Author Topic: Different situation  (Read 6987 times)

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Offline LoveMyGrandkids

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Different situation
« on: September 08, 2012, 02:07:15 PM »
Hi all.  New member here, so please bear with any mistakes.  My situation is a little different in that my DS is the at home parent while my DIL is the one who works.  I help my DS take care of my GK toddlers a couple times a week.  I get the feeling, although nobody will tell me directly, that my DIL is jealous of my closeness with the GKs.  They prefer me to her parents, this was quite obvious on one occasion.  I am trying to avoid another situation where that will happen.  I don't want their other grandma to feel hurt.  Anyway I get this feeling of her being jealous because she is often critical, and when my GD finally gave me my much desired grandma name, my DIL immediately hated it and requested I change how I spell it.  Is MomMaw a grandma name that crosses a boundary?  I thought it was quite common to spell it that way, and I had been encouraging the children to call me Grandma.  MomMaw is what i got, and I love it.  I agreed after some thought to change the spelling, but I am feeling frustrated, hurt and am wondering what comes next.  There have been several other things too, where I feel vaguely that she wishes I would just go away.  Those kids adore me and I adore them.  Since when is that a bad thing?

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 02:29:03 PM »
Welcome -It can be a bad thing for the person that sees it that way. We all have differing opinions about good and bad.  Is it possible to talk about this with your DIL? It seems to me that being gone may be wearing on her. It may be a wise choice financially or for reasons of preference but she may be feeling left out when she sees you and DS pretty much raising the GC. There may be a lot of conflict going on. I would ask questions…she's the mom. What would you like? Do you like that name? How would you spell it? Would your mom like to come over more often? Sending love...
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Grammie

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 02:40:45 PM »
Hello LovemyGrandkids, welcome.  I have a friend who is called something very close to your name but it is MeMaw.  I can see that the spelling might upset your DIL because the word Mom is in the beginning of your new name.  Makes no sense to you but obvious upsets her.  As a GM who is estranged from one son and his DC I would be very careful not to challenge her on this issue.  Trust me, estrangement can be brutal. 
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
 ~ Denis Waitley ~

Offline NewMama

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 03:10:39 PM »
I bet your DIL is having some guilt over going back to work. Financially it may be the best thing for them, but it's still a hard choice to make. I went back to work after mat leave, because basically I had to. It's been a few months and I still feel bad about sending DS off to daycare. She truly may just wish she could be the one at home with them.

I've heard of MeMaw as a grandmother name as well, but not MomMaw. And I would probably balk at that too. In the end, I don't think it's battle worth having. She said it upsets her - at least she told you instead of letting it stew. If you really want to challenge her on it, be prepared for a potentially very damaging fallout.

Offline LoveMyGrandkids

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 03:29:50 PM »
Thank you for your quick responses!  I was quite surprised to see that the spelling of MomMaw was objectionable.  I guess I figured that mom, ma, or mother were going to be a part of any grandma name.  I have agreed to spell it MaMaw, which I don't like, but the kids will pronounce it as they choose.  I have bent over backwards continually for seven years in my relationship with my DIL and my son as well.  I am getting tired of walking on eggshells, but if that is the cost of being with my grand kids I suppose I will continue.  She works not only by choice, but by design.  She planned it all out just this way, no one was allowed to offer the opinion that it could be a difficult situation.  And it hasn't worked out how she envisioned.  Her mother used to come help out, but she decided to go back to work and has not helped out for several months.  I could also use some extra money, but feel it is more important to be with the little ones.  They are little for such a short time!  I went to counseling for a short time, (now that is a story!) and discovered I was allowing my son and DIL to control me thru my fear of losing contact with my GKs.  Sigh.  It is such a delicate balancing act. I ust don't understand!  I love my son, I used to love my DIL and would like to be free to do so again and I simply adore my GKs.  I have compassion for her, but since she can't be home, shouldn't she be really happy they are with someone who would gladly lay her life down for them?

