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"Welcome to -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

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Topics - PatiencePlease

The wise women of this forum have helped me time and time again over the years. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  

My adult children (one son, one daughter) have families of their own.  Geographically, we live far away from each other.  I had hoped that H and I would still continue to be a constant figure in the lives of our kids and grandchildren.  But reality set in.... we live too far apart for that to happen.  I don't like it, but I understand it.  

I hardly ever hear from my son; I know there's marital problems; I know it's better I don't hear the heart wrenching details.  I asked my daughter if we could plan a visit to see her family.  Her response was that they've got too many things going on, suggesting we visit in the fall. Ouch.

As I struggle with this, I am around others who have frequent contact with their adult children.  If they live near their adult children,  they share in the day-to-day and are entwined in the details.  Others live apart from their adult children, but share the day-to-day details via daily phone calls and face time, etc.  

I could mourn the relationship I don't share with my adult children, or... I could accept what is and celebrate  their independence (that was the goal I hoped for as their parent).  I choose the latter.

My son and his family live far away.  I do stay in touch with them but not on a weekly or even monthly basis sometimes.  My son has said they are going through stressful times with his work, with the kids and with his MIL living with them - she has plans to move out because she's butting heads with her daughter, my DIL.

I have a strong feeling my son and his wife are having marital issues based on my DILs recent activities on FB.  Her latest post was an image stating "One day this pain will make sense to you."  I recognize I could be overreacting ... but I just have this gut feeling things are not good.

(A) Do you think it would be okay for me to reach out to her with a text and say "Hey.  I saw your post on FB.  Just want you to know I love you."

(B) Do you think it would be okay for me to reach out to my son with a text and say "Hey.  I see on FB DIL is going through a tough time.  Hope all is well.  Did you want to talk about it?"

Or should I stay out of it altogether and just pray mightily.  Your wise words are appreciated.
I love WWU and regret I have not popped in for months.  Sometimes I don't share my experiences.  I tend to be private.  But this time I am sharing because this experience has been a struggle...

My mom died peacefully a few months ago.  As sad as I am to lose her, I am so very grateful to have shared a huge dose of quality time with her, helping her, chatting with her and more importantly listening to her.  She was an amazing woman.  I was so blessed.

Enter now the toxic sister... the one who has been in and out of my life for decades.  After Mom died she and I both stayed with our dad the week before the funeral.  She was distant, and other times just nasty.  Dad noticed it and would ask me when she left the room, "Are you okay?"  and I would respond "I'm fine.  This time is about you and losing Mom."  (They had been married 68 years....)

At the private burial which was here where I live and where the family cemetery plot is, (out of state) toxic sister traveled to be here (I had invited her & her husband to stay with us - she declined).  My  toxic sister and our spouses were the only ones at the burial.  She did not speak to me at all during the service.   Can you imagine?  Here we are, two daughters grieving the loss of our mom, yet we can't share our grief or support each other.  I was angry with myself for letting her behavior overshadow the burial.  I wish I didn't let that anger overshadow memories of this day but  I can't go back and do it over. 

Over the last two months I have sent an email and a text about family issues to toxic sister. There was no response.  Okay.  So this is what it is. I decide at that point I'm not going to message her any more.  If she has a question or concern, let her reach out to me first.  I move on.  (survival technique)

Two weeks ago, while visiting my dad for a few days, I showed him a picture I took at the cemetery of Mom's name etched on the stone.  (Dad lives out of state - he doesn't travel anymore.)  Hours later when I returned home, he called me requesting I send this picture to my toxic sister because after mentioning the picture to her she tells him she had not received a copy.   

Hmmmm.....  why is she letting Dad ask for her?....  He's struggling with insurmountable grief....  Here we go again....   So I calmly told my father that going forward if she has a request/issue, just tell her to come directly to me.  There's no need for him to be involved.  He is dealing with enough.  He agreed. 

So I proceed to send her an email with the picture that she complained she didn't receive suggesting that going forward she just come to me with issues and leave Dad out of it - he has enough on his plate.  Within half an hour I got a snotty email with her correcting me:  "I did not COMPLAIN to Dad I merely stated I DID NOT receive the picture or your message."  I didn't respond.  I just didn't want to engage. 

