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Need to get this off my chest!

(40 Posts)
Lizzy53 Wed 11-Jan-17 10:19:42

I have had one of the worst festive seasons ever. We (my partner and I) were invited to my son and dil and 6 month old granddaughters.
As soon as I walked in I could feel the atmosphere in the house, my son was cooking Christmas dinner, my granddaughter was lying on the sofa gurgling away happily, I greeted everyone in my usual huggy manner, and got very awkward responses from both! once I said my hellos to everyone I made a Beeline for gd and 'helped' her open her pressies.
Champagne had been opened and they were on to the second bottle by the time we arrived.
Throughout the day I struggled to keep conversation light and happy, by this time dil mother and other siblings arrived. Things just got more awkward when son and dil kept disappearing and other Mum saying how much have you had to drink to dil and dil ignoring her totally.
Luckily my little gd was oblivious to all of this, and enjoyed being made a fuss of by gp's
It was obvious that more alcohol was drunk, and I just wanted to pick up gd and leave.
Some of the others left before us and
We left earlier than usual and I cried all the way home, I have never felt so miserable in all my life.
I text son over next couple of days to say thank you for Christmas dinner etc.,and ask if everything was ok, to be snubbed by a curt reply.
Couple of days later received E mail from ex husband to ask me if I knew what was going on, as he had heard from son that he had spent night in hotel!
On asking son to phone me, he replied that he needed some space and to leave him alone, you can imagine how this hurt, as we have always had a close relationship, and could talk about anything and everything.
I did send a happy new year message on 1st, and got one in reply, then nothing for a few days, then got message asking if I could have gd overnight, I asked him to phone me and reply was 'why, I'm only asking you to look after her'!
I do despair!
Then only couple of days ago got text saying they were looking for new house, put offer in and got it accepted, now scraping together to make up deposit, he has been in touch more with texts and one phone call, and the cynical bit of me thinks is this because he needs me to look after gd, or a loan of some money!?

Before all of this I had been dealing with other family and friend illnesses culminating in friends husband passing away and sister becoming ill, I just wanted a nice family Christmas and some moral support from someone I felt I could rely on other than my poor long suffering partner.

Sorry for the rant but needs to vent it!

rosesarered Wed 11-Jan-17 10:29:22

Some sort of marital rift then, ( it happens) but if they are now buying a new home together that must be a good sign?
Christmas is often a fraught time when families get together, a good reason to stay at home I always think.
Even when we have a good relationship with our sons doesn't mean tgey want to tell us everything, especially not at first, when they are stressed.
My advice is to stay calm and be a listening ear if he needs it and wants it, but don't keep asking what's happening.Have the baby at your house to help out when you can.
Good Luck.🍀

Starlady Wed 11-Jan-17 10:54:01

I'm sorry your Xmas was uncomfortable, but it's clear ds and dil were having marital issues and that's what you were feeling. This was really not about you.

Please don't pry (yes, you are prying). If this is a common tendency of yours in your "talk about anything" conversations, perhaps that's why he was brushing you off. Some people just don't want to discuss private marriage conflicts with their parents.

It's interesting that they went from his sleeping in a hotel to buying a house together. Maybe they were fighting about whether or not to buy one, where to buy it or how much to spend and now that's resolved (but again, please don't ask - not your business). If ds asks for a loan, please only do it if you feel you can trust him to pay you back in a timely manner. And please only give out as much as you can afford in case he can't repay you so easily.

If he asks you to watch gd, jump at the chance! So many gps have been cut off from their gc or live too far away from them to get to mind them. But only agree to take care of her as much as you can with a joyful heart.

paddyann Wed 11-Jan-17 11:29:17

I never ask WHY when asked to babysit ,just when .My own mother would only babysit very rarely and never overnight and if you were late back after giving her a time she was not happy.Its horrible and really takes the shine of a wee bit of me time so I would never do the same to my kids .My daughter often says can you have them for a couple of hours and its 8 hours later .Last night she called to make arrangements for an overnight for her three in February ,3 days and nights in May and 4 days and nights in August.No doubt they'll be here most weeks inbetween along with their cousin who stays here half the week

Jayanna9040 Wed 11-Jan-17 11:34:29

Maybe you're overthinking this? They had a row, couples do. They didn't disguise it very well. They took to the booze a bit. They made up.
Sounds kind of normal, doesn't it?

Ana Wed 11-Jan-17 11:53:07

I agree, you're overthinking things.

