how do you handle "guilt trippers"?

Some family members and a few friends have really been trying to lay a guilt trip on me about us leaving home for long periods of time. (we try to be home every few months for a little while at least) I don't feel good about leaving my aging parents (there is other family in my town) but it's just such an opportunity financially, and for us to see and experience things for awhile that we wouldn't see otherwise. We aren't exactly in a booming economy right now, and I don't see that improving anytime soon.

Anyway, i digress. What can i say to convince them (i've explained the above already to them) or should i even bother? It really bugs me because I will worry enough about my folks as it is, without the guilt trip! :(


Senior Member
Re: how do you handle "guilt trippers"?

I know what ya mean. Every Sep when we get ready to spend the next six months away from our home we both feel kind of bad leaving our grandkids (4) and our kids but we darn near talk to them on the telephone every day. We have gone home a couple times over the last seven years for Christmas and a furneral for a family member, but normally not til spring. Our parents are on the other side so we will see them when the time is right. Our Son suggested that we get one of those cameras that attach to our laptop so that we can talk and see our grandkids. Daughter will maybe do the same thing. I think that will help a lot.
If you have family near your aging parents they should be looking after them a feel happy to do so. We only go thru this part of our lives once, so we need to make the best of it. Sacrifices are made by all during our lifetimes. Try to call your parents or perhaps a camera like we are installing might help. Someone could help them with it. ;)
Re: how do you handle "guilt trippers"?

Mary, check into one of those lcd picture frames for you parents. I know that my parents got a kick out of that.

You need to coordinate it a little with whatever digital camera that you have.

You need one that takes a memory card that is common with your camera. Then you just pop in the card you want to send to your parents, and take all the pictures that will fit.

Send it to them to put into their picture frame.

If you are really into it, you can save your picture files to that memory card before sending it to your parents. That way you can edit them and add titles and comments. Actually you can even write a note to them as a picture file.

Make them a real slideshow, and they'll remember you very well! :approve:
Re: how do you handle "guilt trippers"?

I'd forgotten about the picture frames. they would get a kick out of that! The have a computer, but it requires an act of congress to get them to turn the thing on! :laugh:

C Nash

Senior Member
Re: how do you handle "guilt trippers"?

Mary, been there. My question is how old are your parents and do they need family help? What is your health and age? We choose to delay our plans and we cared for my dad, wifes mother and then mother. No pressure from family members just our choice. Now they are all gone and we are free other than kids, gc and great gkids. Cost of living is really hurting plans now. Do I regret our decision of delaying. NO, the time we spent caring for our parents is priceless and we could never return the sacrfrice they did for us. We did take short trips during the time and even took my 100 year old Mother in law and my 90 year old Mother with us on some. Don't think they enjoyed camping that much but it was an adventure :laugh:
Re: how do you handle "guilt trippers"?

Mary, I took off in July 2005 w/my new husband. I am the only person in 3 generations of my family to EVER leave
home' (defined as the Washington, DC area)! Not only that, but no one --NO ONE in my family had EVER camped or rv'ed!! They all thought we were CRAZY!!!

Also, my parents are in their 80's....doing well, thank God, but much time do they have left? Anyway, as much as my family hated to see me go...they wanted me to be happy even more!! So, they bid us a loving farewell and off we went!

Don't let the guilt get to is a completely non-productive emotion! The only on whom it has any effect is YOU! Make sure you cover all the bases for alternate care for the folks and keep in touch. The pix are a good idea, too!

I am back in the DC area now for the next year+ as husband works I am nowonly about 40 mins away from the folks...but the day after Thanksgiving Mom and Dad leave for their winter in THEY will be far away from us 'kids'!!! We do not give them any guilt about that!!

Take a chance and take care of YOU!
RE: how do you handle "guilt trippers"?

My folks are in their 70s, and dad in pretty good health, mom has some health issues. It's not really them that's giving us a hard time, it's the rest of the family. I think they are just always used to me being there to help with dr's appointments, helping around the house and all. It's a little better than it was though.

We're looking forward to the trip this time though. Just not looking forward to the cold nights in Roswell!


Thanks for all the advice! :)


Senior Member
Re: how do you handle "guilt trippers"?

Folks who lay on guilt are usually doing so from a feeling of jealousy. They do not want you to have the things which they are too fearful to do. If your parents are OK with it and you are happy with it, who's business is it? You can either ignore them, tell them where to go, or give in and allow them to run your life. If you do the last, this will not the only thing, just the first one.


Senior Member
Re: how do you handle "guilt trippers"?

Kirk you spelled it out correctly, give in now and be on the hook forever. I know I am on the hook, the wife and grand kids are inseparable. And yes we do take 2-3 weeks off to go camping, but we can't stay any longer than 3 due to the grand kids. And a mother is a mother then grandmother, they will not give up that title. JMHO :laugh:

C Nash

Senior Member
Re: how do you handle "guilt trippers"?

Mary, I hope my other post did not lead to more guilt feelings. That was not the intent but just to say there are postives to staying and taking care of parents. Your parents are much younger than ours were and probably are still able to care for themselves. From you post and handle pipelinemomma I assume that your travels are job related and bet it has something to do with pipelines. :) No reason for you to feel guilt and if the other family do not understand they have a problem. Don't worry about them. All that maters are the parents and I bet at their age they are telling you to go for it. Good luck