Gransnet forums


Being apart from the grandchildren

(30 Posts)
Nanniesuep1 Thu 18-Jun-20 19:03:27

Hi I have only just joined this group so not sure what to expect but need some positive thoughts and help. I miss my grandchildren so much since my son and daughter in law got divorced. I feel bereaved and can’t get away from the feeling,and I don’t know anyone else in this position, all my friends have there grandchildren near them and don’t understand. I just need to know I am not on my own?

Smileless2012 Thu 18-Jun-20 19:13:36

Welcome Nanniesuelp. Is your former d.i.l. preventing you from seeing your GC? Does your son have regular contact with his children and if so, is it not possible that you can arrange to see or at least contact them through him?

You are not on your own. Some find themselves estranged because of their children's divorce and others because it's our own child who has estranged us.

Divorce can leave feelings of bitterness and anger but I've never understood why one parent feels the need to punish his/her former parents in law, their children's GP's, be taking away their GC.

Nanniesuep1 Thu 18-Jun-20 23:04:52

Hi yes my son sees the children every other weekend but he lives in Wales and the children live in Derbyshire and we live in Norfolk. For some reason my ex d.i.l will not let me Even talk to them, so I can only talk when they are with my son which is twice a month. She was like the daughter we never had and we got on really well when they were married so I am so confused and finding it so hard, it’s been 2 years now and hasn’t got any better.

Hithere Thu 18-Jun-20 23:35:42

I am afraid that it is on your son's plate to facilitate a relationship with his children, not your your ex dil.
I would recommend to talk to your son if you are not happy about that.

tanith Fri 19-Jun-20 08:32:26

Have you tried direct contact with your dil? Maybe write her a letter just asking if you can write to the the children direct.

GagaJo Fri 19-Jun-20 09:06:27

Have you thought about moving to be near your son? That way you would maybe get to see them once a month.

I would move heaven and earth to have a relationship with my grandson.

Smileless2012 Fri 19-Jun-20 09:14:04

Good advice from tanith you could write to your ex d.i.l. and ask her if you can talk to the children at a time and day that suits her.

I don't agree that it's just your son's responsibility to enable you to maintain reasonable contact with your GC. When parents divorce, neither parent should prevent their former parent's in law from being able to at least talk to their GC.

Divorce is a confusing and stressful time for children, to a certain extent they 'lose' one of their parents when their parents are no longer living together.

I don't understand why some parents in this situation feel the need to exacerbate the children's sense of loss by preventing them from just talking to one set of GP's.

Hithere Fri 19-Jun-20 14:32:28

Good advice gagajo

"I don't agree that it's just your son's responsibility to enable you to maintain reasonable contact with your GC. When parents divorce, neither parent should prevent their former parent's in law from being able to at least talk to their GC."

1. What do you consider to be reasonable contact? It is a very subjective concept and what is reasonable for one person, it is not for the next

2. The ex dil is not preventing her kids from talking to OP at all. She is not telling her ex not to let the kids talk to grandma while the kids are in his care.

Smileless2012 Fri 19-Jun-20 15:09:01

If you read the OP's second post Hithere you'll see that she has said "my ex d.i.l. will not even let me talk to them" so you see she is preventing them from talking to their GM.

She thankfully has no control over them talking to the OP when they're with their father but is preventing them from doing so when they're with her.

As for reasonable contact, that would depend on how often they had contact with the OP prior to the divorce. If that was twice a month as it is now, then the OP and her GC have not had their contact reduced.

If it was more often then that, say once a week then IMO that should stay the same. Why should the children's contact with their paternal GM be reduced, if that is the case, by their mother just because she's no longer her d.i.l.?

Bibbity Fri 19-Jun-20 15:12:40

Maybe because the DILs whole life has been turned on it’s head. Once a week would be a ridiculous expectation.
Right now we don’t know the reason for the divorce. If he’s cheated or acting unreasonably then the DIL is well within her rights to protect and look after herself.

Smileless2012 Fri 19-Jun-20 15:21:49

I agree that the OP's ex d.i.l. "is well within her rights to protect and look after herself" Bibbity but if the OP and her GC were used to weekly contact, why create more disruption in the children's lives by stopping that.

