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Not a granny yet

(92 Posts)
Skylark Thu 10-Oct-13 15:25:17

I'm new to this forum. I've just learnt today from my son that I'm to be a grandmother. Circumstances far from ideal - this baby is the result of a liaison my son had whilst travelling abroad. I should be excited, but actually I'm in bits. Not yet been able to discuss with my partner, the rest of the family or close friends yet, and just need to offload. If anyone has experience of this situation, I would love to hear from you.

ninathenana Thu 10-Oct-13 15:45:15

Sorry I have no experience of your situation but I think I can understand your anguish.

Welcome to GN.

Elegran Thu 10-Oct-13 16:22:57

There is someone else on the forum whose son is in a similar situation, a baby after a short affair. I am sure they will see your post and reply.

All those concerned (both of the baby's parents and the grandparents) need to be tolerant and sensible. Not easy, when recriminations are possibly flying around. I hope all goes well.

Elegran Thu 10-Oct-13 16:26:51

I think the only advice I can give is rather superficial. It is not to say anything that you will regret later - you will all have to have a lot of contact with one another to do the best for the child.

HildaW Thu 10-Oct-13 16:36:08

Have no real experience of this but would just like to say that there will be no right or wrong way for you to react. You say you 'should' be excited when in fact the opposite is true. That is a perfectly reasonable response in this situation. Do not be made to feel guilty just because there might be social pressure around you to just put on a smile and try to welcome the situation. Any half decent parent is going to feel very confused by this because they would be worrying about how their, albeit grown-up, child is going to cope with what could be a very emotionally complex time.
I think all you can do is let your son know that you love him and will be supportive and as non-judgemental (at least to his face) as you can. All the best.

janthea Thu 10-Oct-13 16:54:51

Just let your son know that you are there for him - whatever happens. You may or may not have contact with the mother and child, but hopefully your son will. Just keep an open mind and don't be judgmental and remember your son is still your 'baby'.

annodomini Thu 10-Oct-13 17:24:29

Skylark, this happened in my family 22 years ago. My 20-year-old son became infatuated with a very unstable woman, a compulsive liar, older than he was. After a couple of months she became pregnant and I remain convinced that she deliberately punctured a condom. I was not specially pleased when they announced that I was to be a granny - I was a divorcée and had a demanding job! They thought about, but decided against, termination. Anyway, not long after my beautiful GD was born, the relationship fizzled out. He went to work seasons in the hospitality sector in Europe and I was left to maintain contact with the mother, her little boy and my GD. It took a lot of tact and a certain amount of money, but it all worked out. My first GD is one of the best things in my life.
My son married a lovely girl and acquired a rewarding career. They have two more children and my GD has now, aged 21, and a new graduate, gone south to live with them. I no longer speak to the mother because of her outrageous behaviour a few years ago, towards my GD, but I won't go into that at the moment. I hope that whatever happens, Skylark, you will find a way to have a relationship with this grandchild. They are very precious.

kittylester Thu 10-Oct-13 17:25:50

Welcome to grannet skylark. flowers

I definitely felt 'strange' when I was first about to become a grandmother and that was in 'normal' circumstances so part of what you are feeling could be related to that.

Will your son continue to have contact with the baby and it's mother? Will you have contact with either of them?

A delicate question, but is he sure he is the father?

DD2 was told that she would find it very difficult to become pregnant so was less than careful with our, now, son in law. We advised caution, even to consider abortion as she didn't know him that well. She knew better and went ahead with the pregnancy, marriage and another baby. She was right!! He is a lovely man and I am sure their marriage will stand the test of time so 'skylark', it might not all be bad news.

glammanana Thu 10-Oct-13 17:56:09

I would also say don't say anything that can't be taken back at a later date and when the initial shock has died down sit with your son and try and find out what his feeling are,he is probably up in the air as well as you at the moment,just give him time to gather his thoughts and go from there. flowers p.s it is fab being a nanna even when unexpected I know I've been there.

Penstemmon Thu 10-Oct-13 18:37:28

Oh it is so difficult when things do not work the way we, or others, would prefer. I agree with the advice that is telling you to keep all routes open regarding relationship with son, future GC and its mother and not to feel guilty for not being elated at this ambivalent news.

