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Worried I have upset my daughter

(76 Posts)
Nanamarch1603 Thu 04-Apr-19 12:21:29

My DD messaged me last night to tell me she has been offered a full time job. She now works part time in an unrewarding but very flexible job which fits in with grandchildren activities (10 and 11). I help most weeks by picking up from school and also look after them in the holidays whenever needed. I phoned her to discuss and we worked through the pros and cons. She would like a more challenging job but that will come with other sacrifices. My husband and I (2nd marriage) have recently returned from holiday after a lovely relaxing time and are seriously thinking of moving to the coast for a change of lifestyle before we are too old. We are both retired. During our chat DD asked me if I could continue helping with the children. I said of course I would help but felt I had to let her know about our thoughts of moving in case it would impact on her decision whether to take the job or not. I have tried to speak to her this morning and text to see how she was as I think she will wrestle with this decision. So far she has not text back or returned my phone call. I am worried now that I have upset her. Looking at other’s posts it seems so easy for us grandparents to be taken for granted when help is wanted but at other times treated as a “non person” who basically keeps putting their foot in it!

crazyH Thu 04-Apr-19 12:26:34

Yes, today seems to be 'used' grandmas day ?

Bibbity Thu 04-Apr-19 12:28:05

I can’t speak for your daughter but I wouldn’t take a few hours of no reply as any slight. I can take a day or two to get back to someone and that’s just because I get busy.

Urmstongran Thu 04-Apr-19 12:39:33

Your daughter has a lot to mull over. Give her some time and space to work out how what you have said will affect her situation.

HildaW Thu 04-Apr-19 12:44:47

Do not read too much into a missed text. I'm far too good at second guessing people and it gets me into trouble. Jumping to conclusions helps no one!

That being said you have just sprung something on her that could make a difference to her life so one phone call is not going to be enough for you both to work out the ramifications. There are so many issues here and you need to make a sort of list and work through them with your OH and family.
If the part you have played in the day to day care of your GC has been an honestly mutually arranged one there is no reason to believe its suddenly going to change to one where you are being purely taken for granted. Also they are getting older so in a few years they will not need such a close eye being kept on them.
Moving to the countryside or seaside has its attractions and we did that....but for several reasons have just moved back to a semi rural setting closer to the majority of our family. It was lovely being in the heart of the countryside but there will come a time when we will need to be kept an eye on and not the reverse!
Holidays in lovely areas are one thing but its really not the same as living there and a real balance has to be struck.
To be honest, in my shoes regular contact with my lovely GC far outweighs living down a leafy lane with fabulous views slow internet and a decent supermarket an hour away!
Give your daughter another call when you know she's at home and not in a rush. Say you'd like to have a good chat about the future so perhaps a proper face to face would be better. Arrange a visit and have a good heart to heart. If you've had a good relationship with your daughter then one change of circumstances is not going to suddenly ruin it, it might have been a bit of a shock but just give her a bit more time to work out where she can go from here.

EllanVannin Thu 04-Apr-19 12:54:03

I would do what you propose doing and take your chances on how your D views your futures. It's your turn/time now.

sodapop Thu 04-Apr-19 12:56:40

Yes Nannamarch don't jump to any hasty conclusions yet. However I do think you need to talk to your daughter about her expectations and your ability to help. There are times when we have to say 'no' and this seems to be one of those times. Our adult children should not assume we have no life of our own and are merely there to help them.

Matriark Thu 04-Apr-19 13:09:37

As someone noted earlier on, these childcare issues are time limited, so sticking around and helping out during these short - but difficult years is no great hardship in my eyes. My mum made it possible for me to go to work, and I do everything I can to help with my grandchildren. I understand that it’s different for everyone, though. My only advice would be to talk to your daughter as soon as possible. Good luck!

Anja Thu 04-Apr-19 13:12:42

Your daughter has a difficult decision to make so give her time. Is there a husband/partner on the scene or is she a single parent?

M0nica Thu 04-Apr-19 14:07:21

You both have difficult decision to make. It is time for negotiation not ultimatums and either/ors. I know this hasn't happened yet, but I suspect that it could.

It might be you delay your move for a few years until both children are in secondary school and can take themselves to and from school. Secondary schools usually have after school and holiday clubs and a perhaps you could manage to have them stay with you by the sea for a week or two in the summer may be possible.

But please, both of you talk, and negotiate, do not have a row and start shouting.

Nanamarch1603 Thu 04-Apr-19 17:00:27

Yes she has a husband Anja and they have an excellent relationship. They run their own building company from home so he can be flexible. They both have a great circle of friends mainly parents from the children ‘s schools so there is always support for fetching when necessary.
I Have tried to phone earlier today and managed to speak to my daughter briefly when she answered the phone. She said she would call back as was just off out but so far no call. I am trying not to second guess Hilda but I am thinking that I have caused offence. Sometimes it is so tricky being a grandparent, I seem to put my foot in it even by breathing sometimes!!!! Joking apart, I will try and leave her alone to come round now I think.

paddyann Thu 04-Apr-19 17:14:26

try not to think of this as a "grandparent" issue.Its a parent thing ,your daughter is losing her mum.You're talking about moving away from her and her young family ..with your 2nd husband.

I'd think thats the problem,she imagined you'd always be around and now you've chosen to move away with him .... over her .She has a good support network for her children so its losing contact with you and not what you do for her thats at the centre of it.

Lily65 Thu 04-Apr-19 17:43:38

You have supported the family for a long time and the children are growing up now. Time for them all to stand on their own 2 feet.

