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Making time

Started by Chris6753, June 14, 2016, 06:10:47 am

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June 14, 2016, 06:10:47 am Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 06:35:44 am by luise.volta
Yesterday I found out my foster Mother has past away. Where she went to church they are having a memorial service. The reason I am writing is my son and wife lives close so we wanted to see grandchildren. The saddest part of this my son had to make sure this was ok by wife. REALLY??? We are not asking to stay with them, we just want to see the kids. This hurt so much. Her mother any day any time, but us by appointment only. Believe me appointment is ok, but this is nasty in the first degree. We had sent birthday cards, Christmas cards, and money to the kids. She treats us terribly, really thinking of sending her the laws of grandparents rights.
Lucretia Fritts


Hi, C., just reminding you to reread the Forum Agreement. It is on the HomePage under Open Me First. I modified the word in your post that you partially disguised. It we can figure it out, it's not OK here.

I agree that you two are being treated like second rate citizens. The truth is that your DIL is your son's choice
and how they manage their lives is up to them. I, too, found it painfully hard to get that I had to leave all concepts of fairness at the door of my son's home...along with all of my very simple and middle-of-the-road expectations.

My heart goes out to you. Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Green Thumb

Hi Chris, I can relate to your post. Seems like I have to make appointments to see my adult children also but the other in-laws are in their face and business constantly. First I am going to say, do you absolute best to go visit with a loving and positive attitude -- don't pack your anger and resentment because it will crop up and become an issue in the short time you have to see your grandkids. I am saying be the bigger person or take the high road. And believe me, I know all about being resentful and being left out and ostracized!

One of my theories is that there is only room for one "intrusive" set of grandparents or parents of the adult children. Not saying you are intrusive at all. What I mean is, seems like if the other mother is all involved all the time then the AC become reluctant for the quieter, non-intrusive mother to be involved. Its like who can  they more easily blow off, and the all involved, all the time at their house or with them socially is not easy to blow off. Perhaps this isn't "right" in the bigger scheme of things but it seems to me that is how my AC lives are. I am the quieter, non-intrusive mother or MIL who gets blown off "cause they can." And frankly, I don't want to be smothering or too involved at this stage of their lives so I had to do some soul searching and decide this was tolerable. So what I have learned is to give up on what is fair or right, just accept what is.

The other thing I have learned is to shelve my resentment when I do get to visit with them (shelf it for just that day if I have to) AND take a lovely little gift for the women (my AD, their MIL, etc.). Smile, smile, smile. Show up with gift(s) in hand and praise, praise, praise. Try my best to never never never say a negative word or a cross word and if one of the meaner AC starts up being verbally abusive, don't get sucked in, just quietly say this is wrong, you are being mean, stop, whatever. It means being on my Ps and Qs as we used to say and it isn't all that fun or pleasant. But it gets me through. And it works, those little hello gifts just melt the ice. (Flowers, nice soaps or lotions, a plant, fancy cookies or fancy drinks, anything you think they'd like that you can bring).


Thanks for your notes, you made me feel better.

But I did a mistake by visiting when they were 18 months old. (Never ask to help not once) Her mother told
me I wish I could go home. I did not think and said "Why don't you" I knew I made a mistake and quickly said
I am sorry. She told her daughter, now I don't hear the end of it.

I feel so sorry for my son also complaining about putting out fires. But I hate to say it but it my DIL making the
fires and not letting it go.

I thank you for writing me.
Lucretia Fritts


Welcome, Chris!  :)

I'm in a similar situation w/my DIL & her FOO. It got to me a few days ago & I had to work really hard to keep my mouth shut and let it go! It's not at all fair, but the alternative (being cut off completely) is way worse to me right now. I may feel differently a year from now, but at this moment I'm willing to play the game to keep the peace.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Chris, sorry for your pain ... my situation is different from yours as I can see GC whenever; but that's as far as it goes.
The DIL, DS and her FOO are always connected and together. We get a brief phone call every few weeks from DS letting us know they're still living. No details or sharing about their lives.
Had to accept that I'm "Grandma on the wall." (pic) 
Wait -- there are no photos of me in their house! Ha!
Keep reading posts here and you'll quickly find you're not alone. No, that doesn't bring much comfort, but you'll discover ways to help you through the stages of grief.

GT, appreciate your wisdom and like you, am doing "more" soul-searching to get my heart sorted out. (This has been going on for years and getting worse, not better)
I wondered what went through your mind as you bought those nice gifts for them?
It's hard to love unloveable people!

