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How Do I Change So It Doesn't Hurt So Bad

Started by LadyD, April 30, 2011, 09:19:26 am

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LadyD

My adult son and daughter-in-law have cut off ties with my 3 grandchildren because I am ignoring their "demands."  I have tried all through their marriage to meet their demands as far as my grandchildren.  The occasions when I have been able to see the kids is either if I go to their sporting events, if I go to their house to visit or babysit, or if I invite them to a holiday dinner.  They feel I should go to their house more often to spend time with the kids. But, tell me that to bring the kids to my house just for a visit is too much trouble for them because they both work.  (I also work full time.) My daughter has 2 of my other grandchildren who I also spend time with (basically under the same conditions as above).  My son and daughter-in-law become angry if I spend time with my other 2 grandchildren and my daughter becomes angry if I spend time with my other 3 grandchildren.  My son and daughter are always angry with me over these situations and I am at my wits end.  I can't please everyone and I spend most of my time very distraught because someone is usually angry at me for one reason or another.  I have been to counseling.  My pain is that because of this situation I am losing my relationship with my grandchildren.  I need some input on how to handle this without giving in to all the selfish demands of my children.  Also, for some reason, and can't tell you what it is because I do not know.  My daughter-in-law is constantly telling (or writing) me that I am a bad mother.  I can only assume that my son is filling her head with something he didn't (or doesn't) like about me in the past.  I divorced their dad for recognizable reasons when they were fairly young.  I struggled financially to feed and clothe them, worked full-time and managed to keep them all on sporting teams and always went to all of their games.  Eventually I remarried.  My husband used to tell me (and still does) that he felt I did everthing necessary to raise goods kids except that I did too much for them when they really should have been doing some things themselves.  I really believe that I was a good mother to them.  My son always had a taste for expensive things (even when he was young) and I could not give these things to him for financial reasons.  I truly believe he has a deep embedded resentment towards me because I could not always give him the things that his friends had.  I think he was ashamed of me.  My daughter can be manipulative in trying to get me to do things for her (even now) and if I say "no" when she asks me to do something...that is not an answer that suits her.  PLEASE HELP!! 

lancaster lady

Lady D :
Welcome to this Forum , at the moment there are various changes being made , that's why you probably haven't heard from any of our WW ....
There are lots of ladies here with your problem , and I'm sure there will be lots of advice to come .
I'm not sure how to solve your problem without being cut off altogether , if it was me I'm afraid I would stop being at their
beck and call . You are doing all you can and more to help them . Perhaps it's time to consider what this is doing to your health
and concentrate on your own life for a change .they are treating you like an unpaid nanny , not a loving grandma .
They are holding your grandchildren to ransom , maybe time to call their bluff .
Keep checking in , I'm sure there will be lots more help on its way .

jill

Hi LadyD and welcome to WWU.  There are many wise women here, all willing to support you. We know exactly how you feel, many of us are in the same boat.  I get the same treatment from my ydd, a phone call when I am needed to babysit, and my odd has pretty well cut me off, I have very little to do with her.  Luise will tell you, that you cannot change them, it's all about them, so you have to try and put yourself first, very difficult for mothers who have always put everyone else before themselves.  Most people will tell you that backing off is probably the best bet, let them come to you.  Keep venting here..........best wishes to you..............Jill

Rose799

Hello & welcome, LadyD,

Changes are being made at Luise's site, LadyD, but once the dust settles, I know that you'll receive lots of wise advice.  You are not alone, as many of us face similar issues with our dc.  For the time being, take a step back, take a deep breath, & know that help is on the way...   

Rose

luise.volta

April 30, 2011, 02:02:48 pm #4 Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 02:10:25 pm by luise.volta
Welcome: If you haven't already done so, please go to the Home Page and read the first two posts under "Open Me First." The first one,  "Modified Forum Agreement" is something you need to read, understand and agree to follow to be a member of WWU. The second, "Welcome...Here's How This Happened" will give you some history.

Happy posting...listening...learning...contributing and hopefully...laughing!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

pam1

Welcome LadyD :)

Wow, you've got a lot going on!  It's commendable that you want to still keep a relationship after being treated so shabbily by their parents. 

You're definitely right -- you cannot please everyone.  But you're #1 in your life and you deserve happiness and to be treated with respect.

