July 10, 2020, 12:18:22 am


"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- 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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Messages - justanoldgrandma

Ah, Pooh, I will add to the hug! 

Okay, yesterday I pampered myself in some brief crying spells, seeing gc toys still scattered around, napped bc I was so exhausted, did a bit of clean up and slept like a log.

Today, I went to hairdresser (a treat!) and was pampered by sweet and efficient young gal.  Walmart (not so sweet.)  Drove home and then out for dinner w friends (again, not a usual occasion but hit the spot.)

Am over the baby blues now.....knew I had to do a bit of silly grieving when the gc left, and then do some fun and relaxing activities.....
And am busy w a life w/o the gc.....and content.

Pooh, you are in for an exhausting period, I know you know!  Hope you can get away for some r and r while the baby is with you.  When all leave, you will find a mixture of sadness, loneliness, and relief that you can get some rest and do what you want to do when you want to do it.....one advantage of not having the baby all the time!

I know I could adjust to not seeing the gc as often as I do, as Lilly does......we do adjust, though it's harder to see them less after seeing them fairly often.  I know I am way too old and tired to be a gma 24/7!  But glad I get to see them when I can.....And I do feel for gps who would like to see the gc more and can't for some reason or other (in my case, the other gps see the gc a lot more bc dds seem to see their moms more....sometimes) but I know I am fortunate in what I have.

Keeps coming back to Luise's premise.....we were people before we had children/gc and are people afterwards (paraphrased).....I just have to live a full life w and w/o the kids!
Purple, that's so ironic bc before I read your post, I posted about being so lonely and missing the gc after a few days' care of them! 

If I were working as I did when I raised my children and had a very busy life as you do, I doubt I would be w the gc as prolonged a time and be so sad when they left.  If fact, if dh and i weren't retired, we couldn't take the kids for a few days.....and our visits would be short and infrequent.  Then the gc would be as we were to our gp's.....little ones to enjoy but not to obsess over!  It's the long visits where I really get attached.

I think your relationship is just fine.  I'm glad you and the other gps get along; my ILs spoil the gc more w gifts and no rules so I admit I get envious at times but the gc know we all love them and fortunately we all get along.  I'm glad your dd really doesn't worry about the gps!  I didn't either when I raised my kids!  Much too busy to fret and that's a good thing.

I think you are just fine the way you are.  Forget about those gushing gps!  Bet there are times when it's not so rosy!  You are a person in your own right and I, as in my post, realize I need some other important activities/interests in my life!
I already know the answer to this but had to ask if others feel the same way.  When dh and I stay w ds, dil, and gc, the gc cling to their mother and somewhat to their father (mom is a sahm.)  So dh and I are there when they go out or on errands and it always takes a while for them to get used to us again.  We are the go-to adults when the p's aren't around; not the most loved, of course.

But sometimes we get to have the gc at our house or theirs like the last few days and had the constant care (they are 4 and 9 months.)  Although we are exhausted after the visit, when they leave, I miss the hugs and giggles and stories and play all so much it takes a while for me to get used to their being gone. It's almost like they are our own children for that brief time (of course the older one, esp.,  miss their p's and we have them talk on the phone, etc.....not trying to replace the p's!)   DH loves them dearly but isn't such a sentimental fool and can go on w life more easily when they are gone.)

I know when we raised our kids I loved them dearly but had to work outside the house at the same time.  Of course, when they left for college, I cried after they left but did adjust of course.  (Yes, very sentimental!) With the gc, we just put everything on hold and concentrate on them.  I was going to go exercise class this evening after they left, but took such a long nap and missed the class.....

I know I need to get out more and get more friends and activities so that the gc aren't the loves of my life to such an extent.....anyone else miss the gc so much when they are gone? (My dil is difficult at times but loves it when she can do things w/o the children and ds appreciates the time off also.....so I know we are blessed.)

So....any other too attached gmas out there?  (We don't call them or their parents often, Skype, drop in on them, email, shower w gifts, any of the "too much" things; just see them once or twice a month when they ask; live 2 hrs. away so don't do the over-gp thing.)

Okay, about over the cry spell now.....I do know I need to plan some fun or busy activity to do when they leave so that my world isn't consumed w them (I'm retired and do need more activities and am fortunate to have a dh.) 

Any other sentimental gp's out there?!
That story of Mother Teresa is so touching; it shows we have to go on and forgive even if the son being forgiven doesn't repent or realize how he has hurt the mother/father......the forgiveness is for US, not for the son and others who neglect us.  Otherwise we do die of heartbreak.