Do try to stop pestering your son with texts and phone calls, he's a grown man and you can't expect to have the same, close relationship you used to have with him. His loyalties will naturally lie with his wife and child.

He may want to borrow money towards the deposit on the new house, but why not if you can afford it and agreement about repayment can be reached.

All you can do is be supportive if your son and/or DIL need you.

JackyB Wed 11-Jan-17 11:58:42

Putting myself for the moment in the position of the DIL in the OP I would say that she is suffering from baby blues and the thought of both families descending at Christmas was just a bit too much for her. And then her husband goes off and spends the night out of the house.

However, that was no excuse to upset you.

Was the other mother equally upset? (Sounds like it, as the others were leaving early, too.) It must have been even worse for her, as it was her daughter who was the hostess.

I hope for your sake, LIzzy, that the alcohol doesn't turn out to be a problem and things settle down now the festive season is over.

Lizzy53 Wed 11-Jan-17 12:02:43

Thanks to everyone for their enlightening and welcome comments.
Oh dear I sound like a prying piranha! But I'm glad a few of you pointed it out, it is food for thought.
I appreciate your honesty, sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees!

Lizzy53 Wed 11-Jan-17 12:06:44

Thank you Jacky B, yes other Mum was mortified and it was dil idea to have us at Christmas.
I am worried about the alcohol situation, especially with a baby, but it was the festive season and hope it settles down for gd sake.

chelseababy Wed 11-Jan-17 18:34:28

Sometimes what we see as questions are seen as an interrogation by children - I know that's how I felt when my parents asked me things, it was like being cross examined!

Anya Wed 11-Jan-17 19:00:10

You need to stay strong, calm and unoffended by all this and just do what you can to help.

They need you now, more than ever. Paste on a smile, ask no questions, just be there for them.

Barmyoldbat Thu 12-Jan-17 09:05:08

I always said I would never ever be like my mum, asking the ins and outs of everything that was happening in my life. So I agree with Ana, just butt out but be supportive when asked and being asked to look after your lovely gc, well that has to be a blessing.

FarNorth Thu 12-Jan-17 09:23:56

I'm sorry to hear you have had to deal with family and friend illnesses but the person you should rely on has to be your "poor, long-suffering partner" and perhaps a friend or two, but not your son.
Your DiL is the one who needs support from your son, especially with a young baby.

Lizzy53 Thu 12-Jan-17 09:49:06

Thanks Gransnet for giving me a wake up call.
To all who answered especially, I will take your advice and work on pasting on my smile!

Flossieturner Thu 12-Jan-17 10:17:28

I am also close to my children. My Youngest is also having marital problems and told me that, without going to details. I did wonder if Our Christmas invitation would be rescinded, but it was not. You could however sense an atmosphere, even though they tried really hard to put on a brave face. I know they are having counselling.

We never want to see our children unhappy, but they are adults. They have to work these things out for themselves. I think, be there for your son, smile and nod but don't comment.

J52 Thu 12-Jan-17 10:39:45

As others have said, look after you gd, no questions asked. Maybe the tension was about the possible house move. Deposits are usually paid along the chain at exchange, so it's not 'real money' except for the first time buyers at the bottom. Although they might need some topping up, depending on price.

I would hate my adult children to want to know the ins and outs of our differences. It would spoil their illusions about us!

ooonana Thu 12-Jan-17 10:50:30

I think Christmas was a tricky time all round, it often is in families. Expectations for a happy, clappy time often don't happen. Just take a step back, give them some space but be there for your granddaughter if needed to help out. I'm sure hopefully the situation will resolve and then hopefully life will carry on happily and it will be pushed to the background. It is very hard for mums to sit back and do nothing good luck.

Luckygirl Thu 12-Jan-17 10:55:58

It sounds as though they were having a tiff - bad timing for everyone! Maybe they were in dispute over whether the house could be afforded and whether it was a good move.

I would say nowt further and just say yes to the babysitting whenever you are able - that will help them best over this sticky patch - we have all had them!

