Need advice on boundaries

jules0988July 12, 2007

Our second Grandchild will be born this Saturday and I am in a dilemna- when the first one was born we were overjoyed- we wanted to do everything right and was accused of doing everything wrong and being overbearing- that was 2 years ago. They are having their second child and we want a different outcome. We tried the first time to be respectful of their time alone as a family by not spending too much time at the hospital although our daughter in laws parents were there from sun up to sundown. When they came home from the hospital we only found out by accident and guess who took them home? Her parents. Before the baby came we did everything for them they asked cleaned the house , painted the nursery everything but once the baby got here she wanted us no where near the child. Her parents were at the house all hours of the day and night and we had to have an appointment to see them. Our daughter in law still resented any time we were allowed with our Grandson and made it well known that we were not welcome. Before the baby came we had a normal loving relationship with her and there didn't seem to be any problems. She even accused me of trying to steal her baby the first time they came to visit us when I was holding him and walking around the house with him. Once she went back to work I was watching him part time as well as her mother- at my son's insistence I was "allowed" to babysit - free of charge and I even went to pick him up at a designated place so they wouldn't have to drive all the way (15 minutes) to my house. I have to say the baby gets excellent care with me and I keep an immaculate house- call them with even the smallest problems (per their instruction) and give them no reason to doubt my ability.

Now to my problem - I am worried sick that the same problems are going to arise with the new baby- should I stay away all together so to avoid conflict? I tried to be courteous and respectful with the last child but ran into a brick wall. Me and my husband have a life of our own and don't "live" for the grandchild but want our son and grandson to know he has our support and love as well as she feels she has from her parents. Don't look at this as a jealousy of her parents issue either - we get along fine with her parents and love the fact that our Grandson has loads of love from all of us. Any advice would be appreciated.

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It sounds like you won't win no matter what you do. If you're around she won't like it. If you're not, she'll probably use that to convince your son that you don't care as much as her family does.(and she may use that against you always, even telling your grandchild that Grandma couldn't be bothered to be at the hospital for his/her birth).

I would tend to say that you should go. You shouldn't be deprived of this occasion. But ultimately, you have to do what makes you happy. If you do go, continue to be respectful of her. Maybe ask before you hold the baby or do anything so that she doesn't perceive a threat (no matter how unreasonable it seems!) Hopefully this time she has relaxed some - I know I'm much better with my second than I was with my first.

After the baby is born, maybe think about finding some time to talk to your son - and maybe include your dil if you feel comfortable - to try to clear the air on what the issues are. Good luck and congratulations on the new baby!!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 9:28AM
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That sounds like sound advice- I hope things go better this time around I just think you are right that no matter what I do it won't be the right thing in her mind. I feel like she would rather I just disappear and so she doesn't have to deal with her ill feelings. We did talk the last time around and she has admitted to me that she was unreasonable although also indicating that I was partially at fault even though I don't know what the problem with me was. She has made me and my daughter (who is the baby's Aunt) feel ashamed that we love the little boy and want to spend quality time with him. I know it is a jealousy issue with her but I don't understand it as I never felt that way with anyone when any of my 3 kids were born. I was glad to have family and thankful that my kids had lots of people who loved and cared for them. She tries at every turn to make us look as if we are bad people who are a bad influence on her son which is not the case. We want what is best for him and don't interfere in the way they are bringing him up. When we are around him we try to have fun and be loving and caring. It is never good enough though- she sits back in a corner and glares at us and acts intimidated. We are never included in any firsts for him except what we initiate on our own. It hurts all of us because we once had a caring relationship with her. I have talked to my son numerous times and he makes excuses for as he is in the middle of it and doesn't know what to do. He knows she is unreasonable and had issues in her own mind. Maybe they will get it worked out and hopefully we can be the loving, happy family we once were. Thank you for your input - it is almost as if you know her personally from your remarks- Have a great day!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 1:30PM
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Trust me, you are not alone. We live in an Adult Community and you would be surprised at how many grandparents are in your situation. Not surprisingly, all of those in your situation have sons and the grandparents are dealing with their DIL's. The grandparents we know who are having these problems are happy, loving, caring couples and were thrilled to find out that they were to become grandma and grandpa, but are now sad due to events after the baby's birth. I really don't have advise, but just wanted to let you know that you're situation seems to be a very common one, unfortunately.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 3:18AM
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I could have only wished for inlaws like you. After reading your story, I was dumbfounded that a situation like that could happen.

If I wasn't already a Grandparent, I'd be asking you to adopt me!

Good luck with the new baby and hope things go differently this time.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 7:24PM
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I am grateful to find this forum and see that I am not alone in my puzzlement and sadness about the way my DIL is now treating me. Before the baby she seemed to be really nice to me. Ever since the baby has been born I have felt a MAJOR push away! She will close herself into her room to nurse the baby -- and will have all her female family members in there with her, but will not allow me in. I have to wait in the living room with the men. When I went over, bearing gifts and dinner and hoping to get to hold the babe, she told me that SHE needed to hold the baby. I have had my feelings hurt, shed many tears, and felt jealous. Have since apologized to my son for making him feel responsible.
I understand that this is HER baby and she is going through a lot...........I just feel left out - and sad. Am learning to get over them space...and waiting to be invited back. Am doing lots of praying....
Thanks for being there, and the assurance that I am not unusual or alone. I want to be a good MIL.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 6:45PM
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Thank you for responding to my post everyone- besitosmios I completely understand your hurt feelings and everything you are feeling right now. My Grandson (who is now 2 and just had a little sister born on Saturday) was our first Grandchild- we were overjoyed and felt so much love and happiness only to have it squelched by our DIL. Before the baby came she was loving and included us in all of the planning of the baby which gave us quite the shock when we went over to see him at their house for the first time she and my son went in to take a nap and took the baby with them. This was fine since we had taken over food and wanted to help with laundry and such but when her mother arrived she went right in to the bedroom and got the baby and we were just dumbfounded- we weren't even offered to hold the baby. Then when our DIL got up she kept making little comments about when we were going to leave etc...I know what you mean about her taking the baby in the other room to nurse as well- my DIL did the exact same- her Mother was allowed access to any and everything but it was as though I was just one of the guys. I nursed my babies so I knew what to expect and you can be discreet if you are that modest. It is all of the little things that build up over time that are so hurtful. I understand being a new Mom but no one can be that blind to how they are treating someone. I couldn't look in the mirror knowing I treated someone who was being loving and kind towards me that way. I was at the hospital for the arrival of our Grandaughter last week but have not been back . They are home now and I am scheduled to go over and help out in a couple of days. I am sickened at the thought that she will treat me the way she did before and have told her as much before the baby arrived. She knows she hurt me although I don't think she knows quite how much.I hope your situation gets better and I will update here as to how mine is going. I think I have put up a barrier this time and won't get as emotionally badgered if she treats me with ill will. On a lighter note- I feel like she is only hurting herself if she pushes me away because I am a loving and considerate person and besides I LOVE TO CLEAN HOUSE and she is nuts if she doesn't want me around- Let me know how things are going with you- Jules

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 12:12PM
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Honestly I think you people need to get over yourselves. Jules you may have the best of intentions, but take an honest look at your actions perhaps you come across as overbearing and intrusive. Most DILs (and others) do not like it when MILs keep nagging their sons  it only creates tension between the couple (and animosity towards the MIL).