I haven't thought much of the forgiveness of AC who hurt us..... but that probably is the first step to healing and going on w our lives.
I agree with Lilly; men just don't seem to be as caught up in family dynamics as women are. I think it goes to the basic nature of women; from the beginning of time, so far as we know!, the woman gave birth, nursed the babies, kept the home while the man went out and "hunted", making the living. She was responsible for the family's happiness in the home. The man took his son hunting w him when old enough, leaving the mother worrying about them......

I am catching a bit of "Mona Lisa Smiles" where the Julia Roberts character tries to convince her students (I think in the 50's) that they can be career women independent of a husband.....but she herself falls in love.....these young women are so conflicted as to whether they want family and/or career.....the two seem impossible to merge; they are still at the mercy of husbands.

Husbands and fathers usually dearly love their wives and children and miss their AC when they leave the nest; some suffer greatly w estrangement; but it seems most have outside diversions/careers to help distract them whereas we women, even w the "freedom" of so-called women's lib, still have the family on our minds even if working full time w many activities.....genetic and environmental.

It's true that we mothers have great joy but many have great worries/sorrows.....single women w/o children who don't want children do seem independent; my neighbor can't fathom worrying about family as I do; she is totally into her own life w brief times of being w others.....she's like a ....... man!

It seems the goal of WWU is to free mothers of AC/gc from the sorrow of their leaving/estrangement.....to become more independent, to stop weeping, to be the independent women that the failed Woman's Liberation Movement was intended to be.....as emotional as (I) am, that is a rest-of-my-lifetime task.....
So glad for you and dd, Ruth; you deserve to be proud, and she, too!  Isn't it great when some good things happen to an AC after a string of disappointments!  Makes a person believe in Karma or whatever we want to call it!  I know you and your dd are doing a happy dance right now!
Olive, you have been treated so shabbily.  I'm glad you are moving on with your life w the exchange students for holidays, the gym, other interests.  You deserve to be happy.

It's true what others have said and your comment, too, Olive.....everyone has a cross to bear; most people don't talk about their children who disappoint them (it always seems that the kids are perfect unless we know them well.)  And health, financial, marital problems....no one is exempt....the grass really isn't always greener and I'm glad you know that, Olive, despite the fact that your family has mistreated you.

Hope you continue to find outlets for happiness, Olive, bc you deserve happiness.
Grab Bag / Re: Father's Day
June 04, 2012, 05:09:19 pm
Since ds's ILs have so many weekends where everyone is there, we don't get to celebrate holidays w ds (other ds lives too far away)....

So since dh made my Mother's Day special (no son was here,) he took me out to eat and a movie....so I will make Father's Day a good day for dh; (dh will get cards and calls from dss which is good) and I will go w him to a festival where he competes in his favorite sport....it's a long ride and may be hot and will definitely be a long day, but I'll provide the food and drink and good company for him....

Thankfully he isn't a pouter or resentful person as I am sometimes!  He is more accepting of the way things are.  And we are lucky that although we don't have the weekly phone calls/visits and obligatory weekend dinners of the other foo, we aren't estranged from dss..... neglected compared to dil's foo, but their lives aren't so perfect either; I dare say dh and I have a more peaceful and happy home.

Been thinking of things and have decided that it's dh and me now; AC just can't be here for us all the time.....so it's up to us to make each other happy.  (Still trying to make friends from church, etc., bc friends can enrich our lives.)
Many years ago gma (gpa was deceased) gave my df equal share of the will w the blessings of her other AC bc my df and dm lived closer than the other AC and my df was like a son to her; helping w her finances, housing arrangements, biweekly visits to make sure she was taken care of.  Gma really appreciated it; and dm would never have been able to do all that w/o my father.

My father was a generous man never expecting anything for his considerations....... he actually split all or most of his modest "inheritance", don't know, between my sibling and me as he didn't need the money and my dh and I were working hard to make ends meet; my father actually said, now you can get yourself a decent stove!

Since none of the gc had been in the will, we were surprised but that's the way my father wanted it to be and like Luise said, it is a good memory that my father and gma had helped us out when we needed it but didn't expect it.

Our dss aren't greedy guys; they tell dh and me to enjoy what we have and not worry about leaving anything to them; (although we are frugal people and aren't trying to spend what we have; and of course, by the time we pass, there may be nothing left anyway!)

I  really like when there is no expectation of inheritance.....my dh and I share our money, no matter where it came from.  But my bil is very money conscious and although he inherited some money, which I think he shares w his wife, resents his wife's spending her own inheritance on things for herself; not a good thing to have on your mind....
When dh and I made out our will about 5 years ago (long overdue) we designated everything to our dss at our deaths.....my sibling asked, "That means you are leaving out your dil!"  We said, no, our ds can share whatever inheritance there is w her.....(I was surprised my her comment bc I'm not sure if their daughter's husband was included in their will......)

