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(50 Posts)
lluneau Tue 04-Jul-23 13:02:17

Hi, I am new here and am so relieved to find that I am not alone in this situation. My son’s partner has stopped talking to me and I am at a loss as to why. Like many families, we have divorce, remarriage, and dynamics that overshadow our lives. I have moved closer to one gd to help out as they had no family nearby. I was going to visit family in question 1 week a month to babysit and spend time with infant gd. All was good for 5 months. My gd was enrolled in daycare 3 days a week; my ex and his sister share babysitting duties on home days. At my gd’s first bd party, my ex’s family was invited, but mine was not. My ex’s sister appears to have replaced me. I am an extremely anxious person, this may be contributory. I so want to be in my gd’s life, but it doesn’t look good. I am not confrontational and have mentioned my discomfort with my son, but told him that his nuclear family was more important than any issues with me…he says he was unaware. Do I bow out gracefully with a broken heart or fight back??? I would appreciate advice.

Farmor15 Thu 06-Jul-23 15:38:06

60no - you would get better response if you posted on a different thread - under Health.

My OH was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year after being in denial for a long time. His consultations with urologist were mostly over the phone. After a lot of prevarication he opted for radiotherapy. is a great site with lots of information and a great discussion forum.

lluneau Thu 06-Jul-23 17:07:03

My husband had surgery and 4 years late all is good. God speed!

lluneau Thu 06-Jul-23 17:10:50

I moved 4 hours away to assist other son and his family. My ex and extended families live close to the family in consideration. I will take some time to digest all of this and will approach son’s partner with empathy….right now my heart is broken and my mind isn’t in a good place.

60no Thu 06-Jul-23 19:28:51

Oh sorry and thank. Thought I was starting new thread … not my day today!

lyleLyle Thu 06-Jul-23 21:27:04

I think the original arrangement was set up for problems. Your son being away while you being with your DIL and granddaughter for a week just made too much opportunity for an overstep or clash. The good news is you recognize you overstepped. Being an over-excited grandmother isn’t a crime. But admitting it an modifying the behavior is necessary going forward. So I would start with a no-strings attached apology for any missteps. Do not do so with the expectation of anything in return. Do it from the heart.

Give it some time, then offer a less intense alternative to spending time with the baby, such as a day visit when your son is home. Don’t ask them for a schedule. A lot of grandparents neglect to consider that sometimes young families need nuclear binding time. Everything isn’t about the “village”. So please don’t pressure them. Other posters can go on and on about how things used to be, but there is nothing inherently wrong at all about young families not wanting to split themselves into 5 just to accommodate visits with extended family. Go with the flow. Things will be fine!

Regarding the non-invite, please place that responsibility where it belongs: your son. The days of women exclusively being the social secretaries of the family are done. He is responsible for maintaining connections to his side. Your anxiety with your ex in laws, your relationship with your son, those are his responsibilities alone. Your DIL has nothing to do with them.

You seem like your intentions are well meaning. If it’s just an issue of a family needing to re-establish the dynamics after new baby, let it happen without further dust-ups. Sometimes families take a couple of years to settle. It’s not the end of your relationship with them. Give it time!

lluneau Sat 08-Jul-23 13:51:51

Good morning,
I may be beating the proverbial dead horse, my son’s partner is away for 3 days next weekend. I have not been asked to help out with my gd, should I? Peaceful time there would be wonderful or would I be overstepping….I need to talk to my son, but feel he may be stuck in the middle. This situation is gnawing at my soul.

Farmor15 Sat 08-Jul-23 16:14:21

Could you have a chat with your son on the phone and ask would he like you to come and help? Try to phrase it in an open-ended way - he might want to have some time alone with his children, so you don't want to make him feel you're very keen to come (even though you obviously are!).

Farmor15 Sat 08-Jul-23 16:17:44

Sorry - said children- realise there's only 1 child so your son probably wouldn't actually need help.

welbeck Sat 08-Jul-23 16:23:02

why do you keep wanting to intrude, interfere in your son's family life.
it is not healthy at all.
if you cannot stop this kind of thinking then maybe you should seek some counselling.
why don't you leave them alone.
are you trying to split them up.
do you ever read MN; this is the number one complaint, interfering MILs.

Hithere Sat 08-Jul-23 17:26:13

No, please dont

Your son knows where to find you if he needs help

March Sat 08-Jul-23 18:17:12

Definitely overstepping if you haven't been asked to go for a visit and there's already bad feelings.

