I feel badly let down by my son
We have family in New Zealand, and some of my kids’ cousins are coming to the UK to visit. I’m happy to put them up, as their parents have had us to stay. I’d agreed to have two over the summer, but, since then, my daughter has split from her long-term partner and come home. I now only have one spare room. I asked my son if he and his wife could help out, and he said it wasn’t convenient. I always put myself out for my children, so I’m hurt and disappointed.
AI can understand it’s a nuisance, but it was you, not your children, who chose to have the cousins to stay. As adults, it’s their choice who they have to stay, and it’s important to honour their wishes, even if you don’t understand the reasons. There may well be something happening that they don’t wish to discuss with you and putting up relatives just doesn’t fit into their lives.
The second point you raise is another area for discussion. It sounds as if you’re expecting to be repaid for the things you do for your children. Unless you set it up that way – as you might in business – making an agreement and contract, there is no reason why they should pay you back for being kind to them. Parents choose or choose not to do things for their children, after all. Assuming they do them with unconditional love, they should expect nothing back. It’s then up to the children to support and help in their own way, as and when they want to.
Your son and daughter-in-law haven’t said no to hurt and upset you. I think it’s important you re-examine this and hear it for what it really is. Otherwise, you’ll end up making them feel guilty, which will just make the situation worse.
Your son needn’t honour your offer