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Anxious (jealous) new grandmother

(46 Posts)
Dalfie5577 Tue 12-Mar-19 15:11:18

I would be so grateful for some words of wisdom please!

My DIL is due any day now for the first grandchild in my and her family. I am so worried that I will not be able to see my new grandchild very much due to the maternal grandmother being quite forceful and taking control. She has already lined herself up for looking after the baby when my son and his fiancée go on honeymoon later in the year along with looking after the baby at the wedding and when the hen night is on. I did offer to share but was told it was ok it was all sorted.

She has apparently also arranged to go and stay with my future DIL when my son goes back to work after three weeks. Both her and I only live 10 minutes away so why does she need to stay??

We have agreed that both me and maternal grandmother will look after baby one day a week when my future DIL goes back to work which I am thrilled about and shows that there isn't a problem with them leaving baby with me, but that is in a years time!

Am I being unreasonable to feel jealous already when the baby isn't even here yet? Has any other paternal grandparent been in this situation and how have they dealt with it?

GrannyGravy13 Tue 12-Mar-19 15:18:10

Please do not let this become a problem for you. Of course your DIL will want her Mum around it’s only natural.

Just be there for your son, pop round after with a nice home cooked meal. Maybe buy a little something for DIL as well as new baby.

We have 4 sons and one daughter, if you go with the flow and do not make a big “thing” about who sees baby most it should be fine.

Congratulations on your soon to arrive GC

M0nica Tue 12-Mar-19 15:25:47

Yes, you are, because most daughters want their own mother with them, in and around the birth, and turn to them for advice during pregnancy.

As you say, you will be sharing childcare when your DiL goes back to work. So it is likely that it was just that DiL's mother was around when they were planning the wedding (they usually are) and just immediately volunteered when they were talking about childcare for the honeymoon, hen party etc.

I have a DiL, but I cannot compare our situations because DiL's mother lives 2 miles away while we live 200 miles away, all I can say is that as DiL's mother is now a close friend and we sleep at her house whenever we visit, we never had any problems or rivalry

I think the best thing is not to see your DiL's mother as a rival, see yourselves as friends and allies, think ahead for when help may be needed and suggest or volunteer that help and cultivate and make a friend of the other grandmother.

Dalfie5577 Tue 12-Mar-19 15:35:56

Thank you both for such sensible observations. I will definitely put your suggestions into practice when the time comes. smile

Oldandverygrey Tue 12-Mar-19 16:05:37

Congratulations Dalfie, hope it all works out for you. There are three people in my sons marriage, him, wife and wife's mother! enough said.

nanaK54 Tue 12-Mar-19 16:23:04

Great advice already given
Many congrats on the forthcoming baby
Please, please don't make it a competition, I only have sons and I get along well with my Daughters-in-law, this is in part because they are both lovely young ladies and in part because I know when to take a back seat and 'keep quiet'!

B9exchange Tue 12-Mar-19 16:30:02

Just be thrilled when the birth goes okay and you are invited to visit. Don't worry about DiL's mum moving in, that is to be expected, and if you prove yourself to be a loving and excited grandparent, but not pushy, you will get along fine with the new little family.

As you have been asked to babysit one day a week later on, the parents will be keen to ensure you have bonded with their baby and know its routine, so you will get lots of time together. It is a magical time, don't spoil it for them being being jealous.

luluaugust Tue 12-Mar-19 17:23:59

Please try not to worry about seeing baby I am sure you will see them specially as you are going to have them one day a week in the future. Mother may think she has got everything sorted out in her favour but who knows at present how things will turn out. For instance having had her husband at home for three weeks your future DIL may not feel she needs Mother to move in! Like wise at the wedding if she is the kind of lady who likes to sort everything out you may find the baby on your knee. Just go with the flow and enjoy it all.

Luckygirl Tue 12-Mar-19 17:26:11

Hold hard! - the baby isn't even born yet and you are warming up to be jealous and put out!!!!

Please take a step back. You will be looking after babe one day a week - treasure what you have (or will have) rather than what others have. Make that day a special one for you and for the child.

It is normal for a woman to turn to her own mother after birth when she is generally a bit of a wreck and not fit for human company. Be glad for her that she has her Mum around.

