General Question

jonsblond's avatar

Adult children: How often do you call/talk to your parents?

Asked by jonsblond (36880 points ) September 24th, 2009

Apparently I don’t call my mother as much as she would like me to. If I go longer than 2 weeks I’m labeled as the “daughter that doesn’t care”.

fyi- I’m 38, my mother is 70ish.

I’m just curious how often my fellow flutherites keep in touch with their parents, and at what point do your parents get upset because you haven’t kept in touch as often as they would like you to.

I’m just not a phone person. :(

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52 Answers

mattbrowne's avatar

Weekly or biweekly.

Leanne1986's avatar

I speak to my dad nearly every day and I speak to my mum every couple of days. I’m 23 years old and on the whole I am not a hug phone person either with the exception of a few people, my dad being one of them.

DrBill's avatar

At least once a week. (we live about 40 mile apart)

EmpressPixie's avatar

Several times a week. First, they each need their own call because some people never learned to share the phone. Beyond that, I usually speak to my mother several times randomly. (I have a set weekly time to call my father.)

summerlover's avatar

usually once a week

limeaide's avatar

I’m 31 I speak to my father every 2-weeks or so. If my mother was still alive I’d probably speak to her more often.

zephyr826's avatar

I’m 27 and I call my mom almost every day. It used to be once or twice a week, but since my husband’s been gone I have no adult to vent to, and she’s also a teacher, so she understands. Usually we only talk for a few minutes, but it’s much more than it used to be. I assume that it’ll die down when he gets back next week, things will go back to normal.

In college, I called home about once every three weeks, which was not enough.

OreetCocker's avatar

My Mum usually every day and my Dad maybe twice a week. I guess it just depends on what’s happening.

janbb's avatar

I speak to my Mom – mitigating circumstances – about once a month. I like to speak to my kids about once a week, but it’s not always that often. An ironic, but not, I suspect, umcommon dichotomy.

Jude's avatar

When My Mom was living, we used to talk a couple of times a week. My Dad is not a phone person at all. And, to get him to stay on the phone for more than 5 minutes with anyone is a chore. So, I would say that I talk to him on the phone, maybe, once a month? He lives a couple minutes away, so, I usually skip the call and go visit.

veronasgirl's avatar

I’m 21 and I talk to my mother almost everyday, I’ve always been close with her. I don’t talk to my father on the phone very often because he doesn’t own a cell phone, I talk to him when I go home to visit.

tedibear's avatar

In college circa 1982 when long distance calls weren’t so cheap I called either every Sunday or every other Sunday. When my dad was in the hospital for bypass surgery, I called every day. The weekly trend continued through my adulthood unless one of them was seriously ill.

At one point in 1994, both of them were in the hospital. I would call my mom, see how she was doing, then call my dad to see how he was and tell him about my mom, then call my mom to tell her about my dad. Three calls a day at that point! And no, I don’t know why they didn’t just call each other.Honestly, that thought just dawned on me.

I must say that I notice far more calls between people about 15 years or more younger than I am and their parents. I have a 30 year-old work friend who talks to her mom at least twice a day. I’ve noticed with some of my trainees, typically those in their 20’s and 30’s, that they’re more likely to call a parent at lunch time or on a break than someone older than that would do. I wonder if it’s because we can keep in touch much more cheaply, that we do keep in touch more often.

@jonsblond – Maybe your mom has friends whose children call all the time? It surely doesn’t mean that you don’t care, just that she’s affected by the peer pressure. ;~)

MacBean's avatar

I live with my parents, so they pretty much always know what’s up with me. Sometimes we go a couple of days without seeing each other, even in passing, because everyone’s schedules are so different, but we don’t have to make a point of communicating. For the short period when I moved out, I called every two or three days, to make my mother happy. My (40-year-old) sister calls just about weekly; my mother gets that “she must not care” attitude if it’s much longer than that.

Until my mother’s mother died, they talked on the phone at least once a day, every day, no matter what.

christine215's avatar

I’m 40, my mom lives 1.3 miles from my home and if I don’t talk to her every other day, then I’m also the “daughter that doesn’t care”

My Dad is a little more lenient… I only have to call him once a week… if it goes longer, he calls me and lays the guilt trip… “why don’t you call me anymore?” “have you forgotten about your father?”

CMaz's avatar

Every day. Do I have a choice?

Likeradar's avatar

I’m 29. My parents are in their mid-60’s and live a few states away.
I call my dad every Sunday. It’s what he did with his parents and we carry on the tradition. I talk to my mom every other day or so, and since my parents live together I often end up talking to him too.
I like my parents, and don’t mind letting them know I’m alive and well and chatting for a bit. It makes them feel better about me being so far away, and it’s not like I have something so much better to do for the 5 or 10 minutes we talk.

Judi's avatar

I don’t call my mom often enough. My sister lives in the same town and calls her every day. Ivlove my mom but I just get so darned busy.
The sad thing is, my mother in law is not nearly as sweet but I talk to her almost every day.
I think I’ll go call my mommy now!