Offline Doe

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 04:01:33 PM »
Hi LMG-

It seems to me that if you know what you're doing, know what the other players (DIL and DS) are doing and you still chose to do it, then you aren't allowing anyone to control you  Know what I mean?  You sound like you get the idea that you need to make concessions in order to see the GK and you're willing to do that.  I think that's as strong a position as someone who makes the decision not to make the concessions.    The important point is that you're still making a choice.

As far as 'Mommaw' goes, my DIL didn't like my chosen GM name and kept accidentally saying the one that she wanted me to be called.   ::)   I don't see anything wrong with your choice but if you know it's going to set her off, then you can save yourself some grief by altering it, imo.   

She is very lucky to have you but some people won't miss the water till the well runs dry...

Offline pam1

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 04:10:34 PM »
Welcome LoveMyGrandkids :)

Please read the highlighted items in the category Open Me First.  We ask all new members to do so in order to get a feel for WWU and how we came about.  Glad you found us.

I have not heard of MomMaw either.  Although, where I live it's extremely common for the grandchildren to choose the grandparents name.  I wasn't clear on a few things in your post, you said it was your desired name that they finally called you, so did you try to get the grandkids to call you that at some point?  To me, it's just easier to change spelling than try to force it tho.  I guess I don't understand a few things about your situation.  Are you one of the main babysitters?  Even though their father is a stay at home dad?  I'm not sure if I understood that correctly or not, so I suppose that's why I'm having a hard time piecing your situation together. 

People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline LoveMyGrandkids

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 04:23:05 PM »
Well, I tried to compress a long story.  My son is stay at home, but with toddler twins he needs help. So I go over two mornings a week to give him a break.  It has always been tradition around here that the first talking grandchild names the grandparents. I was referring to myself as grandma, and just recently my little G-girl startedccalling me MomMaw, and I just spelled it phonetically how she pronounced it.  I searched yahoo.com to find it is a recognized grandma name spelled just that way.  I love how it sounds and want to be called that.  But I am respelling it to either MaMaw or MamMaw.  I had to wait over two years to hear them say my name while they babbled constantly everybody else's names!  My DIL knew how much I was looking forward to having them call me by my grandma name.  So she has rather spoiled my happiness that it has finally happened.  But I keep my mouth shut about that, although I did slip and ask my son if she was that insecure.  Does not matter.  She is the boss, I suppose, and I only have to swallow it down til the kids are 18!  Only 16 years to go.....

Offline Grammie

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 04:46:02 PM »
Well LMG I learned one thing the hard way.....There is no such thing as a mother/son discussion.  Chances are DS will report every word you say to DIL so never say anything to your DS that you would not say to DILs face.  Men do have a way of changing the meaning of what you say to what he heard which then becomes what DIL hears and not necessarily what he said.  It sounds like DIL may be jealous of your time with her children and is becoming resentful of your closeness to her children.  You might think that she should be thrilled to have someone there who adores the children but she may feel threatened and not so appreciative.  You are in a difficult situation.  We thought we were being the perfect grandparents.  Always willing to help out.  We helped ourselves right out if their lives.  When DS took a job transfer to our area we were thrilled.  They stayed with us for 3 months while house hunting.  I cooked, cleaned and babysat while working 32 hours a week.  You would think they would be grateful but no. DIL started to criticize everything we did eventually convincing DS that I was being mean to her while he was at work.  No good deed goes unpunished.  GC seemed to love us more than her family so that is now being corrected. They see them all the time and we get ignored. 
Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.   
 ~ Denis Waitley ~

Offline pam1

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2012, 04:48:57 PM »
Thanks for answering my questions :)  I know, it's really hard to get everything out.

I guess, to answer your original question if the spelling crosses a boundary, the answer would be yes since she asked you to change it.  (personally, it wouldn't be worth the fight to me, but everyone has their things)  It's hard to know because I tend to think the boundaries are just so different for everyone.  But the really good thing about all this is that she told you. 

You said you were getting vibes from her.  You're probably right, but it's hard to know what it's about.  For me, it's always a little different when there are grandparents involved with active babysitting.  I only know of a handful of situations where it has worked out and there wasn't any hard feelings on either side.  It's difficult because you may think one thing, and she is on a totally different track but has no control because she is not the stay at home parent.  I also think it's generally hard for any adult children to have their parents still helping them, especially when they are married.  It seems to cause problems in the marriages.  Again, one of those things I've not seen in real life work out in many situations.