As well, there IS a difference between the relationship between your DIL and her mother and the relationship between your DIL and you. A new mother will often seek comfort from her mother, and may feel more comfortable doing more "private" things around her (e.g. breastfeeding). Many women view breastfeeding as a very private thing  it is understandable if your DIL did not want to nurse her baby in front of you ("discrete" or not).

Best advise to you: quite trying to paint yourself as a pious martyr.

1 Like    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:58PM
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First of all ,allsfinehere, I have not nagged my son whatsoever regarding this matter. The only time we have discussed it is when he brought up the subject in a way to try to resolve this issue for his wife so SHE would quit nagging him. I would never put my son in the middle like that. Perhaps I come across as overbearing and intrusive? What is wrong with a Grandmother wanting to hold her Grandchild without being made to feel guilty by getting looks and hearing lies being told about her from other family member's that I have done such and such simply because I have made an effort to bond with my Grandchild?
I appreciate a difference in a relationship between a MIL and DIL and her and her mother. I don't have an issue with her being discreet about the breastfeeding it was one example sited as to how I was personally shunned by someone who I felt had established a close relationship with me. This was not a fly by night chick who my son knocked up - she was in our family for 5 years before they had the baby-
Why is it that the MIL's and Mother's in the world always have to take it lying down? The good ones have raised our kids well and continue to do the best they can for them when they are needed. It all boils down to the fact that I feel I have earned the right to be in my Grandchildrens lives without guilt and heartache. I respect their parents as the parents and just want to be respected as a Grandparent.
I am not perfect and far from a pious martyr- I made mistakes with my kids and I am sure they will make some with theirs- I just want to be treated fairly and have a loving, caring family that respects each other.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 7:53AM
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I'm so sorry, what a heartache this must be.

You have a great opportunity to spend a lot of great time with your grandson, now that she is busy with the second one. You can kind of make an end run around her, I suspect, because she will be pretty tired and pretty busy.

Sit on the floor and play with him, read books, build with blocks, fill a wading pool and get lots of cups, take the wagon for a walk around the neighborhood.

Get your grandson out of the house and take little trips to the library or bookstore or even the mall so he can run around and get a treat to eat. My grandson (21 months) loves Home Depot, it's a great place to visit, especially the rock department!

And in a few months, you can suggest that she might want to spend some time with her older child, and you'll be happy to watch the baby for a few hours. Or suggest activities you can all do together.

If she continues to act badly, you might need to talk to her about her raging hormones and your hurt feelings. She needs to be reminded that you aren't the enemy, that you seem to have done a good job the first time (her husband) and can be trusted this time around, too. Is her mother approachable?

My DD didn't have much need for me or her MIL (who spends NO time with her grandson, since her granddaughters are living with her), for the first 10 months. It was very painful to be shut out. Then he started walking and suddenly she was so grateful for some time off and a chance to run errands without him. She would have been happy if I'd spent the entire weekend with them!

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 11:57AM
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Jules-I can understand how this young mother feels. You DO seem somewhat overdramatic and pushy. She probably does not feel comfortable nursing around you because she did not grow up with you, and obviously does not feel as close to you as she does her other female relatives. Please respect her wishes on this, and do not turn it into an issue that revolves around you and your feelings. Also, many women do not want another woman to come into their home and clean. It feels like that person is "taking over", and is honestly quite irritating. She sounds excited about her baby, and if she wants to hold him/her all the time it is her right to do so. If you really want a relationship with your grandchildren, you should think about celebrating your daughter in law as a mother, instead of trying to fulfill your own dreams of how you feel your role as grandparent should be played out. While this child is your grandchild he/she is not your child, and fighting the mother for what you feel are your "rights" will probably not get you very far.

1 Like    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 7:03PM
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I know how disheartened you must feel. Honestly, I saw a lot of your story in my experience with my own MIL. Don't get me wrong, I love her dearly, but things changed when we had our first child. She has always been very emotional and at times weepy. Especially when she's drinking, which is often, seeing as she is an alcholic. But, before children, that only affected her. I was able to maintain my personal boundaries with her, while still holding a good relationship. After getting pregnant, she got sappier and sappier. She always had to hug me and I'm really not an easily affectionate person with people outside my immediate family. I think I probably offended her on more than one occasion when I was unwilling to let anyone rub all over my belly.
After our child was born, the alcoholism is what really changed it for me. I no longer had a tolerance for it. It's not that I don't respect her as a person or as my husband's mother, but I don't respect her drinking. And, I found the affection to be overbearing and smothering.
As for breastfeeding, I nursed my oldest for more than a year. She wouldn't take a bottle at all, but I wanted to nurse anyway, so it wasn't a problem really. But, I'm a very private person. I would absolutely leave the room to nurse, no matter who was there, unless it was my husband. One time, after obviously going into the nursery for privacy (I did leave the door open, but assumed that I would get the respect of privacy), she went down the hall to the bathroom. Upon returning, she stopped in the doorway and just stared at me. I was very uncomfortable and had to ask her to shut the door. I shouldn't have had to ask her, she should have assumed that I went in there for a reason.
Anyway, I could go on, but I don't want you to think I hate my MIL. I don't. But, try to see it from your DIL's eyes. She's used to her own mother. Heck, she may even feel smothered by her sometimes. I don't really have any advice on how to mend your own relationship with her, but I do hope it gets better for you.
Oh, and whatever you do, don't tell her that you have earned your "right" to be a grandparent. That will only get her on the serious defensive. NO mother wants to hear that, even from their own mother. If my MIL tried that, it would only push me away further.
That said, I do not in any way try to hamper her relationship with our (now 2) children. I want them to know that they have a loving grandparent and would never stand in the way of that. (As long as she doesn't think alone time will happen...because of the alcohol)
Good luck.

