Gransnet forums


New grandma feeling left out and inadequate

(59 Posts)
Maymay1963 Tue 20-Oct-20 10:23:53

Apologies for this very long post.... Since the birth of my first granddaughter 3 months ago I find myself struggling with my emotions (having always been strong and infact quite dismissive of others who struggle with emotions!).. My youngest son and I were extremely close even after he left home after Uni to move in with his (now) wife - who by the way is just lovely! However things seem to be changing. They live an hour away - my husband and I both work full time, so whilst we try to visit every weekend that’s not always possible (especially with our local COVID lockdowns etc) Her parents live near us but already have 2 grandchildren living in the same area as our children - they are semi retired and pretty wealthy - they have continued to visit weekly even breaking lockdown restrictions to do so. When allowed they all went on a family holiday in the summer so got to spend quality time with our granddaughter. We like our sons in-laws very much and are pleased they love our son so much BUT I have the green eyed monster inside me! I hate to admit that I’m feeling jealous of the time they can spend and that they can afford to pay for everyone to go on holiday together! When I had some leave in August I asked if I could visit and maybe stay to spend more time and maybe help with bath time and to bond with her (they have spare rooms but I was happy to stay in a local hotel to give them space) but my son said it wasn’t convenient! I have another week off now so I asked again if I could visit and maybe stay over again, only to be rejected again! They are happy for us to make day trip visit though and always welcome us but these trips feel rushed. Our granddaughter won’t let either of us hold her without screaming but they’ve told me that her other grandma can settle her down easily! On top of this, even before she was born I offered to drop a day of work per week and make the 2 hour round trip once a week to take care of my granddaughter when her mum goes back to work next year but that was also rejected as they have already arranged for her parents to do 1 day and put the baby in nursery for 2 days. I am not very forceful and don’twant to create any bad feeling so I just bite my tongue but I’m pretty tearful all the time over what feels like a rejection by my own son.

Illte Tue 20-Oct-20 10:45:20

Just asking. He is your youngest son. Is this your first grandchild?

agnurse Tue 20-Oct-20 10:52:32

Grandparenting is not a competition. It really doesn't matter how much time they spend with the other grandparents.

Your son and DIL may want time to themselves. You note that there was one time your DIL's parents took them on a family vacation. What you don't say is whether they all stayed together, how son and DIL felt about that, etc. It is quite possible that they found the whole thing overwhelming, or that, conversely, the other GPs gave them some much-needed space.

You're seeing them weekly. That's more than what a lot of people get with their GC.

Starblaze Tue 20-Oct-20 11:14:30

I really think you need to turn your thinking around here.

You are lucky to see them during a pandemic at all, many grandparents aren't.

Thats 2 young adults giving up every weekend break for family visits, either one set of grandparents or both. That can be exhausting after time.

DIL will always gravitate towards her own mum, it's normal and natural.

I don't want to frighten you but if you carry on this way, you run the risk of pushing them away.

I would recommend finding help to let these feelings go because no matter how much you try to hide it (if you are) they will sense it. Even your little granddaughter will sense your stress and upset. The resulting atmosphere will just make things worse.

Relax, let go of expectations, enjoy your time with them, don't push for more, make sure you follow their parenting and over time things will get better or at least easier I'm sure.

J52 Tue 20-Oct-20 11:17:46

As a grandmother by sons, I can understand how you are feeling. There will be lots of comments about how daughters are closer to their mothers, give them space etc: But, your sound a sensible person and becoming a Grandmother is an emotional time. You can not deny your feelings and they are as valid as anyone’s.
I would suggest you bide your time, say little and enjoy the contact that you have. To do anything else may result in estrangement. Sending you flowers

Davidhs Tue 20-Oct-20 11:37:12

At the forefront of your emotions you should have the prospect of being rejected because you visit too often. New parents need space, so be very sensitive to the welcome you receive, is it grudging or whole hearted. I would advise against having a day off work to visit a grandchild, that could cause all sorts of complications

Nonnie Tue 20-Oct-20 12:35:22

Such a shame this happens. My DS and Dil are far too far away to see regularly but I am very fortunate to have a great relationship with Dils mum who sends me messages and videos because she sees them a lot and helps with childcare. We both see the other's situation and she is very supportive and doesn't visit when we are there.