I do think saying things to your DS about DILs preferences isn't too good of a thing to do.  Spelling seems so minor, I get it and I know what you mean.  But, by the same token it's just as minor to change it, since after all, it's just the spelling.  But I do know what you mean. 





People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline LoveMyGrandkids

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2012, 05:01:43 PM »
The last straw, I suppose. There have been many things over the years.  I do mind my mouth most of the time, since I did the counseling.  That thing just slipped out and I wanted to recall it immediately, but it was too late.  She does not tell me anything, BTW, she tells my son to tell me.  I stay strictly out of their business.  She seemed very happy to have my help baby sitting during their recent move.  But as soon as that was over, the bad vibes came back.  Now she needs to be out of town overnight and my son asked me to help with bath and bedtime that night.   I don't know what to do.  I see trouble ahead, but I don't know how to stop it.  Why does this have to be so hard?  She more or less told me once that my relationship with the kids was my own responsibility.  So I developed it pretty much on my own.  Now I'm getting those vibes.

Offline Doe

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2012, 05:05:55 PM »
  But as soon as that was over, the bad vibes came back.  Now she needs to be out of town overnight and my son asked me to help with bath and bedtime that night.   I don't know what to do. 

This sounds like a great opportunity for you to say that you have other plans, just so you can insert some boundaries of your own in the deal.     Or that you just don't want to do it. 

Offline pam1

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2012, 05:39:12 PM »
Yikes, that kind of sounds like this is more of a DS problem.  I wasn't sure what to think about a stay at home parent needing help (for any situation, not just yours.)  IMO, that's a problem if a stay at home parent needs help like the type you're describing.  It seems like this would be a hard situation to watch and participate in.  But, to me, the real problem is why does the stay at home parent need this much help?  And this is a marital problem, which makes it even harder for a grandparent to get involved in.

Personally, I wouldn't touch the situation anymore.  I know it must be hard to say no, but I think saying yes would make it worse.  Just my humble opinion.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline pam1

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2012, 05:56:29 PM »
Lovemygrandkids, I don't want to bore you but thinking about this reminds me of my BIL and SILs situation.  SIL stays at home but has always needed a lot of help, even with just one child.  Lots of help.  She is regularly asking for babysitting from all of us who stay at home or work from home.  (I'm very fortunate to work from home, even when I was single)  It is noticeable and we all recognize it as a problem, yet she doesn't get babysitting twice a week at regular intervals nor regular parental functions taken care of.  Yet, her requests for babysitting from all 5 of us has been noticed and has not been chalked up as normal.  I don't know anyone like her, I'm routinely shocked that she needs this much help.  I don't know what to think.  None of us do. 

So, to make a long story short, I think you're doing and being asked a lot to do stuff by a stay at home parent which is your DS.  Not DIL.  I can imagine that this is causing a strain in their marriage, he is asking someone else to do quite a bit of his own job.  I think this would be upsetting and a marital conflict. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Scoop

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Re: Different situation
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2012, 08:27:28 PM »
LMGK's - I agree that this is likely because of some marital stress between your DS and DIL.  We can't know the entirety of their relationship, it's impossible.  You also don't know how he talks to DIL about your visits.  My cousin once referred to his Mom as his kids "other Mom" and I was flabbergasted.  I would have been VERY hurt if I heard that my DH said that.

As for the name spelling, I have 2 things to say.

One - sometimes you just have names or words that you HATE.  My Mom hates "nana", and I hate "memere" as a Gma name.  My relationship with my MIL was already teetering and being forced to use a name I detest, would not have helped it.

Two - why is this so hard to let go of?  It sounds like a power struggle.  Because if your DIL really hates ham and you really love ham, do you serve her ham?  You can still have ham when she's not around.  How many times do you write MomMaw anyways?  It's not like the little ones can read.  I just don't get how this is a hill for you to die on.