Within hours I received a second response:  "There was no "complaint" made to Dad, when he mentioned it, I merely said I had not received a message from you, nor a picture, as of this time.  Thanks for thinking the best of me. I am so done with you. You Please do not contact my anymore, unless it has to do with Dad's health.  This is the end, my supposed younger Sister is gone.  Hope you are happy."     (I copied this just as she sent it.)

Before my mom died, she so desperately wanted her three daughters to get along - to plan a reunion one more time.  (We all live out of state from each other.)  But Mom knew it was not to be because of toxic sister. Mom came to terms with this realization.  It was always about walking on eggshells with toxic sister.  When she is in the room you can feel the tension. 

You learn how to deal with it or you choose to leave it behind.  I'm at the point where I know I will leave it behind.  And yes, it is sad.  I don't want to deal with it. It's embarrassing to admit this.  But honestly I have no choice.  Ironically, my other sister, whom I can battle with on many topics, is there for me.  We respect each other differences.  I wish I could have this relationship with toxic sister too but it's not to be.

Rant over.  Thanks for reading. xo
In short, my mom is slowly dying from cancer.  She lives with my dad in their house.  They've been married 68 years.  I live out of state but happily do take many road trips to spend days with them at a time.  (Family does live close by to my parents  -- together we are able to cover my parents' needs)

Mom's mind -- which at one time was amazingly sharp and could recall every single mistake I made (and dated) from years ago -- is failing her now.  She often bickers with my dad about day-to-day stuff due to her growing confusion.  Dad gets frustrated and angry with her and bickers back.  It could (and sometimes does) go on and on....

This last visit I witnessed something so very sweet...  At 2:30 in the morning when my mom needed assistance in the bathroom, my dad was at her side, gently talking with her and helping her along until she is able to go back to sleep again. 

And that is where I found the light among this ugly darkness.  My parents' long term love has been amazing and continues to inspire.

Just had to share this and I am so happy this site has a place for the "miscellaneous" -- the stuff life is made of. 
I am convinced there is no wiser place for advice and guidance than WWU....

My daughter & her husband gave birth to their first child this year.  They set boundaries when their child was born which I respected but was surprised to see....   they wanted a week alone (no hospital visits, no nothing) before ANY one came to see the baby.  (Back in the day my house was Grand Central Station for two months - company every single day.  lol)  I accepted their boundaries but also told my daughter this was unusual.  She was very okay about my sharing my opinion.  It hasn't been brought up since then.

However, the other set of grandparents are still struggling with their son and my daughter's decision months later.  They still bring it up.  My son in law has tried to get them to "agree to disagree" but it's not working. This past week, his father posted something ugly on FB about the situation.  My daughter, in reaction to her husband's being upset with the FB post, texted her mother in law "your husband just posted something totally inappropriate on FB."

I think my daughter overstepped boundaries by sending that text to her mother in law.  I think her husband should have been the one to send the text and my daughter should just butt out.

My daughter called me yesterday and told me about all about how this played out.  They (my daughter & husband) have decided they are not seeing his parents for any holidays based on the nastiness her father in law posted on FB and the nastiness he texted to his son.  (It was pretty bad; I will say that....)  I fell silent & didn't offer any opinion because I don't like having these conversations over the phone.  I'm old fashioned and like face to face.  :)   

I will be seeing my daughter in one week and I would like to tell her I think she should have let her husband text his mother and that my daughter should have stayed out of the situation. 

Do you ladies agree?  If you can offer any advice/perspective I certainly would appreciate it.  Please know I have NO desire to get in the middle of this drama -- I simply want to gently advise my daughter.

As always, thank you!!
This past year I've been given the gift of two grandchildren.  The experiences of the births are totally different.  My daughter in law couldn't wait for me to get to the hospital (I had an 8 hour drive) and thrust my grandson into my hands demanding me to bond with him.  She didn't even ask me to wash my hands first!  lol  I stayed with them for 10 days because her mother couldn't be there right away.  My daughter in law was a gracious hostess & of course I did as much as I could for them - cook, clean and grocery shopped.  and I was most happy to do that for them. That was my gift to them.