If other DS has children the situation will be reversed as we live much nearer than her parents and I am sure the relationship will be just as good with her parents.

Perhaps you should accept something you cannot do anything about and simply let them know you are there if they need you. Let them make the decisions without pressure. Good luck

sodapop Tue 20-Oct-20 12:46:44

Nonnie is right, you need to accept the situation Maymay1963 be grateful your granddaughter has a loving family around her. I think visiting every weekend is a bit much, the family need time together. Your son has to try and please everyone and I expect thinks his mother will understand. Enjoy the time you do have together, when the baby is older things may change. Many of us have not seen our families for over a year now so put your resentment aside and relax about things,

Hithere Tue 20-Oct-20 12:58:44

This is another case of mismatched expectations - you want more contact than what the parents are willing to offer.

You are lucky to have day trips this often and you should be grateful for that.

Adjust your expectations and you wont push the parents away with your competition between grandparents.

Tiny advice- for things like childcare, visits, etc - wait for the parents to initiate or it will look you are pushy and needy.

Your gd is ONLY 3 months old. She doesnt need to know you or spend quality time with you

Gc is wn infant who poops, feeds and sleeps - that's it. Gc's main bond is with the parents.

A second red flag I saw is that you offered to visit because you had a week off of work

How about the hosts? Did they have the time to spend with you? They may have had to work, have had social engagements and it was truly not convenient for them.

Please wait to be invited, especially after being told no twice to a visit

Another red flag: It doesn't matter the hosts have an spare room. It does not give you an automatic in to stay over at all.

Another flag: you wanted to visit to have quality time with your gc, bathe her, etc.
How about their parents? Why bypass them as if they dont exist?

Another flag: Also, bathing could be seen by the parents as a parents' job and not a grandparents' task to perform - many parents observe the grandparents want to play parents again with their gc and it is not liked, watch out you dont do that

I seriously felt suffocated reading your post. Do they even have time to enjoy their child just by themselves- no relatives around?

NotTooOld Tue 20-Oct-20 13:12:38

Do not try to compete with the other set of grandparents, May. That way unhappiness lies! Much better to be yourself, keep talking to your ds and dil and continue the day visits although not every weekend, that's really too much. They need some time on their own. Ask them to visit you occasionally and offer to look after the baby during the evening so the parents can have a night out without worrying about a baby sitter.

Hithere Tue 20-Oct-20 13:20:49

"having always been strong and infact quite dismissive of others who struggle with emotions!"

May I ask how you dealt in the past with situations where the other party was struggling with emotions?

Daddima Tue 20-Oct-20 13:25:03

I don’t think I’d worry about what you see as a three month old ‘screaming’ when you try to hold her, and I’m not sure how ‘quality’ the time spent with such a wee baby could be.
I’d suggest you just follow their rules, and ‘ go with the flow’, as it’ll be a long time till the wee one will be forming any lasting relationships.

TrendyNannie6 Tue 20-Oct-20 13:32:38

To be very honest and I don’t mean this nastily at all as I know how exciting is it to have a grandchild, I think I would be giving them a bit of space, you are visiting a lot, however close you are to your AC I think it’s a lot of visiting! I know if it was me I’d want some space with my young baby. And I know my husband would too

Chewbacca Tue 20-Oct-20 13:58:13

Perhaps you should accept something you cannot do anything about and simply let them know you are there if they need you. Let them make the decisions without pressure.

Nonnie has given good advice here. It's very early days in your GD's life and there are many weeks, months and years ahead for you to build a relationship with her. Please don't enter into any competition with the other GPs as to who gets to see them the most or when; just bide your time, be willing to help when asked and relax. The good times haven't started properly yet.

Toadinthehole Tue 20-Oct-20 17:03:46

Definitely agree with others. Step back, and just wait. She’s only 3 months old. Things change. In a couple of years, you could be up to your neck in nappies and toddler mishaps, because you’ve become the main carer for some reason. It happens. Make the most of it, and do things for you......while you can, you never know what’s round the corner, but you don’t want it to be estrangement.

