Gransnet forums


How do I deal with this and am I being unreasonable?

(122 Posts)
Bex52 Tue 22-Apr-14 09:41:29

I have an 11 month old granddaughter. I have never been allowed to look after her, not even for 5 minutes. Never pushed her in a pram, fed her or changed her or taken her anywhere. Only half of my family have even met her. We are a big family and my son's partner has very little family. We dont get to see her very often, maybe once a month or sometimes once a fortnight if we are lucky and they live really close.

I was told off for offering one piece of advice early on, never again. Told off for taking too many pictures of her. I offered my time in the early months to help out but was told they dont need or want any help. I got told off for buying her too much when she was born and at Christmas and made to feel really really uncomfortable about it. Even though they were happy for us to purchase all the nursery equipment and prams etc. I have been made to feel like a monster for wanting to be part of her life. I was even told my expectations of being a grand parent were ridicuous. My only expectation was that we would be part of her life and not exlcuded from almost everything.

We cant just ring and say can we pop over to see them all, we almost have to have an appointment to visit (or thats how it feels anyway). This is fine because we respect that they have their own lives to lead and my son works very hard but if we dont contact them, they dont contact us and we would never see them. The excitement of being a grandparent and all that entails has now become very sad.

There is a lot more to it than this but too much to write. I just want to know whether our experience is normal and if not what can we do about it.

Bex52 Tue 22-Apr-14 15:15:48

Thanks everyone for your messages. I think I know what I have to do in my head, its just my heart is telling me otherwise. This is such a great networking site.

grannyactivist Tue 22-Apr-14 15:17:29

Bex I meant that it seems to be only you who is making the effort to keep the relationship going. If they have little contact with others in your family (do you have no other children?) then perhaps it's not a personal slight so much as they're very private perhaps? As the little one grows older I hope the situation will naturally ease, but in the meantime I think you just need to do what you can to hang on in there. flowers

harrigran Tue 22-Apr-14 18:45:06

What comes across on here is that you feel you have a right to do certain things and you mentioned turning up at the hospital after the birth. In my book that is a big no - no, you visit when invited to after the mother is rested.
I am Gran of DS's children and I get to look after them but I have been told off for buying too many toys and have taken them home again, they get them at my house. I make myself available to help but I don't turn up when I feel like it, they have busy lives.
I did have my MIL in the house while I had my last baby ( born at home ) and she was a Godsend, DH declined to attend the birth.

annodomini Tue 22-Apr-14 19:25:42

The last person I would have wanted to see right after the birth of DS1 was my MiL - and FiL. Even my own mum didn't come down (from Yorkshire to Devon) until, after almost a week, I was sent home. Having said that, I would never have rebuffed any offer of help from either quarter. Both sets of parents lived a long way off. As we do from ours and so do all the other GPs.

Bex52 Tue 22-Apr-14 20:55:16

Maybe I just think differently to many people . My MIL has always been very much involved from the moment my children were born and was never made to feel in anyway different to my own mother. I do understand that it is natural to want your own mother when you have a child for advice etc. but I also think it is equally important for the parents of the father to be involved also. The baby is after all as much our grandchild. I don't have any rights nor have I turned up unexpected anywhere. They knew I was coming to the hospital and didn't tell me not to, if they had I would have respected that decision.. Thanks for all the good advice though I have taken it on board.

J52 Tue 22-Apr-14 21:15:18

Bex52: you are quite right about the importance of both sets of grandparents. I accommodated my MIL's, sometimes demanding, requests and visits. However, times have changed and moved on in family structures and young mothers have a different view of the world. What has not changed is the overwhelming love we feel when we see our grandchildren for the first time. It is akin to when we see our own babes. Our DILs are unaware of these feelings, why should they be, they are coping with their own!
Bide your time, you will be part of things eventually. Our 4 year old GD loves and requests the occasional visit to us because it is different and fun. The babes are still parent and other GP bound. They will eventually request their fun visits. X

Bex52 Tue 22-Apr-14 21:29:02

Thank you J52. You have been very helpful. X

RedheadedMommy Wed 23-Apr-14 18:18:39

As a DIL, i'd try to build some bridges with her. Giving advice to a new mum is risky. I was was given so much 'advice' i wanted to scream ' let me do it MY way!'

Whilst they knew you was coming to the hospital, you didnt wait for an invite, you just turned up. That is not fair on your DIL at all. Do you remember what is like to give birth? And all the other horrible stuff that follows? sad i would of been horrified.

And no. You cant just 'ring and pop round' when you feel like it, because tbh, that also isn't fair on your DIL and SIL. I have a baby. My house aswell as myself are a mess. I don't really have time to eat. Let alone tidy up, iron, hoover, etc. I wouldn't want anyone just poppin in.

How far does your family live? Is it a few hours? Traveling with a baby isn't fun. Do they offer to visit your SIL and DIL?

