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Mother/Daughter/Gran dchild relationship issues

(33 Posts)
Debutante Mon 22-Jun-20 11:16:30

Hi All
I’m a new grandmother of 4 months and things were great but since the lockdown which happened a few weeks after he was born things have obviously got a lot more difficult for my daughter! It is so sad that all these new mothers can’t enjoy their maternity leave with their new babies and meet all the other mums. Since we have been able to meet in our gardens I’ve obviously been able to more clearly see how my daughter is coping and I’m quite concerned about her. She seems to have very high levels of anxiety and is clearly finding it hard to cope. She is very touchy and though I’m incredibly careful not to give any advice at all unless it is asked for I seem to say things that upset without even imagining for one second that it would. And sometimes when she does ask advice I’m really reluctant to give it because she becomes really sensitive if I don’t give the answer she wants. I’m putting it down to this dreadful situation adding to her anxiety and making her ultra sensitive but the problem is how to best handle it ....

sodapop Mon 22-Jun-20 12:34:37

I think you are right Debutante a combination of Covid worries and post natal anxiety.
Don't take things too much to heart, we always take things out our nearest and dearest. Are you able to talk to her about her worries and say that you are upset by some of her comments. Is there a nurse or health visitor who could advise.

Debutante Mon 22-Jun-20 14:24:58

Thanks Sodapop. I try not to be but I’m very anxious and worried too so am also probably also over sensitive. I know I need to put myself aside to help her but I have plenty of my own problems and worries. My other daughter is married too and both her and husband are possibly facing redundancy. My husband is 67 and should be retired but can’t now. I know loads of people have much worse problems but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with our own, even with that knowledge. It’s just got to the point where I’m frightened to say anything in case it’s wrong so it’s become very polite and feels false, as though we’re tip toeing around each other, but I think both our emotions are too close to the surface to actually confront it now, need to bide my time for a bit at least. One of the problems is it’s like she’s been abandoned as far as support from a health visitor or midwife is concerned as she did phone them but had to leave messages and no one has returned her call.

Lolo81 Mon 22-Jun-20 18:29:02

I suffer from anxiety too and I find that when my anxiety levels are high that I find it worse when I’m with people who know me well and see through my “mask”. Seeing their worry makes my anxiety worse, so I tend to retreat. I find it easier to communicate by text during these times, might that be an option? Also I have medication I can take and I practice breathing exercises, you can find good guided meditation videos on YouTube. Being a new mum is a high anxiety time for anyone, let her know you’re there for a shoulder to cry on if she needs you (even if it’s via text) and reassure her she’s doing a good job. It’s a learning curve for everyone and given the state of the world just now I’d say any new mum would be a bit more harried. Sending you positive thoughts that everything works out for your family x

Debutante Tue 23-Jun-20 06:24:52

Thank you Lolo81

Youngatheart51 Tue 23-Jun-20 10:00:09

I think it's a combination of feeling isolated due to lockdown & hormones. My eldest dd has 2 dgd & during both pregnancies & for 6 months after I was in the same situation your in now. Sometimes I was scared to open my mouth! Bang on 6 months she reverted back to my dd so hang fire & just be patient. Once things get back to normal hopefully your daughter will feel better.

Grannyflower Tue 23-Jun-20 10:00:12

Oh bless, Guessing this is not how you would hoped it would be right now with everything going on. My DiL loved Mumsnet and that’s how I found Gransnet. Such help to reach out to others in their boats. Hoping for calm waters soon xx

chattykathy Tue 23-Jun-20 10:04:35

Your DD might be suffering with post natal depression so she should try to contact the HV again. Or could you and ask them to visit? My neighbour has had regular visits since having her baby. The health professionals surely know this has been a very difficult time for anyone who has a baby. In the meantime I'm sure she appreciates your love and support.

NotSpaghetti Tue 23-Jun-20 10:10:53

One of my daughters would have been like this had she had her baby this year I’m sure.

If the baby is growing then that’s one thing she’s doing well with. Remember to praise all the good things.
I would say, how great to have a baby growing so well, so beautiful, so smiley, so alert, whatever is appropriate.

