles away but still has many friends in this city. He has come here for weddings twice in this year, staying at our home but we barely see him during the short visit. He does make a point of spending a few hours with us but I understand that the purpose of the trip was for something else...and staying with the parents eliminates the cost of a hotel.

I think its okay to tell your dd that you are disappointed that she did not acknowledge your birthday, on the actual day or when she returned from her trip. And when your kid(s) will be visiting in your city you can state that you want to spend X amount of time with them, but then do make the time count. They may not realize that you miss them or when they are being inconsiderate. There is a fine line between pointing out bad behavior and  making our adult kids feel guilty (and then they don't want to be around us) so just say what you have to say then drop it. Your dd will get the point, or not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004

Thank for your reply. I needed some mom´s perspective. Yes, they have seen me close to my mom, and they have seen that birthdays are important in my family of origin. And I also told them how important it was that birthday for me.

You are right, my son acknowledged my birthay more than my daughter. We always have had a closer and better relationship.

I pointed an expectation to my daughter, and she replied we were going to make a trip to celebrate it, but she has the trait to make promises that she doesn´t keep.So, I don´t expect it.

My son is married, but he also married his wives´s family as well. So when they come to our country, they give more and better days (hollidays) to his wive´s family. I haven´t said a word about that as well, but it makes me kind of sad.

I have said nothing to my son of the way I felt about that birthday. My mom has always been too demanding and sends guilt messages and the only thing she has got, is to send us away from her. I wonder if not trying not to be like my mom , has made me go to the oppossite.

I don´t  expect or want to receive anything based on obligation, but based on love.

I miss my son very much, but he has now some other priorities.I´m not the kid of mom who begs for attention, and I do it less for love.

That has to come from people´s heart, and free will.

Probably, I need to lower my expectations.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

I understand exactly how you feel my son for years would call and wish me happy birthday, never a gift or card. At first I let it go thinking maybe he had no money and couldn't afford it. Now I know he makes good money and when I talk to him he tells me about what he got his friend for their birthday. Finally I had enough of my feelings being hurt and suffering in silence. So I told him exactly how I felt about it. I told him that I always sent him a card and gift for his birthday and I felt that he could show me the same consideration. My son would even go shopping for himself for xmas and get me nothing and never a mother's day card. I told him I felt he was selfish and thoughtless and that it hurt me when he considered others before me. Well after I got it all out in the open he has been sending me gifts since and told he that I was right that he had been thoughtless and that he was sorry. I learned that sometimes you just have to speak up and get stuff out in the open.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2003
My situation is almost identical to yours. Divorced, with two adult children...a daughter and a son. Initially I took things very personal but all that ended up happening was that I was wasting precious time feeling like I did something wrong. Of course the effects of the divorce didn't help at all either. Every year is different. Sometimes they remember and then other times it's like I don't even exist. So I embrace the good ones and let the other ones slide. There have been many times in my life that I have been neglectful to others and never acted on it, so sometimes it just happens. What I have done was make sure I do something for myself on days that are important to me and I even treat myself just for the heck of it alot. It sure helps.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008

How strange is this?? I have an adult son who lives with someone and theydont live too far away.. He doesnt really acknowledge me all that much but they come around for special occasions.. I just let it go and thought well this is who  he is.. I did the best I could and I was a single parent.

Now for the strange part.. During Hurricane Sandy  me and my mom had to evacuate our home since we live near the beach and so my son and his gfriend took us in for about a month.. We had to stay with them because we had no power and no heat and things were a mess back home.. Well shockingly during that time son actually took care of us and cooked and was stellar.. I was so proud of him and felt that Maybe I did do something right in raising him..

So I wouldnt take this too personal as this is what happens when kids grow up and have their own lives. I am not condoning it but I bet if you really needed them they would be there for you..

Just my observation

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004

You are right, I might get it out of my chest, not wishing or asking them to change, just to get it out. I`m changing focusing more in myself and giving myself what I want and need.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
That is exactly, what I would do. Thanks for your reply and advice.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2012

As a mom of many, some grown and some still home, and in the age range you want I can chime in on this convo.

Our kids sometimes take us for granted since we gave birth to them, or aquired them, supported them and were there for them in their times of need. They see us many times as solid strong pillars to lean on, and forget that we too have feelings and want to celebrate our own achievements, be it a 60th birthday or another accomplishment.

I agree with the poster who mentioned it to their child to recognize their wish to have acknowledgment of a birthday. Mine many times forget a birthday or call a day late or early but many times miss the day all together.

We have always been a stopping point for our kids out of town/state to save on hotel bills, and even some of their friends since we have such an open house policy.

Each of my kids are different. Amazingly the 17 yr old still at home helps out more than our oldest who is staying with us for a while with her two kids. She rarely does much more than her laundry, and leaves her kids here to be babysat if she wants to go visit friends or take off for the weekend. She always has an excuse why she can't wash the dishes, help buy groceries or dog food, or clean up around the house. Our oldest boy who stayed with us for a while always helped around the house and bought groceries or dog food and didn't expect us to support him while he was here. He doesn't call often, but he does keep in touch. Our other boys call or come visit when they can, but they too have busy lives.

