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can't see one grandkid, must take them all or none. what?!

Posted by Tired_of_this (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 21, 13 at 9:10

My daughter and 2yo granddaughter moved in with me after her divorce. I grew very close to my little GD and she loved living with us, having her own queen-size bed and bathroom all to herself. They lived with me for a year, and then moved into an apartment once my daughter got back on her feet financially. Several months later, even though my daughter had her own place and could easily support them both, they moved in with a man who had two girls of his own, age 3 and 6.

I am not allowed to see my granddaughter anymore for special days out, a play, lunch, shopping, anything like that. I was told in had to take all three girls, not just the one. My daughter told me, "You need to understand you have 3 granddaughters now." That's fine, but I don�t WANT to take all three! They�re lovely girls, but having a bunch of screaming, hyper girls out in public somewhere is simply not my idea of a good time.

Back in March 2013, when she and I had a discussion about our mutual desires and expectations, I asked to be invited over to her house for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, during the week or on weekends, so I could spend time with the kids as a group, but I never received an invitation. Only to large events such as birthday parties, that sort of thing, where there are 50 people in attendance and the kids are running around doing their thing. Nice, but not a bonding experience.

I resent that my granddaughter has been kept from me. I have a beautiful pool and movie theatre in my home and it was like pulling teeth to get my daughter to bring the girls over for a visit. (They live 30-40 minutes away). The day they finally did come, my granddaughter wanted to play with her dollies, and the other two were jumping down the staircase and throwing toys off the second floor balcony. I couldn�t believe how poorly behaved they were! And I�m supposed to take them all out in public? I don�t think so. That event was this past spring; my daughter brought the girls over to swim only once this summer.

I would have liked to spend time individually with these kids, but that�s just not allowed. I had wanted to take the older girl out for her 8th birthday for a mani/pedi/hairdo day and lunch out, but never got a response. Ridiculous.

And now, my husband and I have moved a 5 1/2 hour car ride away and the daughter and boyfriend have just had an infant son together. I had planned to drive down to see the baby (I would only be in town for a day and a half, as things on my end here didn't allow for a longer stay). I asked if there was some way to see my GD for a bit and was told unequivocally no.

It was suggested to me by several people I relayed this story to, to contact my ex-son-in-law to see if I could pop over his place just to see my GD and much to my surprise he said yes. He mentioned it to my daughter who had a fit, so I cancelled my plan to visit over at his house.

I was so distraught, especially after being so excited at the prospect of seeing my little GD, that I told my daughter I didn't feel welcome and that I wasn't going to come by. I did make the trip to see other family and friends, and found out that she hid both the infant and my GD in the event that I 'decided to come by and make a scene'. I am just sick over this. We've always had our mother-daughter issues, but I can no longer communicate with her.

I will continue to send cards and gifts to the kids - all of them, of course - and just keep silent with my daughter and her boyfriend. I feel as though that is my only option.

I can only hope for the passing of time and as years go by, maybe somehow I can see the girls. Any advice would be welcome.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: can't see one grandkid, must take them all or none. what?!

I think you better sit down and have a good talk with your daughter. Lots of adjustments on both sides. You mentioned taking a 8 year old for a hair thing, man/ped etc. Not a good idea. How about a trip to the Zoo or someother fun thing. I have 4 GD and 4 Greats and we do fun things. Picnics, zoo trip, beach walks (for 2) etc. Because your DD is not married and has a new baby, there may be issues you are not aware of. I attended many many birthday parties with the other relatives and kids and ???? and had a ball. If you do not talk these things out, you will loose your family entirely. You many need some counseling for guidance. Good luck
M.


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RE: can't see one grandkid, must take them all or none. what?!

Thanks for responding. But if I was able to talk to her, I wouldn't have to write here! She sees what she wants to see, hears what she wants to hear. I had a talk with her back in March and I thought we had hashed things out. I said to her that I felt as though each of us wanted something from the other but wasn't sure what, and that we were talking past each other and not communicating. I thought we hashed everything out.

