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Insecure & Totally Paranoid-Daughter & Grandson

(23 Posts)
icbn2802 Wed 18-Feb-15 21:42:38

I am grandparent to one beautiful little boy, almost a year old.
I have a good relationship with my daughter & son-in-law. They visit me frequently and I regularly have the opportunity to look after him when they are working. On the outside everything would appear to be pretty much perfect and balanced.
However, I've been struggling with a few issues & insecurities. These come about when my own mum is involved.
I feel that my daughter is closer to my mum than me and it makes me feel so sad. I cannot think of any occasion that my daughter has visited me that my own mum hasn't appeared on the scene. I'm lucky to get 10 minutes with my daughter before my mum's tapping on the door and I feel starts taking over. I think my daughter has more time for my mum than she does me and that hurts like hell. I can't say anything to anyone, I fear loyalties becoming divided and me losing out!
I try to behave in a respectful way, allowing my daughter to live her own life with her own little family with some privacy. But feel whilst I am stepping backwards, giving my daughter 'space' my mum is stepping into where my shoes were. My mum knows everything going on in my daughters life and I am always learning things via her.
If we go out somewhere, mum's the one pushing the baby, whilst I lag behind almost feeling in the way.
Really struggling with this whole situation because as upset as I often feel I feel guilty as hell, running down my own mum, which just isn't right.
Any advice would be appreciated, thankyou

Otw10413 Wed 18-Feb-15 21:51:31

The road of Grandparent and Grandchild is about as magical as human life gets. You are just starting down that path and your Mother has probably, thanks to your very good nature, been allowed to nurture a very special relationship with your daughter and vice-versa. I can only say that from the outside, your family life and ties sound idyllic and they are probably strong enough for you to ask your Mother for tips about how she managed to forge such a wonderful relationship with your daughter. She will probably get the hint when the issue of time comes up. Probably time for a friendly heart to heart with all the generations. Be warned, don't let the longing for more time rob you of what you already share. I wish you

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 18-Feb-15 21:57:42

Sometimes the forum names on here sound like a strange sect talking to each other.

Leticia Wed 18-Feb-15 22:15:52

Can't you just talk to your daughter about it? Do you know how she feels? Perhaps she finds it very trying too. Was it like that before she had a child?

soontobe Thu 19-Feb-15 08:32:57

Where does your mum live in relation to you and your daughter?
And how does your mum know when you have the granddaughter?

gillybob Thu 19-Feb-15 08:33:52

Can't you just tell your mother to back off a little icbn ? She had her time/chance at playing the doting grandma. Perhaps she is wishing she had made more time for your daughter when she was small and is now trying to make up for it via her great grandchild.

Anya Thu 19-Feb-15 08:44:48

For heavens sake! You are making yourself into a victim.

Why simply lag behind if your mother is pushing the baby? Instead take a bit of control and use the opportunity to talk to your daughter. Or you push the buggy if it matters that much. Just say 'my turn now' and do it.

How does your mother know when your daughter visits you? Do you tell her or is it a regular time?

Leticia Thu 19-Feb-15 08:55:07

I agree that you need to be more assertive. They are your closest blood relatives- tell them both what you think! They both seem to be taking you completely for granted- break the pattern!

Leticia Thu 19-Feb-15 09:01:03

It must mean that your mother visits when she feels like it without warning and always has. Tell her that you need a call first- it isn't always convenient.
I can't see why you can't just take the buggy with and say 'new grandmother's turn now!' with a smile.
The sad fact is that if you act like a doormat people treat you like one.
I think if you were to be more assertive (in a pleasant, friendly manner) you would have a much improved relationship with both.

etheltbags1 Thu 19-Feb-15 13:56:45

I feel similar. My mother lives 2 doors away and she knows that I have dgd certain times but I still ring her and say the little one is here. I feel guilty as my mother is 83 and not likely to live to an age when dgd can have any memories. My mother is very dominant and bossy with us but with dgd she is super, kind and loving, if a little bit strict with her.
I tend to let her get on with it so she can enjoy being with dgd but sometimes I think I would just like to be alone with her. for example I put the tv on and we watch kids stuff together, my mother comes in and starts to sing nursery rhymes over the top of the tv, if I switch it off she looks offended. I just cant win but as long as dgd is happy and well looked after that's what matters.

etheltbags1 Thu 19-Feb-15 13:59:36

btw does anyone know if its useful or not to 'bargain with 2 year olds, my mother says things like ' if you eat your greens/bread/meat etc you can have some pudding/yoghurt etc after'. Or, if you don't get dressed/washed etc you cant watch tv. I personally think that 2 is too young to bargain but that is apparently the way it was done 50 years ago. anyone gat any advice.

gillybob Thu 19-Feb-15 14:14:30

Sound familiar ethelbags1 my dad was horrible when my sister and I were children. He was very strict. He picked on stupid things and I was always glad when he was on nightshift. He wasn't much better as a grandfather but since my own grandchildren have come along he has had some sort of mental awakening (or perhaps a secret brain transplant) that has turned him into super-grandad. Sometimes I want to laugh out loud when I hear him say things like "they are only children" or "children are meant to make a mess" or noise or whatever.

