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Challenges with DIL

(54 Posts)
NewGMa Fri 14-Feb-20 09:39:18

I have a wonderful DIL whom my son loves very much. She is young, 22 & my son 25. My DH & I are in our late 40's. Her parents are much older than us... they are in their early 60's.

Our DH & DIL recently had their first baby, our first grandchild & we are thrilled. It has been a difficult road for my DIL as she has postpartum anxiety. We've all been respectful and supportive of her and our DS as much as we can being several States away.

Its been 2 months now and she still won't seek professional help. My son is being so patient with her but it is draining him. Recently our grandson was blessed in our church. Her parents flew out & so did my DH. I was going to surprise them and come but because I knew she was still not right I called and asked her what she thought. And she told me she loved me & knew everyone would love to have me there but it was overwhelming for her & she preferred I didn't come. So I stayed home. My DS calls us & we talk & i always say - How's my baby? How's my handsome boy? I was recently told not to say that to my DIL because it causes her anxiety. So I'm trying to watch what I say.
Now her new issue is what we're calling ourselves. When they were first married & we talked about grandkids she asked us what do we want them to call us. We said Mama & Papa. That's what my husband called his grandparents and we've always looked forward to the day we had our own grandchildren so they can call us that. When we told her that, she smiled. But now, it's an issue. She said she called her parents Mama & Papa/ Dad and doesn't want to confuse the baby because he will call her Mama (its really that name she has an issue with).
I am so hurt and frustrated. I feel I have bent over backwards to accommodate, support & love her through her struggles but she continues to have more rules and demands.
For 30 years we have dreamt about being Mama & Papa to our grandchildren and now she's not allowing it. I'm at a loss. Advice?

Madgran77 Fri 14-Feb-20 16:27:10

I think you need to focus far more on your relationship with your DIL than on what you are called! To be honest, it seems very strange for your Husband to attend but not you....that is far more relevant and important to consider why, if you want to sustain a relationship with this new little family

notanan2 Fri 14-Feb-20 17:08:32

Perhaps you should be encouraging your son to persuade her to seek help for the anxiety.

The OP is in NO position to be making comments on the DILs mental health because
- she is using it as a way to belittle DILs VALID concerns about OPs behaviour
- she unkindly said "its been 2 months" instead of "its only been two months"...
- she has bee told that while DIL is fine with others, the thought of OP arriving makes her feel overwhelmed and anxious
- saying the DS is drained because of her and not because new parenting is just draining is s**t-stirring talk

I dont think the DIL has "problems". I think the OP has zero insight

Norah Fri 14-Feb-20 17:23:03

What are the real demands? Son and dil want to do as they wish.

Norah Fri 14-Feb-20 17:24:38

Dil mental health is not your worry.

Smileless2012 Fri 14-Feb-20 17:27:29

Just ask them what they'd prefer you to be called and go with it. Calling GP's mama and papa would confuse any child surely.

I don't understand why you didn't go with your H and decided to surprise your d.i.l. by flying out later and before doing so, 'phoned her to ask what she thought. Sorry, but the response you said you got from your d.i.l. doesn't make any sense either.

If other people were there for the blessing including you H, why would your presence be "overwhelming"? Or gave I miss understood?

Smileless2012 Fri 14-Feb-20 17:28:32

sorry that should have been 'or have I miss understood'.

rafichagran Fri 14-Feb-20 17:37:09

I dont get this, all the Grandparents I vluding your husband went but you were going to fly out and surprise them. Were you not invited in the first place? Also when you asked to go you were told not too.
I really find this post odd.

SynchroSwimmer Fri 14-Feb-20 17:44:25

“Challenges with DIL”

I would kindly and very gently suggest maybe looking on Mumsnet and reading some of the heartfelt posts there from DIL’s who are struggling with MIL’s, those who are calling grandchildren “my baby” and suchlike, and how very difficult this is for DIL’s. It's helpful to see it from the other side.

MerylStreep Fri 14-Feb-20 18:00:16

I don't think your getting the advice you were hoping for, NewGMa

Gummie Fri 14-Feb-20 18:10:50

Gosh I’m not sure why a grandparent would want to be Mama or Papa. Relish in the grand. When my grand babies were on the way we agreed I was Granny and the fraternal gran is Grandma. But one of my twin grand babies has taken to calling me Gum and that’s fine I’m sure it will evolve into something beautiful. They have a mama and papa in mummy and daddy. Much as I love them they have 2 fabulous parents. I understand perfectly my role, which is to love them all.