1 Like    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 8:40PM
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Things have resolved - with time and patience I think everything has worked itself out. It is funny how you post a life problem on here and everyone turns it into much more. I was simply asking if anyone else had experienced what I had and I have been made out to be a pushy, self centered, irritating , invasive individual. All I wanted here was a little advice on how BEST to handle the situation and was accused of all of these awful things. Sometimes life in unfair and I well know this- was just looking for some support- Thank you to all who really understood my position and offered guidance without attacking me. I was already willing to see my errors in the situation but thanks to those who chose to point them out to me once again. I won't be back here for support!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 8:30AM
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I'm sorry that you felt like you were attacked here. Honestly, I only saw one response to you that was inflammatory. Everyone else seemed to be trying to give you good advice and help you to maybe understand a little of what your DIL is experiencing. Not saying that her behavior is faultless, but I can't speak for MILs, only my own situation; which happens to be a DIL's POV. I truly wasn't trying to criticize you in any way. But, you asked for advice. You have to realize that not everyone is going to give you the rose colored glasses response.

1 Like    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 11:07AM
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I I know that giving birth is a special time and honestly believe that it should be only the mother and father in the room. If the mother chooses to have anyone else present it is her choice and I understand (as most of you should since we all obviously gave birth before) and if she chooses to have only her mother or her parents present then it should be respected. Would you want a group of people in the delivery room seeing you at your worst moment and possibly adding to the stress?

As for boundaries, especially for the first child the mother will be more comfortable going to her own mother for advice or asking her for help since she has spent her whole life with her compared to the short time that she has known the inlaws.

If your daughter or daughter inlaw has boundaries I believe that they should be respected. If she says that there are specific times that are good for others to visit they should be followed or if she says that it is not a good time to visit just say that you understand and to let you know when it will be a good time. You don't know if she was up all night or how tired she is etc...

For breast feeding, it is a private time and if she doesn't want anyone else in the room then respect that. She may not be comfortable doing this in front of other people.

I don't understand why so many people see their daughter inlaws as horrible people, if there are rules or boundaries they are there for a reason. Try to respect them, the more you push the issue the angrier your daughter in law is going to get and it will only make the situation worse for you. Be the bigger person and take a step back and mention casually that you are available on such and such days if she needs any help, or let her know what days you are free and tell her to phone if she isn't to tired, to busy etc... so that you can set up a time to visit. Do not try to push your way into the delivery room, and if she says no visitiors for X amount of time after giving birth just let it go and listen to it. I speak from experience. Once I stopped fighting and arguing and feeling hurt and changed my strategy, even though it took almost a year my relationship with my daughter inlaw improved to the point that there are no issues between us anymore. Remember we are all mothers, when we are in pain, we want our own mothers, when we are unsure of something we phone our own mothers, when we need help we phone our mothers etc... Once I realized this and realized that my daughter in law would feel the same way it was easier to fix our relationship. I also learned that no matter what advice I had, or whatever oppinion I had it was better to keep it to myself because it just caused trouble and I would rather be able to spend time with my grandchild than argue.

1 Like    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 1:32AM
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By the time my husband and I had a couple of children he knew where his heart was and that was with my family, so I guess I would be considered an awful DIL. We had wonderful times at my parent's home. My Dad was a "good ole boy", who hunted, fished, tossed horseshoes and the son in law's had rather be with my Dad than their own. My Mom never interfered in any way or criticized anyone, she wanted us to be independent. As far as I was concerned I wanted to be alone with my babies when I brought them home, I didn't want either Parent around to watching over my shoulder.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 9:18PM
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This is to Jules:

I just had my first grandchild last week and know exactly
how you feel.

We have not been allowed to see the grandbaby since they
left the hospital. (we live in the same town)

I have been told that I am selfish. I have no right to
have ANY feelings and I should shut up, be quiet, and
basically turn into a non feeling stone.

I never in my wildest dreams thought this would happen.

I am going to post this as a new topic because I would like
to know what everybody says about it

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 10:23AM
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WOW, this is so common. DIL's are a difficult breed. As long as you are there to hand out all the free childcare they want, when they want for as long as they want, at the drop of a hat, anytime day or night and yes drive to get the grandchildren so they don't have to drive all the way to you, all is well. The minute you stop, turn them down, or finally just give up, all the drama sets in and not matter how you handle it, it's always going to be your fault.

For those whose grandchildren are all boys keep in mind, your DIL will soon be in your shoes, that will bring you some solace.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 3:07PM
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My sis couldn't see her grand babies for a long time after they were born. The mom didn't want anyone around to hold it or care for her, but her and her mom. She wanted the baby to get off to a germ free start. My sis's husband just barged in regardless of what the mom said. She had a sign over the baby bed saying something like, "no baby products put on the baby, no baby powder, ointments, etc.." She was so into nothing on on in the baby, not even meds for colds....the baby went into convulsions due to high fever and had to be hospitalized. My nephew decided it was time to step in and change her rules.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 11:00PM
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wow this is interesting because I have problems with my own father and my kids....

He gives them 2 cans of pop, unlimited suckers, m&ms, chips and dip mcdonalds for snacktime etc... this happens everytime he sees them so I decided after MANY times of me informing him nicley I would say things like 1 or 2 treats is plenty dad .. not to much pop for the kids please... just because they ask for it doesnt mean they should get it..
He still gives them all this stuff even if we are there for only 1 HOUR and I am not exagerating this. He even has diabetes and I have brought that up too ( how it can be hereditary). Everything goes over his head so I just decided that we would have less contact ie.. stay for 4 or 5 hours 1 time a week or every 2 weeks instead of 2x a week visits. He just wouldnt follow my rules (mostly food issues) He even tells me to my face that he wont give them more than what I feel is appropriate.... but he is teaching my kids to go behind my back and lies about it then denys it when confronted... I dont like to argue with him so we just see less of him...But my kids always beg to go over there(wonder why)
And I keep putting up with it cause he is the grandparent
He does do some wonderful thing for us too... but sometimes I think its a control issue to hold over my head.

I just feel since he lives so close and does see them often he needs to respect my decisions reguarding MY children. And this issue is very important to me as I am overweight ( so is he) I dont want my children to have the same problems we do.

My mother on the otherhand lives out of town and when she is visiting she is drunk and spends NO time with the kids
She is outside chainsmoking from the moment she arrives till the time she leaves... Then tells me all the time how she misses her grandkids and hopes that they will not forget her... They'll remember her alright;; drinking and smoking... We even planned two trips together ( disney world and wisc dells) and she promised them that she would swim with them and the whole time we were there we saw her 2 times for about 1/2 total... she had differnt stuff to do.(grand ideas that never planned out)
But I still get the blame for her not getting to see them... cause we wont go to her house ( did it 3 times and it was a Horrible experience everytime)

My inlaws are another whole story which I dont want to explain ... In a nutshell they have kid of their own(remarriage to someone younger) same age as 1 of mine .... basically my kids dont feel like their grandchilren cause everything is about their kid. NO time for grandchildren. Bbirthday presents are always given though to me thats not important...

