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what should I do - son, partner, new baby

(31 Posts)
mehimthem Sat 03-Mar-18 03:46:11

Our son & his partner have recently had a baby, his 1st, but 3rd for partner. Up until birth I could say son, partner & us both were all very close, but for reasons I dont really know I was asked to go home 2 days into my visit. Back story - had been invited to attend birth, or be there asap afterwards (we live maybe 8-9 hours drive away) & def to stay for a few days after, helping with other children etc. All good, new bubs is well, bigger children delighted, & new Mum & Dad seem to be just floating with everything. A day or so on, theres a few minor hiccups, & people are all getting a bit tired (there are 8 of us in the house smile !!) so I agree its best I head home & to give them space. Sad though. I'm adamant that we talked about it & why etc, but was rather gobsmacked when I was asked if I would come back in "a day or so & help some more". Im close to tears & leave quickly before it gets worse. Next thing I know son is super mad & yelling at me on the phone (once I get home) & since then our relationship seems to have frizzled. Obviously in my absence, with hasty leaving etc I am in the wrong. Now - I am thinking, logically, they have got a new bubs & although we all thought it would be fine, little stresses built up, & the obvious thing is to send those home that dont need to be there smile I feel hurt because they invited me to be there, but then seemed OK to just say, Go - but, come back soon. Other GP live closer so are visiting & helping lots, which is nice, but I feel envious & far away smile - should I just quietly accept our closeness has gone & be a long distance Granny ??

BlueBelle Sat 03-Mar-18 06:01:13

There have been so many of these ‘new baby /mother in law’ posts over the last few weeks I m really thinking you all should start a club
8 people in the house with a new baby is ridiculous
Do what they are comfortable with and accept your son is not yours any more he has his own family and yes you probably will be s long distance granny if you live 8 hours away what else ?
What’s with people expecting to be at the birth shouldn’t that be a time for husband and wife only to bond with their new bundle
I do think it’s unreasonable to expect you to turn round and come straight back but it sounds as if wires got crossed they didn’t think you were actually going to leave (which may have been a jerk reaction from you) and then felt guilty you went, your son is trying to juggle a mum he loves a new wife he loves and a new baby give him a break explain you did what you thought would be helpful and will come back as soon as you are able perhaps when the novelty has worn off a bit
I hope the in laws back off too and leave the young couple to enjoy their new baby
Too many people getting involved I think all mums and mums in law should be far less involved let these couples find their own way like we all did

sodapop Sat 03-Mar-18 06:54:24

I agree with BlueBelle it must have been very stressful for the new parents and then it sounds like a few wires were crossed.
Allow a little time for things to settle and then talk to them again.
Be happy they have help from the other GPs, its not a competition. I'm sure they will be glad of your help a bit later on.

OldMeg Sat 03-Mar-18 07:09:26

This is a story that crops up on GN regularly. Their life is full of stresses at the moment and they don’t need you to add to it in any way. You wouldn’t do that deliberately I know but they are up to their ears in new baby and all that entails.

Let me show you another side of the coin. I’m the granny that lives close and has day to day contact with my grandchildren. That’s lovely.

My co-grandparents only visit now and then, because they live far away. BUT their visit is extra special and I get sidelined when they do visit ....but that’s how it should be.

Their role, and yours if you play your cards right, is the extra special granny who isn’t seen as often but when she does come it’s a time for fun, games, outings, gifts, etc..

Two different roles. I’m not suggesting you go OTT with presents when you do visit, and don’t expect too much when the little one is still quite young, but over the years you can build up a very special relationship with grandchildren in this way. Mine go on holiday with their other grandparents now they’re older.