DH and I had no reason to not include the dil or to-be gc in the will; just figured dss would inherit and then share w their wives and children as that's the way we were accustomed to wills being done....

Well, so glad we didn't include dil in the will bc not after a disastrous marriage, ds and dil are divorced and I would hate to think that she would have inherited anything after costing our son (and us) an incredible amount of heartache and financial setbacks due to her addictions......

She is quite self-centered with little feeling for others, and I have no doubt would have gladly taken the money and run if we had died and she was in the will, even divorced from ds! 

Even though we had no clue that they were having such problems, you never know......of course dss can develop problems but we feel any inheritance can go to them if anything is left!  They can then share w wives and gc;

As for college money, our son makes more than we ever did, and is careful w money, so I have no doubt he'll save for their college; so, so far, we haven't set up a college fund for the gc.......dh and I put ourselves through school and took out loans (so did our dss); sometimes I think young people knowing they have a hefty college fund might discourage them from studying/working as hard as they should; 

Our sons worked hard bc they had to keep the grades up to keep their scholarships and worked bc we couldn't put them through school; they graduated w high honors; I know so many young people given all the money up front and not even graduating......

Any money we might put in a trust for the gc for college will be in our names or dss's names so that the kids can't spend the money for cars, etc.......(I've seen that happen!)  In fact, my dh's foo had a small college fund for our sons and in a way, I wish they hadn't known the money was there; thank goodness they knew it wouldn't put them through college alone; I'd prefer the money being directly sent to the college for tuition after h.s. graduation, etc........I know this all sounds pessimistic, but have seen too much of this happen!
Quote from: luise.volta on May 28, 2012, 07:51:32 pm
Yes, we are all unique. That's a good point. Here is something weird about me for what's its worth: I do something that I'm not sure will make make much sense but I have still seen it work many times. I get stuck and then on some level give up, and by doing that, I pop out of it. It's never deliberate or even my goal because when I'm stuck I can't see beyond the end of my nose. But in retrospect...that's a pattern I often see in myself. When I am working hard I don't move and when I give up, I do. Sending love...

When I've have a anxiety issue that drags on and on concerning a loved one, can't fix it no matter how hard I try, get so frustrated and obsessed that I think I'll go mad, I have finally reached rock bottom in my thinking I can fix it; like Luise says, I've given up.  (I know this isn't a religious site, so I'll just say, "I give up, I let it go, take this from me.") Once I felt instant release, the next gradual....and again, things turned out so much better in my life, not my 'perfect' but so much better than I had thought possible....

Whether a person calls it giving up, letting go, letting a spirit take control, whatever, it gives me peace if I can get to that point.

Ruth, your son has unusual problems since childhood and you have done way over what you can do..... another cliche is just "it's him, not me."  I've had to do this w an IL that I have to maintain contact with in order not to be hurt so much.....

About feeling alone when hearing of others' holidays, Ruth, I'm going to be w/o one ds on Christmas and Thanksgiving and MDay and other holidays for the rest of my life (wow, that just occurred to me) bc the other family takes precedent and doesn't believe in sharing.  I have to accept it and MDay wasn't so hard this year bc I refuse to feel like a victim (although I did get a post-Day blues a couple of days later.)  I of course still envy the close families as you mentioned, but I know their lives aren't perfect either.

These posts are all good advice.....I hope you can come to some peace....no one understands another's situation but we do understand some of the pain you are experiencing....

I've had the denial (astonishment of the situation), trying to change it, venting endlessly to dh and some close friends (who just do not want to hear it, think I'm exaggerating, even dh says so ((in denial)), the anger, the sadness, trying to accept that my life isn't the way I thought it should be....

But I'm being increasingly reminded that life is short and my loved ones and I are as healthy as we are ever going to be in the future so I'd better enjoy life now....that's way I'm here reading how others cope.
I get what Herbal is saying.  A person can drive oneself into distraction trying to please the ps and gc; for some it comes easily; for others, not....sounds like Scoop's mil is just not into small children and is sometimes very untactful, doesn't seem to get it....but she does love gd as you said, and gd must know that or she would ignore her.....gd probably knows who the fun gma is and must accept the other one as distant but "there."

Guess the good thing is although the gma doesn't do all the things the other gma does, she isn't complaining about being the left-out gma bc she isn't being left out!  That's a good thing, Scoop, that you have your mil in your lives even though she does thoughtless things like the picture trashing.

My mother didn't "play" w us as children; she loved us and we knew it; she also didn't play w the gc or ggc (they were too "rowdy" when small.)  She did pick up interest as they grew older, wanting to know about their activities and very proud of their achievements.  Her gks felt the love she had for them although she wasn't the fun gma.