MaggieMay69 Thu 12-Jan-17 10:56:48

I understand your concern, but your boy will sort himself out, its hard letting go, and when you think of yourself as caring and trying to 'be there' others make you feel like you're smothering them, its hard, but as long as they know they can count on you (for support) they will be fine! x

These days I let my daughter and granddaughter come to me when they have a problem, otherwise I am 'interrogating' and I now see that they are old enough and ugly enough to sort their own problems out! I had a Christmas like this one once many moons ago when my daughter and her new husband and my first grandaughter had just moved into their first house, They invited everyone round for Christmas and we were all so excited, but when we got there (we being myself, husband, son, and dil and their two children and also two of my daughters close friends) the atmosphere was so strained and awful. The paranoid part of me back then thought it must be because I had done something wrong, and for two hours it was almost painful, the telly was off, the silence deafening, so in the end, I stood up and said "Right you miserable buggers, lets get the games out, couple o' three drinkies and nibbles are over here, I have no idea why we're so quiet on the most fun day of the year, but we're bloody well going to enjoy it!"
we actually went on to have a good day, but my girl was very quiet...
I later found out that daughters husband had been cheating on her, and rather than spoil our Christmas, she wanted it to carry on as normal until the New Year, whereby she then threw him out!
I felt like a bit of an arse after that!
Oh, and I GOT SIL's bit on the side sacked as she was a nurse and sil was a paramedic! Not allowed back then! Ahhh Karma!

cheerfullizzy Thu 12-Jan-17 11:08:44

Oh Lizzie 53..I feel for you, couldn't imagine being made to feel like that by beloved son or daughter or dil..etc...
You are absolutely entitled to have cried all the way home...& felt so miserable...But perhaps it's time to just tick along with things..a still tongue is a wise head as the saying goes....& maybe be a bit kinder to yourself...go out for afternoon tea with a a little more selfish perhaps & look after yourself a's not in our nature to do so...we always put others first......but just occasionally...we should all be a little kinder to ourselves...if only a fraction of the kindness we may show to everyone else!..xxflowers

lilihu Thu 12-Jan-17 11:09:00

Lizzy53 you sound like a lovely open caring person. I felt your response to comments was fabulous.
My thoughts were that they had a very recent falling out and had tried to pull it all together for the planned Christmas meal. It may even have been over something trivial such as cooking the meal! You know how these things can escalate?? Whatever happened, it seems to have been sorted.
I wouldn't expect details or confidences from your son now. That would be disloyal to his wife? Or maybe he was the culprit? Maybe try to forget it, be as supportive as you can without any actual prying or interference.
I'm sure they both value such a caring gran.

Carol1ne63 Thu 12-Jan-17 11:10:07

Oh dear Lizzy53
It is awful when things like this blow up, especially over the festive season. And when you already feel exhausted! We had a similar situation over the holidays and my grown-up daughter has now returned home (thankfully, no grandchildren involved).
Just continue to be as supportive as you can be, but make sure you take some time to yourself - even if it's just a tiny bit of time to relax each day. You need to look after yourself so you can look after them in the future if they come to you asking for help.
Best of luck with it all and rest assured you're not alone flowers

radicalnan Thu 12-Jan-17 11:13:01

They had a row, so many people do at Christmas and if drink is involved they find it harder to mask things. Christmas is a bugger if you ask me !!!!

That is all normal. Don't ask questions, people often don't know what is going on when they are in the thick of things. I have learnt to say 'what can I do to help' and just do it.

Lewlew Thu 12-Jan-17 11:17:51

Christmas is tricky and the first with the new baby. If they tend to drink anyways, then argue, that is unfortunate but they have to resolve these problems.

Is DIL going to be a stay at home mum or is she working or planning to go back to work?

Our previous Christmas was a bit cathartic for son and DIL as the New Year was to bring a lot of changes when DIL was to return to work and she worried about child-care and missing DGD. They argued a LOT. Son liked to meet his work-force for a beer after work (he's got a construction/building company). That annoyed DIL and in the end he saw that she was working, then collecting DGD from nursery, coming home, setting up dinner, bathing baby. He was coming in all merry and bright and BOOM! She let him have it, and he realised that they could not carry on with their two-some lifestyle before having the baby.

So maybe they are trying to reorganise their lives now that the baby is 6 months and needs more attention, whether from home or nursery care. They know the child comes first, but how to sort things in a mature way, but also that they don't get overwhelmed? It's a huge transition! flowers

icanhandthemback Thu 12-Jan-17 11:17:53

Maybe the sort of problems they were experiencing were the sort you just don't want to tell your Mother. If GD is only 6 months old, she might be reluctant in the marital bed and he feels less's a common problem with a new baby (it is early days still) and there's no way he would want to discuss those sort of issues with his Mum!

My son has distanced himself from me more now he has a son of his own. He really feels a loyalty to his family rather than to me and, whilst painful for me, is as it should be. I have to say the path of being a Mum and Grandmother appears to fraught with problems I had never considered but when it is going right, it is the most blessed one too.

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