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Son in law travelling while my daughter is expecting baby

(64 Posts)
DorothyL Tue 16-Jan-18 17:19:26

I've argued with daughter today as just found out her husband will be away abroad for a week and then again for a few days over the next 3 weeks.
My daughter is heavily pregnant with a transverse baby. They live in rural isolation (close to us her parents).
I'm angry because her husband took the decision to change his job after 12 years, knowing their baby was due exactly when his new job would start, and that this would necessitate him travelling at that time.
What this means is that my husband and I will be responsible for supporting my daughter at this late stage of her pregnancy, including getting her to hospital and getting medical help if she goes into labour early (which is a medical emergency for a transverse pregnancy).
We already help out with our 3 year old grandchild 5 days a week, and do school runs most days, plus help with practical stuff, shopping etc.
I think it's incredibly irresponsible of my son in law to change jobs at this moment in time. What makes it worse is they both know they can rely on us to take over his responsibilities (not for the first time - similar things have happened repeatedly over the years) and I feel very taken for granted.
Am I being unreasonable? I'd really appreciate feedback from other grandparents. Thank you so much.

Bellanonna Tue 16-Jan-18 17:43:07

Difficult one. If this was a chance for promotion then I can understand him changing jobs. It’s unfortunate that he has to travel for work at the same time as the birth is due. But this happens sometimes. I’m sure you’ll be able to support your daughter and hopefully his travels won’t keep him away too long. Please look forward to your new grandchild and don’t fall out with your daughter.

Nonnie Tue 16-Jan-18 17:44:54

I don't think it is up to you to comment on their domestic arrangements. Sorry but you probably don't know all the reasoning behind him taking the new job, they may well have made a joint decision.

Yes, you probably are being taken for granted but have you told your DD how you feel about that? How did this situation come about? They may think you like helping out as much as you do. They are lucky to have you but not if you are so full of resentment.

Now is not the time to discuss this with them, there is far too much going on.

Jalima1108 Tue 16-Jan-18 17:51:20

This makes me wonder how I ever managed with DH being away for months on end with work and no parents nearby to help, although they did come to stay when I was due. Does your DD work as well; is that why you have to help out so much? I could not have worked outside the home at that time but I know that so many young mothers have to do so these days to make ends meet.

Perhaps your SIL saw an opportunity with work that he just couldn't turn down although the timing is not the best.

Be kind to your DD, she does need your support and will probably be unhappy if you criticise her husband. It's a difficult one, perhaps if she is not working she will have to learn to organise herself and cope, if she does work then you may need to have a frank talk later on before she returns after maternity leave if you feel you can't continue to offer so much support.

But I don't think that now is the time, at the end of a difficult pregnancy.

Feelingmyage55 Tue 16-Jan-18 17:59:12

Has SIL been motivated to change jobs by arrival of second baby therefore thinking long term about the the family's prospects? Did the young family move close to you for support and did you encourage that - and you were a little younger then. Will your SIL take some leave when DS2 arrives. Think about the answers. Think also about the positives and the important part you play in DD's life. Now is not the time to discuss this with her but mull it over quietly with OH. Emotions will be running high and it is best to keep calm and carry on as normal for now. Emotional worry will not be good for DD. Knowing the baby is transverse, while concerning, means that the medics are well aware and will be looking out for her - better than not being prepared. The time will perhaps come when the extent of your role is reviewed, calmly, I hope. I have a feeling that once baby arrives safely and you are less worried about mum and baby you will feel more positive. I wish I had had a mum as supportive as you are. You sound wonderfully supportive, just needing to know you are not being taken for granted. I hope youwill update us.

SueDonim Tue 16-Jan-18 18:00:46

I don't understand why you've argued with your daughter about this. What's done is done and maybe your D and SIL are playing the long game regarding job situations in the future.

If you don't want to help out then you must tell them asap so that they can make other arrangements.

Nanabilly Tue 16-Jan-18 18:19:07

Did you want the sil to ask your permission to change his job ?
If you are so resentful of having to do school runs and other things then why do you do it and why on earth did you argue with your heavily pregnant daughter who probably now knows she cannot rely on you if she needs to in the next few weeks .
I think you behaved in an incredibly irresponsible way towards her .
Unreasonable ...yes you are .

paddyann Tue 16-Jan-18 18:28:32

another here who didnt have much input from my OH when I was pregnant as he was building a business for OUR security .That was our choice and I took my babies to work with me ,one at 8 days old.Sometimes work HAS to come first ,sad ..but unavoidable ,and as its a new job I wouldn't expect he'll get paternity leave either so if you aren't prepared to help you'd better let them know now so they can make other arrangements.In a perfect world it would all be different I'm sure ,we're a long way from that

NannyTee Tue 16-Jan-18 18:31:02

Gosh I don't want to sound judgemental but I wouldn't dream of arguing with my DD being heavily pregnant. Transverse baby or not. Just saying.

123flump Tue 16-Jan-18 18:31:44

I think starting an argument with your heavily pregnant daughter wasn't very nice. If she goes into labour I daresay she could phone for an ambulance.

MissAdventure Tue 16-Jan-18 18:34:58

There isn't anything to say who started the argument. They can spring up from anywhere. I wouldn't like it to be assumed that I would take up the slack, either. That said, a discussion would have been the way to go, before son in law accepted the job.

