Sixty something: Waiting for my children to call me

So here I sit. It’s Sunday May 8th, Mother’s Day. I wait patiently and just know that this year will be

So here I sit. It’s Sunday May 8th, Mother’s Day. I wait patiently and just know that this year will be different. My youngest son has started to talk to me after seven months of no communication. I haven’t made a big deal out of it but I have told him that it hurts too much to have him treat me like that so if he is going to have me in his life it has to be for always, not when the mood takes him for whatever reason. I still have no idea why he just stopped talking to me but I am happy that he has decided to be back in my life. So here I sit waiting for a call or a visit.

Half the morning has passed now and still I sit – waiting. His partner has a small child so they are probably celebrating Mother’s Day with her first. She has a Mum not far away so they will probably go there too. It will be my time soon enough as my son has said he loves me.

It’s early afternoon and still here I sit. Of course, they probably went to lunch first and soon it will be my turn. I don’t want a gift or flowers, I just want a call. Maybe a visit for 30 minutes would be nice from them both and my little step grandson so I can get to know him more. It will be my turn soon.

It’s late afternoon now and still here I sit. There’s been no call or visit, but they probably got hung up at his partner’s mums. It will be my turn soon, I just know it. My son has recently told me that he loves me and wants me in his life, so he won’t ignore me on Mother’s Day.

It’s evening now and daylight has turned to night. There has been no phone call, not even a text. There has been no visit even though there live only a kilometre away. Mother’s Day has come and almost gone and still here I sit, but now my eyes are filled with tears and regret. I regret that one more time, I opened up my heart. Now it hurts just like before, perhaps a little more.

It’s Monday now and Mother’s Day has come and gone.  I get a text message from son to say that he forgot. I guess when you are over 60, your children think you’re stupid. I know he couldn’t have forgotten, he just didn’t care enough. So here I sit on Monday and it’s like any other day, except my heart grows colder and there are no tears left. I won’t sit here again waiting for my child to remember he has a mother who loves him with all she has.

I can’t sit here forever waiting for my children to show they care. You see I have two sons, who never contact me. One who lives in another country and one who lives right here. One day they may be sitting waiting for their children to contact them. I hope it never happens as the pain is more than a parent can bear. But if they have to do it, I hope they recall the mother who sat and waited, and waited because they didn’t care.

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  1. John Rolfe  

    Yep just a call that’s all it takes

  2. Jane Williams  

    What else is new? I have now given up on both my kids who are in therir mid 40’s. I have lost count of how many birthdays, mothers day’s & Christmas’s they have not contacted me. I have now stopped sending them cards or gifts for their birthdays. I have 5 grandchildren and the only way I see them is if I drive 200km to pick them up and bring them for a visit.
    My eldest Granddaughter who is 24 is the only one who still contacts me.
    Since my late Mother’s funeral 1 year ago I have not heard a word from either of my children.
    I nolonger give a damn. They are adults, and have a clear choice.

    • Jan Foley  

      You are not alone my dear. One day they will realise it is not all about them!!!

  3. Deb mac  

    Please call them and persist until you are back in their lives. Maybe they don’t know how to talk to you and then just take the easy way out and don’t call. I have seen my own husband do this with his mother who he loves very much but doesn’t know how to talk to. Good luck.

    • Donna  

      Exactly Deb, my brother never calls my Mum, but he loves her tremendously. Mens brains are wired differently to womens. We think too much and conjure up all sorts of reasons in our heads for why people do this or that, when in reality there was no malice intended or just a simple reason. My mum doesn’t whinge and play the victim, she just picks up the bloody phone and calls him and they always have a great chat. My husbands mum also carries on a treat if he doesn’t call her, but she never calls here. The reason my husband doesn’t call her isn’t because he doesn’t love her, he just avoids grief at all costs. If he calls she will inevitably say something cruel (wrapped up as concern) or try to drag him into some sort of drama or gossip regarding his siblings. When he refuses to side with her, or call a sibling to deliver her harsh message because she isn’t talking to that particular sibling, she gets upset anyway. So I guess he chooses the lesser of the two evils.

