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Welcome to provide childcare but not welcome at milestone events

(74 Posts)
Santanana Sun 14-Jul-19 08:09:58

My son and DiL are divorced but we have provide childcare for our pre-school grandkids 2/3 days a week for the last three years. It's been a real effort but we want to help and also see it as a way of keeping close ties with the girls. Recently they 'graduated' from their kindergarten. We were told about it but assumed that the event was only for parents (as did my son). I was really upset when I discovered that my DiL's parents attended. They offer little or no assistance with day to day care of the girls and it's always us that provide help in 'emergencies' and yet they are the ones who turn up for the 'nice' events. Am I wrong to feel so aggrieved and more importantly should I say anything to Di L and risk estrangement?

mumofmadboys Sun 14-Jul-19 08:20:38

Enjoy looking after your GC and don't say a word is my advice!

TwiceAsNice Sun 14-Jul-19 08:21:17

I think that’s quite mean and understand you being upset. Why do other GP not help at all if you do several times a week? Are they ill/uninterested? You say your son didn’t realise either . Can you speak to just him at the moment and find out how he feels about it. If he had taken some responsibility about finding out more about it perhaps he could have given you an invitation . If numbers were limited and DILs are the organisers of events I’m afraid that often means they prioritise their own parents even if it isn’t fair.

PamGeo Sun 14-Jul-19 08:21:36

It may be her way of trying to include them in their lives more, maybe your DIL would love the children to have a similar relationship with her parents.

I would say nothing at this stage, grand parents don't always attend all school activities/birthday parties and it's not usually meant as an offence. I do understand feeling miffed about it but I'd leave it at that.

I don't remember inviting either sets of grandparents to all events with my 2 children when they were young and it was similar with most other mums.

I think it's lovely that you have a good relationship and get a chance to enjoy your grandchildren despite their divorce. It shows a maturity from the parents that's often missing afterwards when emotions run high.

kittylester Sun 14-Jul-19 08:22:41

You are not wrong to feel aggrieved but I echo what momb says.

eazybee Sun 14-Jul-19 08:32:21

Under 'normal' circumstances, yes, but these unhappily aren't normal, (although becoming so, nowadays.) I wouldn't say anything, but concentrate on maintaining links with your grandchildren.
It would be sensible for your son to make himself known at the school the children will be attending, and ask for notification of forthcoming events such as concerts, plays and parents' evenings, copies of their reports, and also read the school's website. It was mean of your daughter in law not to inform him of their 'graduation', but rather than arguing about it, best to circumvent her with foreknowledge of the dates and times of events, and insist on a fair share.

EllanVannin Sun 14-Jul-19 08:40:21

It's apparent that this happens with many---just grit your teeth and say nothing.

Luckygirl Sun 14-Jul-19 08:47:41

I also echo the posts saying keep schtumm. Nothing to be gained by having a grumble; but lots to be lost. Enjoy the GC.

wildswan16 Sun 14-Jul-19 08:51:12

Say nothing. Maybe your DIL trusts you more than her own parents to look after the children. But wants both sets to be involved to some extent.

Witzend Sun 14-Jul-19 08:52:50

There are often limited tickets for such events, so maybe room for one set of GPs only.
Having said that, I don't blame you for feeling upset, given all the childcare you do. Not sure I'd say anything, though, however much I might feel like it. How about writing a really heartfelt, very hurt email to your DiL - to relieve your feelings - and then deleting it? Can be very cathartic - as long as you don't hit 'send' by mistake!

Harris27 Sun 14-Jul-19 09:03:25

I am the mother of sons and take a huge back seat now. I love my grandchildren but still work because financially I have to. I used to babysit weekends but as they've gotten older not needed as much. Certain events in the year I know we've been excluded from. I think back to dropping a day at work looking after my grandson and think oh well . That was then And this is now. I try not to get upset as I actually work in childcare and reliase how common this is.

