Gransnet forums


New family boundaries

(105 Posts)
Newbiedoobie Wed 14-Feb-18 12:35:18

How much time with grandchildren is too much?
My new granddaughter is only a month old, but from a week before her birth until now her other granny has lived with the new family for about five out of seven days a week. I feel sorry for my son who works all day whilst his wife and mum in law have been out or just had a relaxing time at home and then he often has to cook. Obviously I’m also not very happy because we aren’t getting much of a look in either, but mainly I’m worried the other granny is driving a wedge between them.
Other granny does live away so she has to stay with them or not be here, but I think it’s time she backed off and let them be a family. Am I being unreasonable?
I feel very impotent; can’t see how I can help the situation. I’ve offered to help in lots of ways, cleaning, cooking, looking after baby, getting groceries, but haven’t been taken up on any of them yet. Mum in law obviously helps with these things and I suppose it seems that she’s indispensable as no other help is accepted.
I wasn’t expecting it to be like this!

Eglantine21 Wed 14-Feb-18 17:09:04

I expect the other granny will have a post on here in a couple of months time saying how much she is missing because she lives so far away and how it isn't fair that the OP gets to spend so much time with the baby!
Your time will come OP. As long as you keep it pleasant now!!!!

Norah Wed 14-Feb-18 17:42:00

I think it would do you good to know you raised such a competent loving son. It's quite nice that he cooks and helps his wife with their baby.

Don't get out of sorts in a competition to who is helping at DILs home most. You will make yourself unhappy for no reason. Be happy the baby is healthy and well.

Mycatisahacker Wed 14-Feb-18 18:42:47

Come on op most daughters want mum when they have a baby. It’s quite normal. Her mum and your dil are making the most of their time together until she has to go back.

Your comments about your ds having to cook are ridiculous. Why shouldn’t he? He probably wants to like both my sons. I have 2 dils and a grandson and wouldn’t dream of expecting my dil to rely on me as much as her own mum so early after giving birth.

Look the other gran will go back soon. Be prepared to offer warm generous help and support to your dil snd son and you will see they will accept and b grateful.

Let her mum have s look in now as she isn’t local.

Come on who did you want round you just after having s baby?

And stop with ‘my poor ds’ crap. He’s an adult and you should be proud of raising a man who supports his wife snd not a pathetic man child

Washerwoman Wed 14-Feb-18 19:20:06

FarNorth for once I was trying to be concise ie.saying for me it would have been a bit too long to have mum actually staying,but then my mum lived nearer and wouldn't have needed to.But when I said 'on the other hand' regarding lack of support for new mums now I was meaning that mums do need help establish feeding etc.So on the other hand in some cases it may be appropriate and welcome ,as long as the new dad doesn't feel pushed out.

Jalima1108 Wed 14-Feb-18 19:38:07

Has he always done the cooking? I think my DS would be horrified if his MIL took over 'his' kitchen! Or me, apart from a little light washing up.

Jalima1108 Wed 14-Feb-18 19:45:43

And how do you know they just had a relaxing time at home?

That sounds quite unbelievable 4 weeks after a new baby arrived

Mycatisahacker Wed 14-Feb-18 20:34:50

jalima or mine Agee I snd my dds are shocking cooks while dh and the dss are amazing and territorial grin

Thank the Lord

MargaretX Wed 14-Feb-18 20:47:07

I was with DD1 when she was home with her baby, her Mil just visited but understood that I was the one that DD2 wanted. Due to hot weather and breast feeding troubles she was half undressed most of the time and really did not want visitors.

DD1 is midwife and needed nobody, preferring to be alone with baby at first and I visited after a week.

MargaretX Wed 14-Feb-18 20:48:45

Sorry got my DDs mixed up. I was with DD2.

Jalima1108 Wed 14-Feb-18 23:37:25

DS does not take after DH in that respect, although DH does 'have a go'.

BlueBelle Thu 15-Feb-18 05:45:51

For crying out loud all these DDs and double DDs are doing my head in ??
And yes in answer to your question newbiedoobie you are being unreasonable it’s up to your son and daughter to sort their life out and not up to you to feel ‘sorry’ for him it’s his choice of wife ( has he complained to you) They are starting out as a family, the other grandparents will be off soon and then they ll be thinking only you get a look in, just be patient and don’t be seeing bad where bad doesn’t exist

Jaycee5 Thu 15-Feb-18 10:24:29

It is understandable that she wants her mother there just after the baby has been born.
Your son will survive having to make his own meal for a few weeks. Working mothers do it.
Unless she is going to be there for a long time, you will have more time with the baby after she goes home as you will be closer.
Relax. Don't encourage your son to feel hard done by. He is not a victim. You could easily create rifts now that you will regret. You have offered to help and she doesn't feel that she needs any more with her mum there. Offer again when her mother is not there but in a relaxed way.

maryhoffman37 Thu 15-Feb-18 10:26:06

I think NewbieDoobie has brought her feelings of hurt here to get some sympathy and it must have taken a bit of courage. So let's be understanding. Whatever the circumstances, this new Gran is feeling excluded and not as happy as she had expected to be with a new grandchild. As a mother of three daughters, I have tried to be very aware of the SiLs' mothers and not be territorial so I do sympathise with the OP's feelings, while agreeing that things will get better.

Zorro21 Thu 15-Feb-18 10:29:39


Looking at your post and the answers, I'd be tempted if I were you to get out more and enjoy yourself. You have offered to help, what more can you do ? You could enquire about the baby and how the Mother is - don't waste your time feeling unhappy about the situation.

radicalnan Thu 15-Feb-18 10:45:34

Is your son complaining to you?