DarkScribe's avatar

Very seldom. My mother is dead and my father is always on the computer – I just IM him and ask him to Skype me when he has time to chat.

shego's avatar

When my mother was alive, I would call her everyday, because I couldn’t afford to go and see her. She lived three states away, and she loved hearing my stories about work, and the pranks I use to pull with my co- workers.

Response moderated
cyndyh's avatar

I’m 45 and we only really call each other when there’s an event or a holiday or birthday. This ends up being a handful of times a year.

ubersiren's avatar

I only talk to my parents every other month or so. We email just as frequent.

jonsblond's avatar

Thank you everyone. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this situation. For the rest of you who do talk to your parents more often, thanks for the reminder that I should pick that phone up and call. :)

evegrimm's avatar

I just recently moved out of “the house”, and my mom calls once a week, on Fridays, around the same time. I will call her though, if, for instance, I have a spectacular test grade or good news or bad news or need advice.

My grandma, who I’m also close to, calls on the weekend. It’s sort of nice, because, as my weekend’s starting, my mom calls, and then, as it’s ending, my grandma calls.

(My mom is very very paranoid about, well, everything, so her calling once a week is her way of seeing that I’m not “lying in a ditch dead somewhere”. (she likes to say that a lot.) )

However, my dad very rarely calls or emails or anything, but that could be because he’s several states away and has a new girlfriend.

@jonsblond, if you have the time and the inclination, you could always have a set time that you talk to your mom, like I do. Then, she always knows that you’re going to call on a specific day at a specific time, and maybe you talk for ~30 min or so. (And then you don’t have to worry as much about the frequency of calling her, and she knows when to expect your call.)

Jack79's avatar

I’m very much a phone person (or rather an sms person) but I call my father rarely, unless I actually have something interesting to tell him. He calls me at least once a week though, and of course there are periods when I go visit or even live in the same town and go see him every other day. We’re also about your ages actually, I’m 37 and he’s 73.
I never talk to my mother unless I really have to (usually about work) and when we do, we usually fight. Me and my sister call each other about once a week or so, though there are times when we talk everyday or even meet everyday if there is some sort of problem to discuss. I even lived with her for a couple of months when my place wasn’t safe enough.

Facade's avatar

When I move out, I might call them once a month to have a short conversation. They would want a long phone call daily. That’s not gonna happen.

fireinthepriory's avatar

It depends on how busy I am. I go through stretches where I’ll call my mother once a day or once every other day, when I’m bored and have things to talk to her about, but we’ll talk once or twice a week on average. While I was in college we talked maybe once a month – less my freshman year. It’s just picked up in the past year or so, and I think my mother appreciates it. Of course it’s a little different because she still has kids at home – I’m the oldest at 22, the youngest is 6 – so she’s not an empty nester or anything.

Also interesting to note: it’s usually 50–50 as to who calls who. It’s not always me calling her, nor is it always her calling me.

jonsblond's avatar

@fireinthepriory I think that is what bothers me about the situation. My mother will complain to my sister about me not calling her but my mom won’t call me. When she does I get the guilt trip that I haven’t called.

cyndyh's avatar

Just break up with her. Oh, wait. That’s another thread (or three). :^>

I know this sounds obvious, but have you told her that it’s not a great feeling to call and instantly be griped at about not calling? “Mom, I just called. This is me calling you now.” Sometimes people need the obvious pointed out to them. She might be one of them.

YARNLADY's avatar

My parents passed on 25 years ago, but I keep in touch with the rest of the family on a daily basis on the computer.

fireinthepriory's avatar

@jonsblond Maybe she doesn’t realize that she’s expecting you to always be the caller. And she might even feel like you don’t want to talk to her, and so is afraid to be the one to call you. One of my forever ago ex-girlfriends was kind of like this. Even though we were dating, she’d NEVER call me, and I got really insecure about being the one to always call her. I felt like I was being pushy or overbearing, but if I didn’t call her for more than a day or two she’d text me asking why she hadn’t heard from me in a while. Hahaha. Sometimes people don’t see it as a two-way street and need to be reminded that one person can’t hold all the responsibility for keeping up communication.

Try telling her that you’re very busy and that you have too many things on your plate to remember to call her as often as you mean to, but you’d love it if she called you once a week or so to touch base.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Mine manages me by a weekly phone call, and several quick e-mails to work several times a week, because my e-mail at work is always up. Younger one is the text message queen, and Facebook wall commenter. I don’t like talking on the phone very much, but I love hearing their voices.

Les's avatar

From now until the middle of November, every other day, if I can manage that. Sometimes, it can be hard to coordinate the times here (I’m 17 hours ahead of my parents now). But once I get back to the states, I’ll usually call every day. I’m single and don’t have a roommate, and I like talking to my mom. It is nice to talk to someone at night. Especially my mommy. ;-)

jonsblond's avatar

Great suggestions everyone. Thank you!

