Problem Solving => Grandchildren => Topic started by: LoveMyGrandkids on September 08, 2012, 02:07:15 pm

Title: Different situation
Post by: LoveMyGrandkids 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?
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: luise.volta 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...
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Grammie 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. 
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: NewMama 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.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: LoveMyGrandkids 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?
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Doe on September 08, 2012, 04:01:33 pm

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...
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: pam1 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. 

Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: LoveMyGrandkids 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.....
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Grammie 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. 
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: pam1 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. 

Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: LoveMyGrandkids 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.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Doe on September 08, 2012, 05:05:55 pm
Quote from: LoveMyGrandkids on September 08, 2012, 05:01:43 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. 
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: pam1 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.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: pam1 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. 
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Scoop 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.

Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: luise.volta on September 08, 2012, 08:38:19 pm
Too me, MaMaw sounds like Mama. I agree with the rest that it's best to back off, let go...and focus on trying to get where DIL is coming from...so you can adapt. It's their marriage, their children and their call.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Pen on September 08, 2012, 09:02:41 pm
Welcome, LMGK. I agree that the spelling of the name is not important enough to jeopardize your fragile relationship w/DIL. I'm glad you accepted the alternative even though it's not your fave.

If DS was the working P, and DIL stayed home & got help twice a week from her DM, I doubt anyone would suggest that anything was wrong with the GK bonding more w/her than w/DS's DM. We'd probably be saying something on the order of "Suck it up, that's how it is, DILs & their moms are naturally close, enjoy the time you do get w/the GK."

I think you are very thoughtful to consider the feelings of the other GM, LMGK. Perhaps you could suggest trading off weeks?
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: pam1 on September 08, 2012, 10:46:17 pm
I don't know, Pen.  Not many grandparents do as much as the Lovemygrandkids does.  She does a lot, irregardless of being a paternal grandparent.  I really do not know any families with a stay at home parent that has a grandparent doing a lot of the work. 
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: LoveMyGrandkids on September 09, 2012, 05:09:51 am
I have been thinking a LOT.  I do suspect some underlying marriage tension, but all marriages have some of that.  I advised my son to keep his mouth shut about it and talk only with his wife and a counselor if necessary.  I only mentioned it when he made an inappropriate remark a couple of weeks ago.  DIL has asked for extra help in the past when she had to be gone and I have always been happy to oblige.  I have not mentioned one important factor -- the only time I see the kids is when I go help out at their house.  They have brought the kids to our house (20 minute drive) only maybe 3 or 4 times in 2 years.  I have been very understanding about that because I know she works and has little time.  I feel somebody changed the rules and didn't tell me.  I am considering telling my son I have to cut out one day a week for a while.  Bath and bed really are a two person proposition, DIL admits it freely.  One splashes and plays, the other howls.  Tending to the howler leaves the splasher on his own.  I wish badly I could talk this over with my son but he tels everything and makes it sound BAD.  If I try to talk with DIL I come away thinking I am foolish and paranoid.  I can't get anybody to come out and tell me what they want.  Except my son does want the help during the week!  I don't want to enable him to not fulfill his responsibility, but don't want to leave him in the lurch if he really needs me.  My grandma name is not a battle worth dying over, of course, I just feel I have put up with a lot, and I think my aggravation tank got filled up and spilled over.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Grammie on September 09, 2012, 05:35:31 am
LMGK, I've been thinking about your situation a lot and it sounds like you may end up going down a road you don't want to go down.  As much as you love your GC they are not an extension of you but are the children of another family.  It concerns me that you spend so much time with your DS and GC exclusive of your DIL.  If there is tension in the family then who knows what thoughts go through her mind while she's at work knowing that you are there with her children.  When we tried to talk our situation out my DIL made it very clear that she has her family, DH and I have our family and DS and she have their family of which we are not a part.  Not everyone views it that way but you don't want to find out that she does after it's too late.  If the children are toddlers it might be time to back off some.  Get a part time job if you think a bit of extra money would be nice.  That would be a good excuse to back off without hurting DSs feelings.  Buy them a playpen for bath time and bathe one child at a time.  There can be a solution to each problem if you just look for it.  Still go over to visit but as a grandma and not one who is helping your DS raise his DC.  They chose to have children and they are responsible for raising them.  No one said it would be easy.  If DS needs help he can always hire a sitter or someone to come in and do the cleaning.  Better to have less time now then to end up with no time later on.  As to the name, the kids can be corrected to use an appropriate name.  If they had come up with an unflattering name you would not have allowed it to continue and would have corrected them using a more appropriate name.  I suggest you consider doing the same with the name they have chosen.  Gently guide them to a name that sounds less like something they would call their DM and to a name more appropriate for GM.  Also remember that they won't always be toddlers.  What sounds cute now may be a source of great embarrassment to a 15 year old.   
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: NewMama on September 09, 2012, 05:43:21 am
Grandparents babysitting can be sort of a minefield, sometimes it works well and sometimes it doesn't, especially when expectations are way out of sync. When were were growing up my maternal GPs looked after us quite a bit (5 days a week, for free). My mother and maternal GPs were happy with this arrangement, my father and paternal gma were not - although she had told my mother when the oldest grandchild was born that she did not babysit. It caused some issues, and is one of the many reasons my Ps are divorced. Our son goes to daycare, and we're quite comfortable asking them to do or not do something because basically we pay them and have no emotional relationship to them. If I told my mom or MIL not to do something specific when they baby sat, it'd go over like a lead balloon. Especially with my MIL. It'd come across as critical, but as DS's parents, we get to set the rules in our own home. Maybe cutting back would be a good option for now. It sounds like something they need to work out on their own. It also sounds like you've talked to him before, and nothing constructive came out of it and they don't want to share what's going on.

