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Grandparenting

Maintaining Boundaries

(97 Posts)
JaydeeTas Mon 26-Jun-23 01:09:33

As most of you know, I have been heavily involved in the raising of my 15 months old GS.

I have been run down and tired lately and I have realised that the main stressor is my DIL. I constantly receive messages, face times, offers have having the little man etc..

If my GS doesn't sleep well, or eat, or is being naughty or sick, she is messaging me.. he could watching tv and she will just face time me, sometimes 2-3 times a day.

I want to help if I can but, it's like she's not asking... she will wait until I offer.. but, I am only offering because I know she wants me to.. Often, she doesn't listen to the advice given so I just listen to her concerns... That for me is very hard.

I thought my DIL feels like she just needs to update me and doesn't want advice but, if I don't offer, I'll continue to get messages until I do. I feel like I am going round in circles.

I have tried putting in boundaries but, it seems to only last a couple of days. I do want to hear from them and see my GS but, just need my DIL to see how tiring it is without offending her.

I wonder if I am reading this all wrong. Maybe she just wants reassurance.

lyleLyle Wed 28-Jun-23 21:57:58

Show me where I shared any details of my family’s life. Sharing that I mind my business and respect them isn’t sharing anything about their lives. I just know how to distinguish between what’s my business and what isn’t. That’s my point. Just because you are a mother and a grandmother doesn’t mean every aspect of your offspring’s life is yours to discuss and/or offer unsolicited advice on. Adults have boundaries in healthy relationships. Enmeshment is not healthy for anyone involved. This entire discussion is about an OP struggling with her feelings due to enmeshment. My solution was to take a step back from her choice to get so heavily involved in the marriage of her son. I’m not sorry that I haven’t offered the OP an opinion that either A. Reinforces her negative views of her daughter in law, or B. involves the OP offering more advice that she herself admits is unwelcome. Can most others say the same?

welbeck Wed 28-Jun-23 22:35:34

but it's not a case of OP offering unsolicited advice.
part of the problem is that the GC's mother keeps ringing her, all day everyday, asking for advice.
so she gives it, but the same questions arise, constantly, and there is no end to the interruptions from her DIL.
seems to be mixture of lack of confidence as a young mother, and an inability to operate without making a kind of interactive docu about her life.
anyway, i hope the child is ok.
parenting only has to be good enough.
none of us are perfect, nor had perfect parents.

Smileless2012 Wed 28-Jun-23 22:59:11

but it's not a case of OP offering unsolicited advice exactly Welbeck. As you say, the OP's d.i.l. is constantly contacting her.

JPB123 Thu 29-Jun-23 08:11:00

Why a room mate?

lyleLyle Thu 29-Jun-23 15:19:04

welbeck

but it's not a case of OP offering unsolicited advice.
part of the problem is that the GC's mother keeps ringing her, all day everyday, asking for advice.
so she gives it, but the same questions arise, constantly, and there is no end to the interruptions from her DIL.
seems to be mixture of lack of confidence as a young mother, and an inability to operate without making a kind of interactive docu about her life.
anyway, i hope the child is ok.
parenting only has to be good enough.
none of us are perfect, nor had perfect parents.

Partially agree in the sense that if the DIL is constantly updating her it nay reflect a lack of confidence. But, the OP literally states the DIL doesn’t want/accept the advice. So again, my original point is that OP should take a step back. Of course it’s hard to see family struggle a bit. But we have to love enough to let go. The fact is that growing pains in young families are natural. We won’t be around forever. If you don’t let adults figure out their way in life, you are setting them up for failure in the long term. Creating a dependence on parental support doesn’t help them. The OP offers this help. She can choose to offer less.

With regards to DIL and no end to the “interruptions”, people have a right to check up on their children. The OP sees herself as raising the child, which is where her unwarranted annoyance with the actual parent checking up on the child comes from. She can choose to accept that the DIL will exercise her right to check in on her child, or she can stop looking after the child so much. But to expect the DIL to change her behavior is irrational. The OP has the problem, so the OP must change. Be less available, be less stressed. And let the young mum be the imperfect parent that she is, unless there is actual danger. Acceptance of imperfect parenting should apply to the young parents as well, right? Let’s judge them less and focus on working on we can actually change…ourselves.

Herefornow Thu 29-Jun-23 16:46:40

Aldi ads driving me mad.

Op is asking for help to reduce involvement in this situation, let's give credit for that.

Dil has been raised by emotionally immature/passive aggressive mother who expects others to solve her problems for her. This is her baseline skillset.

(Tbc)

Smileless2012 Thu 29-Jun-23 16:49:07

A lot of posters are complaining about the Aldi ad Herefornow. I haven't seen it I'm pleased to say.

Yes, credit where credit is due.

Herefornow Thu 29-Jun-23 16:53:07

My instincts is dil is reaching out to you so much for 3 main reasons:
1) she is a massive people pleaser (see upbringing) and is trying to be a really good dil by making sure you have every opportunity to involved
2) she has identified you as a good tole model in mothering and wants her child to benefit from things she thinks she can learn from you.
3) your son is emotionally unavailable (as you say), but she still craves his approval, his input etc. She isn't getting that from him so she's substituting his input either yours.

