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Relationship with son and daughter in law

(42 Posts)
Daley69 Sat 09-Jan-21 17:39:05

I am a parent of an only child and now a new grandmother. I need some advice on how to maintain a good relationship with my son and daughter in law so I will be able to spend quality time with my new grandson. With us having an only child , I was by no means ready for the moving out bit . One day he went to house sit for the in laws and basically never came back. He would come and go but wasn't the same. So I didn't really get to deal with that whole situation. He moved in to their home and lived there. Which I was ok with to a certain point because of his job. He worked for them and had to get up really early for work and it was a half hour drive there from where we lived and we did have some close calls with him falling asleep on his way there. So needless to say we did not see him much. Empty nest syndrome really bad to say the least. They were married in October 2019 and had there own home. That following March they found out they were going to have a baby. I was so excited for that first grandchild, little did I know I have been crying more than enjoying being a new grandma. Every time we make plans, which this has been going on all along, we always seem to get pushed aside for other things. So, of course I get angry. I have not said anything to them because I don't want to cause any hard feelings that may keep me from seeing my grandson. We work five days a week and the only time we get to spend with them is on the weekends. Our son works late so us stopping on the way home from work isn't always feasible. We have tried planning days with just us, but again after plans are made, we get pushed aside for something going on with the in laws. I am afraid that our grandson is not even going to know who we are or even care. I have tried to plan days to have with them and him, for that quality time, but it isn't working like I had hoped. It is causing me to be very jealous of the in laws, which I do not like because they are very nice people and have done a lot for our son, because of the time they are with our son and grandson. Can anyone give me some advice on how to handle all of this so I have that great relationship with my son and daughter in law and my grandson?

PECS Sat 09-Jan-21 18:05:20

Where are you?
At the moment in UK you can't do much anyway because of lockdown..Facetime/zoom?

My advice? Do not expect anything then what you do get is genuine and treasured. If you have had a good relationship with your son there is no reason to think it would change is there?

BlueBelle Sat 09-Jan-21 18:16:37

It is understandable to feel a bit jealous when one set of grandparents get all the loving cuddling and being with the grandchild and you get none and as he’s your only grand child I can see how it must hurt and give you feelings you don’t want to be having .....
Surely it’s your son who should be making sure you are treated as equally he’s the conduit between you and the grandchild, he should be at least (when able to) make alternate weekends free
I m a bit confused because you can’t be meeting with them anyway at the moment or are you not living in U.K.

Daley69 Sat 09-Jan-21 18:27:29

We are in the United States, so we can visit here and there. My son is oblivious to our feelings, which is sad. If we do not reach out to him we don't hear from them. I know he loves us and has a lot going on, but it is definitely frustrating to say the least, especially when I know they are at the in laws. As far as face timing that is out. I have tried that and it's never a good time, even when it was planned. I am at my wits end to get to a happy medium.

sharon103 Sat 09-Jan-21 18:31:03

I think this is a common situation.
There's a saying' A daughter's a daughter all of her life, a son's a son until he takes a wife.
Not in all cases I know but speaking of myself and my friends that had babies were always more involved with mum.
I wish I could give you some advise. Hope it all works out.

BlueBelle Sat 09-Jan-21 18:35:13

Well all you can do is talk it over with your son because it really is his business to make sure you are included and involved, surely if he loves you and knows you are hurting he will arrange a meet up at their convenience
He is the link between the two families and he is either oblivious to your pain who not as fair and loving as you believe

Toadinthehole Sat 09-Jan-21 18:55:59

Firstly, congratulations on becoming a grandparent. This is a position you have the potential of holding for many years to come. Please tread very carefully. At the moment, all sounds amicable, except they keep cancelling arrangements. Covid makes everything more difficult, and people inaccessible, to the point you probably shouldn’t be seeing them anyway. Not sure about that to be honest. As much as it unsettles you, grit your teeth and say nothing. There’s nothing to be gained from showing any kind of negativity at the moment. You need to invest in the future with your grandson, and if you give them any cause to be uncomfortable, you could jeopardise all of that.