I just wanted to add that if you see them 2 days a week, it sort of makes sense to me that they don't bring them to you that often. My mother probably sees my son that much (she drops in on her lunch break or suppertime, or if she's out running errands on weekends). I've taken him myself to her house twice I think in 16 months. We have 4 separate grandparents because my ILs are also divorced, so many of our weekends are spent visiting with the GPs or my brother and SisIL (DS's only uncle and aunt). We rarely get a weekend to ourselves as a family, because everyone is clamoring for DS's time. Mom sees him more than anyone, so she's pretty low on the priority list for a visit to her house. And she gets that.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Begonia on September 09, 2012, 06:35:09 am
LMG:  I agree with the other posters that this may escalate down the line if you don't step away now.  It sounds like this is a triangle
and the GK are already involved. 

However, Scoop gave the best advice when she said, It's not like the little ones can read.  I just don't get how this is a hill for you to die on.

I have always disliked the term grandma because of the images it depicts (grey hair, rocking chair, etc.). I was young (40s) had no grey hair and was off white water rafting,  etc. so I hoped my GK would call me nana.  But of course, the little ones want to do what they want to do so it became GrammaNana.  :D One way or another they wanted me to be called grandma!! 

As the DIL, I can see how this would tear my heart to have my twins mothered by someone who they were also calling mom...regardless of the wonderful care that's being given.  A mom is a mom is a mom and I really would lean toward letting DIL take the lead on everything...because she probably already feels left out.  And back right away from discussing anything about her with your DS, that will only drive more hard feelings.  They need to be the parents.  Hard to step back but trust the WW here who say, from experience, that that is going to make smoother waters.  Hugs to you.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Begonia on September 09, 2012, 06:52:39 am
LMG:  I just have to add a bit of lightness.  I got the picture of one splashing and one howling...I bet these little tykes are absolutely darling....how lucky you are to be part of their lives in these ways.

I babysat for a woman when I was 14.  She and her husband were farmers and had 5 kids and the oldest was not yet five.  No twins. She was 21. They went on to have one more baby a year later.  I took care of those kids when they went out on Saturday nights  Maybe that is why I was never so crazy about having kids myself.  One was always crying, one was trying to get the basement door open, one was pulling another one's hair...it was a circus.  So I think your DS can manage just fine!! 
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Doe on September 09, 2012, 07:42:15 am
What comes to mind for me is to let the splasher play while the dad does a quick sink/washcloth wipedown with the howler.  Or wash one one night and let the not-as-dirty one wait till the next night.

