my adult daughter doesn't want to bother with us

ireland33_gwJanuary 24, 2014

My adult daughter who was married two years ago and has a 9 month old daughter is always arguing with us when she comes over. We have advised her of keeping her daughter warm arriving in 17 degree weather with no jacket or hat .She started saying I'm just going to the car but all we wanted was to keep her daughter warm. Each time any thing that is said to her about taking care of her daughter she gets very defensive and angry which makes us feel incompetitent .Ever since she met her now husband she's a different person they never came to the house as a couple before getting married ,after or now that they have a daughter .My husband resented the fact that her now husband never bothered with visiting us and feels he doesn't even know this man that married our daughter I feel the same and have told my daughter that this whole mess of you guys not visiting all the years 8 now has made this relationship nothing really .Her husband now says he'll never come over and has never made an effort all the years prior to come over. We have fault (my husband mostly calling names saying he's lazy they have a house never moves firewood in house leaves never raked lawn never mowed and never making an effort to come see us I'm sure the names didn't help(he would only say this to my daughter and she tells everything to her husband to make matters worse.Now they have a daughter and when my daughter was expecting she threatened that we wouldn't see our granddaughter if we didn't change.I was so hurt and she won't let me watch our granddaughter because we have a dog. I'm retired and at home I told her you make me feel like a irreresponsible teenager I've always been over protective so yuou can imagine me with a new baby.But instead her father in law watches the baby 3 days a week and we only see her a few hrs on Wed. and Sat. but that even started getting less and less.When I suggested bringing her by on a Friday she said "no"i'm not leaving an hr earlier to bring her over No effort when it comes to our side of the family.We even went over one sat to ask her husband what the problem was and apologize for the names and start with a clean slate but he said he never came around because he worked .Said he didn't not like us.I don't get what that means.I cry several times adayI miss my granddaughter and called the other day to say hi my daughter said I couldn't speak to the baby I called back and as usual started crying my daughter said I said I was done with this game of you not talking to me and then think you can call up and speak with my daughter.I said it takes to of us youy never called either She said I told you I was done with this game of not picking up the phone and I told her you say horrible things and I tell you I;m tired of being treated like crap and you don't say Sorry or anything I don't know how I'm suppose to feel except hurt.I goes back and forth blaming and I know that's wrong and then I apologize but then she says something hurtful and I just can't talk.The conversation the other day ended by my daughter saying go get you little book and write down everything I'm saying.I felt so hurt and asked what do you mean she said nothing I said I guess this conversation is over .If my mom years ago said I was treating her like crap I would be over to the house so fast and apologizing but thta's not happening here I'm so sad I

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Perhaps a new way of relating to your daughter is called for.

You have to change your way of dealing with her, otherwise she will just stop coming over.

You should never criticize her.
You should not criticize her husband.

You must respect her and the choices she has made even if you don't like them.

Make it pleasant for your daughter to visit, make it happy, not full of misery and moaning about how unhappy you are and how she makes you feel.

If you change the way you treat her - you will find that things will improve.

Let go of the hurt in the past, draw a line under it - and use the new year as a year for change, and positive thinking.

You have so much to loose - and everything to gain.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:00PM
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I agree with Popi's post.

Our relationships with our adult daughters is quite a dance. We have so much loving advice to give them, and we want so much to help them all we can. Sometimes it's easy to forget that our daughters need to feel free and confident to find their own way and make their own mistakes.

I'm assuming your daughter is a good mother. If so, then think about what you're saying in your post.

We have advised her of keeping her daughter warm arriving in 17 degree weather with no jacket or hat .She started saying I'm just going to the car but all we wanted was to keep her daughter warm. Each time any thing that is said to her about taking care of her daughter she gets very defensive and angry which makes us feel incompetitent.

Probably you are making her feel incompetent as well. You say, "each time anything that is said to her about taking care of her daughter", but are you considering that each time you are telling her she isn't taking care of her daughter the *correct* way, you're telling her she's incompetent to make that decision?

I told her you make me feel like a irreresponsible teenager.

Probably she feels the same way - that you make her feel like an irresponsible teenager.

When your husband calls her husband lazy, he's basically calling your daughter incompetent to choose a husband. And of course she's going to tell her husband what her dad says.

