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Is it ok to be disappointed

(24 Posts)
sparkygran Sat 29-Aug-15 18:58:25

My DD is a little gem and this is no criticism of her devotion to her parents but yesterday DGD started "big school" and they called in to let us see her in new uniform and hear about her day - wonderful - but on Saturdays DD and DGC usually call and spend some time but nobody called today. I know that I should be happy seeing them yesterday but sadly Saturday has felt a very big let down. I know probably to my shame I would have thought the same for my lovely mother and thought "saw her yesterday have a day off" Have 2 DSs one in America and one at home but he is fantastically busy this weekend. Am I a bad mother???blush

Alea Sat 29-Aug-15 19:14:38

Needed clearing up yesterday, something along the lines of. " You'll be very busy what with the little one starting school, are you still popping tound tomorrow/would you like me to have the children for an hour or so to give you a break/ well it's been lovely seeing you today, would you like to meet/come round for a coffee?"
Offer. "No" and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Once you fall not the trap of they "usually (always)" call on a Saturday, you are lining yourself up for disappointment.
Cynical? No, realistic [ smile] hope you are getting over it now.
Of course you are not a bad mother, just a mother and we all know the joys and disappointments that brings!

Alea Sat 29-Aug-15 19:15:07

"Fall into the trap"

tanith Sat 29-Aug-15 19:15:23

Not a bad Mother sparkygran but I'm afraid little disappointments like this will happen as DD and GC are having to fit 'life' around school now and the time spent with you may get less as she grows. Of course its just life, that as our grandchildren's lives are filled with school, friends and activities they have less time to spread around.
My GC are now all grown apart from a 10yr old and I miss them a lot but I've just had to suck it up and be proud of all they have achieved and know that if I need them they are always at the end of a telephone or FB page. Make the most of the times when she does visit and be happy that she is going to make friends and enjoy school as well as visit with Grandma.

rosesarered Sat 29-Aug-15 19:16:27

I think you are right, that we would have done the same, and not given any real thought to it, regarding our own Mothers.My Mother died before I had children, so it never arose, but not sure that I would have done different to your daughter.Do you never make sure they visit on Saturday, do they just drop in without warning anytime?I think now we are older we probably invest more meaning into things than are actually there.

Ana Sat 29-Aug-15 19:31:05

It's a fact of life, I'm afraid. When my GDs were tiny (twins) DD would pop round with them most weekends, but now they're older that's not the case.

Perhaps your DD had to shop for school stuff she hadn't realised your GD needed, and was just too busy to call in? They're having to settle into a new routine and I'm sure you'll be included in the future - just give it a bit of time smile

annsixty Sat 29-Aug-15 20:20:52

It is life and we have to get used to it. My DC have never conformed to a routine and accepting it has been a lesson I have learnt to my benifit. Go with the flow and you won't be disappointed.

grannyqueenie Sat 29-Aug-15 20:45:27

I have 5 great children and 8 lovely grandchildren aged 6-13 scattered around England and yes I could spend hours dwelling on the disappointments along the way! Everything from thank you letters not sent to bunches of flowers not given. Times when I've felt dismissed or set aside for another priority. But that makes me sound and feel like a real grumpy granny and that was my own mum - a role model I want to avoid! So I try to remember what a lovely "problem " it is to have, some friends have never had the chance to be mothers of grandmothers - others have children and grandchildren living on the other side of the world, while some have fractured relationships with their children no longer in speaking terms.

Our children are doing exactly what we brought them up to be -independent. I know I could rely on any of them in an emergency so in the meantime I can be as involved in their lives as they need/want me to be at different ages and stages. My mother was constantly disappointed in me and sometimes looking back now with the wisdom hindsight I can understand why....but I'm not going there. I've got enough to worry about!

Luckygirl Sat 29-Aug-15 20:47:48

The only regular meeting is when I have one DGD for a day while DD works.

