Why my boys will never have a ‘traditional family’…

2nd birthday

What is a traditional family? When you think of traditional families, what springs to mind? A mum and a dad, maybe some aunts and uncles, and 2 sets of grandparents. Now, I know that traditional families aren’t normality any more but how do you explain to your children why they don’t have that idea of a family?

My mum and dad split when I was 7. I never had much contact with my dad’s parents, I moved around a lot when I was younger. I had slightly more contact with my mum’s mum but not that much more, again because we moved around a lot. So I didn’t have that ‘normality’ but I would have liked it for my children. However, that’s not to be and I’m struggling with how I explain that to my boys.
They’ve got a mum and dad who are together and who love each other very much. He’s got a Nana (my mum), an Uncle and Aunt (my brother and sister), a Nanny (my fiancé’s Nan), and 2 more Aunts who live in Wales (my fiancé’s sisters). But that’s all. Me and my partner are the oldest siblings so there are no cousins yet. Did you notice the lack of Grandad’s? They’re around but they don’t seem to care about our sons.

My dad. We’ve had a lot of arguments and troubles over the years but I thought he’d step up and be a decent Grandad. Maybe try to make up for the mistakes he made as a father. But no. It seems to be getting worse. He’s seen Henry twice this year (it’s June) and has gone 2 months without texting or calling, to ask how we all are. When I text him to tell him I was pregnant again, he asked if it was planned and then thanked me for making him feel old. It’s even got to the point where we’re not invited to his wedding. Well, we are if we can find about £5000 to get to New York! Everything is always someone else’s fault but his. Henry turned 2 today. Did my dad text? Ha! Absolutely nothing from him to wish his only grandson a happy birthday. Disgusting.
My partner’s dad is pretty much the same. He lives 10 minutes away from my fiancé’s Nan. We see her every weekend. My fiancé’s Dad has seen Henry a grand total of 4 times…in 2 years. He’ll buy him birthday and Christmas presents but no thought goes into them at all. When we text and told him that I was pregnant again, his reply was ‘yes, your nan told me :(‘. What a lovely response to the fact you’re going to be a Grandad again!!

Henry doesn’t know either of these men, not really. And I’m struggling to see why I should let them be involved in the boy’s lives just because they’re blood-related. If they’re not going to make an effort, why should we? My baby is the most loving and hilarious little boy you’ll ever meet and I don’t understand how they don’t want to be involved. It makes me feel physically sick. Henry’s starting to get to that age where he’ll start to ask questions, ask why his Grandad’s don’t see him and I don’t want him to blame himself like I used to. I used to think it was my fault that my dad didn’t want to see me, that I’d done something wrong. But now I see that it’s his issue and not mine.

We’ve basically stopped all access to our boys for my fiancé’s dad. My dad was on his last chance but after him not bothering with Henry’s birthday, I think it’s time to cut ties. It sounds really harsh when I type it but I need to think about what’s best for my boys and they need continuity, not someone who flits in and out when they feel like it.

2 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    I worry about this with my husband. He was raised by his grandparents until the age of 8. His parents migrated to the US and at 8 years old went back to bring him and his siblings to the US. He has no relationship with his father or his mother. She seeks him out when it’s convenient. He hasn’t spoken to his father in about 6 years. My oldest has never met his grandfather, his almost 10. My mother-in-law visited once and was on her iPad the whole time. Anyway, I can see the end result in my husband with our children. I feel he is repeating the same circumstance with our children. My mom passed away a couple years ago and was the best grandma. My dad is an awesome grandpa too, so thank God for that. Anyway, I feel your pain. It is their loss!

    • peanutandsprout says:

      My fiancé was raised by his grandparents too. He doesn’t see his mum at all and he hasn’t since he went to his nan at 3 (I think). I’m lucky that he learnt how to be a good parent from his Nan and Pap..they brought him up so well and he’s an amazing father. I am sorry to hear your story 🙁 x

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