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New Grandma in need of advice!

(22 Posts)
grandmo1512 Sat 30-Mar-13 15:23:10

My first grandchild (little girl) was born late February , I'm overwhelmed with love for her and want to see as much of her as I can, and am eager to help my Son and Daughter-in-law as much as possible.
I've offered to have her for a few hours to give them a break but they seem reluctant. They haven't had much help since the birth,(despite offers) they are very independent and seem to want to do everything themselves.
While I admire this I worry that they are making things so much harder for themselves by not taking a break and letting me help.
What do other Grans think? I'm conscious that it's not my daughter so am treading very carefully . I'd appreciate some advice from experienced Grans out there!confused

Ana Sat 30-Mar-13 15:26:25

Your GD is only two months old, so everything is all new to the parents - it'll take some time to adjust! I expect they're absolutely exhausted and can't even think about having a break just yet, although I'm sure they'll be very grateful for the opportunity a bit later on.

Give them some time and space, and let them know you're there if they need you - that's all you can do!

Welcome to Gransnet, by the way. smile

Movedalot Sat 30-Mar-13 15:33:52

I agree with Ana. You do need to tread very carefully when it is not your own daughter. There are many who will tell you that they have lost all contact with their son and grandchildren so I would suggest you do what they want or you could alienate her. Let them enjoy her in their own way and they will come round eventually. Just make sure they know you are available if they want you.

grandmo1512 Sat 30-Mar-13 15:44:08

Thanks Ana & Movedalot- wise advice I think !Its hard when you are feeling your way! Yeah I'm sure I'll get my chance soon. Didn't know Gransnet existed until today think I'm going to like it! smile

absent Sat 30-Mar-13 15:51:29

grandmo1512 I vividly remember feeling hugely protective, possibly verging on the possessive, when absentdaughter was born. I twitched when she was being cuddled by other members of the family, such as MY OWN MOTHER who had far more experience in handling newborns than I had. It's easy to forget that sense of awe, fear and sheer magic about the tiny thing entrusted to you as a new mum.

On a practical note, if your daughter-in-law is breastfeeding, especially breastfeeding on demand – and newborns breastfeed almost constantly given the chance – your thoughtful offer of "having her for a few hours" just won't work.

It doesn't all happen at once. You will probably have many years of wonderful enjoyment in your granddaughter's life ahead of you. flowers

MargaretX Sat 30-Mar-13 16:03:09

I agree with everything said. Give them space to enjoy their baby, to make mistakes- unobserved- and, fast forwarding a couple of years, you will be be sure to see plenty of her. Two year olds can be very exhausting and your help will be appreciated.
If your feelings of love overwhelm you start a bank account and save something for when you dear GD is grown up.

grandmo1512 Sat 30-Mar-13 16:22:21

Thank u fellow Grandmas have noted all your wise words which I think reinforced what I already knew but was finding it hard to accept i.e. that they do need their space.
Yeah I do remember how nervous overwhelmed & anxious I felt as a new mother (a long time ago now)
In my defence I think I've been slightly wrong footed by the sheer force of love I feel for this tiny little girl, I need constantly reminding that she's not my baby ha ha!

Movedalot Sat 30-Mar-13 16:25:15

grandmo yes, we all feel that and it is quite a shock! It is rather wonderful though isn't it?

Welcome to GN, I hope you will be happy here. flowers

Mishap Sat 30-Mar-13 16:41:40

Reminding oneself that the babe belongs to someone else does not stop! - in spite of the huge love we feel for our GC we are fordced to stand back a bit. But if you play that right you will reap the rewards of lots of fun time with her - they will feel happy to leave her with you at some stage, if they do not feel you are muscling in and taking over.

Let them know you are there for them and take it from there.

Bide your time and you will get your rewards!

JessM Sat 30-Mar-13 16:42:21

I agree. Very early days. And dads tend to be very involved these days. And the mums worry about the dads bonding. Keep chilled and enjoy.
(and there do seem to be a fair number of women that fall out with their own mums as well as Mils it seems to me)

wisewoman Sat 30-Mar-13 16:46:58

In the early days when the new mum and dad are bonding with the baby what they really need is someone to do all the other stuff! Have you offered to do dishes, washing, shopping, making meals for their freezer etc. I am sure they are not ready to hand over the baby no matter how much you love her but background support is always welcome. (Although sometimes with daughters in law you have to be careful in case they think you are criticising their housekeeping!!) Later I am sure they will be glad to let you have some cuddling time with the baby but it is all new to them just now. You will have plenty of time to enjoy her later.