Lynnebo Tue 16-Jan-18 18:40:47

Please don't argue with your daughter. Keep your opinions on their arrangements to yourself, it's not your business.

willsmadnan Tue 16-Jan-18 18:42:41

Yes, you are being VV UR. I didn't read your post properly the first time and presumed SIL's promotion meant he would be away for several weeks if not months.
For cryin' out loud, where's he going... in search of the source of the Amazon?
I can't believe anyone could be so mean to their AC (and that comes from the original 'Hardhearted Hannah' as far as my offspring are concerned)
Transverse pregnancy??? My last baby went through 360 degrees on a weekly basis. Get a grip do !
Why did you agree to do so much for them in the first if you aren't prepared to go the extra
shock shock ... and more shock

rubysong Tue 16-Jan-18 18:43:17

Lots of people are in this position. My DH was in the Royal Navy and away through most of my first pregnancy. All our family were 400 miles away. My mother came to stay the week before I was due and DH managed to get home at the last minute (200 miles), he was then called back to his ship a week later (after mother had gone back home). Everything was fine. I'm sure your DD will be fine, with your support.

MissAdventure Tue 16-Jan-18 18:43:34

Of course something that imposes on Dorothy's time is her business.

willsmadnan Tue 16-Jan-18 18:45:39

Laptop got me ' places' in the wrong place blush. Just shows how dumbfounded I am!

Jalima1108 Tue 16-Jan-18 18:51:23

They live in rural isolation (close to us her parents).
You seem to do a lot for your DD and if you are isolated and there is no-one else around perhaps your SIL feels rather 'overtaken' by DD's family and has chosen a job which may take him away from time to time?

Going away for a week is not that long compared to the separations that some couples have had to cope with because of work commitments.

grannyactivist Tue 16-Jan-18 18:53:42

It's the being taken for granted that bothers you isn't it Dorothy? May I suggest that you address this after the baby is born? Your daughter and son-in-law need support just now and emotions will be running high with the changes that are afoot in their lives. I suspect that many of our adult children continue to rely on us to help them in times of need and it looks like you're doing your fair share, but if you no longer want to help out then I'd wait to have that discussion until times are more settled.

I too have a pregnant daughter and I shall be taking the two older children away for a week just before the baby is due and then moving in with them all until some considerable time after the birth. I'm delighted to be able to help out and like that my daughter takes it for granted that it's something I'm happy to do.

Grannyben Tue 16-Jan-18 18:56:34

Sometimes job opportunities don't come along that often so, perhaps, your dd and sil felt that this was their chance to improve their lot. I strongly suspect they are also thinking it could have been timed better but they only had two choices, turn it down and perhaps not get the chance again for perhaps years or, go for it and depend on the help of mum and dad.
I bet your dd is feeling awful that her husband is going to be away at such a difficult time. Now you have argued with her over it.
If it was me, I would apologise and say you were a bit stressed out. I appreciate you feel taken for granted but perhaps now isn't the time to make a stand.
Could you press on just little longer then, when the little one has arrived safely and your dd is back on her feet you could give some thought as to how you can reduce your commitments to her once her husband is back home

GracesGranMK2 Tue 16-Jan-18 19:03:10

I'm sure if you don't want to help in the way that you do they will make other arrangements. I really can't see your problem. It's their life and this is what they have decided to do.

Yes, I do think you were being unreasonable. What if she'd married someone in the forces - then there might be times it would be worth worrying but still not worth upsetting your "heavily pregnant with a transverse baby" presumably dearly loved daughter.

Christinefrance Tue 16-Jan-18 19:09:32

I agree with Grannyben now is not the time to to air your feelings. Once the baby is here and your son in law is settled in his job then you can discuss reducing the help you are giving. These things tend to creep up on us before we realise what has happened.
Hope everything goes well with the new baby.

Jalima1108 Tue 16-Jan-18 19:11:01

You have made yourself available by taking on more and more and the fact that they live near to you in 'rural isolation' would seem that you have never encouraged your DD to be independent and forge her own life with her husband and family.
I know that many grandparents help out these days out of necessity but your DD does seem to be overly dependent on you and your DH.

It may be time to loosen the apron strings, but not just yet as she will need your help for a while.

BlueBelle Tue 16-Jan-18 19:17:44

Unfortunately yes you’re being quite unreasonable
I was a service wife thousands of miles away from home in another country no family nearby a husband on duty and me a first time Mum with a breech baby on my own ( apart from doctors ) You are privileged to be living nearby and being able to help if you don’t want to help don’t help but don’t do it grudgingly There are many grans on here who don’t get the chance to even see their grandkids
It really is not of your business to row with your daughter about when your son in law changes jobs maybe the opportunity wouldn’t have come by again be happy he s working and providing for your grandkids
Be happy for them and do what you can, the time for helping is gone in a flash

Iam64 Tue 16-Jan-18 19:33:21

I agree with most of the posts here. The working and domestic arrangements your daughter and her partner make are their business. It isn't always easy to bite the tongue to avoid expressing judgements on their decisions but it's usually exactly what we need to do. Our adult children have a right to negotiate their relationships, their working lives and child care without us putting our judgey pants on and making their lives even more difficult than they are.
Men often feel/and indeed are, responsible for financially providing for their families. We shouldn't underestimate the pressure they feel as more children arrive.
I say this as a feminist, whose main sympathy would be with the mother who usually still carries responsibility for the emotional well being of the family, at the same time as being a mother, wife and daughter.
My mother came to my 60th birthday celebration. I feel blessed n to only to have had her for so long into my life but also, because she didn't interfere or pass judgement. My criticism may be, I sometimes wish she had! A mother's place is in the wrong and we'd do well to remember that and put our own feelings to one side, most of the time.

kittylester Tue 16-Jan-18 20:00:34

Surely, being taken for granted happens in families just because they are family! There are lots of people here who would love the chance to be taken for granted.

Sorry if I'm repeating what anyone else said, I've not read the whole thread!