Its just very sad for my kids that the only grandparent (my dad)that does anything for them does the wrong things alot of the time.

I dont know what is causing rifts with your relationships
but I too did not want anyone at the hospital until after my kids were born. I breastfeed in private (very painful I did eventually give it up) Its funny now, but not then ,My hubby went and bought me a rubber dog bone for me to bite on while i was breastfeeding because of the pain.LOL
I didnt want anyone to see me like that my hubby even cried when he watched..(sweet)

I guess i can offer something for you maybe you need to read between the lines maybe there is something you are doing or saying that you might not think is bad but to her it is. Next time you feel a rift coming on just back off alttle or ask what it is she would like... If she says for example everyone keeps just dropping by and I'm tired .. think that maybe that includes you and her parents as well and thats her nice way of saying it. about the cleaning thing .. I would love if someone would clean my house but she might feel like she is making you do it.. Emotions can run high a times like this...or maybe to her her house is already clean and it would be insulting to her if you cleaned it and she just got done doing it. personally I cant see why anywone would turn down a free housecleaning LOL.

Most of the time I'm the kind of person that does not like to make anyone feel bad so I just keep my mouth shut and take a break from the person causing stress etc...
then I try again.

thanks for letting me vent.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2007 at 2:38PM
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JMO but I think the MILs and FILs, on both sides, have the same job when there is a new baby: to stay out of the way and assist as needed.
The main thing that needs to happen with a new baby, is for the mother and father to bond with it, safely and comfortably. They are tired, stressed, and overwrought; and exploring the fragile little bundle in their arms.
The very LAST thing they need, is a MIL imperiously striding around, braying that "I've earned the right" to be near her grandbaby, etc.
Make no mistake: there IS a pecking order!
Mother and Father COME FIRST, as bad as some MILs hate it. They need to spend quality time with the baby, and bond with it.
MILs need to respect boundaries.
I cannot IMAGINE a MIL taking it as a personal slight that her DIL doesn't want her in the same room when she breastfeeds!
The best thing MIL could do, instead of trying to create some sort of competition between herself and the DIL's parents, is to ASSIST AS NEEDED, and stay in the background. Be sweet and loving - ASK what they want or need.
Don't grab the baby out of the mother's arms!
Yes, you are important too, but there's a pecking order. Always has been, always will be; you can either accept it or try to stir up trouble, in which case you may or may not be welcome in their home later.
MILs should help the new family by doing whatever task will enable the mom and dad to be able to spend time with the baby --- whether that be cooking, laundry, shopping, or what have you.
THEN, when the mother and dad has had ample quiet time to bond, your having the baby for a while will be okay, because the parents have had THEIR TIME.

Don't come in like gangbusters before the mother and father have had their bonding time - it won't work.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 4:57PM
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If I live to be a hundred years old I will never understand people. If I am treated badly at someone's house, I DON"T GO BACK. I wouldn't discuss it with my son, or daughter if that was the case, they would just be caught in the middle. If they don't want you around, there is no way they will ever change their mind. You son may put his foot down and demand you have time with the baby, but you will never be truly welcome in your DIL's home if he does.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 11:03PM
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My own experience with the DIL/MIL issue has been similar to some of the stuff discussed here. In the early months of my baby's life it was awful, but I am glad to say that things are improving, maybe over the months everyone has got used to the new baby being around and emotions are calming down. My MIL wrote me a really lovely note for my birthday, which is making me feel like maybe my friend is back.

I've been with my husband for 12 years, married for 3 years, and our baby is 7 months old. I've always had a fantastic relationship with my MIL, right from the beginning. If we had met in other circumstances we would have become great friends anyway, she's a smart, fun, warm, insightful woman and she is a very important person in my life.

So, when our son was born I was completely shocked and taken aback at the change in my relationship with my MIL. The two things that happened were 1) I felt very threatened because my MIL seemed to want to be our baby's mother instead of his grandmother. She wanted to take over my role. 2) I lost my friend, my MIL was no longer interested in maintaining a friendship with me, I was just the breeding cow that had produced her grandson.

Both my parents and my in-laws live interstate, so both sets of grandparents visit every 6-8 weeks, which is great. But whenever my in-laws come they make it clear that they are not visiting us, they're here to see their grandson.

After my husband went back to work, and my in-laws were visiting, they would come to our apartment every day and sit and wait for me to hand over the baby. They weren't visiting me, they just wanted me to hand over the baby. They would sit and watch me feeding, waiting for me to finish so they could take him. I was only allowed to hold him while feeding, other than that I wasn't allowed to cuddle him or just spend time getting to know him and work out how to be his mother.

Both my in-laws were absolutely desperate to bond with their grandson, desperate that he know them immediately (he's a tiny baby! Relax, it will happen over time).

My MIL wanted her grandparent name to be "mama" (I said no way, I'm the mother, and my husband gently encouraged Grandma instead).

She would constantly take the baby from my arms without asking, or sometimes just telling me "I'll take him" and then sit holding him and rocking, looking off into space like she was in a trance and as if I wasn't even in the room.

She was constantly encouraging me to go out so she could "give me a break", rather than suggesting we go out for a coffee together. What she really meant was "please go out so I can have the baby to myself". One day my FIL suggested my MIL and I go out together and he would mind the baby. I said that would be really nice and I got ready to go, and then my MIL said "actually, I'll just stay here" so I ended up going out by myself! I sat at a local cafe and called my sister to have someone to talk to. I felt pretty rejected and lonely. It's like I'm a third wheel in this love affair my MIL has with my son.

She would let other family members (her husband, her other son) hold the baby for only 5-10 minutes before taking him out of their arms. It was as if she was pretending she was the MOTHER instead of the grandmother, and it was kind of creepy.

I feel like I've lost my friend. My MIL doesn't want to spend time with me anymore. We used to go out for coffee and hang out, go shopping, but now she seems to see me as a barrier to her grandson and can't wait to get me out of the way as soon as possible so she can be alone with him.

It's so different to my experience with my parents. When they visited, especially to begin with, they would grocery shop, cook, do the laundry, clean up - they told me that they wanted to support me while I got to know my baby. I was so touched by that, and felt so supported and encouraged while I was learning how to be a mother. And the relaxed, loving approach my parents have has meant I have no problem at all handing over the baby to them, I love to see them hanging out and being grandparents.

