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Finding it difficult to bond with DD

(32 Posts)
kiki2 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:53:00

I have an adult daughter who is expecting her first child soon and I am worried because over the years , we don t seem to be able to bond really .
We don’t fall out exactly but I have to be careful what I say etc as she seems to know everything better than me.
She has done very well both in terms of career and husband ; he is at her beck and call and we see them most weeks but somehow I don’t have the closeness with her that I would like to have and I don’t know why nor do I know how to change things or whether I should accept things the way they are.
This makes me sad because I think that , as a consequence , she won’t allow me to be close to the child either .
I wonder if any other gransnet member has a similar problem ? Any thoughts would be welcome , thank you

EllanVannin Thu 18-Jul-19 15:52:37

Not everyone is over each other like a rash in family relationships but it doesn't mean to say that there's no love there. I would just take things as they are and accept the way that your daughter is as at least you still see them as a family. The time to worry is if/when you are cut-off altogether as seems to be the way of quite a few lately.

Luckygirl Thu 18-Jul-19 15:58:27

Go with the flow! Nothing else to be done. No good wishing for what cannot be. I am glad that you have a relationship because going "no contact" seems to be all the rage.

We never know what our relationship with our adult children is going to be till it happens. And it sounds as though you are communicating, so maybe count that as a bonus. It may not be as close as you might have wished, but sometimes life does not live up to our expectations and we can either accept things as they are or bang our heads fruitlessly against a brick wall.

Sometimes when a DD has a baby and acquires the knowledge as to how much we love pour children, it strengthens their relationship with their parents - and makes them realise all that you did for them when they were little.

Luckygirl Thu 18-Jul-19 16:00:04

pour?? - our

Feelingmyage55 Thu 18-Jul-19 16:08:35

Have you told her how proud you are of her, success in career and now building a family? Maybe pay her a few lowkey compliments and be a tiny bit more affectionate without making a sudden change and see if you can build on that. Remember to make a fuss of her and make sure she doesn’t feel the extra attention is because of baby, but that you genuinely admire who she is.

BradfordLass72 Fri 19-Jul-19 08:49:41

You cannot love everyone, not even family - and you cannot make everyone love you.

We are not all cut out to be like sisters to our daughters (some of my friends are) so be content with the relationship you have and just hope for the best with the new baby.

Leave it to her to decide how much contact; wanting to be there all the time to bond with baby, could make more problems than it solves.
And hope that she does not have the same lack-of-bonding with her babe.

stella1949 Fri 19-Jul-19 09:18:01

If you see her most weeks, things must be going quite well. The fact that you don't feel overly close, isn't the end of the world. We don't all "feel the love" with our families, but if we can rub along all right, things will work out fine.

You might be pleasantly surprised when the new baby comes - you never know how a baby will change things.

Just keep smiling, see them when you can and don't try to force the relationship to get closer. As grandparents we all have to be careful not to overstep the boundaries .

Sara65 Fri 19-Jul-19 09:24:01

I think Feelingmyage is right, praise her for what she’s achieved, she may have done well, but maybe she needs you to acknowledge it.

Otherwise tread gently, be available if she needs you, tell her you know she’s going to be a great mum, and good luck !

Jomarie Fri 19-Jul-19 09:28:29

Wise word from Luckygirl once again - this also applies to Dils - the shock of a first baby (provided you don't interfere with advice unless asked for) can improve relationships tenfold. However, be warned, any interference on your part can do untold damage whatever the relationship. Count your blessings springs to mind smile

B9exchange Fri 19-Jul-19 09:49:30

Jomarie is absolutely right. Let her tell you all about the modern ideas on bringing up a baby, and tell her you look forward to helping her put them into practice, if that is what she would like. Tell her she is a wonderful mother, her child is absolutely gorgeous, and wait for invites to visit.

If you get it right you will soon be called on to babysit, and can enjoy your new grandchild and a better relationship with your daughter, sharing the experience. My daughter andI grew much closer after the children arrived and the parents wanted to go out and see their friends, so we came in useful! grin

knickas63 Fri 19-Jul-19 12:48:28

I found that motherhood softened my girls and brought us closer together. I also remember thinking I was always close to my mother but she told me once that things were so much better after I became a mother. You may find the same thing. As others have said - go with the flow.

Hithere Fri 19-Jul-19 13:37:16

Do you know what your dd expects on a grandmother?
I would start there.
Please do not start prioritizing the gc over dd, she will feel it and most probably won't like it

ElaineI Fri 19-Jul-19 16:20:01

When our children were young there was no google so what we learned was from books, friends, NCT, family etc. Nowadays most young mothers and mothers to be have many different sources of accurate information about everything so probably your daughter does know more than you. What she won't know is how tiring it is with a new baby, the benefit of letting family take baby for a walk so she can catch up sleep, how welcome a prepared meal can be or a drink when you are stuck to the sofa cluster feeding, how useful it is when someone puts on the washing then hangs it up. I think you have to go with the flow, don't offer advice unless specifically asked and do as much background help as you can and let your relationship grow naturally and try not to overthink. It is special being a grandparent.

Tedber Fri 19-Jul-19 17:55:31

Kiki 2 - sometimes mums and daughters do clash in their ideas/opinions. Daughters CAN be very bosy (don't I know lol)

I do think, however, that when they become mums themselves they start to appreciate mum just that little bit more. They realise it isn't a piece of cake bringing up a child/children and start to turn more for advice as the years go on - in my experience.

I think you just offer help but don't actively try to change things at the moment. As for your grandchild. You don't sound like you never see your daughter (only that your relationship is not what you imagined it would be) so is there any reason she will not allow you access to her child?
I can't see how she would be able to stop you 'bonding'. That is an emotion. She can only stop you physically seeing the child - which I hope she has no intention of doing.