I’m assuming this is a first baby. Keep praising everything that is going ok. If she is eating things other than ready-meals, if she says she’s hoovered! I’d try to stress the normality of the stressful sleepless time with a young baby.

If she’d been going to baby groups with other mums, they would have told her their own horror stories and they would have shared laughs and worries. She needs that now I think. Admit to your own early-days problems so she knows they are entirely normal.

Obviously if she is depressed this does need help - but otherwise you may be able to be the person she is safe to “have a moan” to.

There may be online peer to peer support available too. It might be worth googling that. If breastfeeding, La Leche is excellent. See if anything is in place virtually instead of NCT meet-ups. Check out local groups, they may have socially distanced mum and baby walks for example.

Good luck. I hope things generally improve for you all soon.

Coco51 Tue 23-Jun-20 10:15:09

I always prefaced advice to DD with ‘We used to do xyz but things have changed since then, best thing is to gather as much information as you can, and then go with what you feel is right for you and baby’

NotSpaghetti Tue 23-Jun-20 10:17:59

Exactly Coco51 - she is the expert on her own baby.

GoldenAge Tue 23-Jun-20 10:31:33

Debutante - I would continue to see your daughter from a distance - and over coffee or whatever just float your own idea that you think all new mums are having a rough deal and missing out on chatting with other new mums etc - Get her feeling on that and try to work your way round to suggesting her GP can refer her for some support / counselling which. An be done via telephone or zoom/Skype - so you’re taking a back door into what she really needs which is post-natal counselling - I’m not suggesting she’s depressed at all - just suffering from the isolation and obvious anxiety of not knowing whether she’s doing right or wrong and she may not be getting regular sleep either.

dizzygran Tue 23-Jun-20 10:36:24

lots of love. Took me back to when DD and D Dil were new mums. You are doing fine - you are seeing your DD and baby so know they are safe and well. Baby seems to be thriving. DD is having baby blues and is obviously anxious. We all wanted to be the best mums and to do everything right. She will be completely different when she has baby no.2 - and so will you. Try to continue to not give any un asked for advice. No "we did this in my day. Perhaps go for a walk with them - sometimes things are easier when outside doing something. Lots of love and praise - for your lovely daughter and, of course, the most beautiful GC ever. Even with lockdown HVs can be contacted if there are any issues with baby or mum - Enjoy their company and relax - don't let DD feel she is being watched.

joysutty Tue 23-Jun-20 10:40:37

Well my daughter has not had a baby but is working from home who lives on her own, and has asthma and she is stressed out like mad, we cant even have a proper conversation but with just having had a baby at this time like you say its hard going out and about, and meeting the other mums is a NO NO, i myself did not realise i was down after my 2nd child and my husband did call the health worker who called round and it helped in just talking to another woman, being no one from either side of the family. I wasn't given medication only support which is what she needs even at this time it probably will be a chat/video call conversation over the phone. Good Luck.

Rosina Tue 23-Jun-20 11:05:21

I was like a coiled spring for at least a year with my first baby - bit everyone's head off and felt so full of stress, and so inadequate. It was sad as I missed out on a lot, and I can understand how you must be worried. If you are relaxed in her company that will help, and perhaps a lot of 'what do you think? when she asks you for advice might prompt a discussion rather than her getting up tight if what you feel is a good idea doesn't match her feelings.

Craftycat Tue 23-Jun-20 11:05:29

When I had my first baby I took far more notice of what friends advised rather than Mum or Mum in Law. I am sure your daughter is missing her friends & needs to be able to talk with them. Can she do a ZOOM meeting with them? It is very easy & a great way to keep in touch. Our WI has done them since the lockdown & both my yoga teacher & dance teacher do them daily.
If she has a PC or a tablet she can certainly set it up.

Gwenisgreat1 Tue 23-Jun-20 11:08:47

Congratulations Debutante on the birth of your first grandchild! It is the start of a new life for you all. Yes, Covid makes all things difficult. Your daughter will be worried about being responsible for this tiny life, especially now. Does she have Zoom meetings with others with new babies? Or relations who have small children? Something along this ilk might be helpful?

grandtanteJE65 Tue 23-Jun-20 11:10:01

Have you mentioned to your daughter that you are afraid she might take advice the wrong way?