My first concern would be to somehow block your DIL's harassing emails to you, it's not needed.  Can you block her email address?  I'd look into that.

Second, I'd perhaps look at taking a break from all of them.  I know it sounds counter-productive but I've found that space makes the heart grow fonder and people tend to treat you a little better.  Also, I believe the parents of your grandchildren are setting a terrible example for their children by treating you poorly.  Children learn what they see and I think it is a great lesson in teaching self-respect to refuse to take disrespect.

Those are just my thoughts.  Again, welcome.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Kennedy

Welcome Lady D, I'm sorry to read of your troubles. I'm sure you'll find comfort here. I have seen that no problem is to big or to small for the wonderful group of ladies on this forum.
Stay strong and take care of yourself. And never give up.
Sending up a prayer for you. Take care and God Bless!

Pen

I agree with the previous WW. Please take care of yourself first! It's hard when GC are involved, but many of our GMs here have kept scrapbooks or journals to share with them when contact is renewed. I'd take a break and then consider some ways to move forward. Loving detachment is a term that some of us have used...you're not closing a door, you're not giving up, you're just taking yourself out of the painful zone for a bit.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

LadyD

Thank you so much for the encouragement.  I know that what I should do is step back and start to enjoy life and go out and do things for myself. My mind knows this, but it's the heart that I have problems with.  Hopefully, with support from WWU I will be able to find the strength to detach myself from what I know are unhealthy relationships.  Thank you all for your responses.  It helps so much just to know that I am not alone in this type of family situation.

pam1

(((Lady D)))

A lot of us here have made the choice of "loving detachment" It's definitely not easy, you'll be in my thoughts.  Take it easy on yourself.

But we do have a lot of fun here, check out the Grab Bag :)  I think our motto is "laughter is the best medicine"

People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

holliberri

Welcome, LadyD!

It must be hard, but I'm not sure I could handle a relationship with the GKs (if I were in your position) when your DIL seems almost verbally abusive to you. It's taboo to tell someone they're a bad mother, and even then, very rarely is it true, no matter how different our parenting tactics may be. I wouldn't want to put myself where I needed to tolerate that sort of thing. I think, for you, you need to take time and work on yourself and try to move forward.

LadyD

Holly:

Thank you so much.  Your advice is right on the money.  I am going to work on finding the strength to focus on me.  I also have to start believing that what others' think of me is not important.  You know when my DIL wrote telling me what she thought of me as a mother to my son I thought to myself "ya know, I would never say or insinuate that anyone is a bad mother because being a mother is one of the hardest things in life."  I only hope and pray that she will be able to live up to her own standards.   

Pooh

Welcome Lady.  I agree with all the others.  You have to take a step back right now.  It is very hard to love our children from a distance, but we have to do what's best for our ourselves when we are being treated badly.  It's also very hard because our fear of losing our GK makes us tolerate from our own children, what we wouldn't tolerate from strangers.  We feel we have to in order to have a relationship.  I too had a bad first marriage that I should have left after 2 years.  But I kept telling myself that I needed to stay with him because it was only fair to the kids and I didn't want them to go through it.  It seems we always stand to lose something when we make a difficult decision, but I also learned that the only way I could be good for anyone, was to love myself.  Do I still wish things were different?  Absolutely, but I can not change them, only myself.

Hang in there and do one small thing for yourself tomorrow.  You have to start somewhere.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

alohomora

This sounds like my sister, sadly.

Her MIL can do no good by her. I don't understand it. She asks her MIL to help her watch the kids. No, DEMANDED is the right word, and when the MIL stuttered at such a request (to take a half day off work twice a week essentially, and one Saturday night a month - the only night of the week she get's to see her BF and have a date night) to watch the kids, my sister walked out of her house!

I don't understand it. I know her MIL isn't perfect, but she absolutely loves those kids, tries to follow my sisters insanely long list of rules (which, when MIL is there, are set in stone, but when our side of the family is there, seem to magically not matter), and over gift their entire family. Poor lady. I always try and be extra nice to her and put my sister in her place sometimes when she's around (sister won't yell at me).

Pooh

Good for you alohamora for sticking up for the MIL.  I have a rule with everyone, ask me...you will probably get me to do it, tell me...you will probably get a look instead.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell