My first grandchild was born two weeks ago. My husband and I just got back from seeing her and it was not a great experience. We live 6 hours from my son and his wife and the baby-we did not go see the baby the first week as my mom was recovering from major surgery and I was taking care of her. Well, a few days ago my husband and I headed to the see the baby-my son asked us to visit for three days and my husband and I stayed with my daughter, who lives an hour from my son and DIL.
Just wanting to give you some history here: DIL's mom was with her while DIL gave birth. I never asked to be in the room, knew that was not my place. DIL's parents live thirty minutes away, DIL is close to her mom, she is an only child. DIL and I do not have a bad relationship, but it is not a close one. I would have wanted to have a stronger relationship with DIL, but she has never really seemed to have a need for such a relationship and I did not push.
Anyway, my husband and I get to son and DIL's house. My son is beaming with pride as he greets us. DIL's mom comes in with the baby. She proudly tells us how well my son did during labor, that the baby's nickname is nicknamed Cissy (baby's name is Cecile) and that the baby looks just like their side of the family. DIL's mom hands me my granddaughter, warning me to be careful of her head and not to drop her.
I felt my stomach drop. I have two children, I know how to hold babies. I didn't need to know who the baby looked like, I wanted to see that myself and the info about my son doing well in labor seemed to me like DIL's mom was gloating and rubbing it in that she was there for the birth.
Anyway, my husband and I visited for three hours. DIL did not come out from her room, I was told she was not feeling up to company.
The next day, my husband and I came back with takeout-enough for my son, DIL and her mom. DIL's mom tells us she never eats takeout and lists the reasons why it is bad for you and that DIL doesn't allow "junk" in the house. My son admitted that DIL has been interested in eating healthy since she was pregnant and that yes, she was not crazy about takeout, but it was no big deal.
After my son said this, I again, asked about DIL and her mom said that DIL again, wanted to rest, she would not be seeing us.
I asked my son if DIL's labor was that hard and he said that DIL just really wanted to sleep while she could. My husband and I stayed for almost four hours. Like the day before, DIL's mom never left us alone. My son went and got the baby and the MIL watched us like hawks. I felt really uncomfortable and said to DIL's mom that if she wanted to run errands or check on DIL, we would be fine. DIL's mom said she was fine and wanted to stay in case "anything happened."
What did she think was going to happen, that we would take the child and run off?
The last day of the visit, we only stayed two hours. My son took lots of pics of us holding the baby and some video as well. Again, no DIL, but her mom stayed right there. I asked about DIL, again told she was not up for visitors.
My husband and I left. I was very hurt at how I was treated by DIL's mom, like I was not good enough. Then I find out today a different story.
My son and daughter run a business together. About 3 hours after my husband and I left for home my daughter went to my son and DIL's to drop off his cell phone charger. She told me that when she dropped it off, DIL was sitting on the couch, joking, laughing with her family, who were there visiting.
My daughter, who knew that DIL did not visit with us when we were there, told DIL she was glad she was feeling up to company, because she had heard the opposite story. My daughter said didn't say anything, she stopped laughing and knew she had been called out. My son was not home when this happened, he had gone to the airport to pick up more of DIL's family.
I am insulted by how my husband and I were treated. DIL was not up for company when it was her husband's kin, but for her own family , she is fine. Do I tell my son about how I feel or say nothing?
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My saga started much less amicably than yours. My DIL let me know in no uncertain terms that I was waaayyy down on her list of priorities. In retrospect it is almost comical the extremes she went to in order to make sure I felt "left out". I was not invited to the rehearsal but I was asked to host the rehearsal dinner (which I did). I found out they had purchased a house after they had moved in and then only by figuring it out from clues on that horrible website Facebook (I was a real estate broker at the time, but they didn't want my opinion!). I found this website a few weeks before that horrible wedding, when I had to smile and nod in spite of my breaking heart. This site.......wow, what a lifesaver this site was!