We all have to take what we can from our roles as grandparents. It’s early days yet. I suggest you build bridges with your son and his partner and think about your new role and what you can bring to it.

mcem Sat 03-Mar-18 07:26:53

Go back. Book a few days in Premier Inn. Treat oldest child to an overnight stay- what a treat!
You can help as necessary, clear off and let everyone recharge batteries!

mumofmadboys Sat 03-Mar-18 07:45:40

I would suggest saying you are happy to go back and help but will wait until they suggest when the time is right. Put the ball in their court . I'm sure things will improve. It is probably the stress of having a new baby. Enjoy your new GC

cornergran Sat 03-Mar-18 08:03:07

So many heightened emotions, no wonder there has been both confusion and upset. Personally I’d hate being so crowded but we’re all different. You could indeed suggest you stay close by to help, if that is possible present it in a way that is supportive of them rather than critical of their home. Ask what would help them, say you would love to help, but do be honest if it works for you, certainly travelling back and forth seems very hard work but I suspect most of us would do it if needed and we were able to. Once this initial period is over and everyone has settled into a routine life will get easier all round. Don’t take things too much to heart, early days yet.

Oopsadaisy12 Sat 03-Mar-18 08:09:41

When I stayed for the birth of my first GD, I overnighted in a local hotel, that way the family had space in the evenings and I was there for the breakfast chaos and to give my DD a lay in.
Please listen to the advice from the others, most of us have been there and done it, so many other posters have gone home and stewed about this very subject and have ended up estranged from their families due to a simple misunderstanding. They are the ones going through an exhausting and stressful time, not you.

br0adwater Sat 03-Mar-18 09:43:33

Same story. Have never properly got over it but like Meg says, you can carve out a granny role as time goes by. I did try talking with son & DiL by email which helped but could have backfired. Good luck.

Newmom101 Sat 03-Mar-18 09:53:35

I had a baby 6 months ago, and having a house full of 8 people at the time would have sent me crazy. If you can, maybe book into a hotel to stay at when you return, at least until the baby is older. With trying to establish breastfeeding and dealing with the not so pleasant after effects of childbirth, I didn't want my own mom staying in my house when DD was born, and although my MIL is a lovely woman, I couldn't have coped with her there either. Its a stressful time, especially if they have older kids to juggle as well. Book into a hotel and offer to take the older kids off their hands for a bit maybe?

mehimthem Sun 04-Mar-18 07:24:27

thanks for all these comments - time (& a bit of distance, lol) helps with a more common sense approach since I posted. I'm back at work now, DS has phoned & all seems good - as much as it can/will be I think. A lot of tension, very tired parents & lots of parents all trying to help was just too much, & this is for the best now - I think a few of us were just too optomistic about how things were going to work out. I/we will go visit some time in the future but we wont be staying there & that way we all keep our own space & it will be much better all round.

cornergran Sun 04-Mar-18 08:00:57

That sounds better, sometimes too much help is , well, just too much.

seasider Sun 04-Mar-18 08:28:13

Don't despair . My DH invited MIL to stay and help.
me when I had my first child. We ran a hotel, which was fully booked, so MIL slept in a partitioned part of our room. After 5 days of struggling with baby I shouted at MIL so she took herself off home. We visited as soon as I felt able and 18 months later she cared for DS when we had to make a trip abroad that wasn't suitable for young children. All turned out well in the end.

radicalnan Sun 04-Mar-18 08:48:16

What 'closeness' do you think has gone then? Seems to me that they included you in a rather busy household at a time of emotional overload and chaos. You were part of all that and your son rang you and spouted off a bit when he was stressed out, that my dear is family life.

I blame the 'Waltons' all sitting on their mountain, having the inter generational love -in, esconced in huge house and being philosophical, real life isn't life that, it is bloody and messy, loud and alarming at times, full of random upsets.......and joys of course.

Sounds to me as if you are close, just get on with it. Turbulence is family life, mostly it doesn't last and the less you read into it the better.

Ask them where they want you to stay when you go back, offer a B&B if you can afford it, accept they might want you back in with them, if they are trying to make up to you for what became heated.

Don't let trivial things start you all on the wrong path, this is a blip nothing more.

Peardrop50 Sun 04-Mar-18 08:48:57

Agree with Meg. You’ll be the fun long distance special granny. Also agree with Bluebelle, I don’t understand this need to be at the birth and then to be totally involved in their lives.
I lived in Australia when my eldest children were born, husband and I managed perfectly well between us. A weekly phone call to parents to keep them updated was just right. Returned to the UK for birth of youngest, was grateful for baby sitting of older ones when I went in to labour but could have done without the territory marking of grandparents. Moved 100 miles away within 12 months so that we could get on with our lives. They visited us four times a year and we went to them in between so it was always a special treat for the children and worked well for us.
I leave mine to get on with it although they seem to need their mothers far more than we ever did. We’re there when they call but otherwise we crack on with our own life.