Everyhing else is kept fluid - sometimes they want to come and see us but one of us is busy; and sometimes it's the other way round.

granjura Sat 29-Aug-15 22:58:59

I am so sorry you felt let down- but I truly feel to expect to see your children and GC on a certain day EVERY week is just too much. How would you have felt if your mother or mil expected that of you? Perhaps?

One of my colleagues had Christmas day at her mum's every year- but one year she said they would go and spend the morning with her but then wanted to have Sunday lunch on their own, for once. Mother didn's speak to her daughter for years... unreasonable. Our children have the right to want to spend a Christmas with friends, or in Timbuctu- and so do we - and then we will appreciate their coming the next year even more. Velcro is not good in families when used to excess- is how we all feel- and we so love being together.

Judthepud2 Sun 30-Aug-15 00:26:45

Yes agree with everyone here. As the grandchildren grow older, they have busier lives outside the family. Routines change all the time. You will need to just go along with the changes Sparky. At least you got seeing your DGD in her uniform, so you were in their thoughts.

KatyK Sun 30-Aug-15 11:44:28

My daughter, granddaughter and me used to do everything together. We'd go to shows, cinema, days out to the safari park, farms, shopping - you name it we did it. They would sometimes meet me from at the bus stop when I came home from work and come to our house for a few hours. Even when DGD was older we all did lots of stuff. We would also have nights out/meals with DD and son-in-law. I couldn't wait to retire so that we could do much more together. As soon as I retired, it all stopped. I couldn't figure it out and was upset and hurt. If I asked DD to meet up or something she was always busy. We hadn't had a fall out, it just happened. DD had made a new set of friends and DGD has lots of activities in her life so has to be ferried around etc. Unfortunately, I felt so upset and sidelined that I 'had a go' at my daughter. I regret it. She is just getting on with her life. Fortunately things are better now and we do see a lot of them so I have come to realise that's how it is. Try to go with the flow, not easy but you will all be happier.

J52 Sun 30-Aug-15 12:09:22

I'm sorry you feel let down. In the past We have been disappointed by being let down over arrangements changing. No we go with the flow, it makes life and our emotional feelings much better.

Today we tried to arrange a family meal with DSs and their families, only one half could make it. We decided to go ahead anyway, guess what? Things were changed yesterday and they are all coming!

Life with children and grandchildren changes day by day, month by month and year by year. Go with the flow and you will reap rewards!


whenim64 Sun 30-Aug-15 12:30:32

Another one here who goes with the flow, otherwise I find there'd be expectations of me that I might disappoint my children about. It works both ways. Negotiate afresh every now and then and you don't get bogged down with habits you can't break without offending someone. It's gratifying to know they have a full life independently of me but we include each other in things by choice and can't always please everyone all the time.

annodomini Sun 30-Aug-15 12:34:45

I live three trains away from all my GC. What would I give to live within easy visiting distance of my tribe? They can't manage to visit at weekends because now that the children are older they have weekend commitments, so it's up to me to make the effort and I am always most welcome. I guess that 'distance lends enchantment'!

Smileless2012 Sun 30-Aug-15 12:44:41

Of course you're not a bad mother sparkygran. As your DD didn't say she wouldn't be calling round the following day it's understandable that you felt a little let down. It was lovely of her to think about you and take your GD round so you could see her in her new uniformsmile.

I'm one of those unfortunate grandmother's grannyqueenie as due to the break down of our relationship with our youngest son, we haven't had contact with out only GC since he was 8 months old, he's 3.5 now. They only live 15 doors away so we do get to pass by him from time to time, no doubt at some point I'll catch a glimpse of him in his uniform when he starts school.

I didn't come on line to go on GN but to skype our eldest and only other son who lives in Aus. but they're not on line. It does upset me, not because I expect him to be available every Sunday (he's there almost every week bless him) but because I've asked him repeatedly to let us know if he wont be available so we don't stay in for nothing.

