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I'm not the mother he expected, and probaby won't be the grandmother he expcts either

(81 Posts)
mothercat Mon 09-Dec-19 21:29:39

New here and this is my first post after reading through several of the forums. Looking to commiserate.

Son and DIL are expecting first baby, our first grandchild.
Things are getting tense with our son. He's 33 y/o and increasingly over the years he has let me know that I am a disappointment as a mom. As he sees it he is always having to rein me in for something I have done that makes his life miserable. DH thinks it started when he wanted to get a personal loan to cover living expenses while he went to school so he didn't have to work and could concentrate on his studies. We (DH and I) said "no" because he would need us to cosign and we were not in a position to pay back the loan if he couldn't.
I think it goes back further to multiple other incidents where we would need to help him with money, travel, etc. and weren't in a position to do that or felt that he was making bad decisions.
It seems that no matter how I try to help, even when it's something he specifically asked for, it is not good enough. Now with the baby coming I have become so gun shy that I tend to not get involved for fear of once again being harshly criticized and that just reinforces his feelings of me being inappropriate.
Of all 4 of my children he was the golden child, had everything together, looks, ability, drive and I thought I was being supportive, but he doesn't see it that way and now I'm really afraid to say anything about anything. Trying not to comment on anything he and DIL do or say regarding pregnancy, birth, and baby, but that looks like disinterest and lack of support to him.
I feel like I can't win.

Starlady Sun 15-Dec-19 20:24:39

I'm another one who thinks it's a good thing that DS told you what's been bothering him, mothercat. And it's good to know it wasn't about money either. I'm sorry that he felt abandoned when you went back to school/work, but I know that wasn't your intention and, IMO, it's good that it's out in the open.

Kudos to you for not trying to defend yourself! I know that must be hard. But it would only have led to arguing, etc. The important thing is that now he felt "heard."

I'm also glad there is no concrete reason for him to fear that you would break plans w/ your new GC, etc. Please make sure that, in the near future, you plan any dates w/ DS and family carefully, so you don't have to change plans, etc, you know, just not to give DS any ammunition or whatever the correct word would be.

Enjoy your new grandbaby!

Hetty58 Sun 15-Dec-19 20:40:14

The latest insults:

DS criticised how much I gave my grandson for his birthday!
(OK, more than mine used to get - but I can afford it now)

DS wondered how tall he would have grown if he had been 'properly fed' (he was). He's six feet two and sixteen stone. How big did he want to be?

I just laugh these days!

Hithere Mon 16-Dec-19 16:29:35


The present complaint is a very common one.

If gp are upstaging the parents, it is valid
If gp are giving a present the parents wanting to give, like a first bike, for example, it is valid
If parents gave a limit of quantity, monetary amount and passions, they have a reason for it.

It has nothing to do with the amount of money you have now vs when your ds was a child.

love0c Mon 16-Dec-19 17:30:41

Hetty58 If only I could laugh. My eldest says the most unkind and untruthful things to us. My husband says it is because he has a huge chip on his shoulder and has done for the last three years. He reckons it is because he knows he has made some really bad decisions which he will have to live with. Therefore he takes it out on us. He is usually sorry but I feel once he has said it, it's there. I get terribly upset.

willa45 Mon 16-Dec-19 20:27:49

My daughter (dog lover) once commented that female dogs are more nurturing towards their young than female cats.

Not sure how true that statement is but I can say for sure that cats are more independent by nature. I remember telling DD jokingly to be thankful that she had been raised by cats grin