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Paternal grandmother

(53 Posts)
Gingergirl Sun 24-Mar-19 17:17:49

I know this subject has come up before but I just don’t know how to deal with it. My DILs mother is forever spending time with the grandchildren whereas I see them every few months. It’s not to do with distance (neither of us is close)but with the fact that my DIL is utterly attached to her own mother (who is extremely dominating) and doesn’t seem to be able to do anything without her help/presence. This has only really been such an issue since the children were born (3 and 1 yr). My son just lets things be...I think he just wants a quiet life..I do feel left out, although I don’t think that is the intention. But also, I feel that our side of the family has so little influence (or perhaps that’s not the right word). I don’t want the children to grow up only being familiar with one family’s way of living. We are quite different in our attitudes etc. And yet, what right do we have to expect to influence them in any way at all really? AIBU about this? Will it all change when they go to school and have a whole different range of experiences? I don’t want to feel like I’m ‘nothing’ in their lives. I should say that I still work and so even if I was invited to, I couldn’t spend long periods of time at their house, as my DILs mother does. Sorry for rambling on and would love to hear others’ experiences.

Nansnet Wed 03-Apr-19 10:10:52

Gingergirl, as a new grandparent myself, I'm trying my best to work through this type of situation and feelings. I've always been very close to my son, and have a great relationship with my DiL. My husband and I have always got on well with her parents. When baby came along (1st GC for all of us), I naturally expected DiL to turn to her own mum for advice/reassurance/help/etc. I wouldn't have expected anything different, as when I had my own children, I did the same. I certainly have no interest in encroaching on their mother/daughter relationship. All I want is to be a good grandparent to my GC. However, my DiL's mum is also quite dominating/bossy/manipulative (it's not just me who thinks this - many others say the same!), and she likes to 'take over' in certain situations. I won't go into details, but there have been a couple of occasions when she has deeply upset me, to the point that I had no option but to speak to her frankly about what had happened, otherwise it would've eaten away at me forever. She manipulated the situation to suit herself, and refused to see my point, but at least I got it off my chest. However, with hindsight, I wish I hadn't said anything because, although it's no longer eating away at me, and we have got one or two things out into the open, and cleared the air, there is a bit of an atmosphere between us now that was never there before, which is quite sad and regrettable. I know that my son and DiL will always make sure that we are a part of our GC's life. And I know, for whatever reason, it's always been the case that paternal grandparents tend to be further down the pecking order, so to speak (goodness knows why that ever came about though ... both sets of my grandparents were totally equal!). At the end of the day, our precious grandchildren are just as special and important to us as they are to maternal grandparents. I honestly have no idea why some people see it any differently, or why maternal grandparents sometimes think they are more important - to their daughter, yes, of course ... but surely not to the grandchild...? Anyway, after the experiences I've been through, I've come to the conclusion that, from now on, I'm going to keep tight-lipped, be a happy grandparent, and enjoy the special times that I get to spend with my grandchild. I think you would do well to do the same. It's not easy, but try not to dwell on what your DiL's mum is doing, and instead focus on YOUR relationship with your grandchildren, and make it the happy, fun, loving and enjoyable time it should be ... for us all!

rosecarmel Wed 03-Apr-19 13:12:00

Sometimes what appears to be a "close relationship" is in reality an unhealthy dependence upon someone other than a husband or wife when married - People frequently get enmeshed with apron strings - And it happens so often that it's thought of as normal -