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Grandparenting

Special trip. We're excluded even though we'd pay our own way.

(41 Posts)
Mebster Wed 19-Feb-20 17:12:09

Many of you have been supportive through our DGS's trouble with leukemia, our exhaustion in sometimes spending the lion's share of time caring for him (mum doesn't work), our anxiety about his future.
Now the time has come for a second much-anticipated trip to Disney. They went a year ago. Both visits have been financed by cancer charities.
We would like to go. Both times we've offered to pay our own way, stay in a different resort and see the kids only when their parents need a little relief or perhaps, briefly, at a parade or such. We very much feel the need to experience some laughter and joy, which has been thin on the ground for the past couple years. Our daughter suggested we fund such a trip at Xmas but I didn't want to deal with the extreme crowds or go to the seaside when our grandson really can't handle the waves or walking on sand/pebbles.
I'm extremely hurt that we're excluded.
Our daughter says I'm too critical but her examples seem a bit overwrought. We paid for a handrail on their stairs, urged supportive boots he could wear when he needs rest from painful braces (his house shoes aren't enough), more limits on screen time, which result in tantrums and take the place of any interest in reading or games, and, finally, time outs for hitting or swearing.
These are her excuses for excluding us in any family activities beyond Xmas and Easter. She admits to freely sharing her frustration with me among friends and associates. We live in a small community so this is pretty hurtful.
I'm just looking for suggestions on how to go forward. Our growing GS's are aware of our daughter's prickly attitude and they've begun to resist coming here if we limit screen time at all, though they've begged to spend as much time as possible with us until very recently. They are the light of my life. I'm trying to find more activities that don't include them but it's hard as we still spend a lot of time taking DGS to therapy or in hospital when he needs to be there. I've tried to be as honest as possible. I do offer unsolicited advice at X and am trying to stop. It's difficult when I'm so much involved in daily care.
Honestly, I fear that when we're no longer needed we'lll be completely cut off from GSs.

notanan2 Wed 19-Feb-20 17:20:55

Honestly Im baffled why you think going on a holiday with family who you have an already strained relationship with would make things anything but worse for EVERYONE

holidays together challenge the most harmonious of relationships!

V3ra Wed 19-Feb-20 17:38:20

Sounds like you're being used when it suits, and dropped when it doesn't. And not allowed an opinion about anything. Harsh.
If your daughter doesn't work why do you have to do the hospital runs? (Appreciate you probably want to).
I think you do need a holiday. But by yourselves, not sitting waiting. Let them manage without you for a couple of weeks. Maybe go with friends. Relax and recharge your batteries.

Smileless2012 Wed 19-Feb-20 17:43:36

That sounds like an excellent idea from V3ra Mebster. Take a well deserved break.

BlueBelle Wed 19-Feb-20 17:50:56

I remember your past posts about your grandsons illness and how much time you have spent helping out and I think you’ve done a sterling job but it does sound as if you should let go a little bit now and let his mum and dad take over the reins
You say your daughter tried to include you at Christmas time but it wasn’t right for you, but you can’t blame her for that she tried You rejected that offer and surely it’s her decision if he is well enough to go to the seaside or not He needs to be able to expand and try things that he hasn’t been able to do while he’s been ill I think you have to let go a bit although you won’t like me saying that
You also talk about cutting down his screen time again that isnt really your business it’s up to his parents to say how much screen time he can have and if it’s causing him to scream and shout surely its better to let him do what he feels he can do, he’s been denied so much life while he’s been ill if playing on the screen gives him pleasure surely that’s good
In your quest to help this precious child you have overstepped the mark and become so involved that you have taken over the parents role and this really has to stop ....you know this yourself don’t you ?
I think your last sentence says it all you are terribly frightened of not being needed and yet this is the one thing that would be so wonderful, because if you are not needed it would mean he was much better
Step back and let this family heal, please, before you spoil all your hard work it’s very very difficult mebster but you have to

M0nica Wed 19-Feb-20 17:52:52

You have done so much for your family mebster but gratitude can put an enormous burden on the person who has been the recipient of the help. It may explain her prickiliness, and why she and her family want to holiday alone.

