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Grandparenting

New grandmother with a heavy heart

(32 Posts)
Danishgrand Mon 15-Jun-20 10:52:35

My daughter and I have always been close and very fond of each other. My husband (not her father) says that it is such a healthy r/s with love and respect.
My daughter lives 40 minutes from where I live with her husband and they have just had a baby 2 weeks ago.During the last 5 years I often felt that it was hard to make appointments with her. Both alone and with my husband. She has got a girlfriend that to me sounds very toxic (she is not seeing her mother and is speaking badly of everyone) My daughter is very fond of this girlfriend, but I have been treated not so well by my daughter (she says limits) so perhaps the girlfriend is giving her some ideas. Well that is not the issue. I really need some perspective/help with feelings that are overwrelming me. I feel so desparate according to get a r/s with my new grandson in the future. I have seen him once for 3 hours - they have a hard time with crying and the new circumstances (very understandable). Her mother in law lives 4 hours away but she is coming at least once a month for 3 days and have done that the last 5 years. Now when the grandson is here, I feel so sad. The mother in law has just been there for 3 days and helped them with the screaming boy. I asked my daughter if I could help, but she says thanks, but no - she says "not too may people has to look after him". I feel that I always have to ask, and she is holding me an armlenght from her/them. I know that is very early, but I feel the desparation that I will see my grandson every other week 2-3 hours and the mother in law 3 days a month. Perhaps I sound very selfish, but in fact I am the opposite. I always want to understand how my daughter feels, I support her very much my sms (daily) all her small woman problems. And I always back off and wait (with a heavy heart though). I would so much like to see my grandson every week and then in between with my husband when it is ok with my daughter and her family. And I would very much like to have a feeling that I could come to her house more freely. Please any good suggestions would be much appreciated. I am Danish so I appologize if there are mistakes in the English.

FlyingHandbag Mon 15-Jun-20 11:00:02

Some women nowadays have an ideal of 'our little family' (ie her husband and children) and excluding relatives. I'm sure it's nothing personal, she's just got this silly idea in her head about 'our little family'. Bide your time. X

GrannySomerset Mon 15-Jun-20 13:52:10

Convince yourself that grand parenting is not a competitive sport - because it isn’t - and you will feel happier. Your time will surely come if you make sure it is about what your daughter and her baby need and not about what you would like.

I loved and valued my mother in law but would never have wanted her popping in or spending hours with me. Her moment came when I had a difficult second pregnancy and she took charge of our eighteen month old daughter for six long weeks. And handed her back with a hugely expanded vocabulary but in no way spoiled, and a relationship which gave both daughter and her huge joy.

bluebirdwsm Mon 15-Jun-20 14:22:50

The baby is only 2 weeks old! They are struggling with him crying, and also trying to get into a routine with him, apart from dealing with his new grandparents wanting to see him.

Give your daughter time and understanding and a lot of slack. Already you are being ridiculously competitive with the other grandparent/s whose circumstances are different to yours.

You have seen him already and seeing him once a fortnight doesn't seem too bad. Living 40 minutes away isn't exactly on her doorstep. You seem to want to dictate how often you should go to her house/her family. It's not about you. It's not about what you want. It's about a young family who want to adjust to this vastly changed new way of life. Any sulking from you won't help, will just make things worse.

The baby is also someone else's grandson, not just yours. He is the husbands little boy and this is his and your daughters new family. In time you will be able to be part of it in some way...when they are ready and it will evolve naturally if you let it. But not due to your timeframe. It's their life.

If your daughter wishes support from and spend time with someone her age, then she can and should. Stand back and be patient. She could need more support/baby sitting in the months and years to come. Meanwhile do not alienate her or be jealous of the other grandparent/s, that will get you nowhere. Just relax.

To feel 'desperate' and 'desperation' in such circumstances, when you should be feeling elated and looking forward to the future and being a grandma is dramatic and over reacting. Yes, you do need perspective...before you put your foot in it and mess up.

Take time to calm down, think and work out how to be reasonable, undemanding and cooperative. I also feel you need another focus so you are not so dependent on your daughters life. Find a hobby, spend time doing other things, living your own life. It will all pan out if you let it.

If my mother or in laws had had 'heavy hearts' when my sons were born I would have been stunned and hurt. Now I have 4 grandchildren I have to share them with 2 other sets of grandparents...all doing different things with and for the grandchildren. We all contribute differently, we all love them to bits. I love that one set take them on holiday [I can't], and one set has the other pair for sleepovers [I can't]. I just enjoy hearing they are having happy, full and interesting experiences no matter who provides them.

Oopsadaisy3 Mon 15-Jun-20 14:27:06

Wise words from Bluebird

AGAA4 Mon 15-Jun-20 15:05:11

Just enjoy the time you can have with your new grandchild.