Newatthis Fri 14-Feb-20 18:45:53

Mama and Papa - How's my baby? How's my handsome boy? - He's not your he's theirs, they are Mama and Papa!! How about 'How's our baby grandchild? How's your handsome baby boy? " It's no wonder she's suffering from anxiety!! You might think that these terms of endearment are OK but they're not and I know you don't mean anything by them but please remember that this little baby boy, although part of your family, is theirs. Be careful or you might find that invites become less frequent..

OutsideDave Fri 14-Feb-20 18:53:23

I think there’s not a single thing wrong with dils mental health but quite a bit wrong with the expectations from OP. You are not mama. The baby has a mama. Please stop stressing the baby’s mama by claiming ownership of a role that isn’t yours.

SirChenjin Fri 14-Feb-20 19:41:38

What everyone else has already said.

I am genuinely mystified as to why you cannot see how unreasonable your post sounds. Your DiL is not the problem here (although I strongly suspect there will now be a lot of drip feeding to prove that she is v v unreasonable and your son is kept under the thumb by a scheming, domineering, mentally unstable young woman).

Callistemon Fri 14-Feb-20 19:50:55

I think the title of the OP should be "Challenges with MIL"

Or 'Tips for new MILs on How Not to Behave'

Callistemon Fri 14-Feb-20 19:52:09

Or 'New Grandmothers'

It is a learning curve but some need to learn more than others- and very quickly.

Doodle Fri 14-Feb-20 22:23:50

Do you think NewGma is perhaps not interested in our thoughts on her OP as she has not returned yet?

Callistemon Fri 14-Feb-20 22:28:37

Very odd choice of username for someone who doesn't want to be called Grandma.

Perhaps it's just me.

NewGMa Sat 15-Feb-20 00:53:56

Thank you all for your thoughts. It really helped me to think more consciously of her side. There is of course more to our background than can be covered in a single post. But your opinions really helped me take a step back & think about what's really bothering me. Was it really the name? No, it wasn't. It was our relationship.
I decided to call my DIL one on one without my son and talk with her about this. We had a beautiful talk & have resolved our issues. She was able to explain her thoughts. She listened to mine. We were both respectful to each other. We agreed that I will be called Grandma and I genuinely feel good about it. We were able to clear the air on other things as well. And we agreed to communicate to each lovingly and respectfully. What more can I ask? I'm so happy that it went well! Thank you all for your help ❤

MissAdventure Sat 15-Feb-20 01:00:45

Lovely update.

Txquiltz Sat 15-Feb-20 01:53:19

The names must be secondary to your DIL and her recovery from pregnancy. This prolonged anxiety may well indicate a hormone imbalance. This type of anxiety is well researched and she needs to see her doctor. It is very treatable, but she needs a loving hand.

kissngate Sat 15-Feb-20 08:36:04

Does it really matter what your name is. When our first GC was born we were told by SiL that we couldnt be nana, papa or grandpa as his parents used those names. I wasn't bothered one bit they could call us what they wanted. I'm now granny but OH is bow-wow-wow or moo depending on the child, we love it.

sodapop Sat 15-Feb-20 08:53:23

Thanks for the update NewGMa so pleased you have resolved things so well with your daughter in law. Your grandson is lucky to have a Grandma who cares enough to consider the feelings of others.

Madgran77 Sat 15-Feb-20 09:58:42

NewGMa that is brilliant to hear. And so good that there was respect, listening and understanding from both of you. Enjoy being Grandma! smile

Callistemon Sat 15-Feb-20 10:04:48

I'm not called by the name I chose, either Gma, if it's any consolation. However, it was DD who decided on something else.

What's in a name?
As long as you have a good relationship with your DIL, enjoy your new little grandson and your DIL recovers well and begins to relax.

Starlady Sun 16-Feb-20 14:25:06

Congratulations, NewGMA on your new grandbaby! Sorry DIL has been experiencing postpartum anxiety, but 2 months isn't very long for that to be going on. I'm sure she'll get past it in time.

I agree w/ those who say you shouldn't say anything to DS about her mental health. That's between them. And again, I'm certain she'll be better soon.

So glad you and she had such a warm, productive conversation. I understood your wanting to be "Mama and Papa" since DH's parents were, but I also get why DIL would object to that. I'm glad you've accepted "Grandma" instead. Please continue to keep in mind that they are the parents now, and you and DH are GPs. As a GP myself, I think it's a wonderful thing to be. Enjoy! And best of luck moving forward!