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Not being appreciated/taken for granted

(18 Posts)
AmeliaB Wed 03-Sep-14 03:15:13

I am a new first time grandmother. My granddaughter is 3 weeks old. My daughter is 24 and lives at home with myself, husband and teen sister. I have completely provided all of my daughters needs and wants for her new daughter/my granddaughter. In addition, I have been there for her in every way from all prenatal care, to delivery, and for the first two weeks post delivery. The beginning, of the 3rd week, is when I decided and needed to take some me time, but still have been doing lots for daughter and granddaughter.
I just got into a huge argument with my daughter because she has accused me of not being there for her this past week.
At this point, I want to put a halt on all help and let her see and feel how much I have been doing. Let her do it all on her own. I feel why should I do anything, when it doesn't even matter.
My question can I do this and still love and do for my granddaughter (like holding her so she isn't stressed or crying while mom makes bottles, etc)?
Any advice for this desperate new grandmother would be appreciated.

Scooter58 Wed 03-Sep-14 08:44:31

Can't help much with advice but just want to say I sympathise with you,I have been through this and still am dealing with it on a regular basis,seems at times you can't do right for doing

littleflo Wed 03-Sep-14 09:02:00

I would ask if this is how your daughter is generally i.e. before she got pregnant. If not, it is probably all the hormones racing around that are making her a little unreasonable. Is she a single parent perhaps? Is she overwhelmed by the responsibility before her? Now is not the time to set new ground rules, but when she is in a little more in control of her emotions you can talk about what you both expect of each other.

I am sure she really does appreciate what you do, and if you show patience and understanding during these first 8 weeks, you can ease her off being so dependent on you with a very clear conscience.

Enjoy your granddaughter and your daughter, there are so many threads on here about grandparents being separated from children and grandchildren. I expect many of them started when thoughtless, unkind words were said in moments of great stress.

I hope this has been of some help. My daughter and boyfriend lived with us during her pregnancy and for 4 months after her son was born. We were squeezed into a tiny three bedroom house and my youngest son was also at home. That baby is now 20 and my daughter always has told him how grateful she was to us and what a pain she must have been.

Elegran Wed 03-Sep-14 09:36:22

You need regular time away from your daughter and baby, and she needs regular time when she is in sole charge and coping. At 24 she is not an adolescent schoolgirl but a grown woman, old enough to be a good parent. It is natural to be anxious, but it is her child, and she is the carer.

It would be harsh to cut off all help suddenly, but you could build in time to do what you want and insist on it.

Look on it as a kind of weaning - you would gradually increase the amount of solid food a baby had and decrease the amount of milk. Your daughter needs a gradual decrease in the amount of time that she is a dependent child with you as the responsible adult, and an increase in the amount of time that you are absent and she is the responsible adult.

Don't rush it, but do move steadily to the point where she is confident to be left alone to cope with this little life. We have all had to grow up a lot when we first became parents. she is lucky to have you as back-up.

RedheadedMommy Wed 03-Sep-14 10:09:03

Does she have the baby on her own or is she allways 'busy'..does she cry alot? Think shes a bad mum?
She might have a touch of PND or baby blues.
Hormones are crazy things.

My mom was a saint, and i mean a saint..she deserved a medal when i had my DD1.
I was an anxious, hormonal mess. I did have PND though and she was amazing. Even at 3am when I was sobbing at home..she came to my house to looked after my DD1 for me whilst my DH made sure i was ok. No one knew I had PND. Just baby blue, hormones etc...
This went on for MONTHS!

I needed my mom. I cant explain how much. If she decided to leave me to it, it would of broken me.

This is just one side obviously! Could be somthing different. Need abit more about your DD but thought i'd just mention the.PND smile

HildaW Wed 03-Sep-14 12:58:09

To be honest my first thoughts were that your daughter is in the early stages of learning to be a Mother and she will not be able to do this if you are always hovering around her and stepping in when you think she needs help. She has got to find her role first and then recognise, for herself, where she needs help.
My other observation is that its perfectly alright for babies to cry, its what they do to express themselves. Many of us brought up perfectly happy healthy babies on our own (even loving husbands have to go to work) and our babies, if shown love and care, learned to recognise that sometimes Mum needed to be elsewhere for a few minutes or so.
My final thought is that Motherly love is unconditional....we just do it and if we go around expecting acknowledgement or even thanks we will always be on the back foot. My children know I love them and I know they love me....once in a while they will do or say something that makes my heart swell with pride and love. A home-made card from a GS, a brief 'love you Mum' over the phone or an unplanned flying visit 'just because I wanted to see you'.
Relax, step back and let your daughter make a few not make her feel like you are watching or judging her (I know you are not....but that's just how it feels to her)
Being a Grandma is a long haul, a lovely lifetime occupation, do not spoil this precious early days by being too eager and anxious.

rosequartz Wed 03-Sep-14 13:31:46

Good advice on here, especially from Elegran re 'weaning' the help gradually.

I was left suddenly with a very fretful DD1 after DP went home after a month and DH had gone away for months with work. I didn't know how I was going to cope without my DM, but they lived far away so I just had to get on with it.

Let her gradually do more as you do less. You have got your other daughter to think of too, and to make sure she doesn't feel sidelined, as well as DH and yourself.

AmeliaB Wed 03-Sep-14 15:05:11

OMG, all of your comments, and suggestions are going to be so helpful.

I feel I can talk to her this morning with a plan on how to move forward.

Your time and advice is very much appreciated.


