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Mild mental health and being a Gran

(19 Posts)
valdaree27 Fri 02-Sep-11 13:37:09

My lovely son and equally lovely and beautiful daughter in law gave me my first grandson six weeks ago. I have had a ridiculously stressful and anxiety ridden previous year which led to a breakdown and subsequent loss of my job. My family are amazing and have been fantastically supportive but have hinted that at this time, I would not be allowed to keep my grandson over night because my medication which is hugely sedative. I totally understand, I'm not unreasonable however I am being irrational in that I am insanely ( no pun intended) jealous that he is getting to stay over at his other Grans. Please tell me I'm being ridiculous! It's hurtful but at the same time I understand so I need a good kick up the backside from fellow Grans!

glassortwo Fri 02-Sep-11 14:10:24

valdaree its understandable that you feel that you are missing out on a special part of having GC, but you also recognise that because of your medication that it is impossible to care for your GS. Do you have a partner that could possibly support you and take over the care so you could have GS over to stay.

absentgrana Fri 02-Sep-11 14:20:56

Hi valdaree I hope the worst is behind you now and that you are on the road to recovery. Naturally, you want to spend time with your first grandson and there is no reason why you shouldn't, but having a baby stay overnight is not really a great joy. Have you forgotten how disrupted sleep becomes when there's a baby around – no fun for you (should you wake up) or his grandfather? By the time it is a joy to have the little chap to stay, rather than just visit in the daytime, you are likely to be hunky dory and well able to cope.

Baggy Fri 02-Sep-11 14:37:31

It would have been useful if my mother had been on sedatives of some sort when my kids were young. Then, when I visited her with them (they were breast fed so didn't have "nights away" until they were a good deal older than valdaree's GS), she wouldn't have been disturbed so easily.

greenmossgiel Fri 02-Sep-11 14:41:11

Congratulations on the birth of your wee grandson, valdaree27! A joy indeed - and one to 'enjoyed', rather than worried about! To be able to sleep undisturbed, even with the aid of your medication, is very important to you just now. Having a little baby staying overnight sometimes isn't all that much fun! Better to have him during the day for an hour or so, maybe while the youngsters go and see friends, shop etc? You'll be feeling very tender without a doubt, but before long he'll be yelling his head off in your spare room, demanding your attention! smile

HildaW Fri 02-Sep-11 15:37:30

Valdaree. Have a big hug from me....I too have been coping with far too much stress and although I have not required medication I do know that this time last year I was in no fit state to take on any more worries, so I do sort of know just a bit of how you are feeling.

Please dont see it as 'not being allowed'. See it more as 'you would not fully enjoy' the experience. Having a grandchild in the house without his/her parents is completely absolutely nowhere near anything like having your own child. I find the level of worry very high and even though I've got through the worse of my stress, my tolerance is still quite low. My grandson is nearly 3 and we have had him overnight on his own about 4 times since he turned 2. Even with a baby alarm and a baby gate at his door I worry all night. Will he fall out of bed? Will he bang his head on the wardrobe handle (wtf) etc etc etc. I usually end up creeping into the room at sometime (having checked that he is still breathing 3 or 4 times) and sneaking into the double bed next to his bed. In the cold light of morning I'm fine and realize I am over worrying and certainly never admit all this to his Mum, but once I've handed him back I am like a limp rag for a day. I do enjoy his visits, hes a lovely bright little fellow, and as time goes by I will get better but its jolly hard work. Please dont let your feelings get in the way of this wonderful new part of your life. Despite all my ramblings being a Gran is amazing. Just enjoy what you can cope with and once you are stronger you can do more. My very best to you!

harrigran Fri 02-Sep-11 16:54:39

valdaree27 Babies are hard work especially when they are only weeks old, I would happily forego that pleasure. I looked after DG for a weekend when she was three months old and I aged ten years. Creeping into the nursery to check she was breathing every hour or two and not to mention the endless bottles she required. Enjoy the time you have with your grandson and be thankful you get your sleep smile

JessM Fri 02-Sep-11 17:18:16

I agree. Having babies or even toddlers staying overnight is certainly not a "given". Parents sometimes have strong ideas about sleep and routine these days. When my DS and DIL were still in the UK (my granddaughter's first 3 years) I would not have expected to have her overnight. Even when DIL was in hospital when GD a year old DS came to stay too. I suspect had they not emigrated they would have become less ... whatever the word is... anxious shall we say... once they had 2 demanding kids.

valdaree27 Fri 02-Sep-11 18:55:49

Thanks everyone, it's encouraging that so many people understand and empathise and you're all right in your own way, I do need my sleep to aid recovery and my husband could not cope alone ( we didn't have children together) but at least you have all affirmed that I have insight. I AM allowed to be jealous, just not unreasonable , it's not negative to want to have him, just unrealistic and ow is not forever, thank you all again.