I have other grandmas around locally and we all share care of the many GC. They are in the main fitter than I, so they do active things with the children; and I cook, read etc. I am sure the GC enjoy both.

Look forward with joy and not ready-made envy! smile

Nanabilly Tue 12-Mar-19 17:29:37

Your thoughts seem pretty normal to me . Well they are the same concerns I had when dil was pregnant but it's all turned out to be the opposite of what I was worried about.
I'm sure ,at first she will feel a lot more relaxed in front of her own mum and that's pretty normal too . Her own mum is just being protective of her own little girl even though she is an adult ( most of us can be over protective at times can't we) but I'm sure you will get yourself share of the new baby. Try to relax about things and look forward to being a great nanna.

muffinthemoo Tue 12-Mar-19 18:15:19

All I would say is that after three weeks, your DIL will quite probably want to have her own space and do her own mother-and-baby thing without someone there all the time. It is important for new mums to feel like they can manage without being 'helped' all the time, and often pregnant women agree to this kind of arrangement and then cancel it nearer the time.

So don't roast your heart over something that hasn't happened yet.

Likewise leaving the baby to go on honeymoon: your DIL might think otherwise about that nearer the time.

Congratulations and I hope all goes smoothly for mother and baby flowers

Grannyben Tue 12-Mar-19 19:00:06

When my dd was expecting my first gc I was so concerned that I would be pushed out. Yes, I know that's the wrong way round but his mum was always there at the beginning and my dd clearly didn't want to offend her new husbands family.
6 months on and the novelty had worn off. 3 years on and I'm sure my dgc would sometimes struggle to recognise her in the street.
I actually think it was all about her impressing her friends as the doting new nanna.
I would say stay back, offer assistance and wait for your turn. Have no doubt it will come. Working mums need as much help as they can get.

Minerva Wed 13-Mar-19 10:47:08

I have sons and daughters and so experienced being the MIL as well as the DM. If you think back to when you had your first baby, who would you have rather have had to help, your husband’s mother whom you are just getting to know, or your own whom you have loved, been cared for by and relied on most of your life? As for why overnight, I was with my daughter after every birth and got up with her at night and made her a cup of tea while she got on with the feeds, then helped with nappies, burping etc. It was a precious time for a mother and daughter.

Pipersnana Wed 13-Mar-19 10:53:35

I was in your position last year. I braced myself for not being able to see our GC (our 1st). Our DIL's parents are both with new partners as the split when DIL was 4. So we were continually told there were 3 sets of parents to consider and time is split 3 ways. Made the wedding quite difficult.
I am a registered child minder and would love to look after our Grandchild. Although I was never pushy and stood back not offering advice or options on any aspect of pregnancy or child care. I offered to buy car seats and to loan equipment I had, as well as knitting lots. All were snubbed and I became quite upset and then reserved about the situation.
However, I could not be more delighted with how the situation has turned out. From the moment our GD was born last Oct we have been involved all along. Our DIL has completely changed and we are now so much closer. She sends up dates almost daily and I have started having our GD on a Tuesday.
Sending you congratulations and my advice would be take every opportunity you are offered.

maxdecatt Wed 13-Mar-19 11:00:19

How the world has changed.
These days you first have the babies, then the honeymoon and then you may find the time to get married. I pity the kids arriving in this world these days.

anitamp1 Wed 13-Mar-19 11:04:03

I think similar issues have been raised previously. I think it is just pretty usual that daughters and tend to spend more time with their own mothers than with the in laws. Just think it stems from the different relationships boy and girls have with their mothers. We are really close to our DS and DIL, but they do spend more time with her parents than they do with us, purely because her and her mum make plans. Whereas our son rarely plans, and is more likely to just drop by. We are not the least offended by it. I think you are premature to worry about seeing your GC. Things will change for the couple once baby arrives and DIL may well favour her mum - that's perfectly natural. But be a little patient and hopefully they will be grateful for help and support from both sets of parents once things settle down.

