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ADVICE

(15 Posts)
joanna12 Sun 26-Jul-20 18:49:54

Hello i only discovered gransnet during lockdown and i thank you so much,i have asked for advice twice and listened to all advice given and to be honest you have all helped me, also by reading peoples conversations i have taken a lot on board.

My son and daughter inlaw live half an hour drive away from us and we have only seen them twice since lockdown through a closed patio window with our two grandchildren aged 2 and 6 months because they are shielding not for any illness etc just being very cautious with the children,i found that very hard but understand its their choice and i respect that,i dont talk to them about lockdown or how long they are likely to continue like but i worry about them,they dont go out,all shopping delivered and son works from home,but the longer this goes on i worry how hard it will be for them to start to come out etc.I know its not my place to give advice to them but its hard to sit back and say nothing,guessing the stress levels must be very high in their house and bying saying the wrong thing could make it explode,guess what i am asking is do i just carry on saying nothing it worries me but what can i do or say.Sorry confusing just my head is all scrambled.

Septimia Sun 26-Jul-20 19:01:07

It is quite scarey to 'get back out there' and a lot of younger people, especially those who haven't met tough times before, are very anxious. But it doesn't get easier by staying at home, only harder.

Do they have a garden? You mention a patio - are they going into the garden themselves? Would they - at least the adults - step outside to talk to you from 2m distance? Or through the open door. It might be a first step to giving them confidence.

We've been very careful until recently, now we're just careful! Today we went out for lunch and found, as with shops, that the pub was very well organised for customer safety. It gives me more confidence to go places - as long as we can avoid the covidiots, of course.

welbeck Sun 26-Jul-20 19:09:12

no, you must not say anything.
unless they ask you for your thoughts/ideas on the matter, do not mention it.
they are adults. they have their own family and are living the best they can, and in the way they choose, given the circumstances.
you may be concerned, but keep it to yourself. and try not to dwell on it. be busy about your own life. not theirs.

joanna12 Sun 26-Jul-20 19:18:06

Hello,thank you both.Yes they have a garden but when we mentioned going up they only offered through a closed pation window,and i was glad just to see them after four months,i dont know what to think but keep reinding myself say nothing,but does that make me an uncaring mum do they want me to say something,they are both over thirty son nearing 40,and we are the only living grandparents,but i also know my son can be quite touchy so i am holding back,thinking if i say anything and something happened i would never forgive myself.Yes you are right be busy about my own life not theirs,it just seems they are completely cut off,i dont know what their friends are doing all married with young children,again i dont like to ask.I see other people out with their families and i worry they are losing so much but i also respect them so much for what they are giving up for the children,its just hard seeing your only child and not knowing what to do.

Grandmabatty Sun 26-Jul-20 19:33:22

It is not your job to do anything. I understand you are concerned but what their friends may or may not be doing is irrelevant. I would take them at their offer of a chat at the window . Perhaps they are concerned about your health? Maybe they are worried that the children won't understand about social distance.

silverlining48 Sun 26-Jul-20 19:37:35

I think best to do or say nothing unless asked. Only they can decide how they manage the situation. It should be ok to be in the garden but the 2 year old won’t understand to keep away from you. I wonder what their friends are doing about this? Do they see no one? Whatever we think our children do not take well to what we think of as helpful suggestion. Be careful not to upset them. Assume they wouldnt come to you?
As time goes on they will relax hopefully. These are difficult times.

Chewbacca Sun 26-Jul-20 19:37:43

Did you raise this problem on here a couple of weeks ago joanna12? I'm sure I remember a very similar thread about this?

Grammaretto Sun 26-Jul-20 19:38:42

It is a worry for you. I can see that. We all react in different ways.
We are shielded, due to my DH health but recently have made our own decisions, with as much care as possible.
DD, who is at home with 2 little ones, was very critical of me and is critical of anyone she perceives as "Breaking the lockdown" . She feels , I guess, that as they have been very cautious, she resents others when they are less so.
She is very gradually coming out of her tight bubble and has been to visit us with one DGC and allowed us to visit her in the garden (but using their loo) They are 1.5 hrs drive away.
I have to reassure her that we are living a very sheltered life and have hardly been inside a shop since March. We go to the hospital and doctor and see a few friends in the garden at a distance.
I hope your family can relax a bit soon as I feel it is dangerous for their mental health if they become too reclusive.

Toadinthehole Sun 26-Jul-20 19:40:50

I don’t think it will be as bad as you’re imagining. The children are very young, but they will soon bounce back. They’ll have no memory of this. Your son is fortunate he can work from home, and your daughter in law is probably enjoying it more than you would think. They’re also young in the scheme of things, and this will be the blink of an eye in a future which I would hope they will have a lot more of than us. My children/ grandchildren have been the same, and remember, they’re at the stage where they’re probably not bothered about too much socialising, but they’re not old either. Try not to worry, and definitely don’t say anything, they’re most likely less stressed than you are🤪. Keep well.

Illte Sun 26-Jul-20 20:29:39

You only have to read the posts on gransnet to see that everybody has a different level of comfort zone regarding risk versus isolation.

To be isolated is the stressful thing for some people and to have to mix with people is the stressful thing foe others.