Sparkling Tue 20-Oct-20 17:21:33

It’s awful giving advice but you did . KI would not ask to babysit or visit, it might mean you don’t get asked I know. I used to break my heart at being left out, had years of unhappiness about it and it didn’t change a thing. Long story. I have found that most young people see you when they want to, it was a hard lesson for me to learn especially as both sides of families were very much part of our lives, I thought that’s how it would be for me, it was the opposite. We never fell out about anything as I was never confrontational I knew it would cause problems. The few times we see each other we get on really well but I just had to accept her family came first. It might in time get better for you, they sound as if they don’t get anytime to themselves at all and are probably trying to get into their own routine.

FarNorth Tue 20-Oct-20 17:32:52

they sound as if they don’t get anytime to themselves at all and are probably trying to get into their own routine.

Ask them about their preferences for you and DH visiting. Say that you don't want to crowd them, and take their views onboard.

To make your visits less rushed, maybe you could stay the night at a hotel on the day you visit then go home after breakfast.
So - not staying over as you don't see them on the second day, but making things more relaxed.

FarNorth Tue 20-Oct-20 17:35:23

You both visiting every weekend is probably quite a strain for them.

Lolo81 Tue 20-Oct-20 18:12:48

You’ve had a lot of good advice here about taking a step back.
I noticed in your post that you mention “things are changing”, and that can be tough to transition into. That said, it shows what a lovely man you have raised - things should change when a baby is born, and he is prioritising his wife and child. You helped to shape the man he has become - the one who knows where his priorities lie and that is a credit to you. Unfortunately it means that you need to transition into a different role in his life - a supporting role, there when needed and invited in.
I’d also say that whilst jealousy is completely normal, it can easily turn to resentment and take root, so I commend you for recognising this as a problem for you and encourage you to find a way to deal with it.
I’ve read a number of threads on here where sons/daughters pull away from parents who just want to see them more - the more the parents push the less the AC will want to see them - it’s human nature. Would you want to visit with someone who spends the time pressuring for more time instead of enjoying the visit? I’m not saying you’re doing this, but pointing it out as a cautionary tale.
Congratulations on your grandchild, please have a wee think over the replies you’ve had and remember that this wee one has other grandparents who obviously adore them as do you - and at the end of the day, having that kind of love is the best thing in the world for a child!

Maymay1963 Wed 21-Oct-20 00:05:06

Yes to both questions

Maymay1963 Wed 21-Oct-20 00:25:11

I have read all your comments with interest and am really grateful to everyone for their observations and advice . I hadn’t really considered that I was perhaps suffocating them with my regular visits so that felt a bit uncomfortable to hear... I will definitely step back and allow them the space to find their way as a new young family. I know how ridiculous it is to feel envious of my sons in-laws and hearing some of your comments (as harsh as some of them were!) really will help me put things into perspective. I keep telling myself to get a grip and reading your responses will force me to do that. Thanks again all!

Oopsminty Wed 21-Oct-20 00:56:53

Hi Maymay1963

I am sure that all will sort itself out for you and you'll be able to enjoy your lovely granddaughter as she grows

Some anecdotal evidence from me ... for what it's worth!

I had my second child child, ( first child for Mr. Minty) and was rather peculiar for a while after his birth!

I just didn't want to see anyone really. My Mum was never pushy to visit but MIL was constantly on at us to come round.

I just didn't want her to!

One day she'd phoned, spoke to my DH and he put the phone down and said she was coming round

Well I just looked indignant. Scooped up my baby, popped him in the pram and I just left the house!

Looking back that was very odd behaviour but sometimes we can go a bit wonky.

I had no problem with my in-laws. I just didn't want them round until I was ready.

Good luck to you anyway and look forward to spending time with your family when they're more settled smile

Hetty58 Wed 21-Oct-20 01:17:46

I'm amazed by these posts where the Coronavirus situation seems to be largely ignored.

Where is this magical place where it doesn't exist and families still visit as usual and hug grandchildren?

I really want to know!

FarNorth Wed 21-Oct-20 01:53:29

New Zealand, maybe?

Norah Wed 21-Oct-20 02:22:53

Is this a wind up. Follow coronavirus guidelines.