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Grandparenting

Have I let my grandchild down?

(20 Posts)
ILE35 Fri 08-Nov-19 12:04:46

Long story short, my daughter had a baby at 16 but has never been a mum to my grandchild, now 2 1/2. She was in denial of the pregnancy, not telling anyone and I only found out when she was 8 months pregnant. In her head she thought she could give birth in secret, leave the baby somewhere and get on with life. The weeks before my grandchild was born I would not wish on anyone with the emotion and distress. My daughter temporarily came round and I went into the hospital with her and her boyfriend who was also young and the father and watched my grandchild come into the world. Almost immediately after coming out of hospital my daughter went back into a sort of denial that there was a baby and with the position I was in plus still in a state of shock basically said I'd do everything to help. So I went part time and became the mother figure in my grandchild's life. I've been there for her completely and she is my world. Her father has been an active part in her life and I can't fault him for the way he has stepped up. My grandchild dotes on him too and since day one almost she has had regular overnights which moved to almost 50/50 shared care earlier this year. He lives with his mum and she supports him when grandchild is at their's.

As time has gone on my own daughter's behaviour has become more and more difficult to deal with. She is so disrespectful, rude, self centred and selfish and shows very little interest in her child. It got so bad I had to put her out as could no longer take her abuse but this has left me in a hard financial situation. I'd already taken cuts with reducing to part time. I get an element of tax credits but this doesnt make up the wage I lost. In addition I've never asked for a penny help from grandchild's father as I'd rather he spent time with her. My daughter was giving me some dig money but now she is out I cannot get by.

Grandchild's dad has said he would like her full time so I arranged to go to work full time as looking at not keeping my house with further cuts and my granddaughter has gone to him with me going from seeing her almost every day to once or twice a week and I'm really struggling. His mum has taken over my role and my heart is breaking as she was like my own child. My house feels so quiet. I feel like I've given my own child away which is crazy as I will still be seeing her but more as a gran than a mum. I worry about her little head growing up rejected by her own mum and then the person she looked at as a mum letting her go. I know she is well loved by her dad and nana and their family but I feel like I'm grieving. I really hope we have done the right thing.

For the record in regards to my daughter I've done everything to get her help including mental health etc. But she doesnt go. She has also lost her job and I feel like she has her finger on a self destruct button. Feel on the edge of a breakdown constantly and like I've lost my daughter and granddaughter. I keep telling myself to get a grip but I'm just so emotional just now.

Buffy Fri 08-Nov-19 12:18:16

Horrible situation but at least your grandchild feels loved and wanted. You can only do so much for your daughter. She’s an adult now. You know the old saying ‘you can take a horse to watt but you can’t make it drink.’ Continue to see your granddaughter and focus on looking after yourself or you’re no good to anyone

Tartlet Fri 08-Nov-19 12:26:09

My immediate thoughts are that you've done the right thing. A stable, loving home with her father and caring family support from you and her other grandmother seem likely to be in the best interests of the child.

She's young enough to adapt quickly to her new circumstances and you're not abandoning or rejecting her but changing to a more normal grandparent role. I really don't think you have anything to reproach yourself with. You are to be commended for coming so willingly to the aid of both your daughter and granddaughter. I know from experience that rejection or disinterest issues between an adult child and grandchild can be heart breaking. I think possible future rejection issues might be made worse by continuing attempts to involve the mother with her child as every failure will be felt more acutely by the child as she gets older. Complete absence of a disinterested parent is better than ongoing disappointment.

FlexibleFriend Fri 08-Nov-19 12:28:55

She has a dad who clearly loves her and 2 grannies who have her best interests in mind. No you haven't failed her, your daughter has but that's hardly your fault. You'd be no use to anyone if you spiral downwards, put yourself first for once and stay as involved as possible in your GDs life.

pinkquartz Fri 08-Nov-19 12:39:44

You have been wonderful for your granddaughter. flowers

From what I have read of your post you have done everything you can.
Look after yourself now because your DGD is going to need you and love for a very long time.
I understand why you feel sad but it is more natural for her to be with her Dad and as time goes on that will seem more natural for you too as you say now you are Gran again.

Build yourself back up and look forward to the times you can spend with her. You have so many years in front of you. But you do need to give yourself time to recover from so much trauma.

BlueBelle Fri 08-Nov-19 12:43:47

I really feel for you ILE35 but you really have thought this through and considered what is best for the little lady and let her settle with her Dad and that takes a big person to do that You still have contact with her once or twice a week and seem to get on well with the father and the other Nan
Could you have her for weekends or one or two evening sleep overs to give you and her something to look forward to
Please don’t look on it is abandoning her it is nothing like that she is still very much a part of your life and you hers it is just a change of house for her but hopefully she is happy and settled and you are still her Nana
Time will help in this adjustment for you kids adapt very quickly
💐

Delila Fri 08-Nov-19 12:45:39

My heart goes out to you ILE35. You have done/are doing everything you can to emotionally & practically support your granddaughter and to provide love and consistency in her young life. Your contribution has already been such an important one and, whatever the future holds, I am sure you will continue to be there for her. It sounds as though without you, and not forgetting the input of her young father, her life would have been less secure, perhaps chaotic.