It was here that the wise women told me that it is my job to be happy. It is my choice what I think about and the less time I spent thinking about my DIL the happier I got. The truth of the matter is that when I pulled back and stopped trying to 'fix' things my DS eventually noticed. We were always a close family and he missed us too. When my first grand was born I stopped by while my DIL was in labor and treated my DS to a meal in the hospital cafeteria. He got a call to hurry back to the room so we left. He called us a little while later and asked us to stop by to greet our new grandchild but I said no, let DIL's family have their time and I will see my new granddaughter later. I think he was surprised by that.
Anyway as time has passed (grands are 5 and 3 now) my DS has made a real effort to connect with us and I have made equal strides to connect with both him and his daughters. My DIL visits if she feels like it, or not. Whatever.
So my thoughts to you are you are dealing with two Mom's of only children and they tend to be really, really, really picky. If your DS has another child then all of that pickiness will go out the window, kind of like that commercial. If he does not then you just have to wait until your grandchild is old enough to make their own decisions as to whom she likes. My bets will be on the grand who doesn't hover over like she is a piece of china. After all it isn't over till the fat lady sings and I don't hear any music!
There will probably be others who will chime in! Hugs!!!
Thank you for your response and now my DIL has weighed in. She called me to tell me she sent me an email she would like to me to read. I read the email and am quite unsure how to proceed. Basically, she said that she was very hurt by DD and that really DD should have called and stopped by. DIL said it was also no one's business who she chose to see or not see during this time of recuperation, that it was her choice. She also said that since neither I nor my DD have given birth (my son and daughter are adopted), I cannot relate to how she feels. And that was the end of the email. I am more hurt now, both at the condescendng tone and I feel like DIL threw it in my face that I am not my son's bio mom, but I could be wrong. What a horrible mess.
What a horrible mess!!
Since your DIL gave birth recently maybe you could just chock it up to postpartum stress. Those hormones can really mess your thinking up and she may still recover her good senses if you give her time. If you respond now you will only throw more fuel onto a fire that you do not want to burn. Your DS is probably at his wits end defending you and catty remarks like the one about "giving birth" will probably haunt your DIL in time. Of course none of this helps you!
Here is how you help yourself. Plan a trip for yourself and your DH. Go somewhere you always wanted to go. Spend the money you would have showered on your new granddaughter. Invite your DD to go with you. Visit the museums you always wanted to see, or go shopping with your DD. What do you love to do? Do it! And while you are having a ball (this is the hard part) stop thinking about your DS and DIL and their issues (yes, their issues, not yours!). Parenting is a learning process and you and I both know that they have a lot to learn! Give them the space to learn their lessons (my bet is your DIL's mother has a few to learn too!). If you aren't in the way they won't be able to blame you for anything, and trust me if you are there they will almost certainly blame you and make your DS's life miserable defending you. I know this is not an easy thing to do so I will offer you my mantras:
1) No news is good news
2) Not my circus, not my monkeys
3) What you focus on expands
These three saved me and my DS married a bipolar wife against my wishes. Talk about having to pull my mind away from something! Ouch! I finally decided to call that swirling quagmire that sucks my mind into such utter darkness and despair "the abyss" and now anytime I feel my self getting sucked into the abyss I pull out my three mantras and repeat them to myself and anyone around who brought the subject up. Everyone in my family has heard them repeatedly over the years and eventually they have learned to avoid the subject also. Finally my life is good, I mean really good! My marriage is wonderfully solid (it was touch and go there for a while!) and I am planning a trip for next year with my DH and my younger DS. This year I have spent getting two new knees, not fun at all but at least I live in an age where they can replace them instead of living in the pain I was in.
Life is good! Go out and live it, don't waste your golden years trying to fix something that is not in your realm of responsibility. Put it on the back burner and ignore it. Time wounds all heels.
It is very upsetting. My DS and DD had a huge argument as well. He accused her of snooping and creating drama and she accused him of forgetting who his real family is. He told her his priority is his child and wife and told her she is banned from his house until he apologizes to my DIL.
It is because it is so upsetting that you need to take your mind off of it. Go do something fun with your DD today but make it an absolute must that you do not discuss your DS/DIL and GD. You should make up a code word like Ice Cream to use to get the other person on another subject. It could go like this....
"So what is your favorite flavor of Ice Cream?".......
It will be comical after a while, take the pressure off and you will be helping each other learn to point your thoughts in a more pleasant direction. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!!