I suspect my MIL has been so excited and overwhelmed by becoming a grandmother that she didn't realise what she was doing. She seemed very unaware, which is not like her. I was a brand new mother who wanted to bond with her son, I was still trying to work out how to do this and to get to know him. I didn't need competition, I needed support!

As important as the grandparent role is, and I really value it and love that my son has such loving grandparents on both sides, it's true that there is a pecking order. The primary bonding that needs to happen is between parents and baby. Secondary to that is the grandparent bond.

I'm sick of the comments that they're not interested in seeing me or their son anymore now that they have a grandson to visit. My in-laws are wonderful parents to my husband, very loving and caring and involved, so this change is so out of character.

My husband and I went out today to leave my in-laws with their grandson, to give them the time alone with the baby that they crave, and they talk about how they baby-sat him for us, as though they were doing US a favor! WE were doing THEM a favor by leaving the baby with them!

Anyway, I'm hopeful that things are settling down and my friendship with my MIL will gradually return to what it was. Everyone's situation is different, depending on personalities and histories, but a couple of things I would suggest to new grandmothers in relation to their DILs - when your grandchild is born, try not to muscle in on the new mother's territory (she's finding her feet and doesn't feel confident in being a mother yet, so she needs the time and practice) and don't ignore her like she doesn't count anymore. Maintain your relationship with your DIL. Your love for your grandchild is an extension of your love for your son and DIL, it shouldn't replace your love for them. Control your urge to rip the baby out of the arms of whoever has him/her! Relax and don't act desperate. There's plenty of baby love for everyone!

1 Like    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 8:10AM
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I think that anyone who harbors hurt and rejected feelings, and who is GENUINELY interested in repairing a damaged relationship, should write a letter.

The letter should be drafted carefuly, edited by a neutral party and sent with love and hopes for fixing what is wrong between you.

This technique allows you to be heard while avoiding any escalating arguments in person. But it is CRITICAL that it doesn't bnecome a laundry list of complaints or examples of how hard you've tried or whatever. Do not attempt to send this kind of letter without someone else pointing out where you get off-topic.

Letters can transcend hot emotions...the recipients can read and re-read it and you can hopefully get to the heart of the matter: loving the next generation together.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 5:05PM
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new mother, your inlaws were doing YOU a favor by babysitting your baby for you. I can't believe all these posters who are selfish about letting their MIL keep the baby!

Trust me, in the future, you will be SO grateful for somebody to babysit your child while you get a break and for free, too!

Many new parents wish their parents would offer to babysit once in a while. They would love to have your problems!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 11:37AM
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blueheron- Your advice to new mother was rude. She bent over backwards in that letter to express how hurt she was by her MILs rejection of her and totally tolerated that weird zoning out behavior with the baby (that frankly, would scare me) and so much more.

She sounds like a gem of a DIL. Not everyone wants to have someone do them the 'favor' of removing their child from them. Not every parent needs that. Speak for yourself if you were grateful for your in laws saving you from your kids. But it isn't true of everyone. It is not help if it hurts or is unwelcome. They were very nice to give his parents time alone with the baby. It was not a favor to the DIL but to the needy grandparents. Hopefully it can grow into a nice interaction for everyone again. But it doesn't always.

New mother was beyond kind to want her loving friendship with her mother in law to recover so they could have a great mutually satisfying relationship again. That is so special. Not everyone has had a love for their MIL so deep that they long for it to stay the same. I thought I did but couldn't get over the other side I eventually saw of my MIL.

My friendship with my mother in law did not survive her wanting to be a parent (not grandparent) to my children. I thought she and I would be so close. I can tell you that is totally heartbreaking to have an In Law dismiss you and their own child as worthless because now there are grandchildren to fulfill all their emotional needs.

Well, that was not okay with my husband and I. Our kids couldn't handle that kind of burden. To 'fix' all the hurts in that grandmas life and fill the whole in her heart from earlier disappointments? That is not okay. She was extremely resentful and manipulative if she wasn't getting what she felt was her 'due'. (More time with our child- then children.)

We would spend my husbands one day off a week with her and she would put her nose in the air and refuse to speak to us (even when holding the baby) no matter how much we tried to engage her in conversation, include her in talk about the baby or anything she would literally turn away and fake that she couldn't hear.

She is not hard of hearing. We were all sitting at the same table together. And no she was not busy cooing to the baby or interacting with her. She was holding her but her head was turned away from the baby as well. She did this kind of thing over and over and I tried so hard to find out what was wrong. She wouldn't talk about it to me. I was just supposed to guess right. This was not a side I had ever seen of her before. But my husband had :(

She was making a point to her son that she was angry about not getting more time. At first neither of us knew what to do about it. We tried to ignore it then we tried to sit down and talk with her about it. She was enraged. Then tearful. I started to fear her emotional outbursts. Especially her anger.

She came to visit baby and I (or so I thought) and told me she wanted to take the baby two days a week and I said no thanks we enjoyed our routine. She left in tears. The baby was only breastfed, a couple months old and I was a stay at home mom. I felt bad about her crying. And was disturbed by the depth of her need. She was ready to dump her job or switch her life all around to be a primary caregiver to our child. She couldn't afford that. And we didn't want it. we had never talked about that kind of arrangement before and yet she seemed to see it as the only okay one. She didn't want to come and see me and the baby. She just wanted the baby.

The baby is not a proving ground for grandparents parenting skills either: MIL offered to change the babys diaper when we were out together with her. My husband and I said no thanks. (She seemed to not want to let him parent. She wanted to take over if he had our child. He got very little time with our baby and on that one day off he also wanted to cuddle, change and interact with our daughter.)

She was outraged when my husband took the baby to change her diaper, she pretended to be going to look at something else, she wouldn't stay and chat with me, it was all about getting her hands on the baby. She hurried around through the store heading first one way (like she wasn't going after them). Then backtracked quickly and followed them to the bathroom and snatched the baby in front of the ladies room.

A little while later I found my husband alone, waiting for her to bring our baby back. She did eventually with a huge self satisfied 'I did it and you couldn't stop me' smirk.

My husband saw it all and was so hurt. He said he was surprised when she'd grabbed the baby and he would never allow that to happen again. She used our child to make a point. It wasn't about being close to the baby. It was about getting back at me. Even though it was both my husband and I that said no thanks to her changing her.

I had somehow become the enemy in her sight. With the smirk and handing the baby off to my husband (without even looking at the baby) she just left. No 'good bye' or 'lets have lunch again sometime'. Just the angry 'I got you good and there is nothing you can do about it' look. And she left.

She did not even pretend to want a relationship with her son or me anymore. I was blown away by her hate and resentment. I think she used me as a stand in for other people in her life that she felt had been in her way. Or maybe she just couldn't see that I wasn't the enemy keeping her away from 'her' baby. I was just parenting my own.

