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Relationship advice needed please

(67 Posts)
NewNana2 Tue 29-Aug-23 00:30:50

I’m lost for words. Our son has a baby who’s 4 months old now. We seem to be seeing less of him living in the UK (21/2 hrs away) than mum’s family who live in France. Plans to see DiL’s family are made weeks in advance by the DiL. We are treated as an afterthought, non-equal to the other side in this relationship. It’s a miracle if we can see our grandson for a few hours when there. No amount of kindness, help and support seems to matter. They use us to dog sit and we do it to keep the peace and not upset our son or DiL. As soon as they arrive back home they expect us to leave with hardly any contact with grandson. I know this will resonate with a lot of grandparents but how do you deal with the ongoing heartache? Is there any way to change things?

nanna8 Tue 29-Aug-23 00:37:35

Tell them. They likely have no idea how you are feeling. Some are a bit dumb that way.

VioletSky Tue 29-Aug-23 00:45:53

I think you need to talk to them about how you feel

But maybe you could try being proactive first? Invite them around for meals every now and then? Concentrate on having a good relationship with the parents?

Maybe they are tired after the trips and just don't realise they are being thoughtless

It may be that they appreciate you more than you know and are just really rubbish at remembering to tell you. Sometimes calmly pointing that out gets people a long way

welbeck Tue 29-Aug-23 00:48:40

be less available for dog sitting

Hithere Tue 29-Aug-23 01:39:57

May I ask why yet you open another qith same concerns?

What has changed since opened past threads?

Hithere Tue 29-Aug-23 01:43:42


welbeck Tue 29-Aug-23 02:38:34

thought it sounded familiar.

finns Tue 29-Aug-23 04:11:12

i’ve just written a post about exactly the same - i’ve offered no end of whatever i can and even though son and DIL live half an hour from me and 20mins from maternal GP I am constantly feeling i beg to come over for coffee /visit and am never allowed to babysit or take baby out but MGP gets unlimited access, babysits and has over night stays - i’m at a loss of how this can be seen as the norm for the DIL and family yet the family of babies father is to accept they are not relevant and pipe down
and to expect no explanation - just cruel in my eyes.

NewNana2 Tue 29-Aug-23 06:18:12

Thank you for pointing this out. I did try to find my first post but was unsuccessful.

silverlining48 Tue 29-Aug-23 07:30:11

Ignore thread police newnana.
Post away.
I am maternal gran with similar situation so understand how upsetting this can be.

Iam64 Tue 29-Aug-23 08:22:56

Can you talk with them, or if talking with both feels tough, start with a quiet, non confrontational chat with your son. Maybe avoid making comparisons with the maternal grandparents just talk about trying to have an idea about get tigethers

Smileless2012 Tue 29-Aug-23 08:25:07

Inviting them round for a meal is a good idea NewNana as is being less available for dog sitting, you might be appreciated a bit more when you are available.

Gingster Tue 29-Aug-23 08:48:56

My ds1 and Dd live close by so I’ve always seen them on a regular basis.
DS2 live an hour and a half away. Often ask us over, but Dh doesn’t like the drive any more.
They are a very busy family so we only see them occassionally.
I respect their time and we always fit in with them.
I suppose we’re, lucky that we see the others often .

My advice is Just go with the flow and don’t wait around. Make a life for yourself and keep busy. Enjoy them when you do see them.

Redhead56 Tue 29-Aug-23 09:30:42

I had some unnecessary arguments with our Dil and our Sil. Over time resolved thankfully now but at the time upsetting.
This came at a time when my Dh had retired and was finding it difficult. He made plans but he somehow struggled and felt lost. I have learnt to be more patient and tolerant and less vocal dealing with family niggles.
Talk to your Ds and Dil without judgement and be calm when you do and tell them how you feel.
They are new parents and only see how they feel they might not realise you are feeling hurt. I hope things improve for you take one day at a time.

NewNana2 Tue 29-Aug-23 22:09:01

Thank you for this. I kept my peace and didn’t show my hurt, walked away, cried a little and processed the event. 24 hours makes a lot of difference. I don’t want to hurt my son and DiL they are both very good devoted parents. I just need to establish boundaries which promote healthy relationships and builds solid foundations. I don’t want to be competing with DiL’s parents.

