Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Anxious granny to be about visiting GC

(54 Posts)
Nearlyamum Sun 21-Apr-19 18:23:27

I am having my first child soon and my mum will be a granny for the first time. When DP and I decided to try for a baby I knew we would have issues with my mum as she is highly strung and can be smothering at times. Well she was thrilled at first but she’s started to become very anxious about how often she will see her GC as she lives 2hrs away. As I near the end of my pregnancy she has been getting more and more worked up, lately in tears about it. I’ve tried to suggest that she comes up once a week to stay with us overnight and that we will visit her once a month on the weekend, but it doesn’t seem to have helped. I also feel strange having to arrange visitation with my own mother, I had thought that things would be more natural than this and that she’d just come up to visit when we were both free, but she was so worked up I felt I had to give her a schedule just to keep her calm. She now wants to move house to be closer to us but I don’t want her to move her whole life just to be near us. I feel like we would end up feeling obligated to see her daily and I’m not sure that would be healthy. I feel like I need to protect my time with my DP and something inside me doesn’t want to see her more often than I’ve suggested. Please be honest - I feel so confused because I hate seeing her so upset but I don’t feel like I can give her what she wants without sacrificing the family life I’d envisioned. Should I throw the schedule out the window? Should I calm down and let her move here? Should I stick to what my intuition is telling me?

phoenix Sun 21-Apr-19 18:27:40

Move house! NO

Stick to your gut feeling, YES

Rein her in NOW before things get out of hand.

Sara65 Sun 21-Apr-19 18:34:00

I agree! I think you are being amazingly generous, as your mother is obviously quite difficult to deal with. I think you would very quickly live to regret it if she moved close to you.
You sound like a lovely caring girl, you shouldn’t feel any guilt

Soupy Sun 21-Apr-19 18:40:24

Do we assume that you are an only child and that your mother lives alone?

This is so difficult to answer; I'm also a new granny and, whilst I saw my gc fairly frequently as a new born, a few months on and it has settled to roughly twice a week and we are all quite laid back about it.

Is your mother still working, as this will also have an impact on her travel plans?

Hopefully you can wait a bit until the baby is born and see how things are.

Good luck

petra Sun 21-Apr-19 18:56:14

You asked us to be honest. If it were me I'd be the one that was moving: even further away.

mumofmadboys Sun 21-Apr-19 19:02:39

Nearlyamum perhaps you can encourage your mum to take things a step at a time and explain it will be a new situation for you all. Suggest see how things go when the baby is born and say of course you want to see her regularly but you also need time to be a family. Wishing you well.

M0nica Sun 21-Apr-19 19:49:45

How often did you see your grand parents, on both sides? If you saw them less frequently and had a happy arrangement with them perhaps you could point out to you mother how well that worked.

What about your husband and his parents? Your DH should have a say in the matter and you should point out to her that bothe sets of parents need to be treated equally. Your child will be both their grandchild as well. You cannot possibly have both of them staying a night a week with you.

After the first excitement I would suggest seeing each set of grandparents no more than once a month, if they live any distance for a weekend at either their place or yours and one afternoon, max a week, if they live close by.

You and your DH are forming your family and want independence and time to be together and do everything your way. Your small family comes first before grandparents and they need to know their place in the pecking order.

This advice comes from a grandmother who has the happiest relations with DS and DDiL and a close relationship with grandchildren. We live 200 miles away and we meet up about every six weeks for a long weekend at our house or theirs. The other grandma lives near by and is in touch with her daughter on the phone most days but now sees them every week or 10 days, often with or at friends..

notanan2 Sun 21-Apr-19 20:19:37

Whatever you do, commit to NOTHING in advance.

You do not yet know what your recovery will be. What kind of baby you will have. What effect it has on you and your partner. What issues you will face (colic etc)

So DO NOT agree to set visits in advance. You do not yet know what kind of help you will and WONT need.

You might have a blissful post partum but also there is a chance that you dont and you will need to look after your own mental healtg not soneone elses.

