Gransnet forums


advice needed!

(45 Posts)
delaware123 Wed 10-Jul-19 15:59:45

I am absolutely heart-broken because my daughter in law
will not allow me to look after my twenty two month old
grandchild anymore while she and my son are at work.
Last summer I had been looking after her from 9.30 in the
morning until sometimes 9.00 in the evening while my
son worked and she was project-managing a house they had
bought. At first I thought that maybe she was suffering from
post-natal depression as she seemed to show little interest
in my grandchild who was just five months old at the time.
There were then several incidents which led me to believe
that it wasnt post-natal depression but that she felt above
child-rearing. When the house was finished I then had my
grandchild sleep over one night a week which was great fun, Apart from that she knew that she could always ring
me at other times to look after the child which I thoroughly enjoyed. She started back to work nearly a month ago and from day one wasnt getting in from work
until eight in the evenings - she finishes work at 5. After
two weeks of this my son asked her if she could get in
earlier to let me go home - he himself works into the
evening and was often back before her. She would leave
work and go to the gym or out for drinks with colleagues
and friends. She was furious that he had asked her to get in
earlier but nevertheless phoned me to tell me that she
would return at 7 the next evening. However she turned up
the next evening at 8 in her gym gear. An argument
started between her and myself as I had arranged with my
younger daughter to go to see my eldest daughter who had
come out of hospital. She just seems so lacking in empathy
I looked after my grandchild the next day and was told
that if there was a repeat performance of last night she
would find alternative child care arrangements.
A few days later I asked my son - who looks after her
until I arrive - if I could take my grandchild to McDonalds
as I was going into town and would probably be there over
the lunch period. He had no problem with this at all.
My daughter in law however phoned me the next day to
tell me that I cannot look after her anymore. She has
taken the child to McDonalds herself. I love my little
grandchild and am devastated that this has happened.
Has my son, who wants me to continue with child-care,
any rights where this is concerned, I know ordinarily a
couple would sit and discuss this sort of thing but she is
just impossible.

HildaW Wed 10-Jul-19 16:37:01

This will sound harsh but you need to remember a couple of things whatever the story behind this falling out is.
This child might be 'your grandchild' however first and foremost she is your son and daughter-in-law's child. Your relationship with your grandchild is via them....its on their terms whatever you think. Also, you really must not think of coming between them about their child care arrangements.
What you need to do is step back, stop diagnosing health problems and let them sort themselves out. You need to very carefully allow the relationship you have with your son and HIS WIFE be repaired and re-build the trust.
Grandparents have no rights and must sometimes tiptoe around things even if we do not like it. Take a few steps back and let things calm down.

sodapop Wed 10-Jul-19 17:26:57

Yes HildaW is right. You need to take a step back and let your son and daughter in law sort this out. It's hard being a grandparent, we often have to bite our tongues. Spend some time with the rest of your family, they need you too.

crazyH Wed 10-Jul-19 17:38:30

Bite your tongue Delaware. Mine is almost in half because of the many times I have had to bite it. When you ask, has your son got any rights, for goodness sake, what are you trying to do? Drive a wedge between them? They will discuss the situation and let you know their decision. In the meanwhile, chill .....

EllanVannin Wed 10-Jul-19 17:42:08

Give the parents a chance for the time being. They'll need you at some point so don't fret. Just wait until they're ready.

delaware123 Wed 10-Jul-19 18:36:27

I am not quite sure what health problems I have

M0nica Wed 10-Jul-19 18:46:47

Diagnosing your DiL as having post-natal depression.
Personally, I think you were foolish to even think of providing so much childcare for your grandchild. If you act like a doormat you will be treated as one.

On the other hand perhaps, with you doing so much childcare your DiL found you threatening and intimidating

As others have said, the child is the responsibility of its parent. Grandparents have no 'rights'. Nor do I think they should have.

delaware123 Wed 10-Jul-19 19:34:31

I realize now that my daughter in law treated me as a
doormat so it does not make sense that she found me
intimidating and threatening or she would not have wanted
me around so much. I fail to see how "thinking and being
co ncerned" that a woman may have post-natal depression
can be interpreted as having diagnosed that.
I was concerned, the whole family were, and as I have said
I realized that was not the case. As for driving a wedge
between them she already has a mother who is perfectly
capable of doing that and my sons marriage and any
problems they might have are their problems unless
they choose to share them with me.

delaware123 Wed 10-Jul-19 19:40:29

I will go one step further actually - as women should we
not be concerned that a daughter in law is showing signs
of post-natal depression and try to help in a sensitive way?
What would it make us if we chose to ignore those signs.
As I said it turned out that it was not the case - in fact
a narcissistic personality disorder had been diagnosed
It is a very difficult situation for everyone.

HildaW Wed 10-Jul-19 20:48:55

You asked for advice, so try not to shoot everyone down who disagrees with you if you want help.
Listening to what the other person says is always a good idea.

M0nica Wed 10-Jul-19 21:13:30

I was offering alternative causes for the hostility from your DiL. Not suggesting both at once.

phoenix Wed 10-Jul-19 21:18:19

Mothers cannot (or should not) expect life after baby to carry on as it as before.

She is going to the gym, out for drinks with friends/colleagues after work, does she actually realise that she has nurturing responsibilities?

delaware123 You mention that she showed little interest etc, well if she doesn't have pnd, then she might be better off employing a nanny, or letting you (and paying you) to give some loving care to the little one.

I may get shot down in flames for this, but from what you have posted it would seem that she is either unwell (pnd or some other disorder) or not particularly maternal/interested in children until they are either less dependent or more interesting!

