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Grandparenting

My grandchild will be 2 weeks old before I see her

(147 Posts)
HeatherTee Fri 03-Jul-20 10:09:49

Hi - I know that many of you will wonder what’s is so bad about that’; especially if you have grandchildren born at further distance ie. Australia. But that is the issue - we are talking Northern Ireland.
My son and his wife are expecting the birth in about 3 weeks and they are adamant that they want no visitors (even close family) for the first two weeks. Now that lockdown has eased somewhat, we were planning on getting over there as soon as we could. When they gave us this news I couldn’t help feeling very hurt. It’s bad enough that we have to cope with the fact that our daughter in laws parents live only a 45 minute drive away. I am fully expecting that they will not be able to resist a visit albeit very short. Basically, I feel jealous of the other grandparents already and recognise this isn’t good for anyone if I don’t learn to deal with it. Any advice is very welcome.

midgey Fri 03-Jul-20 10:36:14

Their baby, their rules! You will cope because that’s how it is. flowers

annsixty Fri 03-Jul-20 10:48:26

This fairly recent phenomenon really has me puzzled.
We just couldn’t wait for our parents to see their new grandchild and also to show them to other family.
We were so proud of them and hoped others would feel the same.
It seems to me to be selfish and possessive.
I doubt any of us bonded less because we had allowed other people to glimpse, even briefly, our precious baby.

However they have decided and you must just go along with it, smiling at the same time.

I saw my first four GC within hours of their birth, the next two I didn’t see until 5 days old and twelve weeks as circumstances were different but I love them just as much.

Calendargirl Fri 03-Jul-20 10:49:16

But speaking as a GP with GC in Australia.

GS number one- first met at nearly 3 months old.
GS number two- bit better, first met at 1 month old.
GD- first met at about 10 months old.

The other GP’s, (Australian), were waiting in the hospital when DD gave birth, and for two pins would have been in the delivery room if at all possible!

It’s no use being upset, it’s just what it is.
Ironically, we actually saw a lot more of the GC when they were small, as we went over every year to see them, whereas after the initial excitement, the SIL’s parents have shown little interest in them really.
Even SIL said how much he appreciated us visiting, he was upset that his parents didn’t bother much.

Jane43 Fri 03-Jul-20 10:50:56

I have two sons, two daughters-in-law and an ex daughter-in-law and over 30 years experience of being a mother-in-law. I would advise you to appreciate from the start that the maternal grandmother will always come first. To what extent this happens depends on the relationship between Mother and daughter and your behavior . If you are lucky you will be included but if you let your jealousy show it will harm your relationship with your son, daughter-in-law and grandchild and could even lead to estrangement. Two weeks is nothing and I completely understand your son wanting to be alone with his new family, I wish we had done this when our sons were born as visitors were exhausting. Just let them take the initiative over visiting, respect their wishes with good grace and make sure that they know your help is available should they need it. I’m sure this isn’t the advice you want to hear but it is mine.

Illte Fri 03-Jul-20 11:02:54

Hang on. Do you actually know that the other grandparents are going to visit? They have said No visitors.

You're creating your own scenario there which isn't necessarily true. They may not get to see the baby either.

Please don't go down this road of jealousy. It can never end well.

Lockdown may have eased for economic reasons but if I was a new grandparent I'd be very cautious about travelling to spend time with a newborn and her parents.

NotSpaghetti Fri 03-Jul-20 11:21:37

I had my first baby 40+ years ago.
I asked for no one to visit for a week at least and my parents drove 150 miles ignoring my request as soon as they knew.

I was very very upset about it - though didn't cause a scene at the time. I still remember the way I felt - why didn't they love me enough to just listen?

Of course I know that in reality they loved me more than life itself - and that's why they came.
But I was SO fed up.

I would never do this to anyone.

I have on the other hand, taken home-cooked food parcels to the door of loved ones with babies and not gone in.

Starblaze Fri 03-Jul-20 11:31:25

Remember you are mum first, grandmother second. Put your child's needs above your need to see your grandchild. The more understanding and accepting of their parenting choices you are now, the more you will be rewarded with time later.