TrendyNannie6 Wed 19-Feb-20 17:58:55

You sound a lovely grandparent so I can understand why you would be feeling hurt, and seem to be doing a lot to help out, and also being honest about offering unsolicited advice, I agree with the above posters, I think you should give yourselves a little break time to recharge your batteries

grannyqueenie Wed 19-Feb-20 18:03:39

Some good advice from others, particularly from Bluebell who as she often does, has said it all so kindly. l do hope you are able to take some of it onboard, step back a little without feeling excluded and have a proper break for yourselves too.

FlexibleFriend Wed 19-Feb-20 18:55:01

Have a well deserved holiday with your husband and relax, go and do something that is just for you be entirely selfish and don't give anyone else a thought.
Clearly you have been a great help but your daughter is making it very clear that she wants a break from your input. I guess that's hard to accept but she can do as she pleases, you can take offence and be uppity about it or make the most of the free time to do as you please, recharge your batteries until she wants help in the future.

Sara65 Wed 19-Feb-20 19:03:39

I do understand how you are feeling, you’ve obviously done so much for your family, but I agree with notanan in this instance, if things are a bit tense, a shared holiday can only make it worse, and personally I couldn’t think of a worse place to go, do as others have advised, and take yourself off for a well deserved break.

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 19-Feb-20 19:20:11

Listen to Bluebelle

paddyanne Wed 19-Feb-20 21:12:01

I think they just need time to be a family ,on their own.Her examples of wrongdoings may seem stupid to you but if someone criticised how I was bringing up my children I wouldn't want to go on holiday with them either.
Maybe you should step back a bit,she turned to you when she needed you but now she has to raise her children her way and you have to undestand and accept that .As others have said,go away with your OH and relax and enjoy your time together,You'll all come back from your holidays feeling the benefit .

mumofmadboys Wed 19-Feb-20 23:48:17

I agree with what paddyanne has said. You have been an invaluable help but now you need to let them enjoy being a family and you and your DH need to enjoy leisure time as a couple. If you back off a little your relationship with your DD will probably improve.

MawB Thu 20-Feb-20 00:08:44

I don’t see it as “excluded” as such.
Many many , indeed most, families do not holiday with grandparents and while you were very kindly going to offer them some respite while they are away, nevertheless I can understand them wanting to be just their little “unit” after all they have been through.
I think we all need to be needed and it can be isolating when that care is no longer necessary, but your relationship as a grandparent is not based solely on what you can do or who you are.
That was given out of love and the goodness of your hearts.
In the same way I am afraid that regardless of what you bought or paid for, your grandson’s upbringing is the responsibility of his parents , not yours and “urging” however well- intentioned can be interpreted as interfering.
I think I can understand why your D might be prickly if she interprets your opinions as criticism.
As Grans we have to zip our lips even when we do know best, however hard that might be.
It sounds as if the time has come for you to take a few steps back. If your D doesn’t work you are surely no longer needed as much as you were and for your own happiness and for the sake of your relationship with the young family, you need to have a life which does not revolve around your grandchild.

Pantglas2 Thu 20-Feb-20 07:32:35

Well said Gransnetters - all of you flowers

V3ra Thu 20-Feb-20 09:00:54

MawB "As Grans we have to zip our lips even when we do know best..."
Ain't that the truth!
Something I've realised over the past year, something two close friends don't seem to have to do, but this website has really opened my eyes and helped me 😕

Greymar Thu 20-Feb-20 09:06:59

I can well imagine the tamtrums round any attempt to limit screen time. It's a tricky one alright. Perhaps best to leave that to parents to solve.

