Gransnet forums


grandparent for first time

(25 Posts)
Pigeon33 Fri 24-Jul-20 15:49:20


I am a new grandparent and my 20 yr old son and his 19 yr old girlfriend live with us and since they came out of hospital my sons gf has been keeping grandson upstairs all day am I wrong to question my son about this as we feel like she does not want us involved with him and she makes me feel uncomfortable in my own home she is estranged from all her family but is not willing to try and be part of ours we have made her welcome she has been with us since she fell pregnant as she had nowhere to live

silverlining48 Fri 24-Jul-20 16:12:31

Congratulations. It’s good if you to have given this young couple a home. How old is the baby? If it’s very young they probably want time on their own but if the baby isn’t new born why not have a quiet chat with your son. Be careful not to criticise the mum, you might want to read some of the posts on here as guidance...things can and do go wrong between parents and grandparents.
Good luck,

midgey Fri 24-Jul-20 16:21:53

Speaking from ...been there sort of done that: I would say that she is feeling that this is the only thing in the world that is totally hers. Give her time but whatever you do don’t criticise either her or your son!

phoenix Fri 24-Jul-20 16:26:50

Do they join you for meals etc, or are they living completely independently?

AGAA4 Fri 24-Jul-20 16:28:44

Lovely new grandchild, Congratulations!

Your son's girlfriend is very young and needs time to get used to being a mum.

I would just be patient with her and friendly and ask if there is anything she needs but don't push her to join you.

Pigeon33 Fri 24-Jul-20 16:37:58


Thankyou for your messages my sons gf eats upstairs and sometimes downstairs so does my son I know they want their own space and time alone with their son he is 2 weeks old now and is a bundle of joy but we feel like we are being ignored by her since arrival of grandson I have mentioned it to my son and I think I have upset him and not sure how to fix it

AGAA4 Fri 24-Jul-20 16:42:21

Pigeon33. I think they just need time to get used to being a family. Give them their space and she will probably be glad of
Granny's help later.

Pigeon33 Fri 24-Jul-20 16:46:07

Yes I know but it is hard when my grandson lives in our home but you are right I just need to deal with it

phoenix Fri 24-Jul-20 16:55:14

Pigeon33 You say my grandson, which of course he is, but he is first and foremost their baby.

sodapop Fri 24-Jul-20 17:13:08

It must be difficult for them as well Pigeon33 living in someone else's house and getting used to being a family with a new baby.
Give them space and time to get used to things. When they are more settled maybe you could all sit down and have a chat about your expectations and theirs and how you can make the situation work. Congratulations to you all.

Toadinthehole Fri 24-Jul-20 17:17:18

I agree it’s really early days with a two week old baby, and they are very young parents, is still your house, your rules, and you shouldn’t be feeling uncomfortable in it. They need to know, however new this all is, they mustn’t cut off the hand that’s feeding them. It’s easier for us to ‘ suck it up’, if our children hurt us, but your son’s reaction to you trying to talk him shows he still has the expected immaturity for a twenty year old, despite becoming a father. Be kind, but firm, and enjoy your lovely grandson.

Pigeon33 Fri 24-Jul-20 18:12:00

Thanks for your messages I will take on board all you have said I just want to be a good parent/grandparent

V3ra Fri 24-Jul-20 19:01:41

If your son's girlfriend doesn't see her family she's probably a bit overwhelmed and not used to caring family members.
I'd say just bide your time and don't put any pressure on either of them. They're so young and they have a lot to get used to with the baby. A lot of new parents seem to want to keep themselves to themselves these days. They do eat some meals with you though so that's a start.

Take comfort and pride in the fact that their little family has a safe home with you. Being a good grandparent means providing the support that new parents actually want and that helps them, not necessarily what you think you should do.

Congratulations to all of you 🎉

Luckygirl Fri 24-Jul-20 19:08:46

Just bide your time.

MerylStreep Fri 24-Jul-20 19:15:15

Maybe she's being considerate and doesn't want to intrude into your home anymore than she has.

Lolo81 Fri 24-Jul-20 19:34:01

Two weeks isn’t really a long time to adjust to being a new family of 3.
What would your ideal situation be here?
My gut reaction is that your DIL wants to have clear and specific roles for the child straight away - she is the caregiver and wants to do all the feeding, bathing etc and because they are living with you she might have concerns about you (an older experienced mum) maybe taking over?
Another thing many young mums are also doing is enforcing a 4th trimester, with baby predominantly with parents to establish feeding and bonding.
Finally, are there any issues around the Covid situation she might be concerned about? Maybe having essential workers in the house, or people visiting? Baby doesn’t have his jags yet so she might be creating a bubble.
All this to say, maybe ask your son what the concerns are and how can you work together as 2 families under one roof to make things easier?

