My daughter’s grandparents like the beach more than they like her.

My daughter’s grandparents see us for maybe one full week a year, and the rest of the time we see them for maybe a day or two days at a time. With that, we see them maybe for two weeks a year, since we live about a 10-hour drive away.

When they take vacations, they choose to go to the beach, where they spend a week or two. This is instead of spending time with their grandchild! I have repeatedly invited them to stay with us or to visit us, and have told them we can plan our vacation time around theirs if they let us know when they would like to come. They never answer my offers, and they still go on tropical or beach vacations every year.

I don’t think they’re bad grandparents, and by all other accounts they love my daughter and the time they spend with her. But they hardly see her, and she’s only going to be three once. They are more than happy to have us visit any time, but we do not have the financial means to make more than one trip a year, which is a stretch  to begin with. They have a lot of money and regularly travel, sometimes stopping in for a day or two on their way elsewhere. This makes it all the more hurtful because it shows me that they’re willing to travel for a beach, but are only stopping by because we happen to be on their way somewhere. I am sure if we didn’t happen to live along their route, they wouldn’t even make the effort to visit.

How do I stop being upset by this? I also worry that in a few years, my daughter will begin to wonder why Grandma and Grandpa only come for a day or two at a time and I won’t know how to answer.

I’m sure your precious little princess is the most adorable, talented, amazing child ever to grace this planet, but think about Grandma and Grandpa. They worked their entire lives in order to enjoy their retirement, and apparently, that involves going to the beach, not sitting around your house watching your daughter draw on the wall with permanent marker and flush Barbie’s shoes down the toilet.

Two weeks a year is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to spend visiting each other. So no, they’re not bad grandparents. You don’t say if these are your parents or your in-laws, but I’m guessing in-laws, and really, it could be worse…they could be there at your house ALL THE TIME. It doesn’t even sound like you want to spend more time with them; it sounds like you’re (inaccurately) judging their affection for your daughter.

Stop being so overdramatic. It’s one thing to have to explain to your child that Granny and Grampy only visit by Skype because they’re on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and hiding out in Brazil, or that you only see them once a year because the rest of the time they’re living in a bomb shelter wearing tin-foil hats and preparing for the day the aliens finally land and take over the planet; it’s another to explain that they’re not living up to your expectations. Unless you continually point it out, your daughter won’t have a problem with how often and for how long her grandparents visit. You’re just looking for a fight.

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