Don't worry about what the other set of grandparents are doing or be competitive with them. It will only make you feel bad and spoil what you have - a gorgeous new grandson. you are so lucky!

Alexa Mon 15-Jun-20 15:23:28

Danishgrand, I understand why you are disappointed. Do you feel you have lost the companionship of your daughter and not gained enough companionship with her little baby?

Do you think perhaps your daughter may like to have the other grandmother visiting less frequently? I don't believe you are competitive; it's natural to compare yourself with somebody else in the same sort of relationship.

Are you concerned about how your daughter is coping with the care of her baby? Maybe she would like you to reassure her if she ever needs any help from you , you will be there to help her.

LadyBella Mon 15-Jun-20 15:33:07

I'd feel exactly the same. I only have one GS, now a teenager. I've spent the past 10 or so years helping look after him and it has been wonderful. Pick a moment when your daughter is calm and responsive and tell her how you feel and how you're looking forward to playing a part in the little one's life. She may not realise and obviously cannot understand how a grandmother feels. Her emotions and hormones are all over the place. But when she settles into a routine with the baby, that is probably the time to tell her how you would like to share in the baby's life as much as possible. I'm sure she will be delighted. Wishing you well.

Lolo81 Mon 15-Jun-20 16:32:10

Perhaps you and your daughter have mismatched expectations regarding how involved you will be now that she is a mother. You say that over the last 5 years the routine with her MIL has been set, so why would this change?
They as a nuclear family only have 4/5 weekends per month of which one they see MIL - Do you think it is reasonable to give up every weekend with their child and have grandparents around and no time as a nuclear family? Your daughter is adjusting to a new phase in her life with her husband and child and they need time alone to do this. You are not being excluded. They are facilitating you having a relationship with them and your GC every other week. Please do not turn this into a competition.

Granarchist Mon 15-Jun-20 17:24:37

crikey. If I had had an SMS daily with a 2 week old baby I would have strangled my mother. As it was we moved 100 miles away quite soon after the birth and my mother saw her new grandchild when she could make the trek north - it never occurred to either of us (I'm sure) that she was hard done by. My inlaws lived abroad and I had no expectation of them coming over more than once in that first year. I am lucky to have been able to see all my 7 GC as often as I want - (and they are geographically all over the country) but I would never assume that. I always wait to be invited. I was actually asked to be a birthing partner of my adopted daughter which was a huge privilege - but once the baby was born, I slipped out of the room, out of the hospital and back to Paddington Station and home. They did not need me there by then! 2 weeks is very early and you really do need to give them space. Send food parcels by all means, little luxuries, (offer to take away their laundry and do the ironing?) but don't make this all about you - your time will come and that is when you will come into your own. Years and years ahead when you can babysit - and take the pressure of the parents. Bide your time and wish them well.

Namsnanny Mon 15-Jun-20 17:32:13

I'm so sorry you are in this position.

I think there is a case for you to feel hurt.

I would and have in this situation.

But, and it is a big but. Please for your sake don't press your case.

Things are done differently now, and should you voice even the tiniest complaint, it could be proof in their eyes, that it's better to keep you at arms length.

Or worse, they may decide to see even less of you.

If what you say is true (and of course it is, but it's only your side of things) your daughter, for all your attempts to forge a strong relationship with her, is in actual fact treating you differently than her MIL.
It would be good if you could somehow find a way to see your relationship from a different angle. To see just what it is she wants in a relationship with you.

I get that you think she has been influenced by someone else. If she has, she will have to make her own choices about that someday.
But maybe this is how she will be from now on. So you will have to be the one to bend in order to keep the status quo with her.

I agree it isn't fair.

You may not end up with the quantity of time spent with your daughter and grandson, but you could aim at making it quality time. Time that your daughter may come to look forward to.

From someone who has lost all contact with a very loved AC and gchildren, please tread carefully.

Wishing you well.

OceanMama Mon 15-Jun-20 23:29:41

I understand you are disappointed, this doesn't look like what you want it to. It's okay to feel disappointed but try to look at it objectively. Seeing anyone every two weeks is quite a lot. Someone you see every two weeks is definitely close and not at all shut out. When you think of all the other people your daughter has to fit into her life - other grandparents, aunts, uncles, maybe great grandparents, siblings, friends - that's a lot of people to find time for. I get it, you're her mother, that's closer than many of those relationships, but surely your daughter wants some weekends and time with just her husband and her child to do things as a family? Did you always have your mother or mother in law tagging along, or did you have immediate family time? Even if you did, that was your choice, and might not be right for your daughter. Will your daughter return to paid work? If so, she might want to make the most of her time at home while she can, to just spend time with her child.

sukie Tue 16-Jun-20 03:19:46

Congratulations Danishgrand on your new grandson! This is still very early times and things will change, including emotions. Other grans have given you very good advice here. Don't pressure your daughter and let go of expectations. A visit every two weeks is actually quite nice, I hope you are able to relax and enjoy that time with your daughter and grandson. I would like to add that you are quite fortunate to have another grandparent to share in the care and love of your grandchild and daughter. A child can never have too many people that love him. Best to you.

sukie Tue 16-Jun-20 03:27:36

One more thing I learned the hard way, don't give unsolicited advice, regarding the gc or your daughter's friends, etc. Just bite your tongue.