MamaCaz Sun 21-Apr-19 20:22:18

Good advice has already been given.

I just want to add that your mum perhaps also needs to consider that you and your partner might decide to move house yourselves in the future, so if she moves now just to be near you, she could end up wishing she had stayed where she is now, where I presume she has friends and a social life.

sodapop Sun 21-Apr-19 20:33:53

Good advice from momb take things slowly.

Nearlyamum Sun 21-Apr-19 20:36:44

Thanks for the messages everyone - I feel much more confident in my gut instincts now. I love my mum and I want to see her happy. I want her to have a great relationship with her GC just like I had with my grandparents. I just wish she could see that and not assume that I’ll try to keep her away, as I’ve never intended to give her that impression. I think it’s all been blown completely out of proportion because of her anxiety. It doesn’t help that she’s recently retired and suffers with low moods since the menopause. I think she feels like having a GC will be her new passion in life and wants it to go well - I’ll work on reassuring her that DP and I want her to be involved and maybe suggest that we all just relax and see how we feel once baby is here.

M0nica Sun 21-Apr-19 21:15:35

Under no circumstances let your mother feels like having a GC will be her new passion in life. That is a recipe for disaster. Read almost any thread of anguish from a despairing GM on GN and at the heart of it is that the grandmother has invested her life, being and sense of purpose in being a grandmother and as soon as the smallest thing doesn't work quite right, or they are told in the kindest terms to back off a bit, their whole life crumbles.

Encourage your mother to invest in a new post retirement life with new hobbies and new interests. If you succeed in thta it will be definititon take some of the pressure off you because she will too busy with them to rely constantly on you.

Grammaretto Sun 21-Apr-19 21:32:12

I agree. It's going to be your baby not hers.
Don't make any promises. Don't encourage her to move nearer.
Do encourage her to fill her life, post retirement, with new activities.
I hope it goes well for you all. You sound like a very thoughtful and caring daughter.

Sarahmob Mon 22-Apr-19 09:08:52

I live nearly 2hrs away from my daughter and like your mum I wondered how often I’d get to see my DGS after he was born. I needn’t have worried, I saw her roughly once a fortnight with lots of FaceTime in between whilst she was on maternity leave and she came home to stay for a couple of days at a time too. Now I’m part of the childcare arrangement, travelling down early on a Monday and returning late on Tuesday after taking care of my grandson. Try to reassure your mum and gently suggest that if she gives you space you are all more likely to enjoy the wonderful new experiences and changes ahead. BTW I think that your suggestion is a great one. Good luck!

Jacqui1956 Mon 22-Apr-19 09:34:33

You are being more than generous stick to your guns and let your mother deal with it!
I had a very loving but extremely suffocating mother, I am now 62yrs old, my mum passed away at the age of 93 last year. I have only now started to do all the things that I’ve always wanted to do. My mum would start with the hysterics, tears and sudden bouts of illness if I mentioned a holiday! I never got to university as it was several hundred miles from home so consequently ended up as a nurse. My first husband sited my interfering mum when we divorced. Fortunately my second husband was much firmer and she realised she had met her match! Lol
I’ve let both my children have the freedom to choose and it hasn’t affected the loving relationship that we have. Don’t let your mum dictate your life.
I know it’s difficult but live your life as you want it not how your mother would like it to be!

DanniRae Mon 22-Apr-19 09:39:51

I would feel inclined to let your mum know that she is causing you stress and that is NOT a good thing for a pregnant mum. Hopefully then she will 'have a talk to herself' and be easier to deal with. You, your baby and your DP are your priority now.
Finally the best advice I ever had when I got married was "Start as you mean to go on" - I think you could do this too regarding your mum.
Good Luck for the future and enjoy your baby when he/she arrives.

Liz46 Mon 22-Apr-19 09:41:59

Maybe you could quietly explain to her that her anxiety is making you anxious and please would she calm down about it?

I think some gentle honesty on your part may be needed. Does she knit? If so, ask for a complicated baby blanket. That would keep her busy for a long time but yet she might feel she is contributing.