Leaannbo Tue 11-Aug-20 20:44:10

You fix it by saying "I'm Sorry and I will mind my business but if you need anything let me know" And actually do that

Lesley60 Wed 12-Aug-20 10:30:59

Just a thought but have you given her unwanted advice on how to look after the baby.
I got married and had a baby when I was 16 and had to live in my mother in laws front room, she was constantly telling me what to do with the baby, I couldn’t even bath the baby without having her critical eye watching me.
I’m not saying for one minute you are like this but she may be lacking in confidence in her mothering skills like most of us are with our first baby and maybe she wants to make her mistakes in private albeit she is taking things a little far.
I would call her down for a coffee when you are alone in the house and get the conversation on to silly mistakes you made as a new mother and have a laugh with her about it, that way she can see you weren’t super mum, I would also tell her not to feel awkward if she needs your advice but you will only give it if she asks.
she may come around a bit and open up to you then.

Pigeon33 Wed 12-Aug-20 15:29:36

Hi all Lesley60 I have not given any unwanted advice In fact I have really kept my distance I only hold baby when I am offered to hold him and when they bath him I come out of the way to give them space it’s just the baby is 5 wks old now and my sons girlfriend still sits upstairs all day we don’t get any effort from her to try and be involved in our family and I have apologised to my son and we are fine now I even apologised to my sons girlfriend in case I had upset her in anyway but still made no difference so as long as my son is happy and grandson is coming on great I will just have to make do with current living situation

smoothie Wed 12-Aug-20 22:28:37

My guess is that she has no problem with you that you need to apologize for, it sounds as if she is just living her life and doing her best to take care of her child. Hell, she may even be upstairs hoping you all are doing well and trying her best to not be loud and disruptive grin So like you said, it’s probably best to remind yourself that she’s just puttering along figuring this baby stuff out.

Also, I imagine that with all the safety and peace that you have brought to her during a scary time in her life, in the future (after she gets in her groove), all of your generosity will have created an unbreakable foundation with which your relationship with her and your grandchild will flourish. smile

Hithere Wed 12-Aug-20 23:39:05

Baby is only 2 weeks old! 14 days old!

Your son's gf is healing and taking care of her baby.
In no way you are being excluded.
The right priorities are being implemented right now.

You need to talk to your son and see how he sees your role as grandparents.
Expectations are very problematic when both parties are not on the same page

I am sure your son and gf are very appreciative of providing housing for them, however please do not use it as leverage to gain the access to the baby you think you deserve.

Hithere Wed 12-Aug-20 23:42:42

Sorry, 5 weeks old

JenniferEccles Fri 14-Aug-20 17:20:31

19 and 20 years old is so young to be parents so it must be hard for them no matter how delighted they are with the baby.

Nevertheless the girlfriend should feel grateful for being given a home with you, so she really should make an effort to fit in.

Did you get to know her before the baby was born?
Is she a fairly mature 19 year old would you say?

You said she has nothing to do with her own family which is worrying.

I’m just wondering what on Earth she does upstairs all day!
Yes babies are time consuming but they also sleep a lot of the time.

Would she appreciate it if you offered to look after the baby for a couple of hours while she pops out for a break to the shops or sees a friend for a chat ?

Presumably your son is at work during the day so she would surely be grateful for a break.

Mamamayo Sun 23-Aug-20 22:09:13

Congratulations on becoming a grandmother! I will be a first time grandmother in September. I’m very excited about my new role! My daughter and her husband have asked me to be there for the birth and to also stay with them for the first couple of weeks after the baby is born. I am beyond thrilled to do this. Your post and thread have been very helpful to me regarding giving the new parents their space. It will be a challenge for me not to take over. My daughter and I have had several conversations about their expectations about my role. I am there to help the parents with whatever they need. Cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. It will be difficult for me not to jump in when it comes to the baby but I will hold myself back. If the new parents ask for my advice then I will share my two cents worth of wisdom with them.
Thinking back to when my husband and I were new parents with twins will remind me to keep quiet. The exact opposite of how my mother was when she stayed with us. I know she was only trying to “help” but it was very difficult for me having her there the day we brought the babies home from the hospital. I needed to make mistakes and do things the best I could on my own without moms expertise.
Thank you for sharing your experience. It has helped me so much.

Pigeon33 Mon 24-Aug-20 17:01:18

Hi Mamamayo

Thanks for your reply I too am going to be a nan again to twins in September one of my other sons partner is due soon but things are a lot better in my house now gs is doing great and i only advice when asked and I have offered my support if needed which I have also told my other son as well so hopefully my experience with my first gs has been helpful I am looking forward to being a nan to twins which I am sure will be a challenge for my son and his partner but they seem to be prepared for it