Fluther is awesome :)

Kraigmo's avatar

I call once a week normally, on average.

ekans's avatar

Considering that last month I made my parents are empty nesters, I try to keep in contact, but I am glad that they aren’t calling me too often, which I had feared.
I use skype to talk with my parents probably about once a week. We communicate more often, through email, but I am pleasantly surprised that they aren’t calling me more. They occasionally drop hints that I am not talking to them as much as they would like, and then I make an effort to send them emails and talk if they are on skype.

christine215's avatar

@jonsblond do what I’ve done when they try to lay the guilt trip on you… remind them that the phone works BOTH ways, if they haven’t heard from you, they can always give you a ring

Garebo's avatar

I hear you, and her. I am witnessing the same thing with my son now. I want him to call and let us know how things are going, but we end up hearing thru his blabber mouth friend Mom what he is up to.
I always called my parents on Sundays, it was sort of a ritual the older I get the more I understand why, despite dreading the call at times back then.

SuperMouse's avatar

I speak to my dad once every couple of months.

Zen's avatar

Not nearly enough.

mistered's avatar

I call my mother once a week, or every other week.

Haleth's avatar

Woah. I talk to my parents once every few months.

elll's avatar

I call my mom everyday. She never seems to want me to call. She’s usually silent on the phone. I get a blackhole, yet I keep trying because I want her love and acceptance. Sad but true. She’s the only mother I’ve got. Those of you whose parents want you to call them, I’d say you should feel blessed.

jonsblond's avatar

@elll Welcome to Fluther! :)

quanie2008's avatar

I talk to my mom or dad maybe once a week on the phone and my mom and I email a couple times a week. It fits into our schedule more easily to communicate via email. I used to talk to my parents every day but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to not be as needy. I feel socially fulfilled with talking to them a couple times a week be it phone or email. Satisfies me just fine and I think it does for them as well.

Facade's avatar

I’ll answer again since my situation has changed
I moved out of my parents’ house in January. I’ve spoken to my mother about five times and my father once since then. I would have been all right with less.

njbcnmc's avatar

I could use input on a current situation that falls into this category; I’m 25 years old, three years ago I married my childhood sweetheart of ten years and we’re expecting our first child in January. Because there will be a new family member joining us soon we had to move into a bigger place. While we waited for our new house to be ready to move into we decided to temporarily stay with my mom and step father. We move this week and have been there since September. During this time my mother started getting upset if she does not know exactly where I am and what I’m doing. She now expects me to tell her what/when/where/why of everything I’m planning on doing that day. If something happens to change she also expects me to call her from wherever I am to inform her of it. It’s gotten to the point where she is calling my friends and in-laws if I am a few hours later then she thinks I should be. For instance I forgot to tell her my husband and I were going to a friends house after he got out of work. When we got home at 8pm instead of 6pm she accused me of being disrespectful by not finding a way to inform her of my plans and that as my mother she has the right to know where I am and preceded to get upset with me. We don’t have cell phones if you can believe it but she was also upset that I didn’t find someone’s phone to use to call and tell her where I’d be. Previously she’s written down numbers off the caller ID and then called them looking for me; whether she knows the person or not. She’s also showed up at places she knows I might be. last week I saw her at the store in town so I stopped to say hello; I then stopped to use the restroom and get a coffee. When I got home she was getting ready to call the store to see if I had been there because she felt it was taking me too long to get from there to the house. Her reasoning is it’s normal for a parent to worry about their children and that I don’t understand this because the babies hasn’t been born yet. Prior to moving in with her I’ve been on my own since I was 17; she would insist on talking on the phone at least once a day. Similarly, she would stop at my house if she didn’t hear from me. I, though I understand parents worry, think this is becoming unhealthy for both of us. I don’t know why this behavior had intensified. Can someone tell me if this is abnormal?

Smitha's avatar

I call my mother everyday and Dad twice a week. He’s not real good about calling so I am usually the one initiating the calls, moreover he is getting old and I am worried about his health. I also call my Mother in law twice or thrice a week. We live in different countries and we meet each other only once in a year. My daughter is closest with my mom and she too talks to her whenever she misses her.

Valerie111's avatar

I’m 28 and I call my mom every single day. She’s my best friend. I usually call my dad about once a week. He’s not big on talking on the phone but we talk a lot more when they Yankees are playing.

jonsblond's avatar

Thank you for answering @njbcnmc, @Smitha and @Valerie111. Welcome to Fluther! It’s nice to see activity on an old thread.

I asked this question a few years ago and things have changed for me. My mother is lucky to be alive right now after the year she’s had. She survived a ruptured brain aneurysm, two brain surgeries, C.diff and many other ailments since March. There were moments when I thought I may never get to speak to her again and I wished I could talk to her on the phone. I no longer dread the phone calls or expected calls to my parents, I cherish them.

It might be a bit abnormal @njbcnmc, but I’m really not the person to say what is normal and what isn’t. There will be a day when you won’t have your mother around to pester you and you might be surprised by how much you miss it.

Smitha's avatar

@jonsblond Thanks a lot for the welcome! I agree with you. I know my Mom is going to pass away someday and I just can’t bare with the thought of that. So I try my level best to keep her happy.

Judi's avatar

Aww. I just re read this and I have lost my mom since you asked this question. I would give anything to call her one more time.

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