The kids are real girlie girls and love having up-dos and that sort of thing. But I don't want to bring all three at once, and I shouldn't be forced to. I don't know where this socialized view of child raising is coming from, and why I am being vilified for wanting one-on-one time. My best memories of my grandparents were when we did stuff, just me and them. My brother never cared if they spent time with me, and I sure never cared if they took him someplace. I may see a therapist if I can't get peaceful in my head without any help.

I don't have anything against birthday parties, but big gatherings were the only times I was invited over. That, and standing in a soccer field; not only did my daughter and her bf ignore me, but standing around with my exH, his new wife, my daughters exH and new gf. Not much fun, and no time with the kids.


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RE: can't see one grandkid, must take them all or none. what?!

I think it's perfectly reasonable to want one-on-one time with your biological grandchild. I am not a grandparent. I say this as a parent of school-aged kids.

It's unreasonable for your daughter to insist that you take all three girls. She can't insist that you become immediately interested in being a grandma to the boyfriend's kids. They have their own grandmother. Sure, you can be friendly and warm and take them occasionally, if you feel like it.

It sounds like both of you are reacting to perceived slights and hurts. I know this kind of thing can be very painful. If you have had mother-daughter issues in the past, she is probably sensitive and has her guard up.

As hard as it may be, do not take this personally. I think therapy may be a good idea. I would continue to send birthday cards and gifts and try to be as gracious as possible if she invites you over for birthday parties or soccer games.


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RE: can't see one grandkid, must take them all or none. what?!

We now live out of state, about a 5 1/2 hour drive, so seeing them isn't possible. I was supposed to go visit her and the newborn baby (she and live-in bf have a child now as well), but I ended up not going because she was being so nasty to me, refusing to allow me to spend time with just my granddaughter.

I found out from her ex-husband that she hid both my granddaughter and the new baby that day, in case I ended up coming by anyway. WTF?!

I severed ties with her on Facebook after I found all that out, as well as a few other relatives, because I was so distraught and couldn't bear to see photos of the kids popping up in my news feed - kids that I knew in my heart I would never be allowed to see again.

She and I had a huge falling out, in which she attacked me for intruding on their vacation at Disney.

(She, bf, and the kids spent a week at Disney; my husband and I flew down and stayed at one of the resorts and hoped to be able to walk around with them at one of the parks, to watch the kids have fun, and maybe even babysit so daughter and bf could have time to themselves. We were initially told that it would be great and we could meet up, but then after airline tickets were purchased, were told no, it was private family time - at DISNEY?! We were allowed to meet up with them for breakfast at one of the parks - which we paid for - and then had to go our own way and not walk around with them. Crazy.)

But now, she says we intruded on their vacation, that the bf didn't even know us, that the kids didn't even know us - but this was only last fall. She's lost her marbles.

No, I'm not taking this personally, and I've stepped out of the line of fire and she can do what she wants. She told me that 'her children can't be bought' and to stop sending gifts. I'd sent a canister of popcorn to them for Halloween, but she thinks I'm buying them off…

It's my granddaughter's birthday this month, and I'm sending her a card with a few dollars in it. I don't know what I'll do if she sends it back to me in the mail.


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RE: can't see one grandkid, must take them all or none. what?!

A lovely woman wrote to me in private message who wished to remain anonymous. Just wanted to thank her, if she sees this, for reaching out to me. I really appreciate it.


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RE: can't see one grandkid, must take them all or none. what?!

I wanted to say for your daughter to assume you want to be an instant Grandma to two girls who may have 2 other Grandmas out there is ridiculous...would she demand the other grandparents to take her daughter? I bet not...most people would be offended by that demand...does not sound like a request...

One big issue that is not addressed is what kind of man is she living with? Did he automatically become attached to another mans child? Is he fit to be with your GD? Could that be the reason your daughter is aloof now, so you do not pick up on that? If he is not...

It sounds like she is trying to keep something from you...the Disney trip sounds fishy..maybe they do not get along and do not want it to get back to her daughters father....

I know historically, daughters are closer to their families...so this is kind of unusual in nature....you have to remember that they are not legally attached and may not want to be...she may be back at your house with two kids again...and I am sure she knows she could come back...