Green Thumb

What went through my mind as I purchased the gifts was doing it to make ME feel happier, more happy about seeing them again. Then when I give/gave the gifts I enjoy seeing the looks on their faces. Sometimes it is really sweet and sometimes they look confused (why is that horrible lady giving me a gift). It just breaks the ice and makes people act nicer -- that is why I do it. Some people never really get a little gift like this so it opens their hearts a little. Other people think they should be given everything and it is your job to give to them. It makes either group happy (for a few minutes anyway). I learned to do this when my nasty, mean ex was dating this lady and she was trying to take my place as my AC's new mother. He wanted me out of the  picture and she wanted in and my kids were unhappy but refused to set boundaries with either him or her. So there was an event in one AC's life and we all went, this was the first time I met the exhusband's girlfriend, now wife. I gave her a beautiful vase as a thank you for helping that AC whose event it was, that I found at Target for under $20. I made kind of a big deal of thanking her in front of the ex and all my AC and giving her the little gift. (He tells them how horrible I am all the time so this was partly REVENGE -- I'll be the nicest person on earth at this event.) Oh, boy, did I made a huge hit, and I looked like the queen of all niceness. This lady wrote me a thank you note and it said no one had ever given her a gift like this before and she was so appreciative. What I realized was, everybody has some secret hurt. Can you imagine no one ever giving you a sweet little thank you gift like this, ever in your life? (And lady, you aren't ever going to get something nice from my ex!) So I learned, fake it and be nice and polite -- until you have to set a boundary and it makes them all mad again!! LOL
PS: The gift thing doesn't solve the problems, it just makes people act nicer a little bit for a little while. Then I go home.


July 15, 2016, 08:51:42 pm #7 Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 09:05:18 pm by luise.volta
If my in-laws are asking for a visit I expect my husband to check with me first. They are always welcome to visit grand children, but on "our" terms not theirs! Same rules apply to my family.


Welcome, G. We ask all new members to go to our Home Page and under Open Me First, to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit and you can abide by it. We are a monitored Website.

I have modified your comment. We don't take exception to what another has posted. We don't use capital letters and multiple question marks. If we don't agree, we pass on the post. This is a place of caring and sharing and over the last decade it has become a place of healing. There are many Websites that offer an anything-goes venue if that is what you are looking for. If not, you are most welcome here. This is my Website and I am 89 years old...so if it seems a bit old fashioned you are probably right. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Green Thumb

Gaelle has a point. It is all about mutual respect as is this forum which is why it is so helpful. Husbands and wives should talk things over and try to agree. Sometimes retired folks have a schedule that conflicts with the schedules of school aged families. Or vice versa. Of course, some people are controlling and would not ever be "agreeable." Many people have their own version, their own vision, their own needs come first and these are the people most of us write about.


Also G has the same rules for both sets of in-laws. We seldom see that here!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Yes, thanks for pointing that out, Luise  :D

G, I appreciate your sense of fairness. Good for you! That really is all I have been dreaming of since DS & DIL married. Not even totally equal time and attention, just something that didn't make us feel "less than."
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Pen, I echo your thoughts --

Gaelle, you are wise and gracious! Will you be my DIL?


And that's the way it should be G.  Equal treatment to both sides.  I've had my OS (when we were speaking) have to ask permission for me to come see him, then when I arrive, his MIL is there saying "Oh...I didn't know you were coming by...I offered to take the them to dinner so how long are you going to stay?"   OS has said, "Sorry, I didn't know she was coming over."   So I had to make an appointment to see OS (not even talking GC yet at this time), that fit "their" schedule, but MIL can drop by any time she wants, and do anything she wants, without DIL checking with OS.  DIL knew I was coming by that day (since OS had asked her) but had no issues with her Mother dropping in and didn't politely decline when her Mother told them she was taking them to dinner by letting her know I was already coming over.  Or hey...novel concept.  How about DIL could have said, "Would you care if I went to dinner with my Mom while you and OS hang out?"

That's the kind of treatment that is hard to deal with.  OS has to check with DIL, but DIL doesn't have to check with OS.  I had to make pre-approved appointments, MIL has free access. 

I have no problem whatsoever with OS checking with DIL.  I would expect the same out of my husband, but I also ask him if we have anything going on before letting my Mother/Dad, friends....whoever come over.  I even have no issue at all that DIL and MIL spend more time together.  I would expect that out of Mother and Daughter.  But when you continuously see it, every week, and your visitation is granted once every 3 months, it's not hard to figure out that you're not wanted.

And FYI: This is my past experience.  I've had no contact in 3 years.  And MIL now lives with them, as her hubby divorced her and she had no where to go. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell