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Found out that I have grandchildren!

(75 Posts)
janematt12 Sat 02-Aug-14 15:48:00

Hello everyone. I am in such a state right now and could really use some kind words/advice.

My son married two years ago, we had a close family bond for a long time but he always felt like the black sheep. We got on well with his partner initially and she seemed like a positive influence, he came out of his shell a bit more because she is a strong character. I was glad about this because he used to be shy and ended up being a doormat, she encouraged him to stick up for himself. But he became more distant from us over time and they moved away. They like to be private which I don't understand, I wish they would tell me what is going on in their lives. This lead to many arguments within the family and we didn't think we would be invited to their wedding but we were, although my daughter wasn't.

Their wedding was in our hometown and they returned to their city soon after, we barely hear from them even at Xmas etc. I don't think I have the correct number for them anymore. I know they have visited our hometown to see friends and so on, but we haven't seen them for two years.

Anyway, I was out for lunch earlier this week with my daughter (who my son detests and didn't invite to the wedding) and my mum (his gran) and we saw my daughter-in-law with two children! She came into the same restaurant to meet a friend with a boy approx 18 months and a newborn baby. My mum went over and DIL confirmed they were her little ones, "daddy is at work so we're having a day out". DIL didn't turn around or acknowledge me or my daughter at all.

This is a complete shock to me. I knew my relationship with my son/DIL was strained, but not this much. I really don't know what to do, please help.

janematt12 Sat 02-Aug-14 21:25:54

Smileless, DIL didn't know I was there. My mum went over and spoke with her, she was with a friend so mum didn't stay long to interrupt. I'm kicking myself that I didn't go over, but I couldn't quite process what was happening!

DIL confirmed that they were both ok, speaking of her and my son. She had no children before meeting my son and they have been married for 2 years.

DIL has always had the attitude that she deals with her family, my son deals with his. So I can only assume that she doesn't want to be involved in his conflict, obviously they support each other but DIL doesn't want to overstep the mark.

Mishap Sat 02-Aug-14 21:31:07

If the conflict is with your son, it is understandable that DIL does not want to get involved. She must be in a difficult situation.

Your son should have told you about the GC and you must be feeling very hurt. As someone else has said, it is not just who and your OH who are missing out, but the GC too. What a shame.

janematt12 Sat 02-Aug-14 21:37:49

DIL is not my biggest fan, but if it weren't for her putting her foot down I doubt we would have been invited to the wedding. But it's hard to know what to do here, my son is being immature by not telling us about GC. I have no way of contacting them, unless I wait a few months until DIL next visits and hope I bump into her

Deedaa Sat 02-Aug-14 21:42:43

There's nothing as weird as families. one of my aunts lived at home with her mother and sisters and never bothered to mention that she had got married until she eventually got pregnant and went off to live with her husband! There had been no problems or arguments and it was a very close family but she was rarely heard from after that.

janematt12 Sat 02-Aug-14 21:58:14

I'm sure their argument would be that GC aren't missing out if they never knew us.

rubylady Sun 03-Aug-14 02:13:18

I'm so sorry for you Jane. I know how you feel or can sympathise with you. My DD has told me not to attend her wedding next year as I was upset that she wanted me to have no part in it. Again, her fella has no parents now, her dad doesn't see her so I am the only parent/grandparent to their two sons. I have tried my best, with disabilities to make up and compensate for the fact that I am the only parent. But to no avail sadly. She didn't want me to walk her down the aisle, no speeches, no top table. I was expected to be just a guest, probably because they are paying for it all themselves. But they have had children first and I bought most of the nursery items plus clothes for her and the children. They can't have children first and then expect money for a wedding too. If they had got married first then I would have contributed, naturally and then offered to pay for just one item maybe of nursery ware. But she had me buying allsorts when she was pregnant and then, even though she had a pram for the first which was still good, she wanted me to buy another when baby no. 2 was on the way. I didn't. I have brought her up practically on my own from being a baby herself so it does hurt but I refuse now to keep hurting about this and am looking to get on with my own life. I can't change her. She wants to cut me off so be it. It is what it is.

I do feel for you though, it must have been a huge shock to discover that they had had children without your knowledge and then to relay that news to your husband and family. They don't know what they are doing. And the children, when they get older will mix with other children who have grandparents and be asking their mum and dad where theirs are? It is then up to them to either lie or tell them that they cut you off. If they want to lie to their own children, like my DD will do to hers over me (my oldest GS will remember me and my doggie probably), then this is their call. I know the truth, as you do.

It's a bloody sad state of affairs when our children who we have loved and nurtured no longer want us in their lives. I've just turned 50 and got nothing from them, not even a text. And she goes in for surgery next week. I really didn't want to give in and wish her well, but my heart wouldn't say no so I sent an e mail earlier. At least she can't say I haven't bothered.