Three months later my daughter (who also lives out of state)  gave birth to her daughter.  Totally different experience.  I didn't expect to be invited to the hospital -- she and her husband spelled that out prior to the birth.  I was not asked to help them out after the baby was born.  At all. :(   What a contrast to the months prior with my new grandson!  It was different, but it was okay.  We saw the baby one week after she was born -- my daughter and her husband wanted time to "just be" in their home for a few days.  They didn't want any visitors to the house.   Was I happy about their choice?  Of course not!  I wanted to get my hands on my new granddaughter!!  But I also realized this wasn't about ME it was about this new family.  I decided to focus on the positive:  the birth went well and everyone was healthy.

I'm glad I decided to respect their wishes because since that time I have been asked repeatedly to "swing by" (um... it's a 2 hour drive) after spending time at my out-of-town elderly parents and stay the night with them.  Of course I swing by and spend the night.  It's all good. 

I don't agree with everything my kids are doing raising their children, but that's okay.  My job of raising them is done.  Now it's their turn and they are finding their own way building a family as we did so many years ago.  And I choose to respect that.

Just had to share in hopes that it helps someone out there.
Pen posted a response on another thread:

"We mothers of sons often get criticized for behavior that is considered normal for mothers of daughters." 

This is so true.  But why?  I find myself hesitating before I say something to my daughter-in-law but don't hesitate to say something to my daughter...  I know my daughter will simply tell me to mind my own business in her own way and I'll get the message and stop.  But I don't have that comfort zone with my son coupled with that level of familiarity with my daughter-in-law -- I don't think it's my place to expect that of her. 

I second guess what I say to my son/daughter-in-law, but not so much with my daughter...

Any thoughts???

This instantaneous world of social media brings challenges now and then.  S and DIL just found out she was pregnant.  I communicated my very happy congratulations and said I would keep the news "mum" until I got the green light from them to tell others.  DIL told me she wanted to keep it secret until after she saw the doctor -- appointment is a month away.

I was on cloud 9 with excitement the day they told me but I kept my word.  I spoke with family - I didn't say a word.  My MIL came to stay with us for a few days.  I hugged and kissed her and didn't breathe a word. 

Within 24 hours of getting the news, I get a text message from a family member congratulating me on becoming a grandmother-to-be!!  I then realized that S & DIL couldn't keep the news secret for more than 24 hours and they posted it on FB.  Wish they had given me a heads up.  I had to scramble to call close family members so they could hear it from me and not from social media.  No matter their age, kids can still make you crazy.  But it's all good.

I haven't been on here in ages but I think of WWU and all you wonderful ladies quite often.  S went through some challenging times but he has made a huge huge turnaround -- he grew up.  He's responsible and we are so happy for him.  He recently married a wonderful woman who has a delightful five year old son she has been raising on her own.  I thank God every single day for where he is today and for all the support I had from WWU when he was going through some really tough times.

Now that I have a DIL I'll be here reading what others experience and the wise advice that is shared.  Our relationship is in a good place and I hope to keep it there.   

((Hugs)) to all xo
Awhile ago I posted how grateful I was (and still am obviously because I'm here again!) for the support I received here regarding my adult son.  He had finally gotten his act together and is now successful in the armed services.  This momma could not be prouder of him or more grateful for these circumstances.

He has been dating seriously a woman for a few months.  My H and I have met her.  We like her ALOT!  She is a single mom with one child.  Our son has not been happier.  We could not be happier either.  They are a good match.

My son called me today to confide in me that it is most likely his girlfriend is pregnant.  (Please know an engagement was planned soon without this pregnancy development.)  Although I am somewhat worried about this, there's another part of me that is very fine with it.  They are both very capable and loving parents.  My son, as long as I can remember, always always wanted a family of his own.  I have no doubt he will be a good father.  He connects well with her son.  ANd I've already witnessed his girlfriend being a very capable and loving mother. 

He plans to marry her.  I'm on board with that.  I wish he didn't choose this timing to become a dad.  But you know what, I don't get to choose what happens when.  My job is to accept and support what is reality.  And I really am okay with all this.

My problem is I have decided to keep this from my husband, his father, until my son knows for certain, in two days, that his girlfriend is pregnant.  At that time my son will call his father directly to tell him.

Have I made the right decision to encourage this communication between father and son?  Have I jeopardized my marital connection?  Should I tell my husband now and ask that he act surprised when he hears from our son two days from now???

Thoughts?  Opinions???  Just curious to hear what "wise women" think....  Thanks! 
First of all, I am SO grateful I found this place at a time when my son was putting me through the darkest period of my life (worse than my husband's midlife crisis -- and that's saying a lot.)

I haven't been here in quite a while but please know I have never EVER forgotten the support I received here.  It was invaluable.

My son has been respectful for quite some time.  His job opportunities have not been promising for a very long time due to his lack of skills and education.  He graduated high school, but after several attempts did not complete college.  He has decided to join the Navy and at the ripe old age of 25 he's on his way to boot camp tomorrow. 

I am so grateful his life's direction brought him to the Navy recruiting office.  He has the opportunity to gain a lifelong skill and during this time he has also recognized the importance of family.

I've come to accept his timeline.  It had nothing to do with my expectations.  I've learned to be patient (hence, the name) and accepting (and cautious) of what unfolds before me.

I felt the need to share this with all of you simply because I wanted to show my gratitude to this forum and those who visit here for your support and guidance.  And for those who are hurting, don't give up hope.  Please know you are stronger than you realize.  Honest. 

Thank you for your taking the time to read this.  Please know you have and continue to be a blessing to me as I continue to learn additional lessons in mothering. 

A sidenote:  I laugh at my naiveté --- At the time my kids were babies I truly believed all parental worrying would come to an end when the kids were all grown up at 18.   Ignorance is bliss?  Right??  haha

((((Hugs))))) to you all ~
In a few days we're going to be seeing our (out of state) adult son whom we have not seen in 6 months.  We're traveling and plan to spend a day with him.  I've had serious issues with him over the last few months.   He laments about no money - we caved in and gave him some to help him through his rough patch - but he's not any more financially savvy than he was before.  Also during this period there were times when he was downright nasty to me - for the most part he would apologize afterward and we begin again...

Do I bring up any of this when we see him?  I feel like it needs to be addressed, yet I don't want the only day of seeing him all these months to be a rehash of the same old same old.  Maybe the day should just be light and airy. 

I'm not sure which road I should take.   Directions appreciated.  :)
I continue to struggle with my relationship with my outofstate son.  He's depressed alot.  He's always broke.  He's always surrounded in drama.  All because of his own doing.

For years, we have tried to get him help.  He did go to counseling briefly once or twice two years ago.  I am simply torn up about it.  As a mother, I understand the need to push them out of the nest so they grow their own wings. (my daughter did just fine)  But on the other hand, I worry sick about him knowing I can't change a thing.

Forgive me, but I dread when the phone rings and it's him.  I immediately think "What is it now?"  I don't want to pick it up.

Today he called.  Lamented about his lack of money.  I didn't bite the bait.  Just questioned him about his paycheck amount which he claims to be low which I don't understand.  He then stated he's thinking about getting rid of his health insurance so he has more cash.  At that point I told him I didn't want to hear or know about these decisions.  I don't agree with them and I find them upsetting.  I then said goodbye and hung up.

So the escalation continued via text.  And it didn't end on a good note (does it ever?) - he ended it by saying "this is where I'm leaving the conversation, have a great day."

I did not offer to loan him any money. We loaned him a lot in last couple of months because he had been in a car accident. 

I'm tapped out about this.  I'm worried.  And I'm disappointed in myself for feeling both of those things. I still have not managed detachment from him yet -- he's 24 and on his own!!  This relationship is not a healthy one and it has lingered on for too long like this.