Your daughter obviously has problems and you have tried your best for her too. I hope the time will come when she can develop a more positive relationship with her daughter, and with you. You certainly haven't let anyone down.

Hetty58 Fri 08-Nov-19 13:02:19

I know about the feeling of grief, having (mostly) brought up my grandson until he was ten and moved in with his mother. I'm sure that you've done the right thing. The child is loved and cared for - and that's paramount. It will take time to adjust though.

Your daughter would benefit from help (perhaps CBT) but you can only try to persuade and encourage her. She is obviously not well so still needs your motherly love and support (however difficult that may be in practice) if you can possibly manage it.

lemongrove Fri 08-Nov-19 14:26:15

Good comments from others on here.I understand your feelings, a hard situation for you.See her as much as you can to continue your relationship with her, and see how things pan out.Luckily, she has a good father who wants her.

sodapop Fri 08-Nov-19 16:19:16

You have done all you can ILE35 and made the best choices anyone could have done under the circumstances. You have most definitely not let your granddaughter down, you have given her two loving grandmothers and a caring responsible father so well done.
I hope things improve with your daughter and she matures and has better relationships all round.

Gonegirl Fri 08-Nov-19 16:21:42

That is just so sad for you. sad

You have done the right thing though. I think you will always be very special to your grandaughter.

I'm sorry about your daughter.

wildswan16 Fri 08-Nov-19 16:45:13

This is so hard for you - but the right place for the little one is with her father. You know she is loved and being well cared for in all aspects of her life. You don't have the financial worries that would have continued, and will be able to spend really happy quality time with your grandchild, actually being a grandma rather than a substitute mother.

I'm sure the GC will be settled as she knows her father and his family very well already. You have given her a stable and loving start to her life which is very precious.

Greenfinch Fri 08-Nov-19 16:47:11

You have done absolutely the right thing and put the interest of your grandaughter first before your own wishes. It is much better for her to have the stability of one home rather than going from one to the other and it is admirable that the young lad is happy to take up his duties.You are still around so your granddaughter won't feel you have rejected her.She is a very lucky little girl with plenty of love around her.

Grannyknot Fri 08-Nov-19 16:53:45

Dear ILE35 we had a similar situation in our family where my sister took on full care of her grandson, a 3 year old, after her son tragically died (he was a single parent with no involvement from the child's mother).

Three years later and the little boy has been adopted by his uncle and aunt and my sister had to let go of mothering him and return to being his grandmother. He is a well-adjusted happy child and everyone has adjusted well to the new circumstances.

You have been a good and faithful mother and grandmother, now it is time for you to step back. All good wishes for your family.

flowers

patriciageegee Fri 08-Nov-19 17:24:02

What a magnificent, selfless thing you have done for your beloved granddaughter ILE65. I hope the acute pain of the loss you feel passes and that life moves into a sweeter phase for all of you.flowers

newnanny Fri 08-Nov-19 17:37:09

It is so obvious you have done everything you can to give your gd the best start in life her mother could not give her. You have handed over her primary care to her loving Dad and paternal gm. You still see your darling gd and nothing will break the bond you have with her. As she grows up you will continue to see her and possibly have overnight stays when she is on school holiday. Keep in touch by phone/skype if you can. She will grow up knowing she is loved by many. You have done a great job ILE35 and put her needs first by unselfishly handing over her primary care to her father. Well done, you are being far to hard on yourself.

ILE35 Thu 28-Nov-19 13:12:35

Can I just first of all thank you all so much for your kind words and apologise for not coming back sooner to acknowledge them. I had a quick glance shortly after posting and turned into a massive blubbering wreck and it has taken me until now to be able to read through all your lovely replies without tears.

I just want to say that in the 3 weeks since I posted I have started to cope with the situation a lot better than I imagined and although still early days I am starting to feel a tiny bit more like the person I was 3 years ago just before this whole situation started.

My granddaughter is as happy as ever with her lovely dad and I am having her to mine one night a week for dinner and her bath then at least one overnight at the weekend. She breezes in and out both our homes without a care in the world and although the situation is tinged with a bit sadness I know deep down the right thing has been done.

I'm still having issues with my daughter but she is in the process of moving out. She knows it isn't her I don't want but her behaviour and that I'm there for her if she wants help.

Thankyou all so much again for your kind words x

Septimia Thu 28-Nov-19 13:51:25

It's the quality of your relationship with your granddaughter that matters, not the quantity.

If she is generally happy, and happy to spend time with you, then you're doing OK.

As she grows her life and needs will change and you will all have to accommodate them the best you can. You may find that she then wants to spend more time with you. At the moment you seem to have the balance right.

janeainsworth Thu 28-Nov-19 13:59:09

I didn’t see your post first time around ILE but just wanted to say I admire you for the way you’ve handled this situation & with you and her dad and his family there for her, I’m sure your little GD will have a happy and stable upbringing and be a credit to you.
flowers

Starlady Sat 30-Nov-19 00:09:28

Bravo, ILE for all you have done for your GD! I agree w/ previous posters and am glad you are starting to cope w/ the new situation. As long as GD feels loved, that's the most important thing. No doubt, whenever you're w/ her, you make sure she knows you love her and enjoy your time w/ her. Beyond that, you're entitled to earn a living and keep your home, etc. It's a truism, but you (general) can't really do right by anyone else if you don't do right for yourself.