grandmo1512 Sat 30-Mar-13 16:53:15

Thanks Movedalot & Mishap , yeah there is so much to look forward to I cant wait, and yes it is wonderful!
Am so delighted to be a Grandma its a club I've been wanting to join for such a long time.
I'm still pinching myself really & she's five weeks old now.
Its great to think Spring's on its way (allegedly!) & I've got a darling granddaughter to enjoy it with, lucky lucky me!smile

goldengirl Sat 30-Mar-13 17:33:39

My DD had her third baby three months ago and told me recently that when she had her first she felt 'taken over' not just by me, but everyone. This time I've been very careful and she's now said that I've not suggesting nappy changing when the baby's cried but have let her get on with it. I've noticed now that she hands him over to me quite happily when I'm not really expecting it and haven't asked [we live virtually in shouting distance]. Whether it's because she's a tried and test mum or whether because I'm a tried and tested grandma [there are 4 other GC] I'm not sure, but it's a much more relaxed situation now. I learned not to interfere with my son's little girls and I get to see them regularly and have built up a good relationship with his partner. So what I think I'm trying to say is 'hang on in there' - and welcome to GN flowers

harrigran Sat 30-Mar-13 17:53:38

Welcome grandmo it is difficult because we would all like to help but we need to step back. My first GD was 10 weeks when I had her for a whole day, it is quite exhausting even when they are tiny. I think my DIL felt as if she had her arm chopped off but they were having work done on the house and it was safer for baby to be out of the way. When baby starts teething and DIL is losing sleep you will probably be welcomed with open arms smile

gracesmum Sat 30-Mar-13 17:53:57

I will always remember DD saying to me when I suggested DGS1 might want feeding as he was crying and DD was still in thrall to that dreadful Gina Ford woman "Mum, he's MY baby and I will decide when to feed him" ouch!!
I likened iot at the time to "hands-on Granny, or hands strictly off please Mum!"

j08 Sat 30-Mar-13 17:58:18

O h for heaven's sake. Just invite her to Sunday dinner and be nice. If she lives close she is bound to drop in unannounced at times. Just do whatever you were doing but do it round her.

With a two year old, I' m surprised you don't welcome her visits. You could ask her if it was ok for you to pop out to the shops, or have a bath, or something while she is there.

Sounds to me like you've made a mountain out of a molehill.

j08 Sat 30-Mar-13 17:59:56

Wrong thread! Blooming kindle - all over the place.


j08 Sat 30-Mar-13 18:04:00

I do appreciate you are not the mother of a two year old, grandmo1512.

Really sorry. blush

glammanana Sat 30-Mar-13 18:17:50

grandmo1512 When Dd had DGS1 she was very protective of him and would only visit and invite us around to suit herself not us,we went along with this as she had her partner home and she was insistant on him bonding well with the baby,she would not allow his mother to visit for more than an hour as she said his mum was judging her as to how she was coping and I could see her point of view.It never bothered me as I worked full time and had a youngster at home still,so I think as soon as your DIL is settled you will be called upon for baby duties, so enjoy the cuddles smile

LullyDully Sat 30-Mar-13 18:46:38

It will change for baby number 2. Our DIL was amazingly territorial of GD 1 , not so for GS 2. Now we have them full time while she is in the Navy. Into 4th year! Your DIL will get used to sharing and be grateful of some help. Parenthood can be overwhelming.

Flowerofthewest Sun 31-Mar-13 10:02:15

I am very close to my DD but knew, from my own experience as a new mum, to take a little step back. I used to offer to wash up, do washing and dry it (they don't have a tumble dryer and babies get through so much) shopping. Eventually the baby was given to me for burping, sick on the shoulder, changing nappies. All the lovely jobs. Just give her a little time. The first time I took my little GS out in the pram - he was about 2 months - she told me that she was in floods of tears and couldn't wait for us to get back. It is so natural for her to be protective with her newborn, a mother tiger!

HildaW Sun 31-Mar-13 15:10:10

I too remember the huge rush of possessive love you have for a Grandchild (its a cliche but its true). However, you do have to bide your time and bite your tongue as offering to help can be seen as many things by the new parents, especially those who are a liitle less than confident.
Off the top of my head MILs and even Mums offering to help can be seen as any or all of the following.
Interfereing, with the implication that you are just not up to the job. Bossy and possesive. Nosey - checking out how you are coping with THEIR grandchild. Critical - you are doing it all wrong. ETC ETC.
As Flowersof thewest suggests, its far better to offer to help in a non-baby way. A bit of housework, shopping or similar. Dont forget the new Mum will be awash with hormones, lack of sleep and just general bemusement at the task in hand. Give them a bit of time and I am sure you will be soon able to get your ration of cuddles.