Elderlyfirsttimegran Mon 22-Apr-19 09:43:31

definite NO to moving closer to you!

MaudLillian Mon 22-Apr-19 10:12:47

I live quite close to my son and his wife and my adorable granddaughter who is the absolute joy of my life and I never feel that I've seen enough of her - she is like a treat I can never get enough of! I usually get to see her about once every week to 10 days and feel lucky to get that precious time with her. Sometimes I look after her for a bit when my DiL works late and can't collect her from nursery - and that is an extra treat for me. I wish I had a schedule where I could rely on seeing them every weekend, but it doesn't work like that and I try very hard not to mind when they can't manage to come visit, but I do mind of course, because I am deeply besotted with my granddaughter. I don't make a fuss, because I don't want to upset the good relationship I have with my DiL or make things hard for my son. And I also know that there are mothers of sons who hardly ever see their grandchildren, so I must count my blessings here. I think you are being very kind, offering your mother a weekly visit and a weekend stop over that she can rely on. If I had this I would be very happy - it's the uncertainty of when and if that causes me some stress at times. I am wondering what your partner feels about all of this and hoping it will not strain your relationship.

paddyann Mon 22-Apr-19 10:23:06

I think you have to tell your mum to think back to when she was expecting you.did she agree to a schedule for visits? Or was she like most of us who visited GP when we had the time ?
Its a new experience for you and you have to be allowed to enjoy it without your mother making you stress about her input or lack of.I'm one of the lucky grans ,I see mine all the time and the silly thing is I always had a very busy life and wouldn't have minded not seeing so much of them.Maybe your mum needs to find other things to occupy her time so she doesn't rely on you so much.Enjoy your baby,they grow up too fast.

Matriarch Mon 22-Apr-19 10:27:32

Has your mum seen her gp about her menopausal symptoms ? For some women menopause can seriously affect their mental health creating anxiety and lack of self esteem . HRT could address that . You must certainly go with your instincts . Grandchildren can give you a new lease of life but they must not be your life . That isn’t healthy for anyone . Hope it all works out for you xxx

ReadyMeals Mon 22-Apr-19 10:41:54

I became quite anxious when my daughter was pregnant. The pregnancy had been hard to achieve in the first place and she was an "older" mum. Anxiety can show itself in many ways. But because I'd been the same with my previous grandchild from my son, and then relaxed afterwards, I recognised the symptoms. I think it's some instinctive tribal thing kicking in.

Personally, I'd decide nothing at this time. When the child is born and past its immediate perinatal period when everyone can see you're both gonna be fine, reassess the situation. She may be more relaxed by then.

NannyG123 Mon 22-Apr-19 11:00:19

My daughter and 3yr old grandson moved away last year, at first I found it very difficult as o looked after my grandson whilst daughter worked. But I've got used to it now I go to see them every couple of weeks,sometimes staying over The look of joy on his face when we turn up is brilliant and we get the biggest hug.,and they have just left after spending a few days here. We also FaceTime a lot. Your mum will get used to the arrangement but don't give in and move nearer,it will just make you unhappy.As parents and grandparents we have to let our daughters/sons. Make their own decisions,and support and be there for them when needed. Good luck with your new baby.

LuckyFour Mon 22-Apr-19 11:00:23

Just keep saying it will all be fine. Don't make too many promises or time tables etc. you can't do that with a new baby. Keep it vague, but don't let her move house to be near you. Remind her that babies grow up and once the child is at school there is less involvement. Your mum needs to be encouraged to make her own life and let you have yours. Kindly of course.

ReadyMeals Mon 22-Apr-19 11:08:28

Also I don't know your mother's age, but when I became a grandma I was quite a bit older than my own mother was when I had mine. I was taken by surprise when I found out how much difference the age made as to how tiring I found the grandchildren. So now I am kind of glad they're all a bit too far to see all the time. And of course - there is social media and video chats, so I really still feel quite involved.