I agree that as long as the DGC are happy that is what matters most. smile

Anya Thu 19-Feb-15 14:48:42

ethelbags yes, I bargained with my GC at that age. So long as it's a simple choice they soon get it. I'd tend to stick to positives where possible such as 'when you've put the Lego away you can watch TV'.

Two choices are enough though 'baked beans or peas (with your sausage)?
I sometimes hear modern parents offering too many choices.

Leticia Thu 19-Feb-15 17:05:43

It would be interesting to know from OP if this is a new thing or did her mother take over when she had her DD?
If she let her take over all those years ago then it is not surprising that she is doing it again.
Does her DD just put up with it or does she find it all too much too?

loopylou Thu 19-Feb-15 17:19:49

In Waitrose yesterday Anya an increasingly harassed and voluble mother was trying to make a little girl chose a birthday card. I guess the 2or 3 year old really didn't give a monkeys but the mother was persistent. the fact that no one else could get anywhere near the card stand was immaterial to her.
The argument was still going on when I left the store 10 minutes later!
Poor child.......
Mine were bargained with in a similar way to you, usually where food was concerned!

Otw10413 Thu 19-Feb-15 18:13:04

Dear icon,
Has any of this helped ?

jeanie99 Fri 20-Feb-15 01:06:42

Can gr grandma have the little one while you and your daughter have some time together.

Rowantree Sat 28-Feb-15 23:20:58

I can empathise with your feelings. Sometimes you might feel guilty about feeling as you do. It's jealousy, born of insecurity, and it really really hurts. Ask me how I know: I'm the queen of jealousy, however illogical and unreasonable I might know it is.
It makes you feel guilty because she's your mum and you don't feel you can assert yourself over her for fear of looking childish and betraying your feelings. So you're stuck! Shame keeps you that way.

I wonder how close you are to your mum and whether you can arrange to have a chat with her about how bad you're feeling. She probably has no idea and would be mortified. It takes courage to admit to feelings which are uncomfortable but I believe it's worth taking the risk.
You could say that you've been looking forward to being a grandparent for so long, but your feelings are that she is taking more of a grandparent role than you are and though you are very happy that she has such a lovely relationship with your DD and GC, you are feeling rather sidelined and it's making you feel sad and left out. Ask her for help in this; say you'd like you both to find a way to move forwards so you feel more like a grandmother and less like an also-ran when you are all together.

I am feeling similarly jealous, though in my case I KNOW I am being unreasonable. I've seen on Facebook that my DD posted that she, her partner and her baby daughter) had a lovely happy day with my father, stepmum, brother and my brother's family. Nothing odd about that, is there? So why did I get a terrible pang of sadness and jealousy? I thought they were only seeing my dad and stepmum and the thought that so many of the family were getting together without me and DH makes me feel like a child who's not been invited to a birthday party. I can hear some gransnetters mutter, 'FFS, woman, get over it and grow up!' but it still hurts even though I know it's unreasonable.
I know that with me it's insecurity leading to these painful feelings, but it wouldn't be reasonable of me to voice them. Your situation is different - and I think you could well feel some relief to admit to your mum how you are feeling and enlist her support and compassion in helping you to sort this out. Good luck! flowers

Mishap Sun 01-Mar-15 14:29:55

When I bargain with the GC I try to make it in a positive way - "When we've tidied up the toys we will go and get the ice cream from the freezer" - rather than "If you don't tidy the toys then you can't have an ice cream."

Soutra Sun 01-Mar-15 16:18:55

Facebook has a lot to answer for!

Deedaa Sun 01-Mar-15 18:57:33

DD read an article about different types of mother. I can't remember them all but there was the Manager Mother who finds babies difficult because they don't do things to order and won't stick to timetables, and the Negotiating Mother who bargains and oils the wheels generally. We decided we were both negotiators.

annodomini Sun 01-Mar-15 19:31:43

You might add the 'doormat' mother who lets her infant's every whim dominate her life! Not that I was ever one of those.

FlicketyB Mon 02-Mar-15 17:32:29

icbn2802 I think the problem lies between you and your mother not between your mother and your daughter. I get the impression that your mother has perhaps always dominated you and pushed you into second place and you have let her do it.

You need to quietly assert your authority as the grandmother and step in first to push the pram and make it clear to your mother that she only visits when invited or by prior arrangement.

I suspect that you may well find this difficult. You could seek counselling or sign up for an assertiveness class. Many technical colleges and the like run classes in all kinds of life skills including assertiveness. You could search online or inquire at your local library about such courses.