I really felt for you new mom when you said that it was like your MIL was a completely different person. That is how I felt about my MILs changes. It was so very hard. I never imagined she'd be like that. I thought we would have a great relationship. She seemed so caring and yet busy with her own life while I was getting to know her at first. After we started having our children she wanted to dump her life and move in to ours, literally. That was not okay.

I think after a point she would have been okay if I'd have agreed to have her co-parenting our kids with me. But she didn't seem to want my husband co-parenting with only me. She wanted to be equal. I didn't expect that arrangement, want it or in anyway see it coming. I wanted to parent only with my husband.

I thought she would be a loving grandparent like the other three. She just kept wanting to do what I've heard others here call 'an end run around us'. None of the other grandparents were at all like that with us. We expected the same kind of mutually respectful relationship with her.

New mother-I really admire you for working to forge a relationship with your in laws in spite of your pain. Very commendable. I hope they have come around now. And you once again have the friendship you've been missing.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 4:46AM
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OMG I can not believe all you DIL's complaining! I bet you do not complain when it comes time to borrow money, or get FREE babysitting. My DIL wants nothing to do with me, I am not pushy, intrusive, or an alcoholic, I do not work but have a very busy life. She is very nice to my face, but almost on a daily basis I have to remove the knife from my back, inserted by her. Her mother gets my granddaughter every other Friday night, but the kids are not allowed to spend the night with us. I am unclear why and have asked many times, but get no response. We can not take them to the Circus, or pumpkin farm, or Disney on Ice, nothing. The only thing we are allowed to do is take them to the park. I have been told that if we really want them to experience these things we would pay for them to take them. I was in the delivery room when my grandson was born. I did excuse myself but she insisted I stay. The weirdness started right after that. I used to babysit for my GD while she worked, when she needed a "break" I was called upon, she spent the night once a week. Now nothing. I talked to her mother and she even feels like she must walk on egg shells to get her visits. When my Grandson came home from the hospital (he was 6 wks premie) they were at our home for Christmas dinner. I just said that we would have to set up the crib in our room for when he comes over. She said NO, he will never spend the night here. Then 5 days later, on New Years eve guess where he spent the night while they went to a party. I chalked that one up to hormons, etc... but it just continues to get worse and worse and weirder and weider. I can not expain why and neither can they apparently. If you are a DIL and can read this and can give me a clue as to what went wrong, please let me know. When I talk to people with children about this they always say "Man, if my parents volunteered to take the kids anywhere I would be so happy. I don't know why they are treating you this way." Especially, by her own admission (I have this quote in an e-mail) "We have done nothing wrong"

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 7:50PM
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Bullygirl- You don't want DILs complaining but you do a very thorough job of it yourself. : )

Seriously, you suggest all DILs want their MILs money or free, drop in whenever babysitting. That is not the case with everyone. At least not my husband and I. MIL went through our bills when left to her own devices in our home and then offered us money.

She 'did not want to see us struggling'. But we said no thanks. How will we ever have self respect if we let her pay our bills? If she pays our bills who will pay hers? That is not something we wanted to start with her. Financial involvments are not always a good idea even when the relationship is good. How much more are they regrettable when the relationship is already strained?

Things are tough some times but that just means we need to be more careful with our spending. It doesn't mean she needs to rescue us from our lives. We need to keep growing up not have her step in and do for us.

You say the 'weirdness' started right after the baby was born? Have you considered that 1.) She may have some post natal depression and 2.) Your sense of totally entitlement with her child is also a huge change for her in your relationship.

Has she ever know you to want what she has so strongly? Your relationship to your DIL is not made of steel, you still need to be getting to know her as a person...Which is not probably a priority for her right now because her life is changing.

You assume you must have certain things. I beg you to reconsider that. Try to be confident about your role as a grandparent without having to 'do' anything. 'Get' visits or demand she respond in certain ways to your expectations. This time in your sons life has little to nothing to do with you. And that is okay. They need time and space to figure out their own roles and needs. None of that has anything to do with you. Try to relax. Remind yourself that it is not about you.

You say even her mother feels she must 'walk on egg shells' to get 'her visit'. Who says you or she are entitled to a visit to begin with? Your DILs child is not your child. You may hope for a wonderful loving relationship to develop between you and your sons child but it is his child not yours.

The relationship you have with the child is not automatic. It already has a mother and father. Every time you voice your complaints or show your resentment with rolled eyes or tense facial expression or curt tone of voice you are pushing your son and DIL away. Why would they want more attitude or want you alone with their child to teach them that?

Really where does the sense of entitlement come from? My MIL started behaving like she hated both my husband and I for not putting her wants first and centering our lives around her. We gave her almost every day off my husband had and every holiday. Not before our first child was born but after. She didn't want to see us that much before we had a child.

My husband later regretted giving her so much time and felt he had allowed her to behave horribly, and it just fueled her idea that she would remain the center of attention and that her wants could come first. She hated us because it was not enough. We didn't want her money or free babysitting. We couldn't win against her rage. If we said no to something she would turn on the silent treatment, manipulation or guilt-tripping...poor me, "my friends live with their grandchildren. I only see mine once a week...." Anger anger and more anger. Who really would want to be around that?

Where does the idea that the MIL should be center stage and get her wants filled before the needs of the new family come from? It seems very common in cases of strained relationships.

My MIL liked to throw out the statement..."After all I did for owe me!" Whenever my husband said no to something. What she did was raise her children as well as she could. That is to be commended. But it didn't make the other grandparents less valuable as human beings and her more valuable because she feels she is the most special.

That is just not realistic. We owe all of them the same debt of gratitude that we are paying forward by trying to do right by our own kids.

I don't believe that hate and resentment is the case with all estranged parents who blame the DIL. Am I wrong?

Bullygirl-What do you mean that you have to remove the knife in your back every week? You seem to be taking your DILs struggle to learn what her family needs very very very personally. Perhaps her issues have little to nothing to do with you. Nothing you have mentioned sounds like a personal attack from my DIL perspective.

The rules new mothers are given to follow today are much stricter and the expectations the feel are on them are much different than 30 years ago. From my experience...It is hard to relax at first because of the idea that new mom should be doing everything for baby, protecting from all germs and negative encounters and on and on. It is a great deal to stay on top of. Even they way my relatives talked and joked thirty years ago is not something I felt I should allow around my kids. There are guidelines for what babys should hear (no sarcasm) and we as new mothers are under the impression that tension in the room is something the new born will pick up on and be permanently damaged by. The 'rules' are pretty widespread for new moms in the US at least and the self critical expectations are intense though I couldn't have articulated that when my first was born and I was simply trying to protect her from all things.