Doodle Thu 04-Apr-19 19:36:42

Try not to think the worst nana. I am known for making a mountain out of a molehill, so from one who knows how you feel just wait and I’m sure she will phone soon.

Jomarie Thu 04-Apr-19 21:10:15

For what it's worth - I think Paddyann has probably hit the nail on the head. Give her time and don't get into an argument with her is my advice. She will be talking this through with her OH and possibly one or two of her close supportive friends - stay calm and carry on as they say. flowers

BradfordLass72 Fri 05-Apr-19 08:07:46

What they

And think how lovely it will be for your family to come to the seaside to visit you!

ElaineI Fri 05-Apr-19 09:41:35

I think Paddyann is right. It's not just that gran will be further away ( at 10 and 11 it won't be long before they can look after themselves after school) but that her Mum will be further away with someone who is not her father. It has probably shocked her a bit regardless of how well she gets on with your husband. I have found that adult children seem to expect you to go on and on as parents and not change in any way. It is a difficult to think of their parents as having needs separate from them so might take some getting used to.
HildaW is also spot on. Moving to somewhere you have visited and enjoyed sounds lovely but it can be hard to adjust to a totally different community and you have to consider what if one of you became seriously ill or died. Sounds morbid but I worked in the Isle of Wight (lovely place) for a while and came across many lonely people who have moved there as they had had great holidays in the past but their partner had died and they were now far from family.

Nanamarch1603 Fri 05-Apr-19 11:14:13

Well as a follow up, I have spoken to her this morning. She is very angry with me for the timing of my announcement. I explained that I just wanted her to be aware of all the facts whilst making her decision and that if I had not told her and she was relying on me to help out with children and that was a large factor in her acceptance of the job, she would not subsequently be very happy if I announced 2 or 3 months down the line that I was considering moving. She would have been very cross that I had not told her. This raised a very nasty conversation unfortunately where she accused me of being selfish, standoffish and only doing things for her on my terms plus a whole load of other stuff which came out. It has not gone well to say The least. She was taking me out today for my birthday (a couple of weeks ago) which she has called off and slammed the phone down. I am in complete shock. I have always felt very much “in the way” unless called upon to help as they all lead such busy lives. During the chat she told me she was not accepting the job anyway as it was not financially viable. I am sure it will all blow over but it has left a nasty taste and I have obviously been very misguided in my relationship with her. She actually told me we did not have a very close relationship at all. I am quite upset to say the least ?

Momof3 Fri 05-Apr-19 11:25:13

Oh no how unpleasant. Obviously I don’t know any back story but at face value she’s being ridiculous, her children are very close to being able to sort themselves out. You can’t put your life on old for her, move to the seaside and try to enjoy your retirement.

Jomarie Fri 05-Apr-19 22:39:26

Oh dear how very horrible for you - I do feel for you. Daughters' vitriolic comments can be so very hurtful. They do, however, continue to have their lives with husbands or partners and friends to bolster them. It is an undeniable fact that as we grow older we become slightly superfluous to their day to day lives until and unless they need extra help/ Maybe she is unconsciously having difficulty in untying the final strand of the cord? Go easy on her is all I am saying but do what is best for you and your OH, flowers

Bibbity Fri 05-Apr-19 23:01:08

Damn right things are on your terms!! You’re saving her thousands of £££
She’s a grown arse woman she can suck it up and stop being so ungrateful!

I am so sorry OP. I really hope you recover from her attitude and realise that you should definitely seize the opportunity for your happiness.

maddyone Fri 05-Apr-19 23:29:39

I’m so sorry to hear your daughter has been so horrible to you. It’s very hurtful isn’t it? I do know as my daughter, who has some mental health issues, can very frequently be extremely hurtful in the things she says to us. Like you, we do a massive amount of childcare, and very often I feel very unappreciated. I’m sure that’s just how you’re feeling now Nana. Sometimes I think I put too much emphasis on the mental health issues she has suffered from, and I feel I’ve raised a selfish and entitled person, and I imagine that’s how you feel now.

In your situation, I would keep a wide berth for a while (one of my strategies) and let the dust settle. Then perhaps approach your daughter with the offer of a coffee and chat. Hopefully she’ll accept and you can talk it over rationally. However you must follow through your plans with your new husband, if you have both decided to move, do it. Your daughter will have to arrange her own life without you as an ever ready support. You can be sure of one thing, if she had decided to move, what you thought about it wouldn’t come into it. Do what’s right for you.

Alexa Fri 05-Apr-19 23:58:22

Nanamarch, your present life doesn't seem to be that of a non-person at all. Rather the opposite. At present you are active in the lives of your daughter and grandchildren, a role which they all value very much, and about to do so even more. You are not an irrelevant elderly relative.
You don't convince me that the seaside is so seductive compared with what you have.

sodapop Sat 06-Apr-19 08:19:17

Yes Alexa but looking after the family is not the be and end all for everyone. As older retired people we are entitled to have our own lives, there are so many other things out there for us to do. Grandparenting is only one aspect of it.

Greciangirl Sat 06-Apr-19 09:34:59

Why o why must our AC be so selfish and demanding.
I have a very similar one. I seem to be walking on eggshells a lot of the time with my Dd.
If it doesn’t suit her plans, then I feel guilty if for any reason I can’t or don’t want to look after dgs.
I always seem to be giving up my social activities for some crisis or other, the stress of which imparts upon me.
The way they speak to us is very hurtful sometimes.
I hate confrontation, so usually just give in, but there are times when I’m pushed too far and snap.
I hope you don’t snap Nanamarche.