Take some time out and come to terms with what has happened. Then think about the next step, but I really don't know what you can do if you have no number and did you say you don't know where they live now? Have you any idea where either work? Or through social media sites? My daughter said they were moving and I've asked for a forwarding address but nothing so far. Just look after yourselves, a big hug coming your way.

Nonu Sun 03-Aug-14 12:26:21

I was going to post what RUBY said in her 2nd paragraph.

What happens when they get older and Knowing how is the absence of G/P going to be explained ?

It is a very sad situation all round!

janematt12 Sun 03-Aug-14 12:58:48

Nonu, when they get older, we will have missed so much of their lives.

I have no way of contacting them, I feel so lost.

Nonu Sun 03-Aug-14 13:17:29

JANE that is very true and they will have missed having their G/P"s in their lives.

Again I will say it is so sad all the way round!

I know this is a LONG shot but you mentioned you bumped into her when you were in a restaurant, and she was meeting a friend. Is there ANY chance you could go there again several times and try to spot the friend.

Who then could act an intermediary !

I repeat this is a LONG shot.

A ((HUG)) for you

rosequartz Sun 03-Aug-14 13:32:41

This must all have come as a terrible shock and I do feel for you, Jane flowers

Perhaps the problem is more with your son, Jane, than with your DIL and she is abiding by his wishes to have no contact. She will not wish to go behind his back and meet you as that could cause conflict between them. However, I wonder if a handwritten letter sent to both of them, apologising for whatever went on in the past might be the way forward.
Even if you don't think you did anything wrong, your son obviously thought you or your DH did or he wouldn't have cut off contact.
Otherwise, could your DM write to them, saying how happy she was to meet her GGC and would love to see them again?
Is it worth a try?

janematt12 Sun 03-Aug-14 14:10:20

DIL's friend was an usher at their wedding, so I recognise him and may be able to get in touch with him. I am wary of getting someone else involved but it may be my only chance. He is a nice, reasonable guy by all accounts.

Yes rosequartz, I can only assume DIL doesn't want to overstep the mark. I know the way she thinks is that she deals with her family, my son deals with his. So even if she thought we should see GCs, she would let it ultimately be my son's decision.

My mum told me today that DIL mentioned they were thinking of having a naming ceremony for the newborn, but then got a bit shady, as if she'd realised she's said too much. This sums up the last few years with my son and DIL, they are so private and act as if they have something to hide!

Stansgran Sun 03-Aug-14 14:23:51

Rose I think your suggestion sounds good that the GM writes and suggests a very brief meeting when next in your town. Keep cool and don't overwhelm them with what might look like too much interference. Although my DD1 keeps distant I have the DGCs staying and my husband said to my surprise that they seem to need our input. Everyone except me seems to know my DD1 s plans. Knowledge is power and perhaps perversely they feel good that you don't know anything.

janematt12 Sun 03-Aug-14 14:26:07

I think this may be the case, Stansgran. We were among the last to receive an invite to their wedding, they let us find out from everyone else and then popped ours in the post. Little things like that, make us feel as if they have something to hide.

Elegran Sun 03-Aug-14 14:31:24

A short note, something on the lines that you are sorry you did not manage to say hello at the restaurant but maybe a coffee and catch-up sometime?

shysal Sun 03-Aug-14 14:50:28

Do you think it would be worth starting a little memory box or diary for each GC to give them if they choose to make contact when older? You could include photos of family occasions and places you have visited, and note how you have been thinking of them and wishing you could be in each others' lives. You will not know their birth dates, but each Christmas you could write a card and keep a little memento like a tree decoration.
I would feel very hurt in your position, I hope one day things will be resolved. flowers

TriciaF Sun 03-Aug-14 14:54:28

That's a very sad situation JaneMatt - I hope it's not a symptom of the breakup of extended family life, young families becoming more self centred etc.
Now that families don't always live in the same town, or country, we older folks seem to often get left out.
All I can suggest is that you let them know somehow that they're always welcome at your place, the door is always open for them.

janematt12 Sun 03-Aug-14 14:57:54

Update: my DD managed to help me find DIL on Facebook, but not my son. DD set up an account for me and I sent a message to DIL, for both of them.

"Dear [son] and [DIL],

Dad and I hope you are both well, we would love to catch up sometime. Gran was delighted to see [DIL] when you were out for lunch - she is smitten with your beautiful little ones and said you looked happy and well. This has given us a new perspective on things, you must be proud parents and we would love to be part of your lives again.

We would love the opportunity to chat with you both when you are back in town, it would be nice to hear how you are getting on. [Son], we understand you must have some feelings about how things were left and it would be lovely to put the animosity to bed. If you'd rather not discuss it, we can turn the page and start afresh. We will leave that for you to decide.

Don't hesitate to get in touch if you need anything, we are always here.

Love mum and dad xx"

janematt12 Sun 03-Aug-14 15:48:07

Received an almost immediate response from DIL saying "I'm afraid that's not going to happen."

janematt12 Sun 03-Aug-14 16:04:43

My son has now sent a message from his page...