ReadyMeals Sun 04-Mar-18 08:58:41

I think it will sort itself out when you've had a few days normality and peace back home and when they have caught up on some sleep (usually baby gets into a routine and settles better in a couple of weeks) Just don't bother trying to "sort things out" between you till that time comes cos in my experience attempts to sort out misunderstandings just lead to further rows if attempted too soon.

Coconut Sun 04-Mar-18 09:19:45

Yes, take a deep breath and a step back for now ... just let them know that you are there when they need you. Empathy all round is needed 💐

AlgeswifeVal Sun 04-Mar-18 09:36:23

So glad to read it’s sorted. Take a step back. Fall outs are so stressful, I know I’ve been there. Enjoy your new GC. lucky you.

inishowen Sun 04-Mar-18 09:43:37

I'm glad it's all sorted now. I would never ever stay in my daughters or sons homes. It's too much pressure. I can't imagine what it was like having 8 people when they had a new baby. Even if they did ask you, they hadn't thought it through properly. You live and learn!

sarahellenwhitney Sun 04-Mar-18 10:16:39

Always wait to be asked making it clear you are there when needed. Might not be to your liking but its their life not yours.

GabriellaG Sun 04-Mar-18 11:02:12

That's a really nice, considered reply OldMeg

luluaugust Sun 04-Mar-18 11:08:53

I would take comfort from the fact that apparently you are wanted back there fairly soon, I can't quite make out if you were told to go home or whether it was just a suggestion, maybe them feeling it was all too much for you? Now husbands/partners get time off for baby's arrival I suppose the extra female in the house is not always needed on day one at home but obviously you can't just visit for an hour or two. I hope everything calms down a bit and you are on your way to visit soon.

GabriellaG Sun 04-Mar-18 11:10:28

When visiting my children for whatever reason or occasion, I never stay in their home unless it's a day visit.
Anything longer and I book into a b&b, where I can have breakfast alone and let them get on with their morning routine.
There's no feeling that they have to 'entertain' mum 24/7 and I can go to bed and get up when I please.
It works very well although they insist that I can stay with them. It's my choice not to.
I feel that they can be themselves more if mum isn't there to hear any disagreements they may have or conversations they may rather I not hear.

Camelotclub Sun 04-Mar-18 11:39:35

You're getting this out of proportion. Just leave them alone and I bet they'll be begging for help in a week or two!

Happysexagenarian Sun 04-Mar-18 11:51:52

Mehimthem,

I smiled when I read this, it took me back to the births of my own children. My Mum had been a midwife and very much wanted to be at the birth of her 1st grandchild. I was adamant she would NOT be, she would be critical and tell everyone "it wasn't done like that in my day". She came to stay for a 'few days' and soon upset my midwife and health visitor, my husband and me. When our second child was born she came to look after the eldest while I was in hospital. She fed him some undercooked chicken and gave him food poisoning! So I went home to one very unwell and unhappy little boy and a husband at the end of his tether. Shortly before the birth of our 3rd child my Mum was with us for a regular weekend visit when it snowed very heavily. Two days later the baby arrived. Two months later Mum was still with us, her flat had been damaged by burst pipes and she couldn't return until it was fixed, redecorated and dried out. On top of which she had bronchitis! So now I was looking after Mum, a new baby, a toddler and coping with the school run every day, and an irritable husband who just wanted his home and family back!! My husbands parents never once offered any help, in fact they NEVER EVER offered to babysit for us while our kids were young.

We are now grandparents ourselves and we live 150 miles from our children & grandchildren - we moved, not them. We keep in regular contact and they visit us several times a year either for a weekend or a week or two. They come because they want to see us, not out of a sense of duty. We look forward to them coming, and although it can be hard work catering for 14 people everyone helps out and its great fun, and we are genuinely sorry to see them leave.

I think no matter how close our family relationships are we all need a bit of space sometimes, and long distance relationships with grandchildren can work, just a little differently to how we might have expected.