You son shouldn't need help looking after his child.

pascal30 Sat 08-Jul-23 18:24:41

I really think you should wait to be invited..

lluneau Sat 08-Jul-23 20:34:29

I will wait….I feel like I have come across as overbearing and interfering, which I do not believe I am.

crazyH Sat 08-Jul-23 20:51:37

Even though my daughter is divorced, I still don’t go uninvited. She is in the early stages of a new relationship. I haven’t heard from her for a few days. As for my sons, I am at the mercy of the daughters-in-law. So be it. There used to be a time when ‘relationships’ or lack of it, bothered me . Not any more. I am divorced so I understand it’s difficult for the AC, trying to please all the parents/ in-laws. Go with the flow lluneau

VioletSky Sun 09-Jul-23 00:03:23

Be careful

The only person placing your son "in the middle" is you.

That sort of mindset just places you at odds with your DIL when you should be working together to have a good relationship with them...

biglouis Sun 09-Jul-23 00:51:48

Hmmmm. When I read all these threads by grans with "aching hearts" I realise what my own grandmother had to bear and how patient and forbearing she was.

When I was very young she saw me for 2 hours on the "second sunday or every month" and that was it. When I grew older I used to get the tram or walk to her house by telling my parents I was staying in school for sports practice or playing with friends. In effect I sneaked off to see her. As they grow older and mature children develop their own priorities of the family members they want to spend time with.

lluneau Sun 09-Jul-23 12:53:09

I was raised much differently with both sets of grandparents in my life; maternal side almost daily and paternal weekly. Likewise, my parents were an integral part of my boys’ lives.
I feel the need to defend myself on this forum. I have evolved here as an overstepping mil when I only went to my son’s when asked to babysit when my ex was on vacation, he was primary sitter and when I was asked to visit. I rented a place the first two trips and then was asked to stay with them.

My initial reason for joining this forum was seeking advice on dealing with son’s partner who loves my ex and his family and who no longer talks to me. I have been cast as the villain here and with son’s partner it seems. Perhaps I needed a good dose of reality, but the wicked mil is not a role for me.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 09-Jul-23 13:01:17

Why do you not simply ask your DIL if you have done anything that has offended her?

If she says something like, whatever makes you think that? you can mention your surprise at not being asked to your grandchild's birthday.

See what your DIL says.

Guessing or making assumptions will get you nowhere.

VioletSky Sun 09-Jul-23 13:06:13

I think your advice has been very gentle, by gransnet standards, you have done well

People can only comment based on the information given...

You really do need to change a few things

1. Accept your son and his partner as a team. Son is not stuck in the middle

2. Don't compare your relationship to others, that way madness lies

3. Talk to them! Find out what will improve this relationship. DIL, whatever her family history, does have good relationships with many members of her husband's family. Find out why yours is struggling and change it

lyleLyle Sun 09-Jul-23 13:06:24


Good morning,
I may be beating the proverbial dead horse, my son’s partner is away for 3 days next weekend. I have not been asked to help out with my gd, should I? Peaceful time there would be wonderful or would I be overstepping….I need to talk to my son, but feel he may be stuck in the middle. This situation is gnawing at my soul.

I wouldn't ask to "help" because he has not indicated he needs it. It's one child. I'm sure the grown man can manage.

If you'd like to visit for a couple of hours one day, ask him. But I think it would be helpful for us grans to stop positioning ourselves as though our grown adult offspring can't handle their own children.

You mentioned it would be "peaceful", which indicates it wouldn't when your DIL is there. That's a red flag for me. If I were you I'd make a point to improve the relationship with the 3 of them. If you keep asking to visit while she is gone, they will notice. I don't imagine it will be received well.

Farmor15 Sun 09-Jul-23 13:06:59

How do you get on with your ex and his family? I would have thought there might be tension if all together for a celebration, which might be why you weren't invited to birthday.

MercuryQueen Sun 09-Jul-23 15:36:56

Why would your son need help? Surely he’s a capable parent. My husband would be very insulted if someone offered to help him with the kids when I went away for a weekend, because it’s saying that he’s not a capable parent.

Hithere Sun 09-Jul-23 16:34:57

Offering to help is a horrible idea

1. Sends the message the son is not capable of taking care of his own kid for a mere 72 hours - very insulting and demeaning
2. It looks like a predator in the jungle to jump onto his/her prey (the gc here) when there is a good chance of maximizing the goal
3. Divide and conquering (avoiding dil) is not seen in a positive way to resolve conflict

Norah Mon 10-Jul-23 15:44:56

Help your son? Is he not an able adult, used to caring for his son?