Danishgrand Tue 16-Jun-20 08:24:30

Thank you very much for your kind words and understanding. It is always hard to really explain how things are online and in writing. I think I feel a little used. I am supporting my daughter in any way by texting, also now when she is a new mother. I love being in contact with her, but for some years our r/s is more about me supporting her/being a part of her life on the mobile and it is difficult to meet her in real life. I understand that it is not about me wanting something, but I think there should be a balance of giving and taking in every r/s. And I think because of how difficult it is to see her, I fear that I will have a r/s with my grandchild on the mobile through her, her struggle, what her child do etc. and then not have a real r/s. So, yes as to your kind questions. I feel that I have lost a REAL companianship with my daughter and that will influence my r/s with her child. I think my daughter is cable of taking care of the baby. Thanks again

Juliet27 Tue 16-Jun-20 08:37:38

You may not end up with the quantity of time spent with your daughter and grandson, but you could aim at making it quality time. Time that your daughter may come to look forward to.

Wise words namsnanny

Toadinthehole Tue 16-Jun-20 09:28:48

Blimey, your English is better than mine!! I can’t speak a word of Danish, despite all the dramas on Netflix. Anyway, your problem...... I agree with others, it’s so hard, and you can’t see the bigger picture at the moment. It really is best to say nothing...no matter how hard, as long as your daughter knows you love and care for her, and are there for her should she need you. The baby is only two weeks old, her head may be all over the place at the moment with raging hormones! Her entire focus should be on her baby. Let everything settle, give it time, be patient, and you’ll hopefully find you naturally provide a safe place for your daughter to come to. Congratulations by the way....and all the best.

Alexa Tue 16-Jun-20 09:38:47

"Things are done differently now, and should you voice even the tiniest complaint, it could be proof in their eyes, that it's better to keep you at arms length."

Strong words from Namsnanny and I wish I had had her advice and taken it all those years ago!

Asatess63 Tue 16-Jun-20 16:21:37

This was me a year ago. My granddaughter is 1 tomorrow. I live 40 mins away, and my daughter’s MIL about 5 hours away. I managed to see baby about once a fortnight. But her parents in law came every 3 weeks and stayed several days. Then they took my daughter, son in law and granddaughter on holiday twice. I was going crazy, actually adding up the number of hours they had compared to me! But I came into my own when they started to need a babysitter, or had to go to a meeting in the evening. And just before lockdown, I was spending lots of time with her. Obviously things are different now, but I still manage a visit every fortnight, sitting in the garden. Whereas my daughters in laws haven’t been able to visit since the end of Feb. Your time will come.

Namsnanny Tue 16-Jun-20 16:27:09

Me too Alexa me too smilesad

Namsnanny Tue 16-Jun-20 16:44:18

Asatess62 ... lovely ending, so glad for you🙂

Namsnanny Tue 16-Jun-20 16:46:00

juliet27 ...smilethanks

Luckygirl Tue 16-Jun-20 17:08:34

I think that making comparisons is unhelpful. If I were you I would try and stop doing that, and certainly not mention this to your DD.

Maybe just give it time and take it steady - if you become pushy it will only make things worse.

These are difficult times for everyone.

Danishgrand Wed 17-Jun-20 07:12:59

Thanks again for all your good input and experiences. I will stick to it when I feel sad and a little hopeless. Are there any good books to help grandmothers who want the best r/s with daughter and her child? Warm thoughts

OutsideDave Wed 17-Jun-20 16:26:19

The baby is two. Weeks. Old. Your daughter is still bleeding and sore. Demanding anything or extrapolating what is happening today to say anything about the future is ludicrous. If you want a strong relationship with your grandchild; treat their mother with respect and compassion. Leave the demands, the jealousy, and the bean counting to the side. I will say that after having kids and when they were quite small my relationship shifted again with my own mom to be a bit more one sided- similar to when I was quite small and needed a lot from her, when I was doing 100% for my own little ones my mom put forth the most effort. She didn’t complain, she had compassion, and as they’ve gotten older things have shifted to be more equitable. But I needed her to be there for me and not be demanding and the fact that she was is a large part of why we are (and always have been!) close- I know she will always be there for me and be ‘the mom’ when I am struggling. When my kids were born she took care of me- sure she got to snuggle the baby but she was there to take care of HER baby and her focus was always on MY well being vs agonizing over getting her ‘granny share’ in.