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daughter tired out with grandchild but does not want my help

(30 Posts)
annieg Wed 31-Oct-12 13:03:56

my daughter has a 4 1/2 mth son we have clashed because I have tried to tidy up for her.I emptied the dishwasher and put things in wrong place,is that a crime . She is not sleeping as granson is waking several times during the night.I am only trying to help and I am concerned she is becoming depressed. She will not return my messages . I dont know what to do now. She seems to think this level of help is interferring. I have asked my husband to intervene, by saying we will look after our grandson whenever.She seems to be making a rod for her own back by not accepting any help.I feel like a stranger

JessM Wed 31-Oct-12 13:16:44

Oh dear. I can understand why you are worried. Have you spoken to her husband/partner?
Other than that, all i can suggest is grovel. Say sorry for treading on her toes. Say you hope she didn't feel criticised. Tell her she is wonderful mother. Tell her you love her and that you are itching to look after her because she is still your girl. etc

annieg Wed 31-Oct-12 13:20:27

Thankyou JessM
I will grovel again otherwise the wory will make me evem more tll

Sel Wed 31-Oct-12 13:38:08

Annieg, personally, I'd let her be for a while. She's probably all over the place adapting to being a new Mum and aware herself that maybe things aren't getting done. If you bowl in, however well meaning, and help without being asked then she may well take that as a criticism.

Being worried about her being possibly depressed: would it be an idea to broach that with her husband, just air your worries to him maybe?

We tread on eggshells with adult daughters not something my Mum ever did with me!

Mishap Wed 31-Oct-12 13:52:34

Eggshells indeed! DD2 who lives nearby gobbled up any help I could offer and was quick to express her thanks. But I suspect that DD3 who is expecting in January will be more like your DD - so let me know how you manage.

I always make a point of telling DD1 and DD2 how well they are; and when they ask me for advice I give it but always say "Mother knows best - follow your instincts."

But it sounds as though your DD is feeling really quite touchy as you are not "interfering" with her care of the baby, but just helping with the housework.

Let me know how you manage things - and I wish you good luck.

Sook Wed 31-Oct-12 14:40:41

annieg I would have a chat with her husband/partner if I were you as she does sound as if she may be depressed. I have DiLs so a very different kettle of fish however I found that both were really grateful for offers of help. I took the washing and ironing home with me or mowed the lawn. Now and then would leave a bottle of wine and money for a takeway to give them a break from cooking. I popped in often but kept my visits short and always with the words " Just tell me to b****r off when you have had enough of me I won't be offended (thankfully they never did).

I do feel for you she is your daughter and you obviously love her. Let us know how you get on.

Nelliemoser Wed 31-Oct-12 16:37:03

I have offered my services to my DD even for domestic tasks if she would like them. She has a rather grumpy 5 week old. who takes up time. DD lives 50miles away, but nothing has been accepted.
I am about to have the weekly chat to see how things are going.

absentgrana Wed 31-Oct-12 16:45:44

Thinking back 30 years next week when I was a new mum, I suspect that I was supersensitive. I was fully breastfeeding a big baby on demand and was very tired and was used to having a spotless clean house that ran like clockwork. Anything or anyone that suggested as I was less than perfect as the wife I had been and the mother I had become almost certainly got their head bitten off. My mother was too wise to do it; but my mother-in-law jumped in with both feet every time she opened her mouth. I think we just forget over the years. By the way, I grew out of it fairly quickly and I would guess most new mums do.

harrigran Wed 31-Oct-12 18:25:44

I never allowed my mother to do anything in my house, I think we must have had 48 hours in each day because I seemed to get everything done and still have time to sit down when the children were in bed. My DIL never sits down, if I need to speak to her I have to go to the kitchen or utility. Only difference I can see is that I was 12 years younger when I had my children, obviously more energy.

Nelliemoser Wed 31-Oct-12 19:02:27

I Checked with DD about 4:40pm ish. She says she is doing Ok.

GS is still feeding very 2/3hours but DD just sits with him and watches television or a film all afternoon if he is feeling grumpy. This sounds very sensible to me. She often has an afternoon nap. I don't think she is too worried about having a spotless house. The worst thing is to try to be superwoman.

absentgrana Wed 31-Oct-12 19:04:39

Superwoman – that way lies madness. smile

merlotgran Wed 31-Oct-12 20:30:16

I'm sure it will blow over, annieg. All mothers and MILs put things away in the wrong place. I used to smile sweetly at mine and then call them everything from pigs to dogs after they'd gone home and I had to put the kitchen back to how it should be. All my friends said the same. So now I never put things away in my daughters' houses. I leave it all on the worktop.....Better safe than sorry grin

gracesmum Wed 31-Oct-12 20:43:38

Oh dear annieg I can totally understand where both of you are coming from! You want to help and she doesn't want to admit she isn't coping. Even without a new baby I used to be hypersensitive whenever my mum came to visit and feel that she would (silently) criticise my housekeeping or lack of it. Sometimes it is hard to accept that it IS her house and she must decide it she needs help or not. You could offer to take washing away or ironing but what you do has to be OK with her so the offer must be open-ended. "I would love to give you a break with little...... Tell me how you would like me to help." You could offer to take him out for a walk while she has a nap, I did that on a visit once and DD disaooeared up to spare room where was staggered that she was able to sleep for 2 whole hours! it must be what she wants though. I do feel for you! (PS my MIL who was the soul of discretion used to drive me mad by putting things in the wrong place - sometimes I didn't find things for days)

gracesmum Wed 31-Oct-12 20:47:50

Just a thought - tidying up for someone is a tacit way of saying you find it untidy. Many years ago an older friend who was a gem but lived in total chaos, had a heart attack and was hospitalised. Our curate's wife and I blitzed her kitchen, tidied her cupboards, cleaned out the fridge, washed everything that moved and scrubbed everything that didn't, before she came home.
She was so offended as she took it as criticism of how she lived and we had really hurt her feelings. She forgave us, but it was hard and sadly I will never know if she would have forgotten as she had another heart attack shortly after and died. A lesson to me.