You really haven't got the message have you, DON'T EVER HARASS MY WIFE. You're pathetic bringing this up on facebook!!!! [DIL] told me she saw gran the other day and unlike you gran doesn't stick her nose in she just wants us to be happy. Everything has been perfect since we moved to our new place, you say you just want to know we are ok and I can tell you now that we are. Get over yourself, the world doesn't revolve around you!!!! So what, you sudden want to change your ** ways now you know we have kids?? Get over it, this is my family not yours. Me and [DIL] are never going to let our children go through the same that we went through as kids, unlike you we are good parents. This is our business not yours!!! Before you start with all the guilt trip that we never told you about them, when my wife told me she was pregnant my first thought was for her not some people I haven't seen for years. When she was in hospital giving birth I was thinking of her and my son, why would I call you or anyone else??? So you can teach me how to be an interfering old C**T and ruin my kids lives? No thanks. You might call me your son but my wife and children are nothing to do with you this is our family. I know they need to be protected from you dad and [sister, my DD]. They'll never know you so they won't miss you, let me get on with my life.

jollyg Sun 03-Aug-14 16:27:32

Sadly serious issues here from your son.

As with posts here they are one sided.

Have you thought of going to a counsellor, but not easy to resolve with only one side.

Hope issues get sorted soon, but time does heal

Mishap Sun 03-Aug-14 17:24:17

"Me and [DIL] are never going to let our children go through the same that we went through as kids, unlike you we are good parents."

It must be very painful for you to read that Jane. But I am guessing that you do know what he is talking about - for him to feel so very strongly about this implies that either he is totally insane and irrational or something pretty serious has happened, whether as one incident or an ongoing problem.

Has he never talked to you about what this is all about? Were things OK t some point? Can you discern when the change happened and what might have precipitated it?

I do think that you might find counseling a help for lots of reasons. You may have no choice but to come to terms with the situation and move on, in which case a counselor might be able to help. Or you may deep down know what this is all about and be helped by getting it off your chest.

His unhappiness seems to be directed at not just you, but your OH and your DD - so there must be some common factor here, and only you can know what it is.

Your son must be suffering too in his own way to have such strength of feeling after so long; and as for your DIL, this must be a very difficult situation for her.

I really do think that you need an outside objective ear on this - someone to whom you can be absolutely transparent and honest, who can help you to get on with life and leave this painful business behind you.

I know that I felt unhappy about my children having too much contact with my parents, neither of whom were bad people, but they were in a bad marriage (at least from the point of view of being a child of the family) - their mind games were quite destructive as a child. However, my children did have contact with them and they proved to be better grandparents in the main than they were able to be parents, and I am glad that they had that opportunity.

But what I do remember very vividly is my strength of feeling about not wanting my own children to feel the same discomforts as I had growing up; so I feel something of your son's dilemma. It is not impossible, if I had let myself go, that I could have written something similar.

Rather than try and talk about things, it probably feels easier for him to just push you away and close the door on it all and get on with making his own way. I know that as an adult I never really confronted my parents with the problems of being brought up by them. On one occasion only when I had not contacted them for a while, they realised something was amiss, and I talked about the incident that had occurred in front of my children that had made me draw back. They were I think quite shocked and took pains not to let it happen again. I do not know whether they made the connection as to how I might have felt as a child on the many similar occasions. We certainly did not talk about it. They were both in their own ways decent human beings and I was given every material and educational opportunity - they were just a very bad mix - although they were very interdependent.

I think what I am trying to say is that this dreadful scenario does not necessarily mean that you are a bad person. There has been something about your son's relationship with you that has gone wrong, but you need to come away intact. This is why you need to have some outside help to get through this sad situation. I hope that you can move on and find some peace. There are times when we have to accept that things will never be as we might wish, but we find ways of moving on and getting on with our lives.

I send you every good wish.

KatyK Sun 03-Aug-14 17:36:23

He is very angry about something sad

rosequartz Sun 03-Aug-14 17:58:48

It is obvious that there are a lot of unresolved issues from his childhood and with his sister for some reason. Does she have any clue?

In the meantime I don't think there is any more you can do at the moment, but I do think that Shysal's idea of a memento box for each child could be a good idea, without putting into it anything controversial about you not being able to see them. Just cards, photos, love and other family memories which you could entrust to someone to give to them one day (even leave them with your will, perhaps?).

jollyg Sun 03-Aug-14 18:01:02

I avoid Facebook like the plague, ditto Twitter. Dont have accounts

There appears to be no security on these sites, but maybe Im dumb.

Lots of venom in your sons posts.

Can you put hand on heart and think where it all came from?

Sorry I have an analytical mind.

rosequartz Sun 03-Aug-14 18:04:51

I suggested a handwritten letter in an earlier post, but perhaps Facebook is the way people communicate these days.