NewNana2 Tue 29-Aug-23 22:12:16

Thank you. Never compare with them at all. There just needs to be equal opportunities to see the grandchild.

Hithere Wed 30-Aug-23 01:02:42


"Equal opportinities to see the gc" - what can go wrong with that little statement?

1. Gc is not a timeshare - expectations are your downfall
2. You only express interest in the gc ignoring the parents - your relationship with the kids is as good as the one with the parents

Same old as your old posts - nothing will improve unless you do not adjust yourself

NotSpaghetti Wed 30-Aug-23 05:07:35

Do you see them any more/less than when they were just a couple?

Franbern Wed 30-Aug-23 08:48:47

I am continuously confounded by people on Gransnet who seem to view any g.children (specially tiny babies) as some sort of commodity to beshared out equally between thbemselves, other g.parents and the actual parents.

When my g.children were four months of age, most of them I hd seen at the most twice. One more than that as due to sad cvirciumstacnes I was needed to help whislt Mum went back to work, two less than that as they lived too far away.

Except for the one I was helped out with, all the others I saw maybe three or four times each year, sometimes less as they grew up. We all made sure that those times were very special and I maintained a good relationship with them all.

Several of them are now adults, and even the younger ones are in secondary school . Just had a wonderful three days visit from that g.daughter I helped out with during childhood, and her Mum, and an invite and arrangement for me to visit her at her flat the other side of the country. See her now at the most twice a year.

The number of times you see (in the flesh) adult children and g. children needs have no bearing on how good a relationship is.

When a young couple have small babies, surely the best thing to do is (if it is possible), is to give them as much help as they require - NOT playing and looking after baby - but things like shopping, washing, gardening, etc. etc. Leave them to have as much family time as possible.

finns Wed 30-Aug-23 09:47:06

hi franbern - i guess after reading your post i would want to add some generalisations. Some parents do weaponise their children and favour one grandparent over another, and some don’t get to help with even one grandchild, so lucky for you, you did ! not all parents are objective enough to find a way to incorporate equally sharing time with grandparents and in my case, i offered all practical options cleaning, cooking, dog walking, baby sitting but unfortunately i can be deprived any time with my GD at will and just have to suck it up because that’s the power of parents. But parents don’t hang about when they need a babysitter or any practical help. i’m always bailing my son out financially and help him save money - yet when his wife says i’m not welcome then i’m not welcome. Is that about treating a GC as a commodity or a weapon to kick me out when it’s fancied.

luluaugust Wed 30-Aug-23 09:57:01

Two and a half hours is quite a long way away really, not likely to just pop in for a quick chat. I expect it might not be long before you are dog and baby sitting. Unfortunately, seeing the GC can never be apportioned out equally and as baby is still so small I expect your DIL wants her mum, it certainly sounds like it if she is trailing off to France all the time. I don't know if she is French but if so there will be cultural differences in bringing up baby.

Iam64 Wed 30-Aug-23 10:07:48

It’s about loving caring relationships, good communication and not expecting daft things like ‘equal rights’.

If you’re unhappy about how often you see grandchildren, reflect on what that might be about. Most people manage to muddle through.
Sadly, some people thoughtless and focussed on their own needs. They can be parents or grandparents. It’s a pity but it’s reality. Those families might improve things with self reflection, even therapy. But - there are no rights where family relationships are concerned. Other than the right not to be abused

Esmay Thu 31-Aug-23 13:54:21

I think that daughters tend to rely on their mothers and not on their mother in laws for baby sitting /child care .
There are exceptions , of course .
My mother in law used to stare at her grandchildren and seemed to have no interest in them .
My sister in law had the same experience .

Maybe your son and DIL think that you have enough to do dog sitting .

It's up to you - you can say nothing and continue to feel ignored or you could say we'd like to see more of our grandson .
Tread carefully - the one thing that you want to avoid is THE FAMILY ROW in which heated words are exchanged and not forgotten !

NotSpaghetti Thu 31-Aug-23 15:14:01

OR you could say ^we'd like to see more of YOU!

Mama2020 Thu 31-Aug-23 20:16:19

You mentioned your DIL makes plans weeks in advance to see her parents. Is it not your son's responsibility to be doing the same if he wishes?