We live only about 6 hours away and we visit maybe 3 times a year, we're about to make our second trip this year and won't be going again until January (last January was the last time we visited). I'd go see my mother more often if it wasn't for my father. I'm not the only one who does that.
In the last couple years it's started getting better because we started getting smarter, now if dad blows up or something everyone goes up the hill to my brother's house or leaves. My mom has started putting her foot down and not letting him drink so much (that doesn't help the temper) because she doesn't want us all to leave, she's always been good at pretending that he's a wonderful father.
When I call I only talk to him if my mom isn't home and most of the time I call my brother's house because she watches the kids during the week.
He was Army and didn't live with us for about half my childhood and when he was with us he was hardly home because he was working but he always talks about what a good job they did raising us. He had nothing to do with it, my mother was the one who did almost everything and he never spent time with us girls because we didn't like doing what he does. He was gone from the time I was 12 until I was almost 17 and never took the time to get to know me after he retired. When I mentioned this he actually said "well I couldn't be expected to do the stuff you like because I'm a man so I didn't spend time with you." He still has no idea what I'm really like, he just bases his opinions on the little he sees, for some reason he thinks I'm a submissive housewife (the only way for a woman to be).
He also likes to turn us against each other, he created a horrible competitivness in our house. It took me a while to figure it out, I think some of my siblings still haven't, but he'll say nasty things about my siblings to me and I know that he says them about me behind my back. I've heard that he told a BIL that if he was my husband he would have refused to sleep with me (talk about how wrong him thinking about stuff is) until I lost all my baby weight because I'm just too heavy, at the time I was in an 11 but I'm 5'10" and in a normal weight range (since I've dropped a size but I'm sure that's still too big).
Any one who says that I owe my father respect is out of their minds.
And doing cake for family it really depends who it is if they ask. I've done a couple things for my MIL when she's asked and would again. But as much as she drives me crazy they also do things like buy the kids clothes and other things that help us out. THere are other people I would charge even if I gave a family discount, if my mother was like yours I wouldn't buy anything until I had the money and I would charge full price.