She had her own life as Herbal is saying, I think.  Her job, her dh (my dad) and other activities were foremost in her mind; she didn't obsess over her gkds; she would worry about them if she knew a problem, so I tried not to let her know about issues that she couldn't help bc we would worry.

DH tells me I overdo the gkd thing; I'm frustrated bc I have scads of pics I need to organize, having overdone it; I want the gkds to know and love me; but at the same time, I know I can't begin to keep up w the maternal gps/relatives who shower them w so many gifts that the c soon just ignore; too much!  So I keep gifts to something I know they need; they have so many dolls, balls, stickers, handmade things (I've done this, too) that more means nothing to them.....

Dil has so many pics, etc., that when i special make an album of pics for her it isn't special; if one pic isn't perfect of dil, the album is never seen again (she points out the pics she doesn't like although I'm thanked for the album.)  Nothing is special if there's too much of it.

I don't get to Skye w them as I'd like; the ps are too busy; so when I'm w them I give them attention but also discipline (dh the same); discipline the ps agree with;  I've seen too many gps give too much attention/gifts/whatever they want; the gc sometimes treat the gps rudely.....the gps won't even tell the kids to behave for fear the gc will dislike them....

Herbal is right; if we overdo it, the gc and we all suffer. We have to remember the gkds aren't responsible for our being happy.
True, Herbal, there was a lot of prejudice in the olden days.  All the things you mentioned.  Notice though how much these OLD hatreds and standards are trying to resurface in a lot of politicians' speeches?!  i feel like it's back in the 50's or worse (when these things didn't affect me bc I was a baby.....!

It's hard for me to realize so many people still harbor these homophobic, anti-poor and anti-mentally ill feelings, "if you had a positive attitude you wouldn't be sick" anthems, only the well-off should get med. care, no family planning, no equal pay for women..... and some of these issues some politicians are trying to legislate!  (not going to go into politics here; just some of the speeches are frightening!)

In a way, i feel we are worse off than in the olden days when there were some values, although there were struggles for women's and civil rights; i thought we had conquered these issues....guess not....

I want it all: old-fashioned courtesy but tolerance and rights for all....

LovelyMimi and NewMama, it's great to hear that you would never keep your dhs and gkids from your dh's foo unless it were a case of abuse or such.....not a disagreement or even a really, really bad argument!  (I'm not the type to "go off" on someone; I take it out on myself and cause myself anxiety!)

But in these stressful times with so much stress on young families, with young wives nor many mils/fils not afraid to speak up, these misunderstandings/hard feelings can arise.....

In a family I know, at a 4th of July celebration there was a huge argument between a dil and her mil; the dil thought she was being made fun of; the new dil and her new dh left and the mil said she wouldn't "make up"; that she just cared about her ds and that he would come to the gatherings.  (The mil had known the dil for a long time & didn't like her for her son and I'm sure the dil knew this; actually, I think it was the two women fighting over the son, jealousy.)  I asked the mil what about the future gkids....she was confident that her ds and gks would come see her; I'm sure the new dil felt that she had nothing to lose either! 

Fortunately, the blowup passed after a few tense gatherings; how silly this sounded to me on both the mil and dil's sides! The two women see each other but not w love; it's sad bc there's no reason.....

I agree w NewMama and Doe about women not pouring all into their children; my mother didn't (see other long post by me!); she was more vested in my father, her job, herself.......so she wasn't constantly looking to me or to her gkids for her life to be complete; in her older years, her friends and activities still took priority at times; it sometimes hurt me but I was glad she had her own life and was happy....

Work, volunteering, travel, friends, church, whatever.....we mils need to find our happiness not just in our gkids and AC; it's just too fleeting and not reliable!  (Making notes to myself as I sit here missing the gkids!)
Grab Bag / Re: Afraid...
May 23, 2012, 12:45:52 pm
My gps and parents didn't coddle, worship, indulge us as we do our kids/gkds today. We were taken care of, knew we were loved, but by today's standards, probably would be considered neglected!  We had fewer activities; some they attended if farm/other obligations didn't interfere.....(farm work really kept them centered on work, not in playing w the kids so much; of course, "town" parents were busy, too.)

My mother teared up when I married out of sentiment, but my leaving home wasn't really mourned....they missed me but it wasn't a tragedy...natural.

IOW, it was easier to let go of us and when i had the babies, my ps weren't at the hospital and didn't come to visit or help right away; our kids weren't as coddled as gkids are today, either; my mother heard about their activities through my weekly letters, not through emails, etc.....there was no conflict as there is today over holidays and who saw the gkids.... 

Parents/gps were just more independent and able to let go (well, mine were!)  We spoiled our sons more, but there was no gp conflict; so this having gc and missing them and knowing we aren't seeing them as much as the other gps is new to me; wish it were the olden days; need to find my own life again as my parents did.