Just be patient and kind and am sure everything will work out fine.

Notagranyet2 Sat 20-Jul-19 10:25:14

As our children grow, sometimes as mothers we are much harder on our daughters than our sons -probably because we know they need to have a broad pair of shoulders later in life. But they don't forget that, yet turn out to have very successful careers. I also find that sons are not as tough when young and seem to need more attention and this is borne out from many mothers I know. I think it is why we as mothers know the frailty of our sons and why we find it hard to let go when another woman comes into their lives.
I had twins - boy and a girl. As parents my husband used to carry our daughter as she was the heavier of the two and I would carry the boy as he was lighter and a worrier. I'm sure through this, my daughter bonded very well with her father - something that I was quite jealous about later. Her and I often spar and I wonder what I have done to her but she will remember the attention he got, even though she knows he was difficult and at times still is, even though they are in their early 30's now. I don't see them much at all as they have both settled in Canada, which I am happy about for their futures. We do visit one another and Skype. All of us talk about how nice it would be if we could all just meet up for coffee and maybe that may happen if one day we live there too. I know they love us dearly and although we are not close in miles, we are in love and respect. We are all fire signs so we would probably spar if we were closer...
Be thankful that you have your daughter close by and remember, there is no one like your mother. Just be patient and not interfere with the baby process but let her know you are there to help if she needs you. She will be looking for babysitters later!
I send my daughter flowers when she's successful in work, or not well, just to let her know I love her, always have and always will.

Jayelld Sat 20-Jul-19 10:30:40

Just continue to be yourself, visit when invited, return the invite when convenient to you, hold baby when offered and enjoy your ability to give him/her back.
Let your daughter know you're happy for her, and that you're only a phone call away if she needs you then carry on with your life.
You will find that you soon settle into a routine that suits you both, and as soon as your daughter becomes aware that you arent/won't attempting to take control, undermine her or critise her parenting skills, (not that you ever would!), she will begin to appreciate your help and trust.

I have this type of relationship with my daughter and after 4 (grand) children we have a good relationship.

Enjoy your grand child when they arrive.

luluaugust Sat 20-Jul-19 10:36:51

I wonder if she feels the same, probably not as she is seeing you every week or so. Some people's personalities seem to mean they think they know everything and although we all appear to be much more touchy feely than our parents and grandparents I'm not sure it suits everybody. I think you will find a bit of bonding comes along over the baby. As you are on Gransnet you know to offer no unasked for opinion and keep smiling!

Sara65 Sat 20-Jul-19 11:01:04

Your relationship with your daughter sounds a little like mine with my mother, hopefully you can save it, where we failed and haven’t spoken in years

So here are a few of the things that I hated

As soon as she walked in, she’d make a beeline for the baby/child, and apart from making her cups of tea, I may as well not have been there

Turning up unannounced to say she’d come to take the baby for a walk, I often changed my plans to accommodate her

As the children got older, telling everyone who would listen, how lucky I was, how lovely my children were compared to what she had to put up with, with me! How lucky I was, everything fell into my lap, not like she’d had it!

Whenever I visited her, she’d go straight out with the children , never asking if I wanted to go

I’m not suggesting for a single second that you would consider behaving like that, all I’m saying is, put her first sometimes, don’t make everything about the baby, be proud of her

sarahellenwhitney Sat 20-Jul-19 11:18:49

Ellan Vannin

Minshy Sat 20-Jul-19 11:57:26

I wouldn’t expect her to change. Mine didn’t. I just make the most of my grandchildren, I know I’m only asked to go round to provide childminding services( not that I mind, but that’s how it feels) so that she can work ( I take a set day off to do this as I also work full time)
I wish things could be cosier.. but they are never going to be.. don’t dwell on this.. just see what happens and take it from there

Merryweather Sat 20-Jul-19 13:03:29

Try by giving her compliments on how proud of her accomplishments you are, ask her how best to support her during her pregnancy, is there anything she needs you to do?
A lot has changed over the generations. Let her find her own way with the baby and just support her decisions and way she wants to do things, and follow suit whenever you can. Don't assume anything.

Try hugs on arrival and goodbye. Sit and listen. Maybe even say to her I’d like to have a closer relationship how can we achieve this. Both of you need to want the same things or accept the situation the way it is.

I hope it works out well for you both xx

jaylucy Sat 20-Jul-19 15:49:36

You have had a big hand in raising a very mature and independent woman and just because you two don't see eye to eye, doesn't mean that you won't connect with the grandchild.
I never really got on with my own mother but I had a very special relationship with my grandmother that I cherish to this day even though she died over 30 years ago

nipsmum Sat 20-Jul-19 16:39:01

Why are you worrying? Our relationship with everyone is different. I am much closer to my younger daughter than my elder one. My preference daughter has always been more self sufficient by when their father left my younger daughter needed me more at that time. Who did my elder daughter phone first when she was I'll,? Mum of course. Not being close doesn't mean I don't love them equally and worry about then both equally. I do live closer to my younger daughter so see her almost every day. My elder one knows I love her and will be there if she needs me.

nipsmum Sat 20-Jul-19 16:41:20

Should read my elder daughter has always a been more self sufficient.

Missiseff Sat 20-Jul-19 19:53:13

My daughter's first baby is due in the next couple of weeks and I have been told things will be on her and her partner's terms and I have to wait for an invitation to meet my Grandchild. I haven't been involved with the pregnancy or plans and have only seen my daughter's 'bump' once, which I'm hurt by too. She doesn't want to see me til after the baby's born. You're very lucky if you see your daughter most weeks. I haven't seen my daughter for 5 weeks. Her choice. She doesn't like me.