Also photos exist

Doodle Fri 03-Jul-20 11:33:15

Being jealous of the other grandparents will only harm you and possibly harm your relationship with your son and DIL. In the long run, when you look back years later, it won’t matter. Bite your tongue and don’t even think about it. Your jealousy will spoil the enjoyment of having a new grandchild. I think all paternal grandparents go through this sort of feeling no matter how kind their DILs are. It’s really not important in the scheme of things. It will pass. Hope you enjoy the new little one in your life.
P.S sticking by the parents rules and accepting them is the best way forward.

lemongrove Fri 03-Jul-20 11:36:55

It does seem to be a trend now amongst new Mums....no visitors for a few weeks.Unless there is a medical problem I can’t see why they do it.
However, their baby so their rules.
In a couple of weeks your grandchild will be taking things in more and looking about him/her with interest.😃
Go with the flow.

Kate1949 Fri 03-Jul-20 11:37:10

Good post annsixty Of course it's up to the parents. When our daughter was born in the 1970s, we couldn't wait to show her off. The same went for when our granddaughter was born. Our son-in-law phoned and told us to come to the hospital within hours of her birth. His parents got the same invitation. Obviously that couldn't happen now with Covid. However, the parents are in charge, it's their child, their decision.

Bibbity Fri 03-Jul-20 11:43:24

I understand your upset.
But I have to honest they are being a lot more flexible than I would be.
There is a deadly pandemic. You need to travel on germ filled transport with strangers.
I am sorry but I would say that if you come it wouldn’t be in our home and you would have to stay the regulated distance from the baby until further notice.

EllanVannin Fri 03-Jul-20 11:44:55

It was months before I saw my GC in Oz. It's one of those things that you have to learn to live with as when working you can't just drop everything and fly out there.
30 odd years on, and after a few visits and them here, everything works out and they know exactly who you are.

D didn't have the best of times with two of them and her in-laws were living out there but for all their nearness weren't much help as they had their own lives back then. No babysitting or anything like that so imagine how I felt, but I couldn't be in two places at once but gradually learnt to live with the situation.

Things will work out and you'll get to see the new baby when the parents see fit as it's up to them. Just be patient and wait to be invited if you want to avoid any unpleasantness.

NotSpaghetti Fri 03-Jul-20 11:51:12

lemongrove this is not a trend - I wanted that private time when breastfeeding is established and a new dynamic realised to myself and my husband along with the new baby's siblings.

It's a time that gives a newly formed family a time to "settle".

It's a matter of choice. It's a time "suspended" which glued us together in a precious and deep way as a little family. I feel to call this deeply empowering, loving and perfect (almost spiritual) time "a trend" is rather dismissive and belittling.

I know I have been lucky with my (mostly) straightforward and (all but the first) at-home births but I'll always remember these few days as something magical. There is plenty of time to share the love afterwards.

Please give the new family some time to themselves. They will love you all the more for it.

Oopsminty Fri 03-Jul-20 11:55:45

My children are aged between 24 and 39.

I had no visitors for two weeks when they were born

I thought it was the trend back then!

Two weeks is no time at all

You'll soon see your grandchild

TerriBull Fri 03-Jul-20 12:12:00

Personally, I'd have been really pleased not to have had visitors for a couple of weeks, we had a succession with our first and there was an expectation for refreshments shock Under the prevailing conditions, I can understand their reluctance. In any case newborns don't always look as good as the baby they grow into a few weeks later.

Congratulations and I hope you enjoy seeing your new grandchild as and when the parents feel ready.

Greenfinch Fri 03-Jul-20 12:28:39

Is it because they stay in hospital so briefly now ? My DiL came home the next day after a Caesarean. I was lucky enough to get a week in hospital after all three of mine.All and sundry came to visit and it was lovely. Most visitors came in the afternoon with DH coming for an hour in the evening. We have only seen the newest granddaughter twice through the window since her birth in April but we are shielding so that's how it is.I still love her as much as the others. Two weeks is no time at all HeatherTee

Grammaretto Fri 03-Jul-20 12:42:37

HeatherTeeI was hardly allowed to see my own baby for the first fortnight! let alone visiting DGP.
1970, a nursing home with a strict matron. No babies at bedsides apart from when they were brought round at 4 hourly intervals for feeds, hungry or not.
On one occasion I unwrapped the wrong child which was a girl and not the boy they told me I'd had!

When we were finally allowed to go home and the nursery nurses carried him out to our waiting car, they were more bonded than I was.
I remember saying he was so good, I had never heard him cry and the 2 nurses just looked at each other and smiled.

Getting to know him and properly bond was much harder with him than with my subsequent DC who were either born at home or at least weren't removed to a nursery each night.

Be glad to see the baby whenever you can and don't overstay your welcome. In fact say you are staying for an hour and stay for an hour. You certainly don't want a fall out or start rivalry between you and the other set.