So many unknowns that it is hard to offer particular advice.
good luck flowers

Skylark Thu 10-Oct-13 19:03:05

Thank you all so much for your understanding and good advice. I have come home and spoken to my partner. Not only has he known this news for nearly a fortnight (I've been away, and son wanted to tell me himself), but he's shared it with his brother for "advice on how to support me". I have never cried so much. I feel totally betrayed - my brother in law (and probably his wife) have known this BEFORE ME. OH has now gone out for a walk.We're supposed to be going out to celebrate son's birthday this evening. I am distraught, and feel so so so mixed up...

harrigran Thu 10-Oct-13 19:50:43

Welcome Skylark and I feel for you, not only have you had a shock but it has been complicated by the fact that OH knew and had discussed with others.
You will get through this but I do think it wise not to say anything you may later regret, sometimes relationships flourish and get over the rocky start.

Judthepud2 Thu 10-Oct-13 22:25:29

Hello Skylark. Having looked forward to being a Gran for some years, I was very upset to find that this was to come for the first time not from one of my married daughters but from my youngest who had been having a relationship with an older (by 20 yrs) aggressive and very unpleasant man. She was only 22 and still at college. She didn't love him and he treated her badly. It was clear that there was not going to be any sort of loving support for her from him but she decided not to have an abortion.

She told her father before she told me and a bit like in your case there was a discussion as to how I might take the news. Yes I was upset and appalled. But we decided to provide the support and stability she and the baby needed. Easier for us than for you as she came back to live with us and I was her birth partner. I was very involved in the upbringing of the baby for 2 years while she finished her qualification. He has been the pride and joy of DH and myself for nearly 7 years.

However, as this is your son's baby and the mother lives aboad, I imagine you may be feeling a bit cheated. Not the best start to grandparenthood, is it? My heart goes out to you. Try not too get too involved at this time and see how things pan out - not easy but it may help to minimise the pain. Keep us in touch with developments.


Faye Thu 10-Oct-13 23:56:25

Skylark my advice is don't be too upset that you weren't the first to know about the baby, these things happen. Your son wanted to tell you and probably had to off load on someone. Your OH just happened to be there at the time.

I would also reach out to the mother of your future grandchild. Whatever the situation of the baby's birth this is your future grandchild and will hopefully be one of the most important people in your life. The mother also may need all the emotional support she can get. You could still visit and keep in touch whether your son ends up with her or not.

I would never consider for one minute not doing my upmost to be in this child's life. I also wouldn't make waves when there don't need to be any. Best wishes flowers

kittylester Fri 11-Oct-13 06:30:40

skylark do let us know how thinks progress. flowers

LizG Fri 11-Oct-13 06:46:28

Good morning skylark and welcome. I hope if you celebrated your son's birthday it was not too stressful for you flowers. Not able to offer much myself but I have read loads of excellent advice on here.

Skylark Fri 11-Oct-13 06:55:48

I am very grateful for all your kind advice and support, and to have found this forum where I can vent. In the end we went out with our son, other two adult children and some of his friends to celebrate his birthday last night, first in a restaurant then in a pub. It was a good evening, but a certain amount of discussion was around the mind-blowing news he'd shared with me in the morning (when I popped over to deliver card and cake).

I am shocked on so many fronts. Foremost, that our son (on all other levels, intelligent, clever, an entrepreneur, but always a risk-taker and has had some sticky moments in his life - so perhaps not totally surprising) could allow this situation to happen in the first place - by his own account, a one-night stand, far away. Why no protection, on an STD level let alone potential for pregnancy?? Questions about our upbringing of him. The morality of what he did (or lack of it), and the very far-reaching consequences of his actions.

The lady concerned comes from an extremely different culture, religion and ethnic background, they hardly speak each other's languages, and he cannot pronounce her first name! (laughable in any other situation). The "delicate" question raised above about his paternity is going to be checked once the baby is born - due end of next month, so we don't have much time to adjust to this. He is taking it all very seriously, is arranging and paying for good medical care for her, discussed DNA testing with medical authorities over there and here, and spoken to the British Embassy there about the child having a passport. If the baby is, as he strongly suspects, his child, then he will support the mother financially, and would like him (it's a boy) to go to the international school there, and possibly bring him over here for secondary education. All far, far down the line, but it's good to know that he's planning.