  4. Sue  

    I haven’t heard from my 28 yo son in 3 years. No phone call, e-mail, or even facebook message. The last time I saw him, they were preparing to move from Junee to Urana (just 100k up the road). Not a single word was said. Had to hear from my sister-in-law when she asked me how they were settling into their new home 3 months after that meeting. He left to live with his father @ 15. Have seen him for approx 1 day all up in the past 13 years. Have sent him an invite to my 60th next month. Not a single word from him, or his meddling, interfering father.

    • Irene Hough  

      Perhaps that’s part of the reason. He doesn’t want to know your bitter feeling towards the father that he loves. He does not own the marriage break up, you and your ex husband do. I know I don’t see my son on Mother’s Day as he’s too busy working to provide other families with a lunch or dinner celebration. I do not sit around thinking poor me, he doesn’t love me because I know he does. It might be a week or two or sometimes longer that I don’t hear from him but when he does visit we all enjoy being together. Why not organise days like Mother’s Day or your Birthday with an outing to a movie with a friend and perhaps a coffee or lunch. That way, your son may be more willing to contact you if he feels you have a life of your own and have something other than your own disposition to discuss with him. He is an adult with a life and family of his own and should not be made to feel guilty because you are lonely. We do have two sons and a daughter, the youngest being 36 and the oldest 42. They’ve been free to lead their own lives since becoming adults and we don’t put any expectations on them as to how often they visit or contact us. You have to untie the apron strings and let your children be adults and lead their own lives.

      • Donna  

        Well said Irene, my sentiments exactly. My husband and I have carried the weight of my mother in laws “loneliness” for years. Its all about her, and how she feels. We have visited my father in law once in 10 years, since their separation, and there was hell to pay. Threats and abuse, tears and tantrums despite that fact that we had organised a beautiful holiday for her at a resort so she could be with her children and grandchildren over Christmas. When she found out we planned to visit him, she threw a tantrum in a restaurant, crying and yelling “I wish I had cancer”. Despite the despicable things she tells us he did to her, she constantly calls him wanting to see him and get back together. None of her kids are free to live their lives. She micromanages all of them. She hold the purse strings and the family will is always used as a weapon. When I first met my husband 25 years ago his parents very generously offered to pay for our wedding and give is a deposit for a home. My husband refused their offer and told me never to accept anything from them because they are not the type of people you want to be indebted to. I was shocked, but best advise ever.

  5. Sally Hayden  

    Dear Fran, I know how you feel. I have two adult children, a son and a daughter. We were a really close family, through a tragedy, that caused me to step in and help bring up my two grandaughters. I gave up my life, as I had to look after these little girls, who had lost their mother, and also look after my son, who just went off the rails. My daughter and I did everything, paid all the bills, helped to renovate their home, gave them quality furniture, and generally spoiled them all. 14 years later, I have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which is stage 1, I am having treatment, and sometimes feel terrible. But, I hardly ever see my son and his family, as there is now a new person in his life, and they now have no time for us. This is so sad for me, and, if I had my time over, I do not think, I would make the same decisions, I did, back when they needed help. Fran live your life, make friends that become family, and please enjoy your life, you deserve it. People are very selfish today, and a lot only think about themselves. We need to do the same, hon. 🌺🌺

    • Donna  

      Sally I’m sorry you’re unwell. However you sound like an incredibly selfish person. No wonder your son has little to do with you. A tragedy “caused you to step in and help” You “gave up your life”. You “had” to look after these little girls. You son “just” went off the rails. You “did everything, paid bills, help renovate, gave them QUALITY furniture and GENERALLY SPOILT THEM” ?????????
      They had lost their mother/wife for heavens sakes and you whinge about how it affected you. What you had to do.
      Not once have you mentioned their pain and suffering, just what you “had to do”. You should have wanted to do this for them. You were not SPOILING them, you were helping them get through the nightmare they were living. If you had your time over you DON’T THINK YOU WOULD DO THE SAME? Thats disgusting. And you wonder why you hardly ever see your son. Im so glad he has a new person in his life and I hope she brings him and his girls happiness.
      I just laughed hysterically at your last statement “People are very selfish today, and a lot only think about themselves. We need to do the same, hon”.