You learn your place in the hierarchy. Believe me we have 7 now and know when not to overstep the mark.

Hithere Fri 03-Jul-20 12:45:23

Just because the lockdown rules have eased a little bit, it doesnt mean it is safe to visit a newborn - covid does not evaluate whether you are respectful of the law or not and then decides to infect you

2 weeks is nothing. Your patience will pay off.

Rule no. 1 of being a grandparent: respect the parents' wishes, no matter how hard it is or how a little spoil is not going to be a huge deal

Rule no. 2: this is not about you, what you want, how you think they should parent, what you would like them to do, etc.
It is about the parents and the child and you are not part of that circle

Rule no. 3: there is no competition between grandparents - who gets to see baby first, number of visits, etc.

Rule no. 4: advice is given when requested, otherwise it can be seen as intrusive and meddling and obviously unwanted.

Rule no. 5: help is what the parents have in mind, not what you think it would help them

Callistemon Fri 03-Jul-20 12:47:37

If the other grandparents turn up after being told 'no visitors' they're not exactly going to be very popular, are they!

When you do go, you'll need to stay over and I would recommend booking a hotel or b&b nearby.

No, it's not how we did it, nor did my family or DIL, but you must respect their wishes if you want to maintain a good relationship.

Bluebellwould Fri 03-Jul-20 12:48:56

I must admit I was absolutely flabbergasted at the post. You seem to be looking at it only from your own very selfish viewpoint and in competition with in laws before the baby is even born. My grandson was born at the beginning of April and I have only seen him in photos and video calls. I do not pester them with phone calls or questions or demands either. That is not because I’m holier than thou or disinterested in the baby or them, it is just I remember my intrusive mother in law. If you are travelling to see them then goodness knows what germs you could introduce to them, not just COVID to think about.
A grandchild is not your baby to care for or direct. You absolutely have to go along with whatever the parents wish to do. There is plenty of time to meet her in the future, just not now. How would you feel if the baby or parents became ill due to your visit?
I once read something that said basically a child is not owned by a parent, just gifted for a little while until they leave the nest. Surely that goes double for a grandparent.
Please relax and just be happy that she will arrive safely and be loved and that, in time, you will have a lovely future with her.

sodapop Fri 03-Jul-20 12:50:24

Good point Greenfinch only a few hours in hospital quite often now. Who wants visitors at home so soon after the birth.
HeatherTee don't start your relationship with your new grandchild feeling jealous and resentful. There will be room for all of you in her/his life, maternal grandparents do often take precedence that's just how things are but this will level out over time.
Enjoy your family they need your support.

pinkquartz Fri 03-Jul-20 12:59:25

OP this is not a good way to begin. You will have your own relationship with your grandchild in time.

Being angry and jealous now is not going to help you.
When your AC has their own family you have to listen and step back if that is what they want.

Also think how terrible you would feel if your travelling to see the baby resulted them being ill.

we are living through a very tough time.
Be patient and just keep sending them your love.
Your time with the baby will come.

lemongrove Fri 03-Jul-20 13:10:48

NotSpaghetti

lemongrove this is not a trend - I wanted that private time when breastfeeding is established and a new dynamic realised to myself and my husband along with the new baby's siblings.

It's a time that gives a newly formed family a time to "settle".

It's a matter of choice. It's a time "suspended" which glued us together in a precious and deep way as a little family. I feel to call this deeply empowering, loving and perfect (almost spiritual) time "a trend" is rather dismissive and belittling.

I know I have been lucky with my (mostly) straightforward and (all but the first) at-home births but I'll always remember these few days as something magical. There is plenty of time to share the love afterwards.

Please give the new family some time to themselves. They will love you all the more for it.

Notspag
It was your choice to make at the time....but plenty of other new Mothers couldn’t wait to show off their new baby, and often wanted their parents at the bedside.
I do think it’s a trend now, as have read quite a lot of comments about doing this on Mumsnet.If you don’t like the word ‘trend’ that’s too bad.

ElaineI Fri 03-Jul-20 13:12:22

This is very common nowadays and allows the new family time together to bond with the baby without being stressed with visitors. Yes most will say but I would help, cook, iron etc but that is still a source of stress sometimes for new parents to think about. It is not very long to wait and not easy with restrictions just now. My neighbour's SiL was not allowed in with his wife when she was being monitored for pre-eclampsia or for the induction until her labour started so try to think how hard it is currently instead of focussing on what you maybe expected. Neighbour still not seen grandson yet after 3 weeks and they live in same town.