Minniemoo Wed 10-Jul-19 21:26:38

How very sad for you. And of course for your grandchild who will wonder why her fun time with Grandma has stopped. This needs to be treated with kid gloves. She may well be struggling with some aspects of her life and just snapped. Maybe she wants to spend more time with the child herself. Maybe she did have some variant of PND. Seeing as you've been so very involved in childcare will she be able to recruit anyone else to be so available? Give them some time. Your son will discuss it and hopefully a truce will be worked out.

March Wed 10-Jul-19 21:28:22

Are you looking after your Grandchild every day from 9am till 9pm?
Does your son go out after work?
What time does your son finish work?

Sorry for so many questions. I think she's royaly taking the piss. I also think that a Grandparent being that overly involved childcare is bound to cause trouble at some point.

It might be best if she went into Nursery if your DIL still wants abit of time to herself.

Bridgeit Wed 10-Jul-19 21:40:24

You sound like a lovely lady, sad to to say I think she is taking the P- - S, she knows you are kind & gentle & she is using emotional black mail .
You need to tell them what you are & are not prepared to do.
Don’t forget they need you more than you need them.
best wishes ,be Strong

MovingOn2018 Wed 10-Jul-19 21:44:07


You took the words right out of my mouth.


You'll be fine as soon as you differentiate between a privilege and a right. As the mother to her children she has every right to make different childcare arrangements for her children. This is a privilege that your not entitled to. A lot of people try to judge mothers as having all these mental disorders in an attempt to deem them unfit. Those are not your children and the only mistake DIL did was to leave them with you for so long, seems like you forgot your role as a grandmother.

Step back and let it be. It may resolve itself if you do. If you continue to push back, you may find yourself outside for a very long time.

jenpax Wed 10-Jul-19 21:48:39

As with so many of these DIL threads I wonder what the son is doing while this dispute goes on?

March Wed 10-Jul-19 21:51:42

I don't get the part about McDonalds.

MovingOn2018 Wed 10-Jul-19 22:05:07


Also, what life do you have for yourself outside of your grandchildren? You seem to have been spending an outrageous amount of time with them. One always needs to make sure that their lives never revolves around anyone or anything else, cause when that one thing is taken away from you, what else then do you have left to do with yourself?

Even if you do reconcile with your DIL, I'd strongly advise against spending that many hours looking after your grandchildren. Find something else to do with your life that doesn't involve going to your sons house to take care of his children.

Joyfulnanna Wed 10-Jul-19 22:11:37

Feel for you..really do. It's so hard. You will be missing your gc and he/she will be missing you. What moveon said about forgetting your role as a grandmother is unfair.there's no rule book. Only with good communication can people understand each others' roles and I'm guessing with you Dil, her work and downtime took most of her energy and she probably didn't think to speak to you early enough about what she expected. From what you've said, she probably couldn't be bothered. I wondef if she treats her own mother the same. From now, give them time and expect to hurt from this, there's a grieving stage..sorry you are going through this

CanadianGran Wed 10-Jul-19 22:19:17

It seems to me that if your DIL is used to using her evenings on her own terms then she will soon be asking you to babysit again. She won't find any other daycare that allows late pick up after work.

I would sit back for a while. Obviously this isn't just about your DIL; your son needs to be involved as well. Let her cool off and hopefully have discussion with your son and solve day care issues. I do feel you have been too generous and they have been too assuming. Hopefully you can come to a better agreement.

Grammaretto Wed 10-Jul-19 23:20:39

I wonder if you discussed childcare much before the baby was born. I find it hard to imagine any grandparent offering to look after the DGC for 12 hours a day 24/7.
I think you should be grateful to take a back seat for a while.
You said you and the whole family were concerned for DiL's health. Does that mean you discuss her behind her back with your other children?

Tangerine Wed 10-Jul-19 23:29:22

I'd bite your tongue as others have suggested.

However, I do think your DIL has made use of you and you seem to have done a tremendous amount of childcare. I would not have used my mother or MIL in that way and they would not have made it possible for me to do so.

Leave the situation for a while. I don't quite understand why she objected to the child being in McDonalds with you if she has taken the child there herself.

I think your DIL will be lucky to find anyone else who is prepared to provide as much childcare as you do so she may have to back down.

delaware123 Thu 11-Jul-19 07:51:58

Thankyou for all your support. To answer a few questions
My son has his own removals business and a lot of his work
is during the evening. He was often in before my daughter
in law and he never goes out after work. Insofar as McDonalds is concerned she told me that my "services"
were no longer required based on that one trip - I had
never taken her before - to McDonalds albeit with my
sons permission. I felt I was being punished for putting s
stop to her being able to go to the gym and out for drinks.
She and my husband have both taken her to McDonalds
before now. My grandchild had been sleeping over once
a week so I have got to know her and am used to her and
it suited my daughter in law just fine. She has now been
diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder and it
is extremely difficult for my son. Her parents are coming
over this weekend from Poland - a trip right out of the blue - and my son thinks that they may be under the
impression that they are going to take his daughter back
with them - so child-care sorted and once again all free.
Of course, he is not going to allow this to happen but
really, he could do without this. It is more than troubling

BlueBelle Thu 11-Jul-19 08:27:52

Oh dear seems a big old muddle I too still dont understand the Mac Donald’s concern
9 in the morning till 9 at night sounds ridiculous and probably wasn’t the best thing to have agreed to in the first place
The world seems determined to label the daughter in law with something so now it’s the ‘in law’ disease of narcissistic personality I would imagine the parents are coming over unexpectedly if the daughter has just been seeing doctors or psychiatrists or have your family diagnosed her ?
It all sounds really muddled and difficult I too, like others on here, advised step back and wait and see You do sound a little bit over involved in their life Let them sort it all out for themselves