Can I respectfully suggest that you are transposing your feelings about isolation onto your son and DIL and that by wanting them to step out of their comfort zone, even with suggestions like meeting in the garden, you are actually causing them stress.

Nobofy really knows what the wisest course of action is in this pandemic. It may be that time will prove them to be absolutely right.

smoothie Mon 27-Jul-20 03:02:26

I agree with others advice.

I get the feeling that you are subconsciously wanting your son and DIL to drop their isolation practices in order to soothe your pain and that while you say you respect their choice you are just barely doing so. It seems you’ve got ants in your pants grin

I have just read your other posts and they are all similar, in them you hint (I will be loosely paraphrasing) that you feel they are going overboard in regards to isolating as they don’t have any illnesses, you say you haven’t been shielding but then downplay that saying you’ve only been to x y z, that you are on the younger side so you don’t get why they won’t see you, etc. Like another said, you seem to be placing your assumption that their family is barely hanging on, onto them even though they appear to be happy and healthy.

I’m rather worried about how much you are thinking about this, I can tell this is consuming you, something has to change. Even if it means talking to your son about this, as I’m not sure anything else will soothe your anxiety, though the other option is to admit to yourself (maybe tell your husband also) that you’re having a lot of anxiety, you are not okay, you need some assurance or hugs, and then sit there with your anxiety. Know that it’s there with you, that this is temporary, that this feeling is not who you are.

This may not be helpful for you but as of late I realized that so often we choose to express our condolences to everyone else, which is understandable, we want others to feel supported. But so many times in my life I would have been better off if when I was feeling hopeless, someone had said to me, “Smoothie, what are you talking about?! You’re down about this?! So what if your boss/partner/etc has said/won’t do/expects this or that, you KNOW you can do this. You are tough enough/strong enough/smart enough to get through this, I know you can do it.” Try building yourself up, you KNOW you can get through this time, you are strong enough to tough this out!

On the idea of letting your son know that you are having a hard time with all that’s going on, something extremely important to remember when writing him (preferably over email) - in no way should you hope* or expect him to suddenly change his mind about isolation and start inviting you over for a regular visit..go into the conversation solely to get your worry off your chest and to ask him truly if his family is doing okay with lockdown (since you were worried about their stress), don’t let your emotions take over your words, like you said you don’t want to lose contact or accidentally blame him for your feelings or have him think you want him to fix this.

* I say don’t hope for it because if you do, you will be feeling even worse than before if you go into the conversation with that mindset, even though hoping is natural

Please take care of yourself

Elegran Mon 27-Jul-20 11:37:15

Do you have a telephone? A mobile phone? You can talk to your son and his family on those, hear their voices, reassure yourself that they are OK and reassure them that YOU are OK.

You have a internet access, or you couldn't be posting to gransnet. You could talk face-to-face on that and actually see them, and the children.

They are not totally isolated from you while you can speak to them SOMEHOW. Use what you can to stay in contact with them.

Your son and his wife have phones too, which they use to phone their friends. They have the internet, too, so they may be in contact with their friends over Skype or Zoom or Facetime or another of the apps. They are not as isolated as you think they are.

Suggest to them regular contact calls at a certain time each day or several times a week - but don't bombard them with calls and nag them to break their distancing. If you had seen how ill people can get with this virus, you wouldn't want them to risk getting it, and passing it on the your grandchildren. If anything happened to them because you had insisted on contact when it wasn't safe, you would never forgive yourself.

They are doing what they should do - making sure of two things - that they are avoiding any chance of catching the virus, and that if they happen to get it anyway (perhaps from the packaging on their shopping?) they won't spread it to anyone else if they have no close contact. If they were in contact with you, could you stop the 2-year-old from rushing up to you for a hug? Could you bear not to kiss the baby? Better to stay apart until it is 100% safe.

You say you are worried about the effect on them of keeping away from everyone, but I think you are really more concerned about the effect on you - and it is having an effect, making you more anxious about them than you need be. You must trust your son to be sensible enough to make the right decisions. He is not a child, he has a family now to be responsible for.

You say "do they want me to say something?" but the answer to that is "NO!" They can manage their own life. Let them do that, and you must manage YOUR life.

If you haven't been phoning family, friends or any of the contact centres set up for people who have no-one to speak to, then start doing it now. Phone someone different each day. Don't sit around with nothing to think about except that you are separated from your family.

joanna12 Mon 27-Jul-20 19:15:26

Thank you for your message.I am trying to take on board the replies i am getting,i guess i see a lot of people with their grandchildren and i miss it but i also know how my son was before lockdown,so i need to just keep on as we are and not asking my son for anything more than the chat through the window.And maybe you are right i am spending to much time worrying about what will happen next etc,i have hopefully many years ahead with my family.Thank you.

silverlining48 Tue 28-Jul-20 18:46:18

All will be well Joanna, focus on other things, it’s what a lot of us have to do. My neighbours grandchildren are in the garden every day, yes it hurts because mine aren’t here often, but it is what it is. Don’t overthink, it will be ok.

Hithere Tue 28-Jul-20 20:04:50

They are adults and they will adjust just fine to the outside world then they decide to do so.

Please dont worry about them, they are doing whats best for their family.