The way your son is going to learn how to wash and put his kids to bed by himself is to do over and over again.  You figured it out when you had to, didn't you? 

I say make up your own mind about the situation - if you enjoy this thing 2 days a week, keep it up, but if you're feeling used/manipulated, throw in some random curves.  That might remind them that what you are doing for them is a gift and not some court ordered community service work !   Don't waste time doing something that you're not enjoying.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: LoveMyGrandkids on September 09, 2012, 08:45:16 am
Oh, I love taking care of them!  That's why I'm so torn.  If it is best for them that MamMaw bow out I will do that.  But I don't want to if I don't have to because it will break my heart.  But not as badly as it would if I were cut out all together.  it does take a toll on me, especially right now.  I am giving my niece one day a week.  She just had twin girls, had complications and nearly died.  She is still weak, struggling with having lost her milk supply, getting no sleep and some post natal depression.  I stay to be sure she does not start to hemorrhage while alone with the babies!  Also, she sleeps a few hours while i stay up with the babies who apparently never sleep.  She appreciates my help a lot!  So although all the baby keeping is tiring, I still love it.  I am formulating some ideas with all of your help.  I may stop being quite so available to my son very soon.  Not right away, not so soon after this grandma name dust up.  Don't want them to jump to the conclusion that I got my feelings hurt and am pouting.  I got my feelings hurt, but I am not pouting.  Any more.  Did we decide MamMaw was probably Ok.  And my niece has been made very aware that when she feels ready to go it alone she will tell me.  And yes, my GKs are completely cute and absolutely darling! 
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: constantmargaret on September 10, 2012, 12:05:40 pm
I thought I'd add 2 cents worth of applied linguistics perspective. I guess I don't understand this whole naming business. You allow the babies to dub you with your grandmother title? How does this work? How do they know what to call you at all unless you have told them who you are in the first place? Since you were encouraging them to call you Grandma, isn't it logical that Mommaw was a 2 year old attempt to say Grandma, rather than an attempt to christen you with a brand new name? What if they had come out with something not so cute, like Doodyhead or something? 

My daughter's niece can't say Rs. She calls my SIL Uncle Weed. Yes it's adorable, but he's not going to start calling himself Weed. Grown-ups continue to model the correct pronunciation and she eventually masters the R sound. She hears Reed, she just can't say it yet. Likewise, your grandbabies have been hearing Grandma, and it came out wrong. A cute mispronunciation. Soon mommaw will be gamma or maybe gwanma and finally Grandma. Might it be confusing to them to change your name at this point?

If you've been going by Grandma all along and even encouraging them to call you Grandma, I don't understand the importance of changing your name to Mommaw, or why the spelling matters, especially if it causes a rift between you and the person who will ultimately determine how much you will be allowed to see the kids. Would you really want your very name to irk your DIL?

You ask if we decided if Mammaw was probably ok...I think the point everyone here is making is that it doesn't sound like it's ok with your DIL, and she's the one who matters, unfortunately.

No matter what they call you, it's gonna sound sweet. :)

Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: LoveMyGrandkids on September 10, 2012, 01:57:52 pm
Well, to tell you the truth, the whole grandma name thing does not make me happy any more.  The way it works is that when your grandchild begins to call you something, that becomes your grandma name.  So i received my name from my granddaughter.  That's how it has always worked in my family, and incidentally, that is how her own mother came by the grandma name she proudly uses.  It is not the name it was originally supposed to be. I think the name is not the issue anyway.  It's the being held to a different standard all the time.  I'm so tired of it.  But I put up with what I have to put up to be with those little angels.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Grammie on September 10, 2012, 02:41:47 pm
LMGK, The name is the issue because incidents like this may be causing the tension.  Just because it has always been done one way in the past doesn't mean it can't change.  You must learn to be flexible.  Your DIL didn't like the name so if you want to see the GKs then you would do better to stay as far away from that name as possible.  You will lose the power struggle so don't go there.  If they won't tell you things then accept that is their right.  I know you're frustrated but imagine the frustration many of us feel with complete estrangement.  We are telling you what you don't want to hear but what you need to hear.  I've been in your shoes, helping out and loving my time with my GKs, thinking surely my DS would never hurt me, but he did.  Don't make DS choose sides because you will lose.  We had a disagreement over holiday plans because they were changing the way it had always been done with no discussion.  I got upset and now have been banned from their lives.  They are not loving and compassionate but cold, angry, unforgiving and uncompromising.  I see no end in sight.  All it took was one misstep to find out that there will be no second chance. 
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: LoveMyGrandkids on September 10, 2012, 03:04:05 pm
I'm sorry, Grammie.  I have read so many stories that made me sad.  What I have been saying over and over is I GIVE.  I am not insisting on my way or my name.  But I need to vent a little and this seems a safe place.  I will not jeopardize my relationship with my GKS.  I also hold the opinion that any DIL who would do the things I have read about will one day reap a sorry harvest.  We are family, why all the rivalry and hatefulness?  I just don't get it.  One day these DILs will be MILs.  They would do well to remember that.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: constantmargaret on September 10, 2012, 04:09:53 pm
It's ok. We don't get it either. It's also ok to vent and be disappointed. I know these names can be emotionally charged. Once my XMIL heard one of my little kids call an elderly lady who was a family friend "Grammy Phyllis" and she got so upset she stormed out of my kid's birthday party and didn't speak to us for a year. She didn't want her title of honor to be used by someone else. I know that's an extreme example, but it kind of illustrates how important it is to some people. But to let it wreck an entire year of grandmahood? Now that, I really don't get. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water...

Letting go of family traditions can be hard. Change in general is hard. But I'm finding that the new traditions my adult kids are coming up with are pretty neat, too. Like Grammie said,  you gotta be FLEXIBLE, baby.

Just don't try and convince me that sausage belongs in the Turkey Stuffing.   
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: luise.volta on September 10, 2012, 05:38:06 pm
Why not?  :D
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Grammie on September 10, 2012, 06:36:21 pm
Luise, because it's yucky IMHO, LOL

LMGK, Thank you for your concern.  I can tell by your posts that you give so much.  I gave too.  DS and family stayed with us free of charge for more than 3 months while house hunting.  I gave up vacation time to babysit, We paid for DSs college and helped him buy his house. Heck DH even got DS a really good job with his employer.  I could go on and on and on about what we did for DS and his family.  But when you have selfish, self absorbed people they feel more entitled than appreciative.  DS was never that way until he got married.  DIL seemed like the perfect DIL and I thought she just adored us.  I thought we were being great GPs and everything was fine until it all came crashing down.  I never saw it coming.  I post here hoping to save others from this awful pain.  If I had found this site a year ago I would not be where I am now. 
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Pooh on September 11, 2012, 12:37:10 pm
Welcome LMG.  I've been away and still trying to catch up.

First, I know tons of Grandmas that have been given their name by the GC.  Normally, it's the Grandma saying, "Come on, say Grandma...MiMi....etc" and then when the GC finally calls them something, it's a variation of what the GP was trying to get them to say and it sticks.  So I do get the whole, the GC named me.  Now, if DIL didn't like it spelled with the word Mom in it, I also get that as she probably felt that title should be reserved for her.  Changing the spelling is no biggie as the GC are still going to pronounce it however they do.

I will hold up for you on the babysitting in this case.  One of my good friends had twins, and she stayed at home for a few years.  Her Mother did come help her out several times a week because the twins exhausted her.  It wasn't that she was lazy or looking to pawn them off on anyone, it was just simply help for her and sometimes was the only way she got a shower for the day.  No one busted her Mother's chops over it and we all thought it was nice of her Mother to help (her Mother didn't work outside the home either).  So why should it be any different for a DS that is a stay at home parent that happens to have a Mother that can and is willing to help out?  I'm with Pen on that one.