Most of us have memories of our mothers or mothers in law handing out a great deal of advice, which we didn't want.

Tell your daughter this and say you received advice that really was interference and that you would hate her to feel that way about the advice you give.

She might just be taking your lack of advice as lack of interest!

Sueki44 Tue 23-Jun-20 11:26:36

I sympathise so much! Those early days are pretty hellish at any time : I always felt that I was just about scrambling through them and in lockdown it has been so much worse.
There are no clinics or visits from health visitors, even six week checks are done by phone. As NotSpaghetti noted normally you would be meeting other mums at NCT getogethers and baby groups which give you support and reassurance, but there is nothing. At the same time there is the awful spectre of COVID 19 which adds to the fear
Hopefully, as the baby thrives and life falls into a more of a routine your daughter’s confidence will grow but I really don’t think that you can compare her situation with anyone who has had a baby in more normal times. All you can do is listen and tell her what a wonderful job she is doing.

Grannygrumps1 Tue 23-Jun-20 11:44:46

Hi Debutante, this post could easily been written by me. I’ve had exactly the same situation. First and only GD Was born on the 8th March. I can’t say or do anything right as far as my daughter is concerned. I try and make light of it by joking with her husband as to how many minutes she will be with me before she’s telling me off or having a go. She had the same problem with midwives and Health Visitors. But fortunately I worked with our local HVs for many years and although she lived in a different borough they helped her. But never any thanks to me. She has also refused to let me ‘bubble’ with her. I live on my own. So all I can do is sit back and wait.
It’s hard. I just hope one day she realises what she is missing.

Scottiebear Tue 23-Jun-20 11:53:52

Must be so hard with a new baby during the lockdown. It should be one of the most joyous times for parents and grandparents. And much of that has been stolen away from her. Just make sure she knows that you are there for anything she needs. Perhaps you could buy some little treats for her, rather than the baby. A mother can be a little forgotten in the excitement of the new arrival. And perhaps a day out if you have somewhere nearby where you could take a picnic. Just so she has a chance to chill. I hope things get better soon.

Toadinthehole Tue 23-Jun-20 12:11:21

Honestly * Debutante*, this is so common at the moment, you could fill a directory! I think this generation are generally more anxious as new/ young parents. Not surprising with the amount of ‘ advice’ they’re given from so called experts. I’ve seen it in all our children with our grandchildren. The Covid crisis has just exacerbated this. Try not to worry. She’s still very early days post natal, and I would bet she really appreciates you, although it may not seem like it at the moment. Just remind her you’re there to help not hinder, and that she’s very loved along with your new grandson. Congratulations by the way, and hope things improve soon💐

Bibbity Tue 23-Jun-20 12:42:40

I can’t imagine how worried you are. And I sympathise with your daughter so much.
When lockdown happened my baby was well a baby.
In that time she’s learnt to crawl, walk and say some words. And it’s hard to accept that my mum who has been such a significant part of my older twos lives has missed all of that.

What I will say is 4mo is horrendous.
There is a growth spurt that usually entails crying constantly, feeding constantly and very very little sleep. It’s pushed me to the limit every time.
But it ends as quickly as it comes.
I hope you’re all OK. And this will end soon.

MarieEliza Tue 23-Jun-20 12:53:31

I would re ring the health visitor and talk about your concerns, they are discreet ( ask her not to mention that you rang). I had a baby a year after my mother died and the health visitor became like a second mum

Sleepygran Tue 23-Jun-20 13:04:47

My dd was very much the same with her Number one child.
I did say that whatever, I would always love them both,and if I said anything that upset or bothered her then she should say,and I would say too,as we've always been honest and open.
I also said that if there was Anything I could do to help,if I was able I'd do it.
I'd also say I was sending loads of virtual hugs.
A first baby is such a shock to the system.I feel for her.

I'd also say I'm sending you loads of virtual hugs.