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Jo Ann Posted 1 year ago
Hi All, I am fairly new to this site, but I just want to ask. Does anyone have any grown children that live abroad and seem to make excuses (or it seems like excuses) as to why they can’t talk to you! Especially when We don’t see each other or speak to each other on a weekly basis.

Just wondering as to how that might make a parent feel. I sometimes feel annoyed at this as I have always been a loving, caring and kind parent, yet it seems maybe a bit of abandonment from my grown up 27 and 28 year old.

3 likes & 21 replies
    • Amanda in Durham 25th January 2021 at 9:20 am

      Hi Jo Ann,

      I can understand why you would feel abandoned if your adult children seem to not want to talk to you. It must really hurt to feel that you are being rejected. Have you mentioned these feelings to them?

      I am wondering how this goes down, do you ring them spontaneously when you fancy a chat or want to ask them something, and seem to always catch them at an inopportune moment and they are in the middle of something?

      If that is the case, then it might be better to schedule a time to call and have a catch-up, that way they can let you know what is a good time for them and they can block off the time. That way, they won’t feel interrupted by you calling out of the blue and will be more relaxed. When people have control over a situation and the decision about something is made mutually, then it might work better.

      I think adult children often react towards their parents like small children and they might feel resentful. I can imagine a scenario like this between your children:

      “Does mum ring you out of the blue and expect you to drop whatever you are doing just because she fancies a chat and is bored? It sometimes really gets on my nerves! I’m not a kid any more, I have my own life now and I am really really busy with work! In the evenings, when I get home from work, all I want to do is to veg out on the sofa, I haven’t got the energy to chat in the evenings, so I end up making up some excuse to end the call. I feel really bad but I don’t know what to do!”

      If these adult children have small children of their own, this could still be true as well.

      So I think it would be good to offer them some autonomy and schedule phone calls at a time that suits everyone.

      It might be difficult for you to forego spontaneous calls, but if it helps improve your relationship with your children in the long run, then it will be worth it.

      Just my two cents.

      All the best,


      • VFP 25th January 2021 at 12:19 pm

        Great answer, and I noticed that you wrote ‘two cents’ rather than ‘two pence’. I still do that after decades living here!

        • Amanda in Durham 26th January 2021 at 10:49 am

          Hi VFP

          Thanks for the compliment, Viv! I guess I have picked up some Americanisms during my decades in Germany, mixing with English speakers from all over the globe.

          Is there a phrase in British English “just my two pence”? I have only heard (or rather read online) the phrase “just my two cents”. These phrases have become kind of international now, with so many of us coming across North American English in our internet travels, I think.

        • VFP 26th January 2021 at 4:18 pm

          You know, I just assumed it should be two pence! So, sometimes when I say ‘it’s my two cents worth’ I correct myself and say ‘I mean two pence!’ No one has ever said anything about it 🤔

    • Inky Ess 25th January 2021 at 9:47 am

      My children don’t live abroad, but I understand how you feel. I have found my boys are more likely to get wrapped up in their own lives and can forget to call, whereas my daughter is much more likely to be in touch on an almost daily basis. Sometimes I’m not sure which is the best.

      The way I think of it is, our children are ours for a short time, once they fly the nest we have done our job. If they’re making a good life for themselves then we know we have done a good job in making them independent. Of course it doesn’t stop it from hurting.

      Try not to think upon it as an abandonment of you, as long as they are happy and know you’re there for them that’s the main thing. Once they have gone it’s hard for a mum not to feel redundant, but you know this is a time for mums to make a life for themselves, new hobbies, new friends and all the “me-time” we never had when they were growing up.

      Best wishes

    • Jo Ann 25th January 2021 at 10:30 am

      Hi Amanda, yes your scenario of adult/childlike reaction is probably what may be going on. They really are independent so I know now that I have done a good job in bringing them up. They are wonderful people.

      Calls can be a bit random and the time difference of 24 hours does not help.

      Thank you for your input/response I appreciate it.

      Jo Ann

    • Shirlann 25th January 2021 at 12:10 pm

      Think it’s just what happens when our children turn into grown up people and become independent 🙄🤔😁sad but try not to take it too personal

    • DJW 25th January 2021 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Jo Ann. I truly understand that feeling. My daughter lives up north and is 29 and my son lives a couple of miles from me and is 31. I was a single parent and they were my life. I went through every kind of feeling when they found their independent adult life. Mainly have i done something wrong. I now realise they are just leading their life, like i taught them to.