valdaree27 Fri 02-Sep-11 18:57:18

Sorry to hear that. I'm desperate to be a good gran and not be stressed out but it be the ultimate pleasure when he comes to visit

Libradi Sat 03-Sep-11 10:52:48

Agree with all that's been said previously and hope that you will begin to feel much better soon. It's very natural to feel jealous of the other grandparents but as absentgrana says its no great joy having a tiny baby overnight, certainly wasn't for me anyway, I hardly slept on the odd times I had my granddaughter sleep over as a baby, even when she was sleeping I couldn't and had to keep going in and checking that she was ok. Much more fun having them during the day until they are older.

jangly Sat 03-Sep-11 11:22:17

A bit off subject, and probably poking my nose in unnecessarily, but how long do you expect to be on a drug which is hugely sedative? And are you happy with that? Won't it make sleeping naturally much harder when you have to come off it?

Feel free to tell me to buzz off. smile

Jangran Sat 03-Sep-11 12:08:11

You are entitled to have emotions at any age, and certainly becoming a grandparent for the first time (or the second, third, or fourth time for that matter) renders one fairly vulnerable to unexpected feelings. You are entitled to have emotions, but you are not entitled to express them to people who may be affected by them.

That is one of the good things about Gransnet - we are not personally affected by our fellow-Gransnetters' feelings, so we are free to say what we want.

It is hard, when one set of grandparents gets to do what another set would like to do if they could. I remember feeling furious when my first grandchild was born, and, because we lived some distance away, had to admire photographs of the other grandparents holding him before I even got to see him. Of course, only my husband and Gransnetters know about that!

glammanana Sat 03-Sep-11 12:25:41

Jangran how right you are in your post I had to watch my x-DH and his wife looking after my 1stDGS when my DD went to stay with them straight from the hospital and it is heart wrenching the feeling's are undiscribable and I was so upset at the time,we could not have them at our house as we where in the process of moving and it hurt even more as my DD had not had any contact with her biological father for the first 15yrs of her life.Everything was resolved without them even knowing how I felt but it was a very tough time for me and me alone as I had no one to confide in only DH.I think that valdaree27 your DS is thinking of you and taking your health into consideration at this time and can promise you that you will look at this in a differant frame of mind in no time at all Hugs x for you

Jangran Sat 03-Sep-11 12:36:17

Well, I hope that glammanana is right, Valdraree27, but to be honest, I have found that jealousies of the "other" grandparents come up all the time. Next year, for example, my daughter and son-in-law, plus two children, are taking a fortnight's holiday en famille with the "others" and their other son, daughter-in-law and two children, in Thailand. Well, I am jealous of that, since we never get so long with them ourselves. On the other hand, I am not certain I should want to...

The point, really, is to accept that a) you can be jealous; b) that sometimes there is good reason for your jealousy and c) that no good can ever come from expressing it, except in private to one's husband and you lovely Gransnetters. That way, you can accept and deal with your feelings, and remember, all the time, that it is the strength of your relationships with your offspring and grandchildren that matters - not the strength of theirs with the "other" side.

Thankfully, I have great relationships with my daughters and grandchildren, and, although I don't particularly want to acknowledge it, I know that they benefit from having great relationships with the others as well. Then all I need to remember is that I want the best for my descendants!

valdaree27 Sat 03-Sep-11 13:37:50

I discussed with my husband last night and he too has feelings of jealousy which of course made me feel better and not so irrational. I also think because we are a "reconstituted family" it's hard for my son and daughter in law to keep us all happy and I need to give them credit for the support and contact they already give me. Just this morning, my DIL Skyped me as GS was wearing an outfit I bought him and was sitting in the bouncy chair we bought him! Also the other grandparents have a lovely big mansion and we have a tiny period cottage in a very rural setting. JANGLY you're not being nosey, I too am concerned but at this moment in time, I do need them for equilibrium during the day! I will continue to share my feelings on these forums, if acceptable and I take the advice not to share feelings of jealousy without Gransnet and husband. Thank you all x

Baggy Sat 03-Sep-11 14:03:34

valdaree, You sound like a lovely person. I hope you recover fully and soon from your illness and can enjoy your GS fully as well. Take care. xx

greenmossgiel Sat 03-Sep-11 19:16:01

It's is good to talk, valdaree27. The grans on here do tend to 'say it like it is', but isn't that the way it should be? I'm glad that we've been able to help you a bit. smilexx

Jangran Sun 04-Sep-11 13:22:01

Good luck, Valdaree27. Stick with your doctor's advice - it will work. And remember, the best, with your grandson is yet to be. Little babies are not that interested in much apart from mum and milk (the same thing to them), but wait until his eyes light up and his arms stretch out when he sees you!