I get that DIL may be feeling left out or jealous of the time you are getting to spend with her babies, but the reality is, she chose to go back to work.  Why is that GM's fault and why should GM have to make that right by staying away?  If DS is asking her to help and appreciates it, I'm not quite following where GM has to say no.  If DIL has a problem with the situation, that should be between her and DS. 
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: LoveMyGrandkids on September 11, 2012, 01:08:53 pm
Thank you pooh!  I was badly needing some validation.  It does not mean I'm going to insist on my way, but I needed to know I was not being unreasonable, either.  Just for myself, you know?  Taking care of twins is physically exhausting, definitely.  And I really don't think most men are natural nurturers.  I know my son isn't, although he does his best.  I love being able to fill in the gaps, and I love how those tots love me back.  I have compassion for my DIL.  I really do.  But we are still confronted with the situation she created (bossy and controlling --YES!) and I think we are doing the best we can.  I'm going to start saying I and me to them referring to myself, and let the small fry call me what they choose.  I may even sign my cards and gifts to them as PawPaw and ME!  The most important thing to me is to be in their lives.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Pooh on September 11, 2012, 01:49:53 pm
I truly think that if DS is asking for you to help him out some, and you want to and have the time to do it, nothing wrong with it.  If DIL doesn't like it, then that is a conversation she needs to take up with DS and hash out.  If my MIL was helping my DH with our twins, I would be grateful that he had someone to help at times and give him a break.  Just the same as if I was staying home with twins, I would be grateful for some help from DM, MIL, or a friend at times I am sure. 

Now, I also would be very willing to be compromising if DIL had some requests.  I think it's natural for the Mom to want certain things, and I don't think there is anything wrong with a GM trying to be accomodating if it's reasonable requests that can be fulfilled easily.  I think you should sign the cards, PawPaw and MawMaw.  Like I said, the kids are going to pronounce it however they want.  My Mom liked the idea of being a "MamMaw".  My first niece called her "MeMaw" now matter how hard my Mom tried to get her to say it the other way.  She finally gave up and has been a MeMaw to all the GC for 27 years.  :D
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Scoop on September 12, 2012, 06:12:42 am
I still think it goes back to a problem within the DS and the DIL's marriage.  I can TOTALLY see any one of these resentment causing scenarios playing out.

- DIL works all day
- DS has MIL's help wrangling the twins
- when DIL comes home, the DS says "that's it, my day is done, I'm too tired to do anything else" and she has to do the rest of the evening by herself

- DIL works all day
- DS has MIL's help wrangling the twins, such that it's a full day playdate
- when DIL gets home, she still has to make supper, wash dishes and clothes and doesn't get to 'enjoy' her kids at all


- DIL works all day
- DS works with the twins & the house all day
- DIL gets up with the babies all night
- DS gets all the kudos for being a 'super Dad'


- DIL works all day
- when she gets home, DS fills her head with all of the fun things the twins did with their Momma (is that how you pronounce MomMaw?)

And the thing is, you can't know what's going on in their marriage, it's none of your business and it's impossible to know it ALL.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Pooh on September 12, 2012, 06:39:59 am
I agree Scoop.  I think it is between them and GM or whoever is helping out shouldn't have to be the scapegoat or not see the GC because of any of those possible scenarios.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Grammie on September 12, 2012, 10:07:24 am
Quote from: Pooh on September 12, 2012, 06:39:59 am
I think it is between them and GM or whoever is helping out shouldn't have to be the scapegoat or not see the GC because of any of those possible scenarios.

Very true Pooh but we know that's not how it works.  Some people don't need a reason that makes sense.  I'm living proof of that!
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: LoveMyGrandkids on September 12, 2012, 11:33:27 am
This GM thanks all of you for your kindness and support.  I think I know how to proceed.  The main thing for me will be to be sensitive to any undercurrents and deal with them directly.  I don't want to know private things about their marriage.  I just want the info I need to care for the little ones.  I think I have been a hostage to fear, and that must stop.  Seriously, if I am to be cut out, it will happen sooner or later regardless of what I do.  Who of us can live in relationships without ever making a wrong move?  It is my job to be loving and supportive.  In the end, the most loving thing I can do for those two tots that I love so deeply is support their parents marriage so their home is secure.  That is the greatest love of all.  Again, thank you all and I will pray that every broken heart represented here receives health and healing.  Good-bye!  Maybe I'll see some of you on the boards on other discussion threads.
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: luise.volta on September 12, 2012, 07:02:45 pm
Good luck!
Title: Re: Different situation
Post by: Pen on September 12, 2012, 07:04:11 pm
LMGK, best wishes! I'm glad you are here and hope you'll be posting on other threads :)