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How should I cope with a daughter's social anxiety

(12 Posts)
LittleEva Sun 27-Sep-20 16:28:58

I'm a new grandparent. My first granddaughter was born 2 weeks ago. My daughter had a trouble-free pregnancy but had to have an emergency C-section. She has a very supportive husband and they live very close to me. She has suffered from panic attacks for many years and has recently sought help from her GP (sensibly saying she wanted to try and get better now that she is going to be a mam). She was diagnosed as having social anxiety. I want to try and help as much as I can, practically around the house, as well as helping them look after the baby. Sadly, her social anxiety extends to me too and she is getting really upset at the thought of my (as well as everyone else's) visits. She's trying to keep the world at bay, hiding behind drawn curtains and blinds. Today, I sent a text suggesting a walk with the pram, but when I got no reply, I made the mistake of walking down and knocking on the door unannounced. She got very upset and we both ended up in tears. I fear she is going to lock herself away and not let anyone help her. I'm also really sad that I'm not going to see my beautiful granddaughter as much as I could (I work full time, so it's not as if it would be that excessive - plus with living close by, it could easily only be for short 10 minute visits just for a quick cuddle, while I help fill the dishwasher or do something else practical). I really don't know what to do . . . any advice?

EllanVannin Sun 27-Sep-20 16:45:54

A word with the visiting midwife as they call up to 6 weeks after a baby is born. I'm sure she would help, or get help for your daughter. Professional help is vital and unless your daughter requests it, take a step back for the time being and get yourself settled for when you are needed.

Bridgeit Sun 27-Sep-20 16:49:21

Keep in touch by phone etc, abide by her wishes for now, let her find her feet, be patient.

Toadinthehole Sun 27-Sep-20 17:11:33

Aww, bless you, and congratulations on your new granddaughter. Just give her time. Two weeks is nothing for most new mums, let alone one who is already anxious. I understand your need, but really, for the greater good, try to stay in the background, but make sure she knows you’re there for her. Her husband sounds lovely, and on the case. Let them deal with it together. Once she knows she’s not under pressure to see anyone, she’ll most likely be much better. Honestly...you’ve got years of enjoyment to be had with your granddaughter, a few weeks isn’t going to matter.

Oopsadaisy4 Sun 27-Sep-20 17:25:26

Maybe she is worried about you working and then wanting ‘just a quick cuddle’ with a very young baby?

COVID is still out there don’t forget, I would be anxious if my Mum wanted to keep cuddling my young baby too. Try staying in the garden for your visit, don’t force her to do something she doesn’t want to do.

GrannyLaine Sun 27-Sep-20 18:16:09

I think you need to give her some time and space OP. Two weeks post CS is no time at all, she's still recovering. Let her take things at her own pace and above all, take every opportunity to make her feel like a good Mum.

Lolo81 Sun 27-Sep-20 19:50:48

Please give your DD time for her hormones to settle down. Her home is her safe place and for someone who has any sort of anxiety that is crucial, so unexpected visits may be a trigger for her panic attacks.
Do you have a decent relationship with your SIL? If so maybe drop a wee text asking if there is anything practical you can do to help - like shopping or washing etc.
If you do follow this route, please do not tack on any requests to see their newborn. I know it will feel counterintuitive, you’re a concerned mum and excited Gran, but having a bit of patience now and offering solid, reliable and practical help is what’s needed, not someone applying pressure to access their baby, born in a pandemic to a mum who may be struggling already.
Congratulations on the new arrival, I wish you all the best and hope your daughter is enjoying her new role as a mum - even if it is behind closed doors for a wee while!

BlueBelle Sun 27-Sep-20 20:00:34

I feel for you the worry about your daughter is tainting the excitement of the little arrival but the other posters are right bide you’re time she has a supportive husband and is getting some medical help so try and play it her way for now And don’t rush her as long as she and her husband knows you are there that is all you can do for now
Congratulations on becoming a gran/ Nan 🌷

BlueSky Sun 27-Sep-20 20:50:58

Leave her alone. I remember resenting anybody trying to help, particularly my MIL and my own mum! To me they were interfering and I was horrified at their outdated methods. I think to a certain extent is normal, much more so if your daughter is already suffering from anxiety. I’ve always stayed in the background when it was my turn to be a granny as much as I wanted to see my grandchildren.

LittleEva Mon 28-Sep-20 10:09:17

Thank you all so much for your wise advice. I will certainly be following it, even though it's hard, but I know it's what my daughter wants and her needs are the most important thing. You have all been very helpful and it is much appreciated.

Luckygirl Mon 28-Sep-20 10:20:33

These are very difficult times for anyone with social anxiety. I would stick with her rules at present. She is aflood with maternal hormones and the instinct to protect her new baby on top of her anxiety. Tread gently.

Welshy Fri 30-Oct-20 19:49:57

Are you sure it's not the baby blues or postnatal depression. I know I had it after the birth of my first child. Have a read of this ...... www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/feeling-depressed-after-birth/