Hm999 Wed 13-Mar-19 11:05:40

Talk to DiL. Ask what you can do for her. Say that you're only round the corner and would happily go round while she wants to pop out to the shops, go out for a coffee, alone or meeting a work colleague for a break. Say you'll do some ironing, mow the lawn, whatever horrid job they won't have time or energy to do with a new baby. You'll see the baby, have a cuddle in passing and be building relationships

GoldenAge Wed 13-Mar-19 11:09:08

Dalfie5557 - you need to separate out the two issues here - one is to do with your grandchild and the other with your dil. As others have said, most young mums want their own mums more in evidence when they have their babies - this is only natural - it's not about the grandma having more access to the baby but rather about enacting the existing relationship with the daughter. You can't step into that but you can continue to offer to help and you can say you'd like to build a relationship with baby so that when you take care of him/her one day a week when dil returns to work, baby is happy to be with you. What you might also do is casually find out why you and other grandma are being asked to do one day each when the maternity leave finishes. Is it because the other grandma can't do two days herself or because your son and dil genuinely want both grandmas in baby's life? That information might be useful to you. At the end of the day you want your grandchild to think both grannies like each other so maybe you start to do things with her now - go out together for the odd afternoon tea, or cinema showing - discuss how wonderful it's going to be to have a new little person in your lives - you need to become closer to your opposite number and then your feelings of jealousy will wane.

ReadyMeals Wed 13-Mar-19 11:09:09

Well, you're not being unreasonable to feel that way - jealousy is a very natural emotion, so I understand. However, I think you're going to have to come to terms with the situation. I hope you manage to do that successfully so it's not too painful.

glammanana Wed 13-Mar-19 11:16:20

Dalfie Wise words given by other GNers take it slowly and enjoy your visits when the time comes,girls will always graitate towards their mum my DD did and I had to remind her to invite her MIL at times she said she didn't feel she could have her helping with breast feeding and other personal stuff so needed her mum.
Certainly stock up the freezer for them during the first week as they will be concentrating on the baby and finding their feet.
Enjoy the times you have to come with your new DGC x

glammanana Wed 13-Mar-19 11:17:36

^ gravitate^ sorry no edit.

trisher Wed 13-Mar-19 11:24:41

Accept your feelings, don't feel guilty about them and then let them go. Whatever plans have been made can be (and often are) unmade. Planning is fine but once a real baby is there things change. Your DIL may need more (or less) help. Her mum may find minding a baby is harder work than she expected. Just be friendly and helpful, make offers but don't push them or sound needy. It may seem now that a year is an awful long time but I would imagine your DIL will want to work things out gradually so you may get the baby for an hour or a couple of hours long before she returns to work, so it won't be a whole year. Just remember it is your GC not your child and try to follow the routines your DIL wants. I'm sure you will be saying in a year's time "It's gone so fast and minding a baby is hard work (but I love it)".

Pinkrinse Wed 13-Mar-19 11:39:33

Hi, just wanted to add my situation is slightly different as I am step mum to 3 girls, who lived with me and my husband for many years when young. They now have their own children, and I can sometimes feel jealous of the biological grandparents - but I accept that that is normal - and just focus on my relationship with them and their children. Comparing only ends in upset! I am happy with my relationship most the time - but know the minute I start along the lines of "they see the others more often then me etc." I am just going to make myself miserable and resentful and then that impacts negatively on things. Accept the emotions, but put them in their place and be happy for the time you have with them.

Dalfie5577 Wed 13-Mar-19 11:41:39

I cannot thank you all enough - reading through all your posts has really helped me put my feelings in to perspective. I am definitely going to give myself a good talking to and stop thinking negatively! I am so excited about future GC and don't want any undesirable emotions to spoil this very precious time - for me or for any of my family. smile Hopefully I have hidden how I have been feeling from my DIL( and everyone else) - she is lovely and I would hate to upset her. The only person I have confided in is my DH but it has helped to be honest on here and get other opinions. thanks

grandtanteJE65 Wed 13-Mar-19 11:44:16

I think it is natural to worry that you DIL's mum will take over the baby completely, - she's certainly heading that way, by what you say.

If she is so domineering, I expect your son and daughter-in-law will appreciate you being more cautious in you approach. They've already said they will appreciate your help when your DIL goes back to work, just look forward to that.

Right now, don't worry, just enjoy being a grandma.