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Relationship advice needed please

(68 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?

Hithere Sun 03-Sep-23 16:15:22


Thank you for your compulsion

queenofsaanich69 Sun 03-Sep-23 16:28:47

When people have a 4 month old they are exhausted,
recovering from all the changes,especially as people have children later they are more set in their ways.Just stick with it things will probably change as the little one gets nearer a year old,then if they have another they will be delighted with the help.

Glorianny Sun 03-Sep-23 16:34:10

I was wondering if your DIL is on maternity leave and so is taking advantage of that to visit her parents more often? If so things may change when she goes back to work. Try not to be jealous of the other GPs, you may think it doesn't show, but it does.

Sasta Sun 03-Sep-23 16:43:35

Thank you for the laugh Hithere.

Tilly8 Sun 03-Sep-23 17:55:07

After reading these threads I feel we are very fortunate with our son, daughter and in laws. But we have always been close well before GC. In fact they both had trouble conceiving so we thought we would never have any grandchildren. We now have a two year old (son’s) and a 7 month old (daughter’s). We have all always met up regularly for meals and days out and have at least one holiday a year all together. Just this afternoon daughter text to ask if we were open for coffee. Son saw the text on the family WhatsApp and decided to come over and join us. Both brought their children 😁. I am very grateful and appreciate that they make this effort to see us as both work full time with demanding jobs. I feel for GP’s struggling to see their GC but just felt I should show the other side of the coin.

Iam64 Sun 03-Sep-23 19:02:46

the other side of the coin
What point are you trying to make?

Gundy Sun 03-Sep-23 20:12:00

1) Two and a half hours is a jaunt! You can’t just casually have frequent lunches, contact with your son, DIL and Baby. These trips need to be planned ahead.
2) First Baby… new mothers will always want their own mother’s first for help, reassurance.
3) Try this when dog sitting - when they come to retrieve dog, negotiate in a nice way that you get to see the Baby at that time, long enough to hold and cuddle…1/2 to one hr before they take off.
4) Take a picture with Baby and put it in a frame so you can see it every day.
4.5) Maybe for first birthday there will be a party for all to get together. 😃
5) Don’t fret too much. In time things will work out. If by one year things have not changed, talk to your son. It’s good to let your honest feelings be shared. Son has got his mind elsewhere these days if you don’t speak up. This isn’t a competition with other grandparents.
Good luck!
USA Gundy

Seabreeze Sun 03-Sep-23 22:44:20

I think you’ll find it happens a lot that daughters tend to see their parents more. Perhaps they don’t jell the same with in-laws. I found this with my in-laws.

tictacnana Sun 03-Sep-23 23:49:54

I thought that this was a site where people could get advice, speak to ‘friends’ , feel sad, mad or even bad. How unkind some gransnetters are! Anyway, I agree with those who are saying … Tell them. It’s the best way and let us know how you get on. There are some nice people on here who will always listen .

lyleLyle Mon 04-Sep-23 00:27:27

The baby is 4 months. 4 months. Not 4 years old, not even 2 or 3 years old. 4 months old and already there is an expectation to take everyone else’s needs and wants into consideration as this young family is trying to navigate their new life. Reading all of these comments from other self-centered “older” women about how you need to sit them down and talk to them about your feelings is a bit disheartening. Do any of you realize or care that maybe right now this young mum is in a vulnerable place being postpartum? That she doesn’t need extra pressure to split her baby like some Old Testament story? Were you not also once young mums? How would any of you have felt if while adjusting to this new life you had someone whinging about you seeing your own family? 4 months old and we have monitoring and comparing of how much time a new young mum spends with her own mother. This emotional neediness needs to be curbed when others are going through transitional phases in life. Our children need and deserve the space to grow into their new roles as parents. They aren’t thoughtless just because your emotional needs aren’t their priority during these early parenting days. Self-reflect here. If the dog sitting is too much, say no. But please don’t make a big deal about DIL spending time with her family. Remember that the baby is 4 months. 4 months.

crazyH Mon 04-Sep-23 00:44:38

You are very lucky Tilly8

Tilly8 Mon 04-Sep-23 05:22:06


The point I was trying to make is that in this thread son’s are being particularly slated as the ones responsible for lack of contact - this isn’t always the case.
Also as others have mentioned relationships have to be cared for and tended long before GC arrive.
Sorry if this point of view has upset anybody.

nanna8 Mon 04-Sep-23 07:37:30

No, Tilly. It is always good to hear another point of view. I have to admit that I didn’t want mothers and/ or MILs around me much when I had very small babies. Best solution was to emigrate ! 😄

Iam64 Mon 04-Sep-23 07:58:33

Tilly8 I agree, it’s the existing relationships that inform contact between family members once babies arrive.
It’s positive to see sons being named as involved - usually these threads result in daughters in law being seen as responsible if paternal grandparents feel ‘left out’

Dickens Mon 04-Sep-23 09:05:37



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

Thank you for posting what I was thinking. It doesn’t take much effort to be kind or be silent!

... quite!

The OP is looking for advice which, of course, can vary but I'd imagine she didn't expect an interrogation!


Cool your heels smile - 4 months in is a very short time to establish a completely different way of life as parents.

Just give them some space for a while. When they return home from wherever they've been, be ready to leave almost immediately - your understanding will be appreciated and eventually when the new baby 'novelty' has worn off I'm sure they will be more accommodating.

Allsorts Mon 04-Sep-23 22:37:50

To the poster, there is little you can do, keep busy and exoect nothing. I would issue invitations them, perhaps asking if they'd would like to one to lunch ppppat a time convenient for them, 'askwe are lways pleased to help out in anyway, just ask and leave it at that.
Aven, so sorry you don't get to see your family. Not a nice situation. I can think of little you can do, just make a better life for yourself as you deserve it.
I wish certain poster were not so caustic in their replies, it can cause hurt and offence.

pascal30 Tue 05-Sep-23 09:22:50

I had a friend whose son was married to a french woman, she was very close to her family and has now moved back to France with the grandchildren.. In your position I would concentrate on having a harmonious relationship with your DIL and DS.. then maybe you might also be invited to France, and especially if they ever moved over there, you would still be invited.