You said you've already had words and not got off on the right foot. You said something and then your SIL told his wife what you said about her? You seem like you want your DGD all to yourself, even though your DIL isn't comfortable with that.
You said they moaned at you for buying too much for the baby. Did you buy pretty much everything? Like, there was nothing left for then to buy?

She has already told you she feels like 'the oven'
My MIL made me feel like that. She spoke about me behind my back and would go in a strop when things wasn't about her. We don't see her anymore.

Please don't be offended by what i have said. Please have a good think and put yourself in DILs shoes.

BetterNotBitter Thu 24-Apr-14 18:49:52

Just to play devils advocate. .....from a dil point of view.

I may be wrong, but the way your comments read it sounds like you attribute these issues only to your dil. Unless your son is a complete pushover then I think its worth bearing in mind that he surely has input into the way your relationship with them is going. Im pointing this out because the way youre coming across is quite hostile towards your dil and perhaps youre also coming across this way to her and your son?

It does sound like your dil has been ott with her criticism, ie the way youre sitting etc. However therr are 2 sides to every story and it may be necessary for you to try hard to see it from her perspective, even if you dont agree with it, in order to try and rescue your relationship.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 24-Apr-14 18:53:10

Have we got visitors from Mumsnet? smile (very welcome ones of course)

BetterNotBitter Thu 24-Apr-14 18:58:56

Just an after thought,

A lot of what you say does sound like youre very focussed on getting the baby to yourself etc. There is nothing more off putting for a new mother than somepme who continually wants to take your baby from you. Grandparent or not.

My inlaws, like you, insisted there was nothing wrong with the way they behaved when our baby was small. Eventually there continued awful behaviour led to my husband deciding he wanted nothing else to do with them, as they were not willing to listen or try and change things. (This is, as you can imaginr a very brief version of events). What im trying to say is that in order to make sure your relationship with them doesnt break down to an irreparable state, you may want to consider softening your approach a little even if you feel thats "backong down". If it keeps you im their life its surely worth it, as no contact is truly awful for everyone involved. Good luck!

thatbags Thu 24-Apr-14 20:36:43

Bex, what you have written is all about what you want, what you feel you have a right to and so on. This baby is not yours. Step back. Perhaps grandparent involvement is what you are used to and that's why you expect it for yourself, but plenty of parents like to have time to establish their own family 'space' without anyone else offering gifts or advice or anything else.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 24-Apr-14 20:37:34

What on earth makes you think * Bex52 * wants the baby to herself?! I read it that she would just like to be allowed to be a hands-on granny every now and again.

Not too much to ask. hmm

And how do you know how soft or otherwise Bex52's approach to the parents is? Why do you say she should "soften" her approach?

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 24-Apr-14 20:39:08

Bags the baby is eleven months! They have had time to establish their own "family space". And surely that space could include a granny. hmm

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 24-Apr-14 20:40:28

Quoting OP "Even though they were happy for us to purchase all the nursery equipment and prams etc"

Not totally averse to gifts then.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 24-Apr-14 20:41:58

Too much navel gazing amongst young mothers these days. I blame Mumsnet for a lot of it too.

thatbags Thu 24-Apr-14 20:42:05

I wasn't suggesting that she wants the baby to herself, but it seems to me that seeing a grandchild once a month is just fine and is nothing to complain about.

thatbags Thu 24-Apr-14 20:44:59

We don't know how insistent the paternal GPs were about supplying the nursery equipment. Could be it was just easier to let them buy the stuff than argue about it. We don't know.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 24-Apr-14 20:46:12

'ang on Bags! That bit of my post was to BetternotBitter. 9or the other way round0

thatbags Thu 24-Apr-14 20:46:36

I'm not willing to blame young parents when I've only heard the mother-in-law's limited version of the lie of the land. Sorry, bex, but it would be the same if you were the young mum complaining about her mother-in-law.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 24-Apr-14 20:47:37

What, even though they live realy close? Seems odd to me.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 24-Apr-14 20:47:59

that was about seeing the baby once a month

thatbags Thu 24-Apr-14 20:49:58

Doesn't seem odd to me. I never saw my grandparents that often; my kids never saw their grandparents that often; I don't see my grandkids that often. Mind you, it is because of physical distances between in all cases, not emotional distances. But still... some people feel crowded easily, specially by what feels from their point of view like pushiness.

thatbags Thu 24-Apr-14 20:50:42

The most important phrase in my last post is "from their point of view".

RedheadedMommy Thu 24-Apr-14 21:41:29

What is classed as a 'Hands on granny?'

OP is seeing her DGC every month or once every 2 weeks. That is normal surely?
She is included in the 'family space'

OP already has had a fall out with DIL, she has turned up to the hospital after giving birth un invited and she is abit miffed that she can't just 'pop round' to see DGC when SHE feels like it.
If my MlL was acting like that i'd be having words with my DH telling her to back off.

All we have heard is the 'MIL's' side. Not the DILs. We dont know what the 'there is alot more to this' means. What else has happened? How do DIL and SIL see her action?