I recently moved back to my home state after many years away at the insistence of my parents. I quickly realized why I left 20 years ago. At first they helped out with my teenagers and finding a home. I always thanked them and helped out despite my very long work schedule around their house while we were waiting to move.
Fast forward a few months and my mother sends me messages about how disrespectful and rude that I am, and that I've made my children hate her. Now mind you, I work and my children have activities and since moving, I've not asked for help after my mother told her that the time away from their business to help me is making them lose money.
Instead of trying to see that I'm busy and overstressed, she will only attempt to make plans with my oldest child, without asking me. He's a teenager and is more interested in his friends, so he normally declines her invitations. Today, he informed her that he didn't want to take a weekend trip with them (I had no knowledge that she'd asked), and minutes after he declined, I received a message from my father telling me I needed to seek mental health! After discussing with my children, I told them if they wanted to spend time with their grandparents they are free to do so whenever they'd like (they do not attempt to contact my younger, more difficult child).
I moved away from an amazing support system back to family and I regret it! My question is how do I sever this unhealthy relationship so that we stop this cycle?
You mentioned that you moved back to your home state at the insistence of your parents. With this in mind, have you thought about carefully broaching the subject or question; “Why did you insist on my moving back, knowing that I have teenagers and a very busy work schedule?” Such a discussion, carefully crafted with love, might help uncover some deep-seated problems or resentments.
As for the teenagers not wanting to spend much time with their grandparents, that is quite normal. They have their own interests and friends. Parents and grandparents normally are not part of that circle, except on special occasions such as Christmas and Birthdays.
Your unfortunate situation appears to be primarily about them, your parents. You can’t expect to change them, but you can attempt to lovingly deflect their complaints. A point to remember, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” just as it did in the 20 years you were separated from your parents. But, as you experienced, when you are back with your parents, you are treated as their little girl. They need to get a life.
Thank you for the advice. The unfortunate thing about approaching them about the situation is it's always met with extra criticism and them telling me that I don't know what busy is (they call me a lazy government worker!). My approach for now will be to ignore the negativity and focus on building more positive relationships with other family members who make the effort as much as we do. It's sad that my kids are at the age that they see my stress over the situation, but I'm hoping it just teaches all three of us to appreciate our little family.