Herefornow Thu 29-Jun-23 17:01:31

Just blooming happened again. Thank you smilesless, hope it affects as few people as possible.

Dil needs confidence. Her mother and your son prob doing very little build her confidence, but it's not your job to fix either.

OP, google the drama triangle, you will recognise the dynamic described as your own.

Herefornow Thu 29-Jun-23 17:05:25

I wouldn't tell her you are too busy for phone calls, I fear this will be interpreted harshly, and that her mother could potentially use it as an opportunity to put dil off you (I suspect there's some of this going in already given the sarky comment in that video message)

Herefornow Thu 29-Jun-23 17:34:56

I would simply tell her you're having discomfort with video calls at the mo, but you love to hear how they're getting on and can you pick them up to go for a coffee or arrange a time to pop over once a week? While there don't offer solutions, only praise and sympathy. Take gc overnight whenever this is mutually agreeable to give son and dil a bit more time

Herefornow Thu 29-Jun-23 17:35:48

Sorry for all the separate messages!

lyleLyle Thu 29-Jun-23 20:31:26

I definitely credit the OP for recognizing that the enmeshment is problematic. I only wish for her to see A. That she has the power to minimize her stress. B. That involvement in her son’s marriage is unhealthy. I rather focus on empowering the OP to make necessary changes in her own behavior for herself than to focus on her what she perceives as failures or faults in her daughter in law. We can only change ourselves. We are responsible for our own feelings, thoughts, and actions.

Herefornow Thu 29-Jun-23 22:38:24

lyleLyle

I definitely credit the OP for recognizing that the enmeshment is problematic. I only wish for her to see A. That she has the power to minimize her stress. B. That involvement in her son’s marriage is unhealthy. I rather focus on empowering the OP to make necessary changes in her own behavior for herself than to focus on her what she perceives as failures or faults in her daughter in law. We can only change ourselves. We are responsible for our own feelings, thoughts, and actions.

Can't fault any of that!

FarNorth Thu 29-Jun-23 22:55:06

With regards to DIL and no end to the “interruptions”, people have a right to check up on their children. The OP sees herself as raising the child, which is where her unwarranted annoyance with the actual parent checking up on the child comes from.

lyleLyle I think you are mistaken that the DiL is contacting the OP while OP is minding her DGS.
It sounds as if the OP is constantly being interrupted during her child-free time, when the little boy is at home with his mum.

welbeck Thu 29-Jun-23 23:21:10

exactly, that is how i read it.

rafichagran Fri 30-Jun-23 00:16:55

welbeck

exactly, that is how i read it.

And me.

NotSpaghetti Fri 30-Jun-23 05:24:32

Have a look at Homestart as this young mum needs friends and a social life and network of her own. I think this would help your daughter-in-law grow in confidence.

www.home-start.org.uk/Pages/Category/things-we-can-help-with

She needs someone there for her that isn't you. She sounds like she may be immature but senses she could use a role model - I think this may be why she's turning to you all the time.

I don't know how to deal with the constant phone interruptions except to answer at set times - at least initially. Eg, after 8 but before 9, mid morning (coffee break), lunchtime etc. Say you are "going to have to do it this way as you are struggling to keep up with work".
Only you can stop yourself looking at your phone.
Good luck.
flowers

BlueBelle Fri 30-Jun-23 06:42:25

I think yo are in a real pickle JaydeeTas because this has become a way of life for all in it
May I ask some questions
Whose house is it ? You say the mum is homeless where was she living before then ? Why another person in the house is this a lodger and for what reason is it needed to pay the mortgage/rent? How old is the baby you say the mum has been there 15 months is that his age?

It all sounds as if there are no boundaries in this home at all
and you are totally enmeshed with them which is good for no one, especially you

Whilst you don’t want to lose the relationship with your grandson you MUST set boundaries and be very clear about them
I would tell you daughter in law that things with your business have changed lately and you aren’t as available as before and whilst you love speaking and seeing your grandson you have got to juggle things better but you will be free for calls any evening between 6 and 7 or whatever suits you and you will be free for baby sitting/ visiting a b or c
You have made a rod for your own back by being available 24/7 in your quest to ‘help’

Her and her mum have no boundaries so you have to make the boundaries They are dysfunctional so you have to be the functional one They obviously have no purpose in life and a lot of time on their hands and are both very needy DO NOT play into that ‘need’
Be kind but VERY clear as to when you can take calls, when you can visit and when you can babysit
I wish you luck

BlueBelle Fri 30-Jun-23 06:44:13

Oh yes put you phone on silent whilst you are working and tell them that’s what you are going to have to do

Smileless2012 Fri 30-Jun-23 09:32:06

I also interpreted one of the issues being that Jaydee's d.i.l. is contacting her when Jaydee doesn't have her GC.

I wonder if some of the responses have been based on a misunderstanding that the OP doesn't like her d.i.l. contacting her when she has her GChmm.