Dear family who tries to buy love, instead of earning it:

I was raised in an amazing family. There was so much love. My parents loved each other, and they loved my siblings and me even more. My grandparents came around as often as they physically could. They would attend almost every sports practice. Not just games, but practices. Not because we depended on them for rides or anything like that, but because they just wanted to be around us and cheer us on. 

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And then I met your son. And we fell in love. Then we got married and started a family of our own. And it’s amazing.

There is so much love in our house, and we make sure our child is told every day how much they are loved. 

Because of life and jobs, we don’t live near any family. Mine or his. But my family calls us weekly, and we text nonstop, and they gush over every picture and video of our child that I send them. And if I haven’t sent any pictures or updates in a few days, they check in and ask how we’re doing. And they visit as much as they possibly can. At least twice a year, and then ask us to visit them at least once or twice. We might not see my family as much as we’d like, but my child knows their voices and their faces from video chats and phone calls.

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But you? My child knows your name . . . but I don’t even know if they could pick you out of a lineup.

Because kids don’t talk money. 

Sending $100 for birthdays won’t make them love you. Sending us expensive gifts when you hear my mom just visited won’t make them love you. Kids see who shows up. And unfortunately for you, our kids will see the pictures you post about your second European vacation this year, and they’ll wonder why you haven’t decided that seeing them is more important. When you ignore most of the pictures I send you, but then share a post about being a loving grandmother, I have to restrain myself from calling you a fraud where all your friends can see.

It’s been two years since you’ve made an effort to see us.

You haven’t seen the house we bought, you haven’t seen our baby grow into an amazing kid, and at this point, I’m not going to give you extra opportunities to step up. 

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You’ve gone on at least five vacations in the past two years, but whenever we’ve asked if you’d like to come for a visit, you say you can’t afford it or you can’t get the time off work or your boyfriend’s cat is sick. So I’m done.

If you decide that you’d like to be a part of our family one day, you will be welcome.

But until then, we’re done offering. Our house isn’t as glamorous as a five-star resort, but I promise, we have 100% more love. 

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