You will then hear why the strange behavior went on...the whole all kids or nothing is wrong...and I will tell you why...your GD will miss out on one on one time with you...and may never have any bond with these ready made sisters...may not spend but a few more years with them and when they are gone...she will not have them or you....

Your daughter just does not sound stable for some reason....and cannot help wonder if your ex son in law sees anything wrong with this picture....I know what it is like to have a disinterested DIL once she does not feel like you can benefit her no longer...

I applaud you for moving on with your life by moving to a place not local to that mess....some mothers would stay local to keep the beat down going..no good comes from that...I have felt recently that it would be easier for me emotionally if I did not live within 25 min of my sons family due to the stark coldness of both he and his wife..not much contact with the GK's anymore...we have to initiate every encounter...my husband is a work addict and I have had some physical limitaations recently...so you can imagine how hurtful to wake up and realize you mothered a child that became distant with you in the same town..

My son is ruled by this woman...and I am so embarrassed to admit I raised a child who did not establish that his parents were important...Move on till your daughter wakes up...but by being told you must now spend time and money on children that are not biological is her way of getting them off her hands and onto yours....the one losing out is your GD...especially if her new siblings have a doting grandparent that does not let that rule carry weight...I wish you the best with this...sometimes we have to just let go


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RE: can't see one grandkid, must take them all or none. what?!

Sketcher25, thanks so much for your support.

The man she's with: he has barely spoken to me or my husband. The few times we have been invited to their house (with lots of other people there as well), he walks past my husband, doesn't make eye contact, and has actually ignored him and walked away when my husband has tried to make conversation with him. This guy - he's a state trooper - isn't exactly bubbly with anyone else there, either, so it didn't seem personal. The first time this happened, I called my daughter to see if everything was ok (I thought maybe they had just had a screaming fight right before we came over or something, because it was 'that weird' over there), and she said that everything was fine. But her ex-husband said the new guy is very controlling, and that's what I saw as well. My daughter and GD moved into his childhood home, and he did not want my daughter to choose paint colors, etc. when they were redoing the house. Ugh.

And yes, I thought it was outrageous of her to tell me, after giving me a smack-down for asking to take my GD on an outing, that "You have three granddaughters now." Huh? It's interesting how it was only a one-way arrangement: I had to suddenly do everything with all three of them, but yet I was not invited over to spend time with them, to get to know them in any way other than huge, raucous family gatherings.

My daughter is behaving like a teenager, who, with the first bit of freedom and independence, is thumbing her nose at me, and summarily dismissing me. She recently told me, in a Facebook message, that we had intruded on their Disney vacation, and that we felt like outsiders because we WERE outsiders. Hmm. But I guess we were good enough to tolerate for the year that she and GD lived with us. The year she paid absolutely nothing for rent, utilities, or groceries; the year that my husband built a $100K pool in our backyard for the GD to enjoy. But we're intruders and outsiders. Ouch.

The only healthy option is for me to enjoy my life and keep moving forward. I sent the kids a big tub of flavored popcorn for Halloween but got a message back from my daughter, saying not to send gifts, that she and her kids can't be bought. I still send my GD a birthday card last month with $5 in it. Not sure if it got tossed in the trash or not. Sending the kids (all 4 of them) a little something for xmas, and no doubt will not hear anything from them that it was received. I had plenty of issues over the years with family members for one reason or another, but would never not have my children call them to thank them for a gift. I am utterly bewildered at my daughter's savagery.

The funny thing is that my ex husband (daughter's dad) married a woman who was very cruel to my daughter growing up, and this is now the woman who my daughter sends flowers to on Mother's Day. I don't understand.

Trying to figure all this out, though, is a waste of time. I can only bide my time, and who knows, maybe 10 years from now, I will have an opportunity to reconnect with my GD on our own terms. And yes, who knows how long that family relationship will stay intact; who knows what my daughter and GD (and now, GS) will do if and when that living arrangement collapses. Sad, all of it.

