We have been living with my wife brother for 3 years now, My kids are very excited whenever their uncle comes from door and not me. This sort of hurt, not sure why but what my kids (almost 7 and 2) aren't excited to see me?
This is pretty normal with parents everywhere - we're not interesting or different, we're just ... there. Go on a trip without your kids for a few weeks, and you'll see some very excited kids when you return more than likely!
In your case, even if the uncle is "always there", he's still not a parent, and so has a different relationship. Parents are safe, comfortable, but not exciting; uncles and aunts are different, because they don't have the same responsibilities and closeness. They get to do fun things, spoil the children, change things up - while the parents are the ones that make sure they get dressed in the morning, go to school, eat dinner, all the mundane things.
That doesn't mean they don't care for their parents just as much - more - than the others, though. It's just that they're comfortable, not exciting - but comfortable is pretty important when they get hurt, physically or emotionally, are scared, or need a hug!
When my children were small, I thought, "They are the flowers; I'm just the dirt they are growing in." But that is a beautiful thing! The flower does not notice the soil, but the soil provides all the nutrition and a safe place for the roots to anchor.
You are your children's security. You give them food and shelter. You are the person, with their mother, who will comfort them when they cry. They depend on you. You are the center of their lives. That isn't exciting, but it is a deep soul love that your children will carry forever.
It does hurt when they aren't excited to see you, but remind yourself that the solid, deep love between you and your children will endure far longer than the brief excitement they feel when their uncle comes home.
Now that my children are young adults and I am much older, they spend a lot of time with me because they want to. We have a lot of fun together, and they help me. I don't even have to ask. I'm very lucky, yes, but I think it's partly because of the solid foundation of love and respect we built when they were young.
Parents have a role in the children's world that is profoundly different from other relatives, parent's friends and other adults.
It is parents who take and enforce the unpopular decisions related to raisng kids - e.g. food and clothes choice, bed time, school attendance and school-related tasks, personal hygiene, house-related tasks assigned to children, etc, etc...
Children pretty much know that mom and dad are above anything else, but this is not exciting - they just take this for granted. And it is.
At later age, teachers share some of this aura with parents.
Other close adults are not exciting by themselves, they are exciting because of the fact that they are only playful. This is their only role in the kid's world.
Other adults are just like the other kids, but capable of doing more interesting things.
You cannot aim (or at least should not aim) for their position.
If you really miss this excitement - just wait until they turn 25.
I suspect that they don't see you as a playful parent. The simple fix to this is to play with them more. Tickle them, build a fort, tell them stupid dad jokes and so on to get them to connect you with having fun.
If you already do this then maybe you have to do it more/practice. You can also discuss with the mom of course, she probably knows the reason for this.
I'm afraid this is fairly common with small kids. Their emotional maturity is often just not high enough to understand they are hurting people, and their choices of objects of straight forward affection or excitement are usually predicated on what's fun, who's less strict and similar. It's quite common to have kids tell you they don't love you as much as someone else who might not even be from the family, or that they would want a different father/mother. While this can be more or less hurtful based on how sensitive to it the parent is, it's not something that can easily be fixed.
The good news is that it does normally go away as they start maturing mentally and emotionally. They start to understand more what their own parents mean and why they are important, as well as forming an actual deeper bond with them, through lived experience and a better understanding of what their parents mean to them. They also get further socialized, which lets them better understand the effect their actions and words have on others and lets them self regulate.
The love of children to their parents also changes profoundly throughout their lives. It's different when they are 2, 7, 10, 15, 20 or 30. And that's even assuming there have been little change on the part of the parent.
I mean chances are there will always be someone they are happier to see in the moment than their parent. Because they see their parents all the time and if the parents are good they are never as fun as other people. Parents have to raise the kids, which means they often have to be the bad guys. But love of children to parents isn't about always rushing to greet them because they are so looking forward to seeing them. It's about trust, being comfortable with them, and wanting them to be happy.
ps.: Also your kids will never love you the way you love them and they shouldn't. It wouldn't be healthy. A parent mostly loves their child unconditionally, no matter what happens and even if for some reason they have to sever their ties to the person the child becomes they often still love the child they used to be. The loss of a child is one of the most traumatic experiences preceded only by the loss of a spouse and that's changing these days as people have fewer children. On the other hand the loss of a parent is something most people have to take pretty much in their stride. It's something that hopefully will happen in everyone's life.
Just to add to the other answers, I think that dads can sometimes struggle to show their emotions whatever they are. It's quite a common trait of character amongst men.
A child's understanding is initially based on emotions and evolves gradually to a more rational type as their cortex develop. If as a dad you don't make the effort to communicate on a emotional level with kids they miss a lot of who you truly are.
I am quite a shy introvert type, but with my daughter I try to show her my feelings as much as I can so she feels connected. No matter if it involves taking me away from my comfort zone.
Of course, there are other factors and I believe the argument of the other adults being exciting as opposed to the parents being comfortable is a strong one.
Whatever the outcome, keep trying!
Are you excited to see them?
When you greet them, do you show excitement? Are you teaching them how fun it is greeting eachother by exlaiming eachothers names, spreading your arms wide and going in for the hug?
If you don't set the example, you can't expect them to figure it all out for themselves :)
They are not excited to see you because you are not entertaining them .
And your children are probably seeing you like a person who do same kind things daily and that's why they are not excited to see you.
So all you have to do is to change yourself and give yourself some daily new task like playing outdoor games etc.. :)