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Disinterested Grandpa

JRI's picture

I'm 76 and DH is 83.  We raised 5 kids and have 9 GKs.  My DH is a warm, caring, funny man but he's had it with kids.  3 of our GDs have recently invited us, or wanted to talk with him and he's balking.  I understand how he feels but I hate to see their feelings be hurt.

GD38 recently moved to our city with BF and dog.  She asked to stay with us temporarily until they got settled but I had to tell her no because he had many objections.  No problem, she stayed with the other grandma until they found a duplex.  Whenever she visited, she hinted strongly that we 4 should socialize (sporting events, eating out).  They dont have friends here yet so I understsnd altho I knew he would never want to.  I went over to see her new place one afternoon but I know she really wanted him there, too.  Well, last week she called close to tears, would we want to come and say bye to the dog who had been diagnosed with advanced cancer before they had him put down the next day?  There was no way to avoid it so we went altho DH whined all the way over and complained after we left.

GD29 had a baby in August.  We went out to see her and baby, a 50-mile trip on busy highway that was terrifying with DH driving.  She complained later to her mom that he hadn't held the baby.  We didn't go to the baptism.   They sold the house and while a new one is being built are staying with her dad who lives nearby.  She invited us for lunch today and to see the baby, now 10 months old.  DH has been trying to think of excuses not to go.  I said, we are going.  He complained some more before going to bed.  I told him, you are the luckiest person on the planet, many people wish their GK would invite them somewhere.

GD21 was in school out of state.  For awhile, DH was calling her each Sunday evening but then he stopped.  Her dad, YSS, has brought it up to him several times.  He says he will call but usually doesn't.  The last time I spoke with YSS, he said, remind Dad to call GD21.  He's not doing it.

This is just a vent.  I know there's nothing I can do to change DH.  He's just tired.  He paid his dues with all our 5 kids and altho we both worked, we went to birthdays, sporting events, recitals, plays, Grandparent Days, etc.    But I hate to see the GDs get their feelings hurt.  Sigh.




justmakingthebest's picture

This honestly makes me so sad. I loved my grandparents so much. My Grandfather passed away before my son was born, I never thought my kids would have to live in a world without him. He was my hero and everything that I thought a man should be. My grandma and I always had a bond, and she was so important to my kids. Even when she moved to the nursing home and didn't recognize anyone else, she knew me. She also would throw out a smile when she saw DH and asked every time who that handsome man was, she liked his smile. 

I am so sorry that your husband isn't interested in you grandkids, they seem like good people not gold diggers. I would go without him. Don't waste opportunities to spend that time with people that love you and want to be in your life. 


JRI's picture

I know, it's sad.  He is such a funny, playful guy, the GKs always loved him, still do.  He is starting to avoid other social gatherings, too.  He was always the big extrovert, it's weird.

advice.only2's picture

Maybe there is something going on with him medically, does he allow you to go with him when/if he sees the doctor? Behavioral changes like this could hint at something bigger happening with him.

JRI's picture

I go into the doctor with him sometimes (oncologist) but other times not (cardiologist).  We just got a new primary and I went in with him.  The Dr said, wow, you have a loud murmur and ordered an echocardiogram.  Long story short, DH called his cardio Dr who said his annual tests are sufficient so DH cancelled the new echo.  He can be Mr. Charm and I'm thinking he sugarcoats things when Im not there in order to get the response he wants (" Youre fine!").  I told him, you went to this new internist, he seemed alarmed so ordered a test outside your normal test schedule.  Maybe there's been a change, what would it hurt to find out?  But hes a hard head.

SeeYouNever's picture

It sounds like he may be tired and in pain. Going to all these things sounds exhausting. Sometimes you just want to be yourself rather than being "on" and entertaining and interacting with kids. People have certain expectations of how you interact with their babies and if he is over babies and socializing then maybe he just doesn't want to fake the enthusiasm. If they really want to see him maybe they should visit instead of asking you guys to go to them. 

