You can only call and ask and invite people into your or your children’s lives so much until their blatant refusals become enough to leave you as tired and empty as those excuses. Let them go. Whether it is an absentee parent you have to call and beg every month for child support or phone calls to their children, birthdays being missed and holidays forgotten, large gaps of no visitation, let these people go. You shouldn’t have to force these people into your children’s lives when they obviously have things they would rather be doing, so don’t. The kids are the ones who pay for it. They deserve better than being a second choice, they do not deserve the neglect or coming in and out of their lives, so for them, let the dead beats go.
It is a hard lesson to learn. You cannot force being a parent in a deadbeat. If the kids are not top priority, they never will be, no matter who’s birthday it is or who cannot buy a new dress for a dance. They do not care. Let them go.