  6. christine Rae  

    if it hurt you that much …ring him , your his mum for goodness sake when did pride get in the way of contacting your kids,, dont cry about no contact if your too stubborn to pick up the phone yourself,, you want to hear his voice….call him its that simple….

    • Annette  

      You need to instigate sometimes , I often have Mother’s Day at my place do all the cooking etc, after all they are mothers too and I have more time to make it a nice family day.
      We often ring them and tell them we are coming over to their place and bringing lunch/ afternoon tea, I remember how busy I was at their age and am. Not too proud to be the one that makes contact first.

    • Deema  

      You really have no idea. Truly, you don’t, and for that I am happy for you.

      • [email protected]  

        Well said, at least there are some that dont experience the emotional abuse that some do.

    • Donna  

      Totally agree with you Christine. However, what would they all have to whinge about then? Narcissistic parents (who never know what is is they ever did to deserve such treatment) just enjoying the drama. Id love to hear the stories their children have.

  7. mary  


    I you have some money. Book a trip do something Don’t waste your time on ungrateful children. Leave them nothing but that note you posted here. I was close with my parents and every day I wish I could here their voice. A nice cruise in May


  8. Yes I understand the pain of each of you , I have felt it myself
    It is too late when we are dead

  9. [email protected]  

    I am choked up and my fingers wont type, you have hit a nerve or two for me, I am now a similar position as yourself, trying to make sense of this acutely painful mess my family relationship with my children has become.

    It is not about us being stubborn and not calling them, it is about the continued pain that is inflicted each time that there is a contact made, our hopes are raised just ever so slightly, a glimmer of hope, and then nothing……and I mean nothing, the pain is more damaging than any physical impairment could ever be…it is very personal and ever present.

    Talk about emotional abuse……..but we have inner strength but how long will it carry us…..I am just so thankful that there are forums like this one where our voices can be heard.

    Fran you are not alone in your grief.

  10. I did the same to my Mum, I was too busy to think about her and now today karma has come around my sons live in another country and yes the do contact me occasionally but I have not seen them in 15 years my heart breaks, I agree phone your children I do and I tell them I love them, I also send them a picture every now and then and remind that this is their mother, I don’t think they neglect us on purpose they just get busy with their everyday lives, on Mothers day phone them early in the day and say you thought you would save them the call…tell them you miss and love them ask them to come visit ….also don’t sit at home on your own there are hundreds of lonely people out there make friends go out have a glass of sherry enjoy your life….

  11. I would say stuff you all if you can’t bother to phone every now and then. There are lots of families who need substitute nanas and mothers and would welcome your love. I bet they all come running if they think there is money to gain. I’m so lucky my three children ring me all the time and one liv s in hong kong . Good luck I feel so sad for you

  12. Fran Foster  

    Hi Fran. We are very foolish when it comes to our “children”. I too waited on Mothers Day. My eldest sent me a text “happy Mother’s Day mum”. That was it. No, it is not about cards or presents. I would have enjoyed a coffee with her, simple as that. This has happened to me for many years now and I have finally allowed myself to let go and get on with my own life. I wish you well for the future but do not wait for your family to make you happy. Incidentally I too have asthma. Good luck.

    • Donna  

      Why is it that you all bring up your ailments. Is it to guilt trip your kids. What type of parents tries to guilt their kids into calling/visiting. Id say its a parent who have used guilt to get what they want from their child and others, for years. Guilt is a corrosive and tiring emotion eventually the person you’re making feel guilty is going to cut themselves off for their own sanity. Just stop with the manipulation.

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