If he has no interest in them coming to him (even for just a little bit) then you should probably just go to see the grandkids on your own.

JRI's picture

I dont think he's in pain ( I'd be hearing about it 24/7) but yes, we both get exhausted.  These 2 GDs are particularly high maintenance, dramatic people, nice, loving girls but that's just the way they are.  And, yes, they have expectations that are tiring.

 We had joked last Christmas how great it was not to have to socialize but he brought it up again last night, doesnt want to meet and greet.


CLove's picture

My parents have a tough time GOING to visit anything, but they like it when things come to them. In the comfort of their own home/environment. It stresses them out to travel anywhere to visit their grands.

JRI's picture

We absolutely will not travel so I totally understand that.  Yes, we prefer visits here over going to them.  But I do understand the desire to show us where they live.  

We just got back from our lunch.  DH showed his best side and I think GD was pleased with the visit.  She hinted for a further outing but I didn't pursue it.  Maybe when I get rested up, ill consider it.  Right now, naptime.  Lol.

ESMOD's picture

My DH's parents are definitely getting up there in age and both have their own health issues that can limit some of their activity.  FIL can no longer drive and is pretty much a hard core homebody.. I think that his sight issues make him extra uncomfortable going new places...  My MIL is more mobile and does drive still, but no longer can do it after dark really.  Both suffer from some lack of stamina that we all experience with age.. My FIL also has some severe arthritis at times as well.. 

They have raised two kids.. have five grandkids (3of the 5 married now).. with a collective 4 great grand children.  They were very involved and "youthful" grandparents to the 5 kids.. but now, they really have a little more difficulty with the great grands.  My OSD gets upset that her grannie won't keep one of her boys for her because he is "too much".. He isn't a bad kid, but he is very active and really gets into things he shouldn't.. he is only 4.. and he is a bit of a handful.. again.. not a terrible child.. but he isn't the best behaved (I do think OSD's parenting factors into that.. but zip my lip).

What OSD fails to realize.. maybe doesn't want to recognize is that her grandparents are aging.. and are not the same that they were when they would take all the grandkids to disney when they were young.. they may be trying to deny that their grandparents are getting older.. but they are.. they CANT do what they used to.

Maybe a discrete call to the parents of these grandkids is in order?  A reminder that granddad is getting older and isn't up to participating in all the events they want him to be involved in.. and especially ones at great distance.. or would require a lot of accomodation.. (like living with him).  These parents should be able to dial back the obligations that are thrown at him.  I'm sure it isn't that he dislikes them.. but the effort is much harder these days.. and he probably doesn't have the bandwidth for it all anymore.


JRI's picture

What you describe is what is going on on here.  The GKs remember our younger, more active selves and are disappointed that we aren't the same now.   Your comment about bandwidth rings a bell, too.  DH still has a parenting role with SD59, as I complain about all the time on here.  He feels maxed out.  He also feels like we did the parent thing, we did the young GK thing and it's time for the next generation to step up.  We didn't have grandparent figures for our 5 kids -  his parents were dead and mine weren't engaged.  

JRI's picture

My kind of guy!

notarelative's picture

Does the new internist realize DH has a cardiologist? My DH has a murmur and his internist would not order an echo if he was concerned, but would send the cardiologist a report. The cardiologist would be the one to order the echo. My DH's internist is the referer, manager, and coordinator of the specialists (cardiologist, urologist, neurologist). 

One of the reasons my DH's internist (now) does not order any test that the specialist had previously, is that the insurance may not pay for it. We had a couple of instances where the internist ordered a test several months after the specialist. Since there was no intervening medical reason for the new test, and the test had the same result, insurance denied payment. If the specialist had ordered a new test, it would have been paid. 

If you are concerned about the cancelled test, you can call the internist office and ask the the internist forward any concern he has about the murmur to the cardiologist so that the cardiologist can follow up if needed. 


JRI's picture

That's a good idea to call the primary, I'll do that.  Thanks.