DiscoDancer1975 Sat 09-Jan-21 19:00:33

You’re brave for quoting that saying sharon, I did once and was firmly put in my place! It is right though, you see it all over gransnet. As toad says, tread carefully. You know your son, and how far you can go. You don’t want to end up on the estrangement threads.

tobyandsocks Sat 09-Jan-21 19:09:16

We have 3 Sons and Grandchildren but whatever we do is never good enough for our D.I.L.'s.......they will always put their Families 1st and do not ever consider us in any equation......we have never interferred or had any arguements,we always keep quiet no matter how hurtful things are....

Hithere Sat 09-Jan-21 19:34:21

It is not uncommon to change plans on the fly with a baby.

How long ago and how old was your son when he moved in with his now ils?

Babyshark Sat 09-Jan-21 19:40:32

You say you plan days? If you’re son is working then the only time he gets to spend quality time with his partner and child is on the weekends.

Have you tried making much shorter plans? An hour for a cuddle and chat? So that way you are not stepping in their family time?

Pantglas2 Sat 09-Jan-21 19:47:33

I think you need to understand that you are no longer the most important thing in your son’s life and weren’t as soon as he got together with your DIL. Indeed, now you’ve been further nudged down the priority list with the new baby and that’s never going to change, and nor should it.

If you play the long game and quietly wait and see how things pan out, your relationship will strengthen but if you start making too many demands you could end up with nothing.

Doodle Sat 09-Jan-21 19:50:04

Daley boys are not as good at keeping in touch as girls usually.
How old is your grandchild?
Don’t whatever you do be jealous of the in laws. It will do you no good.
Don’t expect your son to make arrangements, many sons don’t think about it. It’s not that they don’t care, they just don’t think about it.
Don’t expect them to plan things. The younger generation don’t plan and fix dates like we used to they just go with the flow.
Be relaxed, ask them over without a fixed agenda. Congratulations on becoming grandparents. Try not to become fraught about things and just tell your son you would like to see you grandchild and ask them when would be a good time. If they have to cancel for any reason don’t make a big thing of it just go with the flow. Hope you get to spend many happy hours with your DGC soon.

Smileless2012 Sat 09-Jan-21 19:59:50

IMO the saying that 'a son's a son until he gets a wife and daughter's a daughter for all of your life' merely exacerbates a situation like yours Daley.

It's almost like saying that this type of treatment of the H's parents is OK when of course it isn't. It's unfair and extremely upsetting as you are experiencing.

I can't understand why it's necessary to go back on pre arranged time with you, in favour of your son's in laws, and why some d's.i.l. are unable or un willing to see that this is unfair. I wonder if your son's lovely p's.i.l. are aware that this is the case. I'm not for one moment suggesting they should be made aware, but if I knew this was happening to the other GP's in our favour, I wouldn't be very happy about it.

Toadinthehole's post is spot on and unless you want to risk creating a rift, the only thing you can do is "grit your teeth and say nothing" in the hope that eventually things will settle down, and you will be able to see your GC.

I hope the situation improves.

tobyandsocks you're in an unenviable position. As painful as it is for us to have been estranged from our youngest son and only GC for 8 years now, at least we no longer have to deal with his wife. flowers.

welbeck Sat 09-Jan-21 20:14:03

i agree with Pantglas above.
you sound overly-invested in your son's life.
how old was he when he moved out. maybe he prefers the in=laws because they treat him like an adult rather than as a dependant child. but you sound dependant on him. it sounds off-key. you need to step back and just let him get on with his life and his family.
you are much further down the circle of importance now. sorry to sound harsh but you will make yourself miserable with being clingy. and he will feel it and it will repel him.
try to concentrate on finding interest and significance in your own life.

crazyH Sat 09-Jan-21 20:15:25

Just be glad of the ‘crumbs’ so to speak. It’s better than nothing at all . The daughter-in-law ‘s parents are always first in the pecking order. I have 2 sons and I know it. I also have a daughter, who, to her credit, never sidelined her parents-in-law, when she had her babies. As a matter of fact, when we were all in the hospital together and I was holding the baby, she politely said “mum, don’t hog the baby” 😂
Don’t make a big fuss about it....just enjoy your time with the baby and Congratulations !!flowers

NotSpaghetti Sat 09-Jan-21 20:26:11

Make sure you build a good relationship with your daughter-in-law.
Always think about this if you speak to your son. He loves her - enough to leave home and start a whole new part of his life with her, to marry her and have a baby with her.