I have three children and three in-laws that we have healthy relationships with. NO ONE HAD MY CHILDREN OVER NIGHT FOR THE FIRST THREE YEARS. This is not about my parents or in-laws. Even when I was ready to allow it my husband wasn't.

And though they offered, if the parents/in laws had became resentful about not 'getting their time' it would have hurt our relationship. I am grateful they are loving, patient and not resentful.

I think it helps very much that they didn't seem to have heavy expectations about how they must have/do certain things to feel like grandparents. They interact with my kids in the time they have and they also seem to value their relationships with my husband and myself. We do not feel judgment from them.

Could your DIL say the same? Have you been vocal about your desire to 'get your due'. If so take a step back. Regroup and start to build a relationship with your DIL not just her child. She isn't the third wheel in your relationship to your grandchild. And her parenting choices do not make her your enemy. It isn't about you.

Do you feel upset with yourself for not being able to manuver the situation so you can be doing what you imagine you 'should' be doing with 'your' grandchild? Try not to be so hard on yourself. 'Shoulds' are something you can identify and combat in your own thinking. 'Shoulds' are probably at the root of some of your ill feelings. Spare yourself that hurt. And don't pressure your son and his wife to meet your wants. It undermines the love you probably would like to be showing all of them.

And if your DIL is experiencing some post natal mood disorder..(it happens to 80% of new moms to varying degrees and it can take the form of anxiety, depression or both) the pressure of your attitude of entitlement can actually make that worse for her. She will want to avoid stressful people and situations. Don't make stressful situations for her and don't be a stressful person. Comments and tense body language and expressions of self pity and anger will be picked up on, especially if she is experienceing a difficult recovery. Recovery from birth can take nine monthsw or more. It depends on her health and stress level of the rest of her life. If she has had postnatal depression or anxiety and it was not treated it can become an ongoing issue for her. But I don't know that is even part of her situation. Probably best to not go accusing her of it as a was to get past her issues to your grandchild.

The idea that you only want to help is not going to come across to them when you are very clearly wanting them to meet 'your need for your time with your grandchild'. Their marriage and family is not a place for you to have your needs met.

Meet your needs with your husband and other relationships your sonand his wife sound like they have a full plate already. When they are more stable if you are not resentful they may be able to make a bigger place for you in their lives.

Make sure you let them know you love and want to be involved with ALL of them. Not just the shiney, new, special baby that you think should be yours on a regular basis. The more you can sincerely do that the more you will be a safe person for your DIL to rely on.

You say you get to take your grandchild/children to the park? When you are there are your really focused on interacting with them and enjoying them or are you feeling upset about it not being 'more' even while your with them? Try to really be present for their sake and yours. Enjoy your special time at the park. don't let yourself feel that that is nothing. It is not nothing. It is something you can make very rich and meaningful. If you want to.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 9:54PM
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I am sorry you have a difficult relationship w/your MIL. I do not have any expectations of time spent with my grandchildren. As I said I have a very busy life of my own. I do not expect or need my grandchildren to meet any kind of emotional need for me. I have a husband and dogs and volunteer work. I am only 44, I still get around pretty good. My grandchildren are 4 and 1. I do not want her children to be mine. I had 1 child, I raised him, I am done. I would not want to have any more, no thank you! I love my grandchildren very much, I love spending time with them, want them for my own NO NO NO. (I knew someone would raise this issue). I do not make sarcastic comments, give unwanted advice, or roll my eyes (she gets enough of that from her own mother). I have NEVER said anything negative about them to my grandkids. I would never do that, EVER. My son takes drugs, and the fact that they scream and curse at each other in front of the kids is enough. My husband and I are very careful not to even raise our voices around them, because they get enough of that at home. You just assume that I do all these horrible things. I do not wish my situation on anyone, but what would you do if really and honestly you have done nothing, but yet your grandchildren are dangled above you and you are forced to jump, or you are cut off completly. She will not do this to her family, even though her father and step mother are alcoholics and have said terrible things to them not only about them but about the grandkids too. I do not expect to see them everyday, like I said I am busy and I know they are too. I do not have any "shoulds" for being a grandparent, I would like to have a good relationship with her, my son, and my grandkids, but that is just not going to happen. Am I angry mmmmmmm not really, hurt, yes, feeling used, you bet. I am not entitled. My son and DIL were on our family cell phone plan, they always paid their bill for 4 years, then he just stopped and in 2 months they ran up $350.00. We told him pay it or we will cut it off. He chose to give his drug dealer $300.00 down payment for a car (with only 2 seats) we cut the phones off. They did not speak to us or let us have any contact with our grandkids for 2 months. Any contact I tried to have with the grandkids though the mail they just ignored and threw away. The contact now is still very strained, she still says one thing and does another, which is fine except for when it jerks me around then I do not appreciate it. My husband says not to take it personally, that she is just young and self centered, I suppose he is right. But it is really hard not to take her not so nice comments and actions toward me personally. I just totally understand where jules0988 is coming from. Someday you will have grandkids and you will see the other side. By the way, I did not have my son 30 years ago, he was 18 when my first grandchild was born.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 3:58AM
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I was responding to your question 'what could be wrong with my DIL' from my own experience.

It doesn't sound like you needed any ideas on why she might behave the way she does. You are very clear on the fact that your son is abusing drugs. That your husband says she is young and self centered leaves out the really big reason it is probably not personal...their home life is full of chaos (screaming in each others faces, not paying bills).

How humiliating to look your MIL in the face and know she hasn't been paid. It is probably easier to avoid reminders of you than behave well towards you if she is full of fear, anger or dissapointment about her own life.

When my husband and I were having problems in our relationship it was very hard to paste on a smile and visit his mother and take her complaining about her not having more involvement with our kids with compassion. I didn't have the energy to make her feelings a bigger priority at those times. We didn't face as big a problem as drug abuse but it wasn't a walk int the park either.

It was very hard to know what to say to her if we made plans with her during a good stretch and then were in a bad one again before we saw her. It wasn't her business what the problems were but she was always pressing for us to spend money we did not have and I ran out of nice ways to say no without just telling her all about our real problems. It wasn't her business and I wish she could have had enough respect to take a no gracefully.

I am sorry about your pain. It must be terrible to have a drug addicted, irresponsible son and a self involved DIL. I hope your son gets the help he needs and your relationship can stop being a casualty of their problems.

I admire your not carrying their bill while your son was being irresponsible. Better to not be involved financially.

I am sorry for your pain. I don't think anyone enjoys 'being jerked around'. Most of their problems sound like they are about them and nothing to do with you really.