Sorry this reads like another pity party.  I'm just done.  Thanks for letting me vent.
Grab Bag / Grateful
November 17, 2011, 04:53:44 AM
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches with family and friends scattered in different  locations, I would like to say THANK YOU WITH HUGE HUGS to all WWU members.   Sharing your stories and your thoughts helps me more than you could know.

And to Luisa -- a very special thank you for planting this gift in the world of cyberspace.  You and your creation do my heart good.  :)
.... and I'm not sure this is going to work out.  Back in October I introduced myself here.  Our son had moved out and wasn't speaking to us.  He had a strong sense of entitlement and the Bank of Mom and Dad had closed.  He was angry - spewed some nastiness and left.

This month we experienced a death in the family -- along the same time he was evicted from the apartment (his friend's landlord did not want another person living there) and was sleeping in his car (which by the way was uninsured).

With all our emotions on the surface we suggested to him that he move back to our house to regroup himself and his finances.  He did, telling us he regretted what he had done. 

I spelled out boundaries very clearly to him.   Bitter words are not to be spoken to me.  The silent treatment is not permitted.   If he goes down that path again -- he's out for good.

He turned in his plates to motor vehicle.  We drive him to work when we can -- otherwise someone from his job drives him.  He is working alot because of the approaching holiday season.  He plans to get his car back on the road.

But I can see and sense he is confused and without any goals.  Due to the family all gathering for the funeral, several family members spoke to him.  He listened.

But whether or not he is changed, I can't tell.

Should any of you very wise women have advice to share with me, I would greatly appreciate it.  These times are hard for me and I'm not sure I'm thinking clearly.  Thank you.
Hi everyone.  I am very happy I found this place.  But I'm hurting and very worried about my son right now.

I need advice. (And I need some good "coaching" too.)

I've placed a post under Adult Sons/Daughters -- "Should I Say Anything? - Please advise"

Please if you have a minute, please read my post and share any insight you might have.  Many thanks.
I am new here and am very grateful to have found this site.  It's nice to know I'm not alone.  I have an adult son in his early twenties.  He did not graduate college - he has been working since he dropped out one year ago.  After this one year "grace period" and just loaning him $1000 for a car repair, we decided he needed to take over his expenses.  The Bank of Mom and Dad is officially closed. Mr. Entitled (let's just call him that) decided we were being unfair so he stopped coming home at night.  A few days later he calls to announce he's moved into an apartment with a friend.  He only took some of his clothes and his laptop.

He has called very sporadically since then -- only when he has gotten into a financial dilemma.  A month ago he had gotten state notification there was no record of his car insurance (he stopped paying) and he needed to take immediate action or his license would be suspended.   I called to give him this message.  He started spewing hateful things at me because I explained this was his problem to deal with not mine.  I ended the conversation when his words became insulting and hurtful.

Since then he did talk to my husband (his dad) and my husband told him he owed me an apology.  Mr. Entitled glossed over that part of the conversation and explained he was taking his car off the road and turning in the plates.  It would be kept off the street at his apartment.  A second time a couple of weeks later he called my husband again and said he had taken care of the insurance.  It was all a lie.

He got another notice (he had his mail forwarded to his new address) and proceeded to call us up about it.  The state set a deadline within the next week or his license is suspended.   We did not "bite the bait" to bail him out -- he's got to figure this out himself.   (He's working - I don't know where he's spending all his money.)

Once again he started to spew at me but not before he told me he's stopping at the house to pick up the rest of the stuff he needs "and whatever I leave behind you can go ahead and throw out -- family pictures, everything, I don't care." He then started getting nasty again saying it's unfortunate it has come down to this that we choose not to give him any support.....  At that point I blew up at him and told him we had supported him and he had treated me poorly.   I was not about to subject myself to his insults once again and hung up on him.

I will be home when he stops by later this week to pick up his stuff.  I don't plan to engage him in any conversation but I'm wondering if I should write him a brief note as he leaves just to say "I hope you figure everything out for yourself.  Just remember we do love you and when you are ready to pick up this relationship and work on repairing it, we'll be ready."

Should I just say nothing??  Any other advice would be gratefully received.