Septimia Sun 14-Jul-19 09:04:58

I haven't been to any of my DGD's school or other events. Partly it's because I live so far away but, even if I didn't, there's usually only room for parents.

Keep involved, especially as they get bigger, by wishing them luck or a nice time, asking how things went, sending cards (good luck, congratulations) or even sending flowers.

Occasionally it's possible for parents to take some photos or film of the child at the event which GPs can see. Obviously care has to be taken over privacy laws, though, if other children are in the picture.

crazyH Sun 14-Jul-19 09:09:00

Yes this does happen. Tickets are usually limited. I have been left out one or two occasions in favour of my ex- husband and his wife. I was hurt but soon got over it. It's difficult for the parents to pick and choose. Di.l.s parents are always invited, regardless. It's easier to let things go over your head. Just enjoy your GC when you do have them and thank God you have the health to do it .

Calendargirl Sun 14-Jul-19 09:13:19

Goodness, didn’t realise they now “graduate” from kindergarten! If my GC’s did, I never heard about it.

crazyH Sun 14-Jul-19 09:18:15

Yes Calendargirl ....they even wear little caps and gowns😘

Alima Sun 14-Jul-19 09:23:18

I understand the hurt you feel at being left out. (We went to DGS’s “graduation” from pre school and it was a sweet but packed celebration). Maybe the child’s mother will make sure you are first in line for tickets to the first Christmas play, only fair.

Sara65 Sun 14-Jul-19 09:28:40

I also think there’s nothing to be gained by saying anything

There are usually limited tickets, we go to quite a few things, but if I hear about something we haven’t been invited to, I assume the other grandparent has gone, doesn’t bother me!

Pantglas1 Sun 14-Jul-19 09:35:05

With limited places available at these things, it can be difficult to share things out with parents, step parents, grandparents and step grandparents all playing a greater or lesser part in the children’s lives.

I know my own daughter tries to keep things pretty even with DH and me and her father and stepmother but we do different (not better or worse) events depending on our respective availability. I’m happy with that and would hate her to feel frazzled thinking it all had to be equal, fair etc.

KatyK Sun 14-Jul-19 10:13:15

It's not a very nice thing to have happened and I would be upset but in my experience, speaking out often makes things worse. Enjoy your time with your grandchildren and try to forget it. I know it's not easy.

GrannyAnnie2010 Sun 14-Jul-19 10:33:35

Please don't be upset with the ex DIL - your own son didn't invite you either. He told you that he didn't know that grandparents were invited. If he had known, he could have invited you. Perhaps you could ask him to find out about these things and invite you next time, though it would involve negotiating with the ex. Is it going to be worth the to-ing and fro-ing in delicate negotiations for an hour at the graduation ceremony when photos will do?

inishowen Sun 14-Jul-19 10:46:20

If it's any comfort my granddaughter had one of these graduation things recently. My son explained that space was limited and as far as I know, only the parents went. If I found out my daughter in laws parents went, I wouldn't be at all offended.

Supernan Sun 14-Jul-19 10:46:23

You are right to feel 😡. However my advice is not to rock the boat. Those grandchildren will remember the care and love you gave them when they were little. They won't remember that you weren't there for their 'graduation'. Sit tight and it will be okay.

Gizzy48 Sun 14-Jul-19 10:51:08

I don't see why you should feel aggrieved - sad you mis

Gizzy48 Sun 14-Jul-19 10:54:18

Sad you missed it, yes but from what you say, it seems your DiL realised GP could go so she invited hers, your DS thought they couldn't, so he didn't. Just sounds unfortunate to me, not like a conspiracy to exclude you. Ask for some photos, maybe even a video.

dragonfly46 Sun 14-Jul-19 10:54:51

Say nothing. You will find this is the best course in the long run. You are lucky to still have so much time with your grandchildren and you mustn't do anything to curtail that. It is never wise comparing yourself and the other grandparents, I have found to my cost. I now accept that the other grandmother gets precedence for everything and if I let it upset me I would be very miserable.