So I had therapy yesterday and in this session I discussed my feelings of disappointment that my parents are not making any effort with my children. I decided to confront the issue with an email which I’ve pasted here as I feel in retrospect that I was unfair – and the kids have agreed with my point – which discussed it. My relationship with my parents has always been tumultuous at best, but I really thought everything would be different in NZ. Sadly they have reverted to their old ways. I’ve not had a response so they’ve not even attempted to change their behaviour or discuss the situation;
You may have been surprised by my outburst and I don’t want you to think a, it was just a bipolar thing or b, I don’t appreciate what you have done for me.
In England you were both fantastic and I appreciated your support, financial and emotional. I’m really glad you came back with me. However, the reason I felt strongly that you should leave is because;
1, when I asked dad about the lawyer his immediate response was ‘that’s all we need’ and seemed put out that your plans were affected
2, you’ve not asked to spend ANY time with the kids and I felt I had to ‘force’ you to come to horse riding. I realise 4 is hard work but you could have taken it in turns to take 1 or 2 at a time
3, there’s no point in saying you don’t want to ‘get in the way’ I’m back in NZ now and you guys have limited time with them
4, Ella was looking forward to her ‘birthday dinner’ which I suspect would never happen. And I’ve told you they’re going on Sunday.
5, I’ve heard you wax lyrical about your day trips and lunches out and not once have you asked me or the kids to join in. I realise it might be an ‘expense’ thing but the kids would have loved a trip to the park or the beach
6, I’ve had next to nothing in money, the WINZ pay out was minimal because of stand down times and only a few days were included. I have managed to feed the kids, but barely – although I appreciate that’s not your problem – it’s been stressful
7, I went to a therapy session but I was called before the session had even finished because there was no milk and the kids were to quote, ‘very noisy’ and I felt rushed to get back which subsequently made me anxious.
8, I’ve had to assume immediate, full time care of the kids with no support. I’d loved to have spent some more time doing the house, or perhaps just getting a coffee after my therapy session, some form of back up, but instead I’m juggling it all, while trying to manage my mental health and new medication
9, Barb and Terry weren’t going to get involved over the school holidays because they assumed you’d want to spend time with the kids, but I realise you wouldn’t have coped for even the Monday, so they’re going earlier. Where I know, despite how I feel about them, they dote on the kids and will take them out, feed them, show an interest
10, another example was dad not being particularly interested in seeing Moonie’s school
You may think I’m being unreasonable and I repeat, I know what you’ve done for me and I appreciate it. But I also know that if my kids needed me (with or without their own kids) I wouldnt give a damn about the country, I’d do everything possible for them. You repeatedly stated that this wasn’t a ‘holiday’ and yet you seem begrudged when I’ve asked for help.
I don’t want to end on bad terms, it was really great connecting with you in England, and you’re more than welcome to stay at my house on Saturday night. I’ll stay at Steve’s so I can spend the night with the kids. After all it’s the least I can do for you after you accommodating me for 3 months and paying for my accomodation in NZ.
Perhaps I’ve expected too much of you and perhaps I should have been clearer about the sort of emotional support I’d need. But I know that when you stayed with us in NZ previously and Darwin, you were far more interested in sightseeing then spending quality time with the kids. That’s ok, I shouldn’t have anticipated anything else. We all have limits after all. I certainly have mine.
I’d like to thank you again and hope you continue to enjoy this beautiful country. And the weather stays nice for you. I’ve explained all of the above to the kids so they understand where I’m coming from and they can understand my frustration. But won’t think badly of you, just acknowledge that your relationship is different.
Hopefully see you around, if not, I love you both very much and thank you.