A lot of the time I think it is because their dad spoiled them a lot when they were little and I always set the chores and was the diciplinarian. I don't mind if they forget me, my hubby never does.

I sometimes think it is because they come from the supposed "me" generation. Those of us that had little growing up appreciate the little things, those that had too much, expect it all the time and forget to say thanks to those they got it from.

Best thing would be to tell them how you feel just to get it off your chest. They might be surprised at how you feel and be glad you told them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004

"Our kids sometimes take us for granted since we gave birth to them, or aquired them, supported them and were there for them in their times of need. They see us many times as solid strong pillars to lean on, and forget that we too have feelings and want to celebrate our own achievements, be it a 60th birthday or another accomplishment."

I guess you hit the nail, they take us for granted (no matter how they treat us of behave, they think one has to be there for them)

I might not be a very traditional woman, but I´m sick and tired to be taken for granted. Do you we have to be supportive and pilars for them until 80? I don´t want to.

What I´m doing is lowering my expectations about them, but they also need to lower their expectations about me. They have  left home and they are living their lives. I won´t sit here to wait somethig from them. I also have a life to live, and that`s exactly what I´m going to do.

As you can see, I´m mad.

But I´ll use my anger to propel me though this phrase. I`m not death, I also need,want and deserve a life of my own.

Thanks to all again

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010

  I agree with your comment about the "me" generation.  I have 4 DDs (ages 21-28) who can't put anyone's feelings before their own, especially mine. I was raised with a little, they were raised with alot.   It's a long story which has finally come to a head.  Their father put me through a horrific divorce 5 years ago and I remarried last year to a man they don't like.  They think dh is controlling and not always nice to me.  None of them have ever lived with us...only seen like 2% of our relationship.  The older 2 live in other states.  I told the older 2 last year that if they didn't give me equal time when they came home from the holidays including sleeping at my house, then they were not to contact me at all.  They have the last 2 Thankgivings and it was wonderful.  What I got out of counseling during my divorce was to "set boundaries with those who hurt us" and by them not treating me equally, it had caused me alot of pain and tears and I couldn't take it anymore.  So, they listened and all was well.  I know by doing that, I was taking a chance, but I guess they decided best to do it and keep Mom in their life. 

Unfortunately, this year, DD27 and her SO overheard  my  dh say some pretty rotten things about DD.  He got too loud after they went downstairs to bed and they heard everything.  He does NOT like the DD because of the pain and the tears he's seen me shed over the last 4 years and it all came out.  They heard everything.  DD, her SO and I had coffee out the next morning and they were VERY concerned about ME and why I'm in another "abusive" relationship and that the REASON none of them would stay at my house is BECAUSE they don't like my dh.  Now, all of my DDs say they are NEVER coming to my house again.  :(

I talked to my own mother and she said my girls are trying to control me and someone else told me it's easier to blame the new stepparent than their own parent.  I have made decisions since the divorce that they don't like and blame HIM instead of ME...seeing him as controlling,etc...He's NOT perfect, but I informed my DD that neither am I! 

Long story short...I'm ready to disengage from my DDs for a while.  I admit, I have done some things wrong...apparently expecting too much from them, but, I thought eventually kids could actually put someone else's feelings before their own including their mother's.  Apparently, I was asking them to do that for me and they are incapable of doing so.  My dh would think better of them if he hadn't seen me in pain and tears about every holiday because they choose their father and HIS family over me (I have no family here).  They also don't respect me and have spoken to me in a manner both dh and I NEVER would have spoken to ours. 

My grandmother had an abusive 2nd husband and her kids knew it, but we all still went over to her house.  NEVER did we say, " We won't come visit you at  your house because we don't like how your dh treats you." which is what my DDs are doing.  God knows, they have a right to their own opinion, but I also had a right to move forward with my life as everyone told me.  I heard so many times after my divorce that I had a right to be happy and that my DDs were adults and had their own lives and I had a right to mine.  So, I did just that and they didn't like my choice of a husband.  I should tell them that even if they had a partner I didn't like, it would NEVER keep me from coming to their house.  NEVER...because THAT would be punishing THEM which I feel is what they are doing to ME. 

I know the mistakes I've made by probably expecting more from them than they have been willing to give (no counselor needs to tell me that), but I also believe my DDs have behaved badly and treated me badly which is why my dh doesn't like them.  Had they given me fair time (as they do their father), it never would have come to this.  Like the OP, I guess I expected too much from my children.  Going forward, I will expect nothing and live MY life regardless of what they think. The only way I could make THEM happy is to leave dh.  I know that's what they think I should do. I know I would have great relationships with my DDs if I did that, but why would I give up a man who 98% of the time makes me happy??  I feel like my DDs are almost making me choose and I won't let them do that to me. 

P.S. - I AM seeing a counselor this month to try and sort this whole mess out and get things straight in my own head.  It's been a hard 4 years with dh and DDs and I am truly exhausted.  Until my appt., I am disengaging.