Being stable in your own lives will be a gift to your grandchildren even if you don't see them often. Two months probably feels like a long time when your heart is hurting. We regularly go two months without seeing or hearing from the grandparents of our kids just because everyone is working and busy. Your grand kids will not forget you in that time.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 2:13PM
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You're not alone... It's absolutely ridiculous the way the Daughter in laws act sometimes. But seriously, I have to blame the sons because they need to stand up for "their" parents the same way the DIL stands up for her parents. It's a balance thing, and on top of that, it's all about being fair to both families. Every grandchild needs both grandparents, but if the DIL won't allow that to happen, then you really can't do anything about it without the son stepping in.

As for boundaries? Everyone has boundaries, but nobody should ever feel left out on purpose.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 6:16AM
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"...gave us quite the shock when we went over to see him at their house for the first time she and my son went in to take a nap and took the baby with them...."

They all went in to take a nap--and you STAYED? This was a big, fat clue that it was time for you to go home. You overstayed your welcome.

"... This was fine since we had taken over food and wanted to help with laundry and such ..."

Fine with whom? Clearly it was fine with you, and just as clearly it was not fine with them. You WANTED to help with the laundry and such. But did they ASK for your help? Did you ASK them if they wanted your help? Help is only help when it's wanted. If it's not wanted, no matter how kindly intentioned, it is meddling.

You said you had a good relationship with your DIL for a long time before the baby was born. Is it possible that you have made assumptions about your role as a grandmother that don't match her assumptions about your role as a grandmother? You are bustling in, acting out your new role, happy and excited and unthinking, following a script that makes sense to you and may have been a part of your family and culture for generations--but which are foreign, and may seem intrusive to her.

There are people who would be horrified to have someone come in and do their laundry for them, or find someone else cleaning their house a huge invasion of privacy. Neither cleaning or not cleaning for a new mother is right or wrong, just different assumptions on what's the right way to proceed. Unfortunately, it's her house, her time, her baby, and turn at making these decisions.

In your position, I'd ask them, what do you see being my role in your lives and as a grandmother.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 1:53PM
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I am shocked by how many people report they let someone take their baby out of their arms and 'hog' it. Let me tell you, if anyone had ripped MY baby out of my arms, they would have gotten a quick, hard kick in the shins, and I would have gotten my baby back immediately if I had to involve the police to do it.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 7:08PM
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Bucyn, I think you give good advice and a needed perspective.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 7:35PM
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It sounds like your daughter has set clear boundaries and you are having some trouble accepting them.

Be honest with yourself.

If you balk at her, your daughter will keep you from both your grandkids!
Respect her decisions...whether you agree or not.
Button your lip!

Try to be useful and relevant.
Don't push yourself onto them.
Your daughter knows you want to be with the baby.

But she calls the shots.
It is her life and her children.

It is how it is.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 10:36AM
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This is a very emotional issue! I had a great relationship with my MIL. I spoke with her everyday, kept her in the loop about what was going on with her grandsons. She would love to tell me stories of what my husband had been like when he was a baby and we would compare notes and see if the next generation would be the same. She lived too far away to babysit unless it was for a weekend. But she loved when we brought the baby over. Now I live about 9 hours away from my own grandson, and I have to spend the night at their home to see all of my family. I don't have any relationship with my DIL, she isn't very good at calling people back.or emailing, or sending photos, or so my son tells me. I get all my info through my son, and it is not the same as talking with a mom, that is for sure! My DIL is so sensitive and critical of everything I say and do. And she doesn't say anything to my face, but complains to my son who then feels it is his responsibility to say something to me. It can be something as simple as me wanting to give the baby something off my plate, or reminiscing too much about when my kids were babies to questioning why she was doing something they way she was. I was not "questioning her doing it" but if there was a reason or new theory .. that is all. After having been yelled at by my son on more than one visit I have decided not to stay at their home any more. I will stay with my other son, or with friends when I visit. It is sad that I don't feel welcome in their home..I don't feel comfortable when I am there, I'm afraid I will do something she won't like and that she will complain to my son, who will then complain to me about it. And if I try and explain, he wasn't there, he takes his wife's side. I can't win. And so I haven't seen them in over 6 weeks. I was told I call too much so now I don't call. I am losing not only my grandson, but my son! I don't know what I am to do if there is anything I can do! I am not a bad person. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I work hard but I don't understand what I have done to earn their animosity! And so I am staying away. disappointed that I don't have a relationship with my family, lonely to the point of tears..but at least now I know this is not unusual and that my relationship with my MIL was the exception, not the rule! thanks for listening..

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 4:31PM
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Yikes ... I just spent the last 20 minutes reading all these responses.
I don't recall anyone saying they actually SPOKE to each other about their feelings. If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem.

If I have an issue with my DILs, I go directly to them with it.
In turn, if they have an issue with me, they come to me with it.
Together we come up with a solution.

Ladies ... stop being so hyper sensitive ... your life with Dil/Mil will be much nicer if you stop the control struggles and communicate HONESTLY.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 9:31PM
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I just wanted to say thanks to all who responded...the good, bad and ugly! Every bit of discussion helped me calm down and realize it's not about me and what I want as a grandparent, it's about my daughter. You see she did not want me at the birth ( I was disappointed but I wanted to respect her choice) she also wanted time to bond as a family so I was told to not visit until 2 weeks past the birth. OK, I'm going to admit I felt uneasy about friends keep asking when I'm going to fly out to see my new grand baby. It is embarrassing and I WAS feeling really down until I read
all of the comments. Now I'm looking at the big picture. Not about me.
Got it. Just one comment for those new Moms out there...most grandmas
just know what you are in for....lots of fun and excitement....we just want
to share that again...truly not trying to steal your thunder!! Best to all new Moms, Dads, MIL, DIL! Now back to my own life!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 3:35PM
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ditto jules...don't fight it ,save your energy

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:33PM
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I know this is an old post, but I hope this response finds it's way to the writer. I am 37 years old and I just had a baby, I am struggling with the same issue, but I am the DIL. My husbands family is allot bigger than mine and have never helped with anything he has ever needed . His mother is the most self centered woman on the face of this earth. She would not babysit if her life depended on it. However, she would take 1000$ in a heartbeat from my husband.
Your post is very one sided and it reminds me of my husbands fam. Have you for one second given thought to how over whelmed your DIL is after giving birth. This special time is not about you ! It's about providing support to the new parents and help! Maybe her family gives her that.
Stop being so selfish And maybe things will be different.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2014 at 3:47PM
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For anyone that looks at this post..if you're wanting to connect with others for understanding..please try

You are definitely not alone.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2014 at 5:20AM
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