annodomini Wed 31-Oct-12 21:47:43

gracesmum, I wouldn't be at all offended if you tackled the chaos that is my kitchen... hmm

gracesmum Wed 31-Oct-12 21:49:59

You'd have to form an orderly queue - behind ME!! But even I might feel that I was being criticised, depending on who did it! (And daughters can be so sensitive when it comes to Mum)

annodomini Wed 31-Oct-12 21:54:20

My mum used invariably to clean my cooker when she came to visit, whether or not it was spotless which, occasionally, it might be. Well, it made her happy, so why not?

Jodi Wed 31-Oct-12 22:57:25

annieg I have the same situation with my DiL. We actually get on extremely well and I have a better relationship with her than my DD. She is very house proud, with two young children and gets very tired trying to be Superwoman. Yet she would not take well to me helping her run her house. She needs to prove that she can do it all herself. I have to respect her wishes. On the rare occasion her own mother to visit she will not let her help either and gets very upset when she does. She see as interfering and confides in me how she wishes she'd leave things alone.

Sook Wed 31-Oct-12 23:09:37

When we were first married I made the fatal mistake of agreeing to buy a house in the next road to my in laws. DH assured me that his mother wouldn't interfere and like a fool I believed him. She offered to feed the cat and dog while we were at work and like a fool I agreed.She would tidy and clean (unasked ) and go through the contents of the larder and fridge, re peg the washing I had hung out on the line before I went to work and then rearrange ornaments cushions etc to suit herself. She once borrowed a coffee grinder in my absence and when my FiL remonstrated with her told him that I didn't use it anyway. It was returned to me with the words that she hadn't used it because it was filthy. It had been put away damp and had rusted slightly. I was always getting lectured on how hopeless I was. To put it mildly she was (still is) a witch.

As I've said in a previous post my DiLs are grateful for my help I just do what I can if and when I'm needed. I would be mortified if they thought I was criticising them as I know only too well how it feels.

We spent 11 years living in the first house, to move 40 miles away was sheer bliss. I felt really liberated! The witch visited a week after we had moved in. During the tour of inspection she wet her finger and ran it along the louvre wardrobe doors with the words " I can see you've been to busy too dust then"


Jodi Wed 31-Oct-12 23:40:37

sook happily my MiL can barely cook and was not very house proud. That suited me down to the ground. Anyway I've enough to do keeping my own house and garden straight without tending anyone else's, especially since discovering these forums hmm

baubles Thu 01-Nov-12 07:27:02

Annieg I have vague memories of being very ungrateful if my MIL attempted to do anything in my house, my own mother lives in another country so wasn't around but I'm sure I would have been just as prickly with her.

I have looked after my Grandchild in her own house one day a week for the past couple of years and what I do is take ingredients and prepare the evening meal for all of us ensuring that there's enough to freeze for another day. I iron any of my grand child's clothes that need doing and put them away. At the moment my DD is on maternity leave but I still spend my usual day with them, I'm finding that I do have to tread carefully and be aware that it is her house and not just breenge in. She is glad of the company I think, and I have continued with the cooking and offer help with whatever needs doing, hanging out the washing etc.

I know I sometimes still regard my daughter as just that - 'my daughter' but she is an independent woman who has not lived under my roof for many years and I have to respect the fact that my way isn't always her way. If she doesn't want my help in her home then that has to be ok.

Just try to keep your visits lighthearted and tell her what a great job she's doing flowers

Grannybags Thu 01-Nov-12 15:35:40

My in laws lived in Hong Kong - perfect! wink

Ella46 Thu 01-Nov-12 15:52:09

For the last 3 weeks or so, since my DiL has gone back to work and dgd started nursery, I have been going round and tidying up, washing up the mountain of pots and pans they use when cooking the evening meal and folding up clothes etc.

This was agreed after they asked if I would iron for her. I can't do that with arthritic hand.
Putting all the pots etc. away is no problem as when they moved in, I was the one who unpacked the kitchen boxes and organised the cupboards.
My DiL never altered them, and is so appreciative of my help,as is my son, that it is a pleasure to help them.
They work as a team and I feel part of that, which is helping me enormously.

jcj Thu 01-Nov-12 16:33:20

My daughter and family live in Australia so on holidays I 'live' with them for 6/8wks or so. I was there for the birth of the first dgs (now 10!) and I would take him out in the afternoon for a walk either in his pram or baby sling (which I loved) and she could do what she wanted, mostly sleep as he was a very unsettled baby (later diagnosed with autism) or have a long bath. Now when I spent time with them I take over the washing (DSiL does the ironing!) and getting the boys (3) to tidy up after themselves. All 3 are special needs and she is grateful for ANY help. We do share giggles when she asks 'since when has a wooden spoon been a sharp?' oops wrong drawer! grin
Just keep smiling and ASK if you can help and with what.

JessM Thu 01-Nov-12 16:37:18

Hi jcj - me too. When i am in Australia with Gkds it is full on helping. A bit of respite for their busy parents. I do try to go off and do something on my own once a week though e.g. a yoga class, just to give us all a break.