Gransnet forums


AIBU to expect some compassion

(14 Posts)
Tooting29 Tue 19-Oct-21 11:03:48

My DS children live 160 miles away from me with their mother, with whom I have in the past a difficult relationship. I have had no contact with them for 2years. 12 months ago I was diagnosed with blood cancer and underwent chemo and radiotherapy. Thankfully in remission now. Throughout my illness I have remained in touch with these GC via post. Now clinically vunerable I cannot (nor indeed have the energy) to make a 300 mile day trip to see them I have asked if we could meet up via zoom but no response. My son sees them once a month but its tricky for him. I never forget birthdays or Christmas. Children aged from 10 to 13. Is it too much to ask for a bit of thoughtfulness or concern for my illness. The comparison with family friends and other GC is marked.

CafeAuLait Tue 19-Oct-21 11:09:51

I'm sorry you've been through such a hard time. Good news that you are in remission though.

The advice is usually that, where the parents aren't together, the grandparents have contact on their own child's parenting time. It's really up to your son to facilitate your contact with his children.

Would it be nice if your DIL would be helpful and facilitate a Zoom with the children? For sure. It doesn't look like you've had that kind of relationship though, so the same rules apply as if you hadn't been unwell - this is on your son. Can you talk to him about establishing some regular contact? You sound like a lovely grandma and very kind to your GC.

March Tue 19-Oct-21 11:11:52

They are only children.
They were 9 and 12 when you got back intouch, I think you're expecting too much from them, especially with the whole Covid situation.

The contact is upto your son, not the children's mother.

Fantastic news you're on the mend thanks

Tooting29 Tue 19-Oct-21 11:15:08

My son has tried. He also has struggled to maintain contact during Covid and Zoom calls were quote "too much trouble" even though they had home schooling online and conducted other activities online. There is sadly no will to maintain contact, it's been a struggle for him and me

Tooting29 Tue 19-Oct-21 11:18:37

March I've always been in touch with them and used to see them with my son until 2 years ago

CafeAuLait Tue 19-Oct-21 11:28:13

I understand that's heartbreaking and disappointing for your Tooting. Unfortunately a difficult relationship with your GC's mother isn't likely to change due to Covid or your illness. Now that things are relaxing more, I hope your son will be able to work out more contact with the children and help you have more contact with them too, through him.

Poppyred Tue 19-Oct-21 11:49:47

Unless your son has done something wrong, he has a perfect right to see his children? Formal visiting rights would give you access to your grandchildren via zoom or in person depending on how far your son lives.

If he is being denied this, he needs to go to court to legalise this. I’m no expert, just my opinion. If you had a difficult relationship with DIL, having ill health now isn’t likely to change things.

Elizabeth27 Tue 19-Oct-21 12:15:59

When your son sees them on his monthly visit maybe he could set up a zoom with you.

Children of that age are rarely thoughtful and need prompting to make calls to grandparents, having a difficult relationship with their mother is not going to facilitate this.

Carry on with birthdays and Christmas if you want to but don’t expect anything back. Do you really want contact if they are being forced to do it?

Bibbity Tue 19-Oct-21 12:33:19

I am very sorry for your illness and it's great that you are in remission! Congratulations!

However as someone who had to do home eduction with children it was incredibly difficult and I would not minimise the stress the mother was under and would not have increased her burden.

As your son only sees his children once a month he has no parenting responsibilities. No school runs, laundry, clubs, discipline, homework, parties...the list is endless.

As a result I think it is unreasonable to expect her to force her children into what could be another battle. She does enough.

It would absolutely be your son's responsibility to maintain the relationship between you and them. And I don't think a quick FaceTime once a month is to much to ask at all!

The children are children and unfortunately as your relationship with them is not strong then they will not have a want to seek you out.
The cancer should not be on their radar at all. They are to young for such a burden.

I do hope your son steps up. For you and them.

MissAdventure Tue 19-Oct-21 12:39:34

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect compassion, regardless of your relationship with your grandchild mother.
Whether you are shown any remains to be seen, though. flowers

Tooting29 Tue 19-Oct-21 12:44:55


Dinahmo Tue 19-Oct-21 14:38:24

Sometimes the parent that the children are living with makes it very difficult for them to have contact with other family members just by making life awkward for the children.

When my brother and SIL split up, the children lived with her and he was given access one day per week. There were always reasons why he couldn't see the children on the given day. When the children reached a certain age, I forget what age, they were able to chose whether to see him or not. Some years later one of his sons telephoned at 1.00am and asked for a lift home. When my brother dropped him off the son said that his mother did not like the children seeing their father and that she made things unpleasant for them.

Poppyred mentions going to court. My brother did this several times, always having to pay the fees whilst his ex had legal aid. Eventually the judge told my SIL that if she appeared in court again she would be charged with contempt. By that time all the children were old enough to decide for themselves.

Norah Wed 20-Oct-21 15:28:22

Yes, YABU. You desire compassion, but probably shouldn't expect it. Your son is in charge of your interactions to his children. Hold him responsible.

Smileless2012 Wed 20-Oct-21 16:31:38

No, you are not being unreasonable Tooting. A cancer diagnosis is frightening and the treatment very hard to deal with. It's wonderful news about you being in remission.

It's such a shame when the children lose out because of their parents' divorce. Just getting to grips with the fact that mum and dad aren't together anymore, that as in your GC's case, they only get to see dad once a month is a very confusing and upsetting time.

Why one parent also makes it difficult for them to retain contact with other family members, especially GP's is beyond me. It's a shame your d.i.l. lacks the maturity and compassion to enable some form of contact between you and the children especially as you've been so unwell.

As your son is himself only seeing them once a month unfortunately he isn't best placed to facilitate this. I don't agree that this is solely his responsibility, as the primary care giver, and with the children spending the majority of time with their mother, this is something she could and IMO should be making an effort to do.

I'm so sorry that this isn't the case and hope that at some point things will improve. In the meantime take care of yourselfflowers.