If the OP's son cheated or is acting unreasonably that's not the fault of the OP's mother or the children, and should have no bearing on the mother's behaviour in this situation.

Bibbity Fri 19-Jun-20 15:24:14

Because it may be that the DIL needs a clean break.

I know a few people who’ve said the best thing about their divorce was never having the deal with the in-laws again.

Bibbity Fri 19-Jun-20 15:25:55

And also what you're referring to is woman’s work.
If the OPs son wishes his children to maintain contact the he can move to be near his children and do it.
The parent doing 100% of the hard work has enough on her plate.

Hithere Fri 19-Jun-20 15:41:28


This is the whole statement on the OP's second update
Ex dil is not preventing anything.

As for keeping the same frequency pre-divorce, it is not realistic.
The pre-divorce normal has changed and it is not the same as post-divorce normal.
It is obvious that the pre vs post reality has to adapt at all levels, including contact with extended relatives.

"For some reason my ex d.i.l will not let me Even talk to them, so I can only talk when they are with my son which is twice a month. "

OP does talk to her gc.

Smileless2012 Fri 19-Jun-20 15:55:45

We'll just have to agree to disagree Bibbity and*Hithere*. While I acknowledge a divorced wife or husband's understandable desire for a clean break, that isn't possible when there are children involved is it.

Contact has to be maintained by the parents because they had children together. As for an ex i.l.; the 'phone rings, you answer, it's ex m.i.l. 'hello it's ....... can I speak too ......' answer 'yes I'll get .......' or 'sorry not at the moment, can you call (give another day, time or both'. It's not difficult is it and even if you could never stand your in law's and are glad to be free of them, do it for the sake of your children.

Hithere Fri 19-Jun-20 16:13:12

This is again a case of mismatch expectations, with the GP having no control over what another adult does.

Just because you think another person should do this or that doesnt mean it is going to happen.

Smileless2012 Fri 19-Jun-20 16:37:35

Why does it have to be about control? I agree with referring too a mismatch of expectations but if we are going to bring control into the equation, who in this case has the control?

Not the OP that's for sure. Her ex d.i.l. wont let her talk to the children when they are with her; she has the control there doesn't she

Bibbity Fri 19-Jun-20 17:01:06

Well it’s her phone so of course she has the control.

Hithere Fri 19-Jun-20 17:16:54

Ex mil also doesnt have a call on how ex dil chooses to invest ex dil's time, calendar and schedule.

Smileless2012 Fri 19-Jun-20 17:30:27

As I posted earlier it's just a 'phone call, not that difficult unless of course you want it to be.

Where have I or the OP suggested that the an ex m.i.l. has a call on how the ex d.i.l. arranges her time, calendar and schedule?

For goodness sake, what a lot of fuss about nothing. I wonder how many ex p's.i.l. are relieved when their AC get divorced that they have very little or nothing at all to do with their partners. Quite a few I would imagine.

Bibbity Fri 19-Jun-20 17:40:40

And when she’s got a hundred other things to do. Or just wants to chill after work.
Do we even know the ages of the children.

So yes. It can be ‘that’ difficult.
How difficult would it be for their father to pull his weight in maintaining his families connections?

I agree. I wouldn’t doubt it swings both ways.
Everyone involved is only human.

However. Here it’s none of the ExDILs concern.

Smileless2012 Fri 19-Jun-20 17:45:51

Perhaps one of the ex d.i.l's concerns should be allowing her children, if they want too, to have more contact with their GM.

From what the OP's posted the father is pulling "his weight in maintaining his families connections" and just as well.

Bibbity Fri 19-Jun-20 17:49:06

Why? So far we have zero indication that these children are in anyway distressed. It is literally not the DILs problem

Well if he’s pulling his weight then twice a month is ample then

Smileless2012 Fri 19-Jun-20 17:56:22

Could be ample but then again for the children as well as their GM maybe not, if the children are used to more frequent contact.

I think it would be ample for me but then again I have absolutely no contact with any of my GC and haven't had for more than 7 years, so anything would be a blessing.

Bibbity Fri 19-Jun-20 17:57:43

But they are not.
The divorce has been over for two years. So this is they’re standard contact.