I don't like to make a fuss as I know how much our estrangement from his brother's upset him and I don't want him to feel under pressure to try and compensate for our loss, so all I can do is when we skype him next week, ask him once again just to let us know if he's not going to be there.

Sometimes it isn't always easy, striking the right balance but all we can do is try our best.

Falconbird Sun 30-Aug-15 13:10:06

I'm always very careful around my adult sons and their wives. I'm also careful around my bachelor son and don't assume that because he doesn't have a partner he is the one to visit the widowed mum (me.)

When I was first married we went to my in-laws every Sunday. One day the fil rang up and told us not to come anymore because he had asked his, also newly married daughter, why they didn't call in on Sundays. The reply was because we were always there.

The outcome was we didn't visit anymore and guess what neither did the daughter and her family.

I've learnt a lot from that and I'm now very careful. For example If I've done a morning babysit I ask my dil if she would like to go out for lunch. I always add "no worries if you have other plans."

My poor in-laws really missed out because they ended up rarely seeing their son or daughter. They were a powerful couple and assumed they could go on issuing orders etc., they had to learn that this is not the case once grown up children have left home and have their own busy lifes.

ffinnochio Sun 30-Aug-15 13:12:19

My sons and their families live in different countries to mine, so I certainly have no expectations of any of them popping around on certain days, yet I always feel very included in their lives. From video calls when they're out and about with the kids, to sending links of music that reminded them of growing up in our old house, and pics. that they know will tell us a story, and lots of online chats. It's just a different way of connecting.

I like your attitude grannyqueenie. (Sorry about your mum).

So sparky ~ go with the flow as others have said. You're not a bad mother at all. Just loosen up a bit and embrace what you have.

ffinnochio Sun 30-Aug-15 13:14:43

Agree anno about you comment distance lends enhancement. smile

Anya Sun 30-Aug-15 13:31:29

You will not have the amount of contact with your GD now she's started school. It's inevitable as there are less free hours in the week now.

I've been through this 3 times now as each GC started school, and it was especially sad as I was their (almost) full time childminder during their pre-school years.

Yes, I'm now doing the school runs, but it's a bit of a scramble (have you got your toast money? PE kit? Gloves?) in the morning and after school they just want a snack and to play out before being picked up.

So, to get some quality time with them, I have my daughter's two boys (5 & 9) overnight once a week and my son's girls (4 &5) overnight every other Friday. The routine is so established now there's no hassle and I love those bedtime and morning bonding moments.

It also means their parents get a break and can either go out, have friends round or just enjoy each other's company.

It wouldn't work for everybody but it does for us.

Nandalot Sun 30-Aug-15 14:39:35

Respect Anya. flowers
Agree with a lot on this thread, Sparkygran. (Good name by the way). Your DD was thoughtful to bring your DGD round in her school uniform. Life does get more frantic as children grow. You don't want visits to become a chore. My lovely Mum lived just round the corner from my son's childminder and expected us to pop in every day on the way home. Sometimes I just needed to get home - tired or jobs to do etc.

trisher Sun 30-Aug-15 14:54:53

Agree with all the posters. Of course you feel upset but it is something that will pass. I would also say watch out for the school hols. If both parents are working childcare is expensive and you may well find yourself with a lot of visits/contact. There have to be different phases in life your DGC has just started a new one, look forward to how you all will cope.

Falconbird Sun 30-Aug-15 16:55:14

I so agree with the other posts. When my gs started school I often was asked to attend a class assembly/play because mum and dad were at work. I always took photos and sent them to my son and dil.

The look of joy on my Gs's face when he saw me in the crowd was worth more than words can say. I am always the oldest person in the entire building and last time I went I had pride of place on a chair instead of having to sit on a bench. smile

A grandparent's role changes as the children grow up. I'm only just beginning really and hope to see them become teenagers and young adults. I've learnt a lot so far and expect to learn more as time goes by.

Ana Sun 30-Aug-15 17:02:04

I love the look on my GDs' faces when they recognize me in the crowd at the school gates, Falconbird - makes me feel very special!