Is he one of those men who when asked what he wants for dinner says 'I'll see what I fancy when I get in'.

Is he someone who likes to cook?

You present this as if he is distressed by it. If he is, that is his business to sort out.

If he is happy with the way things are then leave well alone.

Maybe you feel left out and are projecting your feelings on to him, that is for you to resolve.

Maternal family seems to take preference over paternal in most cases we see on here when people feel sidelined.

While your DIL is full of hormones, this is not time to rock the boat, bide your time and see how things work out.

You could make things so much worse for everyone concerned by interfering now.

Sheilasue Thu 15-Feb-18 10:47:03

It’s only natural for her to stay with her d and help with the new baby. I am sure that she will leave when she feels she is not needed. I wish my mum could have stayed with me but she was very ill she came as often as she could but had suffered with arthritis for years and couldn’t hold my d unless she was sitting on the sofa her hands were to painful
My mil worked but she came to see her gd as much as she could.

gmelon Thu 15-Feb-18 10:55:23

Is the other Granny actually helping with household stuff? It sounds not. Your son is cooking which should be done by the other Granny. Sge is not exsctly running the house well if she cant provide a meal.
Maybe it's not as rosy as it appears.
My mother stayed after I gave birth to my third son and did nothing at all.
She expected meals served to her including her choice of bread etc to be bought specially.
From the outside she fostered the impression that she was helping me.
My poor husband was run off his feet. I was exhausted . She sauntered down evety day after a sound nights sleep and sat at table waiting for breakfast then asked about my plans for us going out that day.
Meanwhile I struggled with a newborn and two infant age sons to get to school and back.
I honestly don't think she had any idea that she was supposed to help, the visit was all about her. She lived 400 miles away and our circumstances and home were much better than hers. It was like a (free) full board holiday for her.
She told everyone she stayed and to this day they assume she helped.
Stupidly we catered for her and just prayed she'd go home.

cornishclio Thu 15-Feb-18 10:57:24

I am sorry you are feeling left out but I am not sure that the other granny is driving a wedge between your son and DIL unless your son has said something. You may be deflecting a bit here. What I can say is competitive grandparenting never ends well.

My suggestion would be you continue to keep in touch regularly and offer help. Are you local to your son and DIL? Maybe you could invite them over for a meal or offer to bring food over. That always goes down well and surely the DILs mum is not going to move in permanently for 5 out of 7 days? The baby is still quite little and I know in the early days many babies struggle to get into a feeding and sleeping routine so I am sure your DIL is glad of the help. No reason for you not to keep offering help yourself though. I think you will find that things will settle down after a while and you will see a lot of the baby. Don't for goodness sake make an issue of it as it will taint your relationship with your DIL.

I have 2 DDs and my youngest has a 2 and a half year old little girl and is expecting another in May. Luckily both us and my son in laws parents all live in the same town as my DD and SIL so we all get to see a roughly equal amount of our granddaughter.

mabon1 Thu 15-Feb-18 11:01:46

It is usually the daughter in law's mother who helps at first. It is not for you to interfere as it could mean losing any contact with your grandchild.

loopyloo Thu 15-Feb-18 11:06:10

Just to say we live close to my daughter and help her when she needs it to look after the children when she is at work. So I am a bread and butter grandma. The other Nanna lives at a distance and sees them for fun family get togethers . So she is seen as a fun grandparent and I do the common graft. But the children know me very well and I think it gives them a feeling of security knowing we are only 15 mins walk away.

ReadyMeals Thu 15-Feb-18 11:12:06

It's very normal and common for the mother's mother to stay for a while after the birth, and this will be with your dil's blessing, otherwise either she would have sent her mum home, or she would have enlisted your son's help to get her to go or something. I think if your son and you were to initiate getting rid of this other gran that would be MORE likely to drive a wedge between them. She will go home one day, and the baby won't even remember she was there in his first month. At that point YOU will be the one just nearby and YOU will be the one he gets used to seeing most of the time. Then she may be envious of you and think you're driving a wedge... and so on and so forth. Granny wars lol :D

MawBroon Thu 15-Feb-18 11:13:34

It sounds not. Your son is cooking which should be done by the other Granny

My SILs are gentle but firm in deflecting me from taking over domestic chores, even cups of tea, just because I am female. Despite demanding careers they are very much equal partners and hands on dads. They would certainly not expect me to do the cooking! Although of course I would offer, but under direction, it is not a granny’s place to “take over” the household.
You are IMO clearly biased as are some other posters, perhaps stuck in an outdated version of marriage and family life.
What do you hope to achieve from this?

Luckygirl Thu 15-Feb-18 11:19:21

"How much time with grandchildren is too much? "

OP - that is your opening sentence and the implication is that you think DIL's ma is spending too much time there. There is an underlying resentment there.

I really hope that you will be able to listen to the comments on here from experienced grandmas (and pas) and us them to help you for the future. It would be so sad if you all got off on the wrong foot together.

Believe me, we all do understand the excitement of a new grandchild!

damewithaname Thu 15-Feb-18 11:20:50

Unmet expectations... that's your first mistake. There is no "I expect/expected xyz"... change your mindset and everything will change too.

damewithaname Thu 15-Feb-18 11:28:37

I get a slight feeling that you wanting to help isn't to actually help do any's to cradle the baby while mom does that all so that you get the one on one bonding time with baby. Sounds selfish.