For OH and me, all the questions of bringing a child into the world of mixed race, who may have issues for that reason in both countries. He will be loved by us, but the problems he may face about his origins may be huge. And not the exciting start to being grandparents that we had anticipated, nor the timing - I feel far too "young", even thouogh many of my friends are already grandparents, because I recognise my children aren't yet ready for the responsibilities of parenthood; but he said to me last night, he is "strapping himself in for the journey", and he will, I'm sure, do what he has to do for his son.

Now a waiting game for the birth. My daughter said very sensibly, "Let it all settle". Once we have the result of the DNA test, we then need to take it forward. How much involvement we shall have in this baby's life remains to be seen. It depends on so many factors - the mother, especially. I would go and visit her and the baby, but OH has already said he doesn't want to. Also, OH and I both have mothers in their late 80s, and it's how to broach this with them, too.

I've hardly slept all night, and now face a day at work (teaching). Strong coffee now. Very many thanks to you all for your interest and support.

Iam64 Fri 11-Oct-13 07:23:57

skylark - hope work is a good distractor and goes well today. It's good to see so many warm and supportive comments to you. Your are not alone in feeling shocked and saddened, rather than excited about the possibility of becoming a grandparent. Your family get together sounds to have been a very good start for all of you in beginning to accept where you are. There are lots of grandparents/step grandparents on this forum whose grandchildren arrived, or live, in circumstances the grandparents wouldn't have chosen for them. The only thing I'd add to what others have said, is stop blaming yourself and the way you brought your son up for what you (probably rightly) see as risk taking behaviour.

LizG Fri 11-Oct-13 07:30:26

I am glad you had a reasonable evening. Do agree with your daughter - time to let it settle because until you all know for sure you can't make any serious decisions. Hope you get through the day okay and have a better night tonight.

Riverwalk Fri 11-Oct-13 07:45:42

Skylark I do feel for you - I too was surprised when told about to become a grandma, and also knew 3 weeks after ex and his girlfriend because I was abroad. All has turned out well and everyone is very happy. Your circumstances are more difficult of course because of the overseas element and lack of a relationship.

But you do need to calm down and as your daughter says let it settle. All the extraneous business about you feeling too young, telling elderly parents etc is really not that important - I'm sure many of us felt we were too young! I was 52. And don't be worrying about mixed race, passport, schooling and all the other things that are swirling around in the your head - they're of no concern at this time.

As others have said I think you need to establish some sort of rapport with the mother to let her know that you are supportive - even if her English is not too good I'm sure she'd appreciate a short email from you.

I agree with Glamma don't say the wrong thing (i.e. your true feelings!) to either your son or the mother.

I hope your day at school isn't too bad - thank goodness it's Friday smile. And good luck.

kittylester Fri 11-Oct-13 07:53:45

I think the thing to remember that you are all on the same side - wanting the best for your new grandson. And prepare to fall headlong in love with him. sunshine

glassortwo Fri 11-Oct-13 10:28:43

skylark a baby brings love with it.

I was 38 when I found out my 16yr old son and a girl (15) who he had gone out with months before for 2 weeks, that a baby was on its way. As you can imagine I was devastated, but my Granddaughter is now 19 and a huge part of our lives.
We were lucky her Mum was very good at allowing us to be part in DGD life, she came to us every weekend from been just a few months old, came on holiday with us etc. When I first heard I couldn't imagine that things would turn out the way they have with them both being so young, all I could see was the down side, but give it time and things will straighten out, your Grandchild is precious, just give things a chance, and be as supportive as you can. sunshine

Judthepud2 Fri 11-Oct-13 11:15:56

I agree with Iam64 about you not blaming yourself for the way you have brought up your son. He sounds like a very caring and responsible young man prepared to deal with the consequences of his actions. Be gentle with yourself and, as everyone is saying, take one thing at a time.

Skylark Fri 11-Oct-13 11:39:15

Thank you. I am trying hard, but feeling wrung out. My OH and I seem to have got over our blip yesterday, but I'm still hurt that he felt he had to ask his bro's advice on how to handle the news with me rather than wait till I knew. Doesn't say much for the trust we share after 30+ years, does it.

I'll run the idea of an email past DS, and if he's in agreement formulate something. I guess he's feeling pretty grim, but I'm pleased he's taking his responsibilities seriously - pending post-natal confirmation that he is in fact the father.

Thank you all again for good advice.

annodomini Fri 11-Oct-13 12:47:44

Skylark, don't hold it against him - men aren't always very good at handling emotional situations like this one. I speak from experience, but mine didn't last 30 years.