One woman has told of her heartache at feeling “ignored” by her family, after revealing her daughter left her out of her wedding speech.
The unidentified woman shared her troubles online and admitted she often feels “overlooked” by her family who never thank her when she offers to babysit her grandchildren or appear grateful when she buys them presents.
Posting anonymously, the woman, who revealed she is almost 70, asked whether the lack of acknowledgment was a “generational thing”, and asked whether anyone else had found themselves in a similar situation with their loved ones.
Writing on online forum Gransnet, she said: “I’ve been coming to understand that I never seem to be acknowledged for myself and wondered if this is a generational thing? I have been noticing that my children do not thank me for gifts, meals, babysitting. And I was very hurt that my daughter did not acknowledge me in her wedding speech.
“I was married to a chap who expected me to be responsible for all financial and housekeeping matters and his role as pointing out where things might go wrong. Does anyone else feel overlooked? I work hard, contribute to the community and help out my children without complaint as much as I can. Yet I feel ignored somehow.”
She went on to say that she can trace these feelings back to childhood, adding: “My family had a policy of not praising or acknowledging any achievements in their children. I was academically bright but my mother always told me to be humble that my gift belonged to God and that I should thank Him. I came to resent this.”
The woman’s moving post received a flurry of responses, with many people pledging their support and offering tales of their own family drama. Many users also advised the anonymous gran to start saying “no” to her family.
One user wrote: “I think sadly this happens to many of us who are obliging and helpful. Firstly I think you have taken a first step in acknowledging yourself and all you do for others. If you can build on this and start saying no to others requests. You will feel terrible to begin with but you must stick to it.”
Another replied: “If your children can’t manage to say thank you for babysitting and gifts, then stop doing the sitting and giving the gifts. If it’s mentioned then tell them why. My family know that I like to be thanked for whatever I do or give, I have made this pretty clear on occasions. They might resent it and laugh at me but at least they do it. To accept a gift without any acknowledgement is just downright rude, whether it’s family or not.
While others agreed that it could indeed be a generational issue, with one responder suggesting the problem could be down to the fact that younger generations “are busy with their own lives”.
They said: “Manners and politeness are important. However, ‘acknowledgement’ is something else. I find it useful to look at what people do rather than what they say. Are your family quick to help if asked? Are you included in family events? Younger people are busy with their own lives. They don’t have the thinking time that we older people have.”
One user even implied that the woman could be partly to blame for allowing this behaviour to go on for so long, writing: “Why have you waited so long for the worm to turn? No thank yous for presents or babysitting? Why did you let them getaway with it?
“You have let yourself be used as a doormat for so long that everyone accepts this version of the family dynamic. It is not too late to rise up and assert yourself.”