      I ring them, they don’t get back. I just accept it. They know i am always here for them. If i need to ask them something, i just send a WhatsApp. They sent brief reply. It took me a long time to accept this and it was hurtful.

      I think it is just them leading their own life in the big world. I Think you have done an amazing job, so that they can be so confident and independent. Well done. X

      • Jo Ann 29th January 2021 at 2:20 pm

        DJW Yes perfect sense within your message. I am proud of me as there parent. I know they can look after theirselves because of how me and their dad with the security that we have given them within their growing up. They are fabulous young people. I guess I just miss them. 😀

    • Daffodil 25th January 2021 at 1:49 pm

      My children have very busy lives so it’s not always possible for a call but we do keep contact on a family Whatsapp group and that includes grandchildren too!

    • Mand53 25th January 2021 at 2:49 pm

      Hello Jo Ann,
      I feel the same way.
      I have 2 adult children 26/29 they live in the same area but they might as well be abroad; It does upset me that they don’t find the time to see me or ring me. I feel it more as I live bymyself; lockdown is not helping!

      • Jo Ann 29th January 2021 at 2:28 pm

        Hi Mand53,

        Lock down has been very difficult. Finding a comfortable medium for when children have grown up and flown the nest is difficult as no one said how difficult that was going to be. I never thought that the term empty nesting was real, but it certainly is! I am with you on this one but I have now decided to place myself into more hobbies although that is on hold until this pandemic slows or goes and we can all be social again outside of the home.

        Please stay in contact if you wish/want to.

        Take care

        Jo Ann

        • Mand53 29th January 2021 at 3:56 pm

          Hello Jo Ann,
          Before lockdown, I was ready once again to join some local meetup groups in my area on the meetup.com website; after suffering a common condition, 5 years ago today to be exact.
          My confidence took a ‘nose dive’! It is deffently time to ‘stretch my wings’ and embrace life once more. Its lovely to chat.

    • Deleted User 25th January 2021 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Jo Ann, I’ve got two sons, 30/29, one lives a mile away the other 100 miles away. We speak infrequently but they know I’m there for them whatever then need and whenever we talk. I’d rather have good quality conversations once a month than a weekly chat about nothing. I miss them every day but take it as a compliment that they call me. They have their own lives to live, they can better do that not thinking they have to call me on a schedule to keep me happy. I just get on with my own life. The better life I have to more they will want to talk to me about interesting stuff I’ve been doing.

      Love them, give them space, enjoy your own live,

      • Jo Ann 29th January 2021 at 2:37 pm


        I think that the line that a few of you have said is ‘they know that I am there for them’. That seems to be a catalyst saying and really is helping as that is so true. I don’t have to now worry about them so much as they can look after themselves. I don’t mind the chats about nothing as that means at least I get to see them and then nothing sometimes turns into talking about something that is meaningful. 😀. I am learning to have my own life without having to run around, clean, cook, etc for two grown ups. 😀. Although it is taking time to get used to it.

        Such wonderful people on this site. Thank you for your response.

        Jo Ann

        • Deleted User 30th January 2021 at 10:16 pm

          Jo Ann,
          I hope you find the balance you need. No one ever told me how hard it would be when the nest emptied. But I try ro live my best life so I have something interesting to talk about whenever I speak to my sons.
          Good luck with your future. You sound like a loving caring mother, that’s about as good as it get for most children.

        • Jo Ann 2nd February 2021 at 12:18 pm

          Thank you Steve.

    • vaughanpauline 27th January 2021 at 6:57 pm

      Both of mine live abroad. They are generally good at keeping in touch but I acknowledge there are times in their lives and in mine when communications is limited for whatever reason
      However, we play scrabble via our mobile phones. Whatever they are doing they cant resist the lure of a scrabble game. If a day goes by without them making a move I know something is wrong, usually too much work
      Are there any similar games that you know they would enjoy and that you could ask them to play via an app?

    • Jo Ann 29th January 2021 at 2:13 pm

      What a great idea. I will have a think about that one. 😀

      • Deleted User 29th January 2021 at 4:02 pm

        There any number of collaborative games, word, numbers, even chess or other strategic options. Sounds like a really good ide, might try that myself 😄

    • Dc forever 31st January 2021 at 9:52 am

      My son seems to be busy all the time when I ring him so I text him just to let him know I’m still here 😃 but I always find the best conversations I have with my son are the ones when he rings me ,he has been my rock during the last year .