Greymar Thu 20-Feb-20 09:09:25

May I humbly suggest you can experience laughter and joy without going to Florida.

MawB Thu 20-Feb-20 09:23:01

They are the light of my life. I'm trying to find more activities that don't include them but it's hard as we still spend a lot of time taking DGS to therapy or in hospital when he needs to be there. I've tried to be as honest as possible. I do offer unsolicited advice at X and am trying to stop. It's difficult when I'm so much involved in daily care

I think you have the nub of the problem in your last sentences, OP.
Of course your GS’s illness has knocked you for six, it is any grandparent’s worst nightmare. And like the loving gran that you are, you stepped up to the plate to show your love by a massive investment of your time and care. I can’t remember why your D was unable to cope - was there a baby or a younger child? She may well be feeling now that having let you play such an important part in their lives, she has allowed herself to be pushed out a bit and is trying to get back to a nuclear family.
It may seem ungrateful and perhaps it is, but it is necessary. She has to be Mum, not you and unless you step back of your own accord you will be pushed back. Does this make sense?
Cut back on the hospital or therapy trips, find some activities that occupy you and say Sorry, I’m not free (while making it clear that in an emergency you would of course drop everything as we all would)
And don’t just try to stop unsolicited advice just stop.
Good luck. smile
.

endlessstrife Thu 20-Feb-20 10:28:56

Definitely agree with Bluebelle. You need rest yourselves. Remember, put your own mask on before helping others, you’ll be no use to them in the future if you’re shot to pieces. I send love to your grandson ❤️

notanan2 Thu 20-Feb-20 10:54:11

I feel from your posts that there are always spikey references to you thinking the mum not doing enough with the child (or that what she does do with the child is wrong in your eyes) and then when the mum plans to spend some quality time with the child thats wrong to!

I feel like the mum cant win! Maybe thats why she isnt present at the hospital when you are!

I think the kindest thing you can do for you GC at this point is be kind to his mum. It matters to the child that his mum is okay and supported

notanan2 Thu 20-Feb-20 11:00:55

So wish her well. Tell her that she is right for a change: right to have a family holiday, right to keep it just immediate family this time.

If you start focusing on, and complementing/commenting on, what she does RIGHT, and only that for a while. you might be amazed in the change in you both!

notanan2 Thu 20-Feb-20 11:08:03

Even screens. Tell her "you know maybe I get fixated on these things, and screens arent always wrong, youre right its about picking battles"

You might not initially believe it, but if you start consciously forcing yourself to tell her shes right not wrong (not in a passive aggressive way like "well I suppose you must be right" in a real way) then you might actually start to change how you see things.

And ultimately its the GS who wins if you can do it.

notanan2 Thu 20-Feb-20 11:34:12

OP youre even blaming the mum for things that arent her fault!

So they used to want to go to your house "up until recently"
Well we've all been there with our own children, god children, nieces, nephews etc. One minute theyre nosed pressed to the window waiting for you, running into your arms, thinking your house is the funnest place, to overnight being "do I have to go?" and seeing us as the boring grown ups we are.

This happens. Its nothing to do with the mums parenting. Or her screen rules. Or anything else she did wrong

Farmor15 Thu 20-Feb-20 11:37:10

Lots of excellent advice here, though it will take some time and practice to implement. All grandmothers I know say the same thing - "say nothing". Except to have a bit of a rant now and then to other grandparents - such as here smile. It's very hard, especially if you think you might have a helpful suggestion, or something useful to buy.

Screens are one of the trickiest areas - when my first GC was born, parents didn't want any around, and it was awkward when they visited at Christmas and other family members wanted to watch TV. A bit later we were given "permission" to put on Peppa Pig for a short time when babysitting. A year or so later, and tablets and phones are regularly by these same parents to occupy their children at times and there are major tantrums when removed - not by me - I leave that to parents!

Read all the posts here - there aren't too many so far - and try to take on board the good advice - particularly about taking a rest yourself.