FlicketyB Wed 03-Sep-14 17:14:04

If she is old enough to have a baby, she is old enough to look after it without extra help and care for you. That is the principle. Having said that, all of us want to give our children all the help they may need when a baby appears, but that help is a willing given bonus by us. Not a right they can demand as your daughter is doing.

However some women do take time, for hormonal reasons, to return to an being mentally on an even keel, so make allowances now, but in time make it absolutely clear that it is her child and her responsibility and help is, as I said, a gift, not a right.

Nelliemoser Wed 03-Sep-14 17:52:55

AmeliaB I think it is not unusual to have these stresses in your situation with your daughter living at home. She might feel she cannot be "in charge" as its not her home.

She is in your house and possibly reverting to being a child of the family again and you might have unconsciously dropped back into the role of caring for her as if she was a child.

She will be tired and full of hormones and might be worried about the enormity of the task of looking after her baby. She needs support but she also needs to know that she is the mother and needs to take responsibility
for her child.

You naturally want to enjoy your grandchild and help out but you must work out some limits about who does what and who pays for what.

Have you thought about how much you were doing for her before the baby arrived?
Has she ever "stood on her own two feet" since leaving school or have you always been too generous towards her.
Which of you has most hands on the baby time?

Find a quiet time to sit down and talk to her calmly about about how you are finding this situation exhausting.

HildaW has put it well. The combined ideas of the different GNrs might help you to get a better perspective on what is going on.

Good luck with this.

rosequartz Wed 03-Sep-14 19:42:25

You could be there but 'not there' if you see what I mean.

You could try letting her get on with it now, after two weeks, but say to her that you are there if she needs you. Can you go into another room and do something else rather than disappearing altogether out of the house? Just say 'If you need a hand with DGD then call me' but go and do whatever else needs doing or go into the bathroom and have a nice soak.

At one time 24 was about the normal age to start a family, but today we all think it is very young.

You haven't mentioned the child's father and I wonder if she is worrying about this as well. Perhaps he is not being supportive and she is feeling this more than she says.

JonFlorrie Thu 04-Sep-14 20:17:14

Three weeks is such a short time really, but if you are all tired then it seems ages. The main thing is for her not to think she is all on her own, and for you to think you have no support (though this thread has shown that so many people understand what you are going through). I'd start by having a regular time out for yourself, even just an afternoon out of the house so that your daughter has to get on with it herself. We don't always get the thanks we deserve, and really it means so much more than gifts or blazing lights. A little appreciation goes a long way and your daughter may show this more when she feels more in control of being a mother herself. Good luck!

Purpledaffodil Thu 04-Sep-14 21:40:42

I think we all take what we have for granted. I was in a similar position four years ago and felt quite aggrieved that I was doing so much for DD and DGS without much appreciation I felt. In hindsight she was just accepting the status quo. I was her mother and that was what I did. Whereas I was remembering how much I had to do on my own as a young mother.
After 3 months she and baby went abroad to start a new life with her now ex husband. Since then she has returned and has a very busy life. I still support her when needed, but have never again felt unappreciated as she knows what it's like to struggle alone. And of course the bonus is a lovely close relationship with my dear GS
Good luck AmeliaB it will get better! flowers

Eloethan Fri 05-Sep-14 00:12:06

Sometimes I think mums can do too much and then all the help given is seen as a "right". I have seen this with a friend of mine whose daughter, I think, really took advantage. In the long run, it didn't help her daughter as she became too reliant on my friend to look after the baby, change and feed him, do all the cooking, etc. etc.

When my friend had to attend to a family emergency and was unavailable for a few weeks, miraculously her daughter managed to do all the things she had previously been unable to cope with.

I think it would be a bit drastic to suddenly withdraw your support entirely, as your daughter has got used to your help and may feel overwhelmed. That, in turn, may leave her tired and irritable, which could affect her relationship with the baby. It's good to give a helping hand now and then, but not too much as you will end up exhausted and very resentful - not good for either you or your daughter.

I hope things soon settle down.

sparkygran Fri 05-Sep-14 08:44:30

There is little I can add to what has already been said only that it is very early days and hormones are flying everywhere. Choose a quiet time and talk to your DD and I`m sure everything will settle down she is very lucky to have you so hang on in there. flowersbrewcupcake

tootie2208 Sat 06-Sep-14 07:07:19

Hi , you are in a predicament,but just because you stop doing so much for your daughter does not mean you cannot still have your time with your grand daughter.Maybe take time out with the baby, take her out for a walk to the park or to visit a friend while mum is home doing some mum jobs , hope this helps. I have 11 grandchildren and often feel like I am in between the devil and the deep blue sea on many occasions, but it is the grand children that come first in my eyes, and always remember that us grandmothers are special to the little ones. Hope it works out for you.

vampirequeen Sat 06-Sep-14 08:29:41

She's 24 and if she was living in her own home she'd have to cope.

I know she's probably tired but that's what happens when you have a baby. Talk to her. She needs to bond with her baby and that won't happen if she gets you or others to do so much child care.

I'm not saying never help. Give her a break every so often. Let her get some sleep if she's had a particularly bad night. I know it's horrible but at the end of the day it's her baby and having a baby takes over your life. You've done your stint of 24/7 childcare. This baby is her responsibility.

Obviously if she has PND she'll need more help but she still has to look after her child.

Aka Sat 06-Sep-14 08:41:11

Whatever you do or don't do remember she is your daughter and this is your granddaughter. Take it slowly and use the opportunities to build deeper bonds with both. It would be so easy for tempers to get frayed during these early days.

Things will get easier for both of you and when they do you do not want either of you looking back on these times as days of stress and resentment, but rather a time when you were there for each other.