You mentioned in your post that you are overprotective. I think most mothers would sympathize with you about being overprotective. Our daughters are so precious, and we love them so much and want to protect them as we raise them in safety and love. I think a lot of us, if not most of us, could be called overprotective.

I was raised by overprotective parents. If you were an overprotective mother, it's quite possible the dynamic you've set up all these years between you and your daughter has a lot of bearing on how she relates to you. Some of us daughters of overprotective parents have our adult boundaries set in stone. Mine are.

My daughter and I had a rocky road together during her teenage years. One thing I did was to take her to lunch once a week at a place she liked. That was our "safe" place. There in that place I bit my tongue off. We talked about what she wanted to talk about. I tried not to give advice or criticism or ask questions about anything she didn't want to talk about. Sometimes when a relationship gets rocky, it helps to have some healing time when you just enjoy each others' company.

The other advice I would give is to try not to mind so much about some of the things you mention. Not mowing the grass is not the end of the world. Mowing the grass is VERY important to me and it would annoy me and grate on me to have one of my children chronically not mow the grass. Trust me, I feel your pain. But it's not the end of the world. If he has a job and loves his wife and daughter, not bringing in firewood or mowing the grass might be small potatoes to her. And it's her opinion of him that counts.

Not having a coat and hat on the baby - maybe that's small potatoes, too. My son got hot easily as a baby. Older people frequently said something to me about not keeping him warm enough, but the pediatrician specifically talked to me about not keeping him too warm. If I was just going back and forth to a close parked, warm car in 17 degree weather I probably wouldn't have put a coat and hat on my baby, either.

Not letting a dog owner keep a baby - there are a lot of mothers like that.

I hope you can work something out with your daughter. Sometimes it's hard to work out those mother/daughter relationships.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 12:07PM
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Well said, Daisy.

It is a challenge for us mothers, to just let our daughters make their own way in life. I keep reminding myself, that I am her teacher - and she will always have that with her.

I must trust that she will be okay.

It is good to have a sympathetic ear from somebody else, when you are trying to change the way you behave towards somebody.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 6:00PM
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Damage like this takes a VERY long time to heal, if ever. It's not enough to apologize for calling your SIL names, but it'll take years of never doing it again before he believes that you have changed. Same for your daughter, she's just waiting for you to criticize her again, and won't let down her guard for years, probably.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 8:12PM
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Thank you for your comments Calling my daughter today to invite her over Wednesday and my granddaughter I'm going keep all my advise to myself and enjoy seeing my granddaughter.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:54AM
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I hope the 3 of you have a wonderful time, ireland33. Biting your tongue and keeping your advice to yourself will get easier the more often you do it. It's hard to do it in the beginning, but it will get easier over time.

Have a lovely Wednesday!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:10PM
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Daisy, you sound like a wonderful mom. I wish I had a mother like you. Ireland, you need to stop criticizing your daughter, her husband, their housekeeping etc. She isn't your baby anymore. she's an adult and she wants/needs to make her own choices and mistakes. She's right, the baby will be fine for the thirty seconds it takes to go from the car to the house. Nature made children to be resilient because God knows we ALL make mistakes. if you really want to spend time with the baby and youre equipped to handle it, offer to take her for a weekend so your daughter can have a little time alone with her husband. She might like the idea.

You seem to mention a lot of sadness you're feeling. Maybe you should see a doctor and find out if you're depressed. Maybe a antidepressant could change your life. Who knows? It's worth checking into.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 11:07PM
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Wow! I really wish you well. I hope that you have a lovely time with your daughter and grand daughter.

Let us all know how you got on with them ?

I really admire you for trying to change your thinking about your situation and thinking in a positive way.

All the best to your and your family.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 1:21AM
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My daughter and granddaughter came over it was great to see them we talked about my granddaughter's 1st birthday coming up in April .She also came by Sat for a few hrs. I'm keeping my tongue bit I hope things keep going this
way .I'll keep trying to move forward.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 7:42AM
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Moving forward would be not only biting your tongue which is hard, but thinking ahead of each visit how it will go so your daughter will look back on the visit with pleasure and then look forward to more visits. The absence of conflict is not enough, she needs to actually enjoy being there.
Make her feel good about herself. That is the gift that keeps on giving because if she is happy, she will be there more often and then you will be happy too.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 8:15PM
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