Find the good things and compliment her. If you call, remember to always be interested in her. Little by little you will sneak into her heart and she will feel warmer towards you and want you to see the baby and her husband. Mums are still key, it seems, in how most families function.

I am not just saying this so you get your own way. The more you notice the good in others, the more you like them.

Smileless2012 Sat 09-Jan-21 20:29:04

Your daughter is a credit to you as well as to herself crazyH. Such a shame that there are some who are prepared to sideline their p's.i.l. and it isn't just d's.i.l. either, some s's.i.l. do the same.

Why is a mother wanting to see her son's family which includes her GC being overly invested in her son's life? Is the mother of OP's d.i.l., who is fortunate to spend more time with her D and her family, overly invested in her D's life?

welbeck Sat 09-Jan-21 20:35:01

i was referring to how she seemed to lament his moving out from her house to establish his adult life.
she seemed surprised and resentful of a natural step.

welbeck Sat 09-Jan-21 20:36:51

with that background it's hardly surprising that he doesn't want her interfering in his son's life.

crazyH Sat 09-Jan-21 20:37:37

Thankyou Smileless xx

Hithere Sat 09-Jan-21 22:10:25



Smileless2012 Sat 09-Jan-21 22:52:42

Lots of parents experience 'empty nest syndrome'. I saw nothing in the OP to suggest that Daley is resentful of her son's marriage and the family he is establishing and I don't see how a mother wanting to be a part of her son's and GC's lives is being interfering.

Just a mother and GM who is understandably upset that she isn't seeing as much of them as the other GP's and that previously arranged visits are being changed so her d.i.l. can see her own parents. A mother and GM looking for advice to find a way of dealing with the current situation, rather than being accused here on GN of being interfering when clearly she's being anything but.

Daley69 Sat 09-Jan-21 23:31:07

Just to make this perfectly clear, I love my daughter in law to death, which is why this is bothering me badly. She is the best thing that ever happened to my son. She is the one that makes all the plans with us, because as said above my son just doesn't think about it. She also is the one that breaks the plans, my son don't know anything until the last minute. In November, before Thanksgiving all of us talked about setting up Sunday dinners with them and our side of the family, (which is us and my parents) because she has a big family, we figured this would be best so we could spend time with them. Since Thanksgiving that has only happened once, due to the other things that come up. How am I supposed to build a relationship with her if I am not given the chance? I have offered to help with the baby and get told that's ok, then she immediately turns to someone else for the same thing right in front of me. So how should I feel? About my son, we were fully vested in his childhood. He played baseball, football and wrestled, so when that all stopped, guess what? We were definitely lost. I knew some day he would move out and be on his own. I was raised with a close family and he was raised the same way. So no I am not trying to be clingy as said above, it was something that we were accustomed too and it abruptly came to a halt. All I wanted was some advice on how to handle the situation...I thought this was a group that helps each other, not a group to make people feel worse.

NotSpaghetti Sat 09-Jan-21 23:50:19

Daley69 I'm so pleased you feel positive about your daughter-in-law, that's good news. Many grans feel hostile to their son's wives.

I think maybe next time something is properly arranged between you and her you could text your son and say something such as "so nice to have arranged to see you all on Sunday (or whenever) we are really looking forward to it." This way your son will definitely know about the arrangement.

Are you perhaps suffering because the arrangement is sometimes left too "open" I wonder? Maybe you are both rather casual about the get-together, saying "oh any time will do" for example, and then you are disappointed but your daughter-in-law is maybe thinking it was only a possible get-together? - If you think this could be the case you could perhaps suggest a time. You could also suggest a pot-luck perhaps. That way they know you are going to some effort on their behalf. Ask what time would suit them and later confirm by text or phone or whatever suits.

I can only think this is happening because there is something going wrong with the communication. Obviously if you like each other, it's not that.
Just try not to be needy (I know this may be hard but put a brave face on) and I'm sure you can sort this out.

Good luck!