But there is nothing I can do to make things better, because any time I reach out to try to come to some sort of understanding, I am smacked away. I will be happy up here in beautiful New England with my husband, I will travel, garden, make friends, play with my dogs, and enjoy my life. I miss my GD so much, but nothing stays the same for very long. It's probably the only thing I know for sure.


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RE: can't see one grandkid, must take them all or none. what?!

Oops wrong thread.........sorry.

This post was edited by EmmaR on Sun, Dec 8, 13 at 17:29


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RE: can't see one grandkid, must take them all or none. what?!

Tired...you have a good plan....do what you need to do for yourself at this point....NE is beautiful....enjoy it..

I have a sister who went through a dilemma with her daughter...and son in law...it was painful to watch and in the end, it just tore us up as siblings...and we have not spoken for 4 yrs...she did not know how to deal with it except to push everyone away....but my mothers family did that, and my mother was not good to her daughters when they became teenagers..so maybe some of that was pain was from her past...

I have worked with LE, in my last job, so, I know exactly what you mean when you describe this guy....there is an almost drill sargeant attitude they possess and also have an air of detachment from anyone who does not have a badge...because they fancy themselves to be above it all...the air up there is very thin....they have a self imposing importance with having the authority to enforce rules and laws....saw it many times...

But, when someone cannot look you in the eye, they might be hiding something...and when a daughter turns her back on her mother, she could be hiding something....

I also allowed my son to live with us so they could sell a house and not rush to find a house while closing....my DIL brought major attitude in the house, did nothing....went to work but expected me to cook nightly meals....I had not planned dinner for years as my husband worked in p.m....they basically had the kitchen and house to themselves....

But DIL still acted strange, unfriendly..did not want to share the 2 GS with me at all....my son acted unhappy and depressed and she ended up making it appear as if they had to find a house immediately...and I had that crap for 5 mos in my house...no rent was paid and they got angry when my husband asked them to clean out the bathtub...I never saw them not clean their own home when they had it, so why not clean mine...none of it made sense...not then and not now...

I have had many cruel comments thrown my way and I still made myself available to them for sitting with GC...I have tried to just keep an intact family because growing up, my mother did not care whether her kids were close...my older son seems like a person I used to know...and that person is very blurry....

There are times where I hurt deeply from it....and really fear what the future holds for both my husband and myself....I am not as lucky with the relationship with my spouse...he has a difficult time with comprehending why things are the way they are and it has caused major conflicts between us...he came from a horrible set of parents...so to admit your son is becoming distant is just too much...

I am sure there are times that you wonder what those PTA meetings, after school activities, birthday parties, and all the great things you thought you were doing means now....my son knows his wife is not going to give me the time of day...so why cause marital problems..

I guess I agree if that is how he feels.....

I hope your ex son in law is monitoring things well as it relates to his child....don't let the LE title fool you into a sense of false security...I can tell you stories that would shock you....steps and live ins need to be watched for the childs well being...I have seen GP end up with custody of their GK after finding out there were unfit conditions...and to be honest, if I ever suspected any wrongdoing....I would be on them with a magnifying lense .... that is something I have not had to ever deal with, but there would be zero tolerance for that...child or not...

The lack of appreciation is horrible....its at those times when the well has to dry up....my DIL and son I am sure have their kids write thank you notes to friends and her family...but we have not received any since they left our house 4 yrs ago...and our gifts never stopped..

People reading this must think we are either fools or horrible parents....but it can happen to parents with all the right intentions....it just takes the wrong person for them to be connected to....if anyone heard what I am dealing with and remembered the time and care I gave as a parent, they would not believe it...I always thought my mother had distance with her daughters because of how she lacked with us...just not caring....but its not the case at all...

I told my second son the other night that I never got to be the grandparent I wanted to be....always had to be fearful of not pleasing the DIL and not being able to just have fun with the boys...he is expecting a son as well, but I sense his wife will be the same way...she is very hard to know...I cannot believe this has happened....

Sorry this is so long...i just had so many thoughts about your situation and how familiar some of it seems to me....I would never stop writing your GD....sending money may not be spent on her...but send a card once a week....with silly thoughts and just be who you are...

I read a sign recently that said:

Dear Stress, I want to breakup.....


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