A letter to my uninvolved parents…

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Young child holding her grandparent for the hand,selective focus

Dear Uninvolved Parents,

Shortly after I got married, you specifically asked me to wait five years to have children. Well, apparently God had other plans, and we ended up having our first baby after only two years of marriage. You were such great parents to me, that I just assumed you’d also be wonderful grandparents. I had envisioned that you would be involved in our kids’ lives on a regular basis…that they would see you as another parental figure. Someone they know, someone they can trust. 

But since having your first grandchild, the truth is, you’ve become quite un-involved in their lives. 

Perhaps it’s because you are busy. Or maybe you are tired of parenting in general, and being a grandparent feels like an extension of that? Maybe you are trying to not ‘get in the way,’ and give us the space to parent as we see fit. Whatever the reason may be, honestly, it basically sucks.

And I feel the need to let you know, mom and dad, the ones my kids call Grandma and Grandpa…that your grandchildren won’t be little forever. And you are missing so much.

You are missing the way they laugh and squeal when someone walks through the door. And the tears and snuggles after they get a boo boo.

You are missing how it feels when they say ‘I wuv you,’ and ‘You want to pway ball with me?”

You are missing when they learn to crawl, and then walk, ride a bicycle, and every milestone in between.

You may be happy to be missing the tantrums and meltdowns and time-outs, but with that you also miss the made-up songs, dances, and all the ways they make us laugh hysterically every day.

I’m not asking for a free babysitter (although I won’t lie, that would be a dream come true). I’m not asking for you to give up the things that are important to you. All I’m asking is that your grandchildren become one of those things. And that you try to make time, on a regular basis, to invest in them.

There are lessons in life that I want them to learn from YOU. I want them to know that they have grandparents who adore them, love them, and find them so very special. The wisdom you have gained over the years is valuable, and needed, and WANTED. I want you to chime in and offer advice, even if I may not agree…we just need you present in our lives. We need your love and support and guidance.

Because no one can replace you

Grandchild holding grandparent for the hand,selective focus

So tomorrow, know that we are here, as we are every day, with arms wide open. And we would love a text, or a phone call, or better yet, for you to carve out some time in your day to spend with us.

We love you Grandma and Grandpa.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Grandparents are such an enhancement to a child’s development. My son had one set of involved grandparents and one that chose to be aloof. The uninvolved one is the one who missed out the most although I don’t think she saw it that way. The active grandparents had influence. They mattered. It was a strange thing to observe. I don’t have any grands as yet but I hope if I ever do I’ll have the chance to be involved.

  2. I too live in Scottsdale my husband’s parents live 15 minutes away and see my kids maybe three times a year? You are a much nicer person than I am I don’t put it quite so gently, But I suppose this is because of how much they have hurt me personally they are extremely narcissistic people and it doesn’t surprise me that they don’t help out with the kids at all sadly as they age they will find themselves very lonely. It’s not to say that is why we help people because we expect something in return but I can tell you as my own grandma ages who was so wonderful with me as a child I will do whatever I can to help. My in-laws will wonder why nobody comes to visit but this is the complexity in relationships people are drawn to bond with those who bond with them

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