February 18, 2020, 07:47:00 am

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"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 - Bookworm

1
Stilllearning thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. It is accurate to say I am eating that moldy apple of guilt but getting sick of it. For years I have blamed myself for everything, including things I had no control over that I feel affected my children. And indeed they may have but upon thinking about it a little more, I think of the thousands of things that happened to my siblings and I which were out of our parents control which affected us but they did not appear to feel guilt over. And why should they have? It had nothing to do with them, the events that affected us were totally out of their control (we were refugees from Cuba during the 60's and witnessed the communist revolution and all the bloody drama that entailed).

I did do the very best I could and true perhaps it was not good enough but it was the best I knew at the time. My kids were exposed to a bad divorce and neglect from their bio father but none from me or their stepdad. In fact I bent over backwards for my kids to overcompensate for their own fathers lack of interest.

But enough, I am done (I hope), sick and tired of feeling guilty for circumstances I had little control over. I truly don't mind watching them once in awhile but would love it if DD would just bring them and VISIT me rather than just drop them off and run off to her activity.

Truth be told I am angry because I have been very ill for almost a week and she knows this, knows I was in urgent care and I have not received a call to inquire as to how I am doing. She knows because she is on a group chat with my family where they have inquired as to how I feel, but it has not been enough to elicit a call from her just to check in. Nor has DS. So I am pretty fed up at this point. I am reading a book called "Done with Crying" about parent/adult child relationships and it is helping somewhat.

Sorry for the rant and thanks for your feedback.


2
Thanks Bamboo2 and Things happen ! Your words of support mean a lot to me particularly because I am feeling really guilty, why I don't know.  I had  DGS  over Thursday night to Friday morning as he was unable to go to summer camp and DGA All day Monday as she had a tooth abscess that the doctor had called and was not feeling up to going to camp. I have to admit that with her I didn't cave and buy her 2 Barbies, wanting to spoil her while she was with me.  But it was done willingly not out of guilt. And you are right In that they enjoy the time with us more when we actually have activities rather than toys. When I take them to the local splash pad, bike riding or just coloring with them, they seem to enjoy that more and I feel we are creating memories, which will last much longer than any toy. I just didn't want to feel so guilty but you are both righr in that I put in my time and it's time for the parents to step up to the plate. Thanks so much for your support!
3
 I meant to say I told SIL I can only do Friday night until Saturday at noon and that perhaps he can ask his mother to do Sat-Sun. Sorry I don't know how to do an edit on the posts  ::)
4
So I recently wrote for the first time in "Sad and feeling sorry for myself". Thank you to all who posted and provided support. I have a dilemma which I have already dealt with but am feeling guilty over. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a soon to be 30 yo DD who is the mother of my 2 adorable grandchildren ages almost 8 (DGS) and 5 (DGD).

I was unaware that the rage nowadays is to celebrate your "Dirty Thirty" birthday, in any event, my DD made it clear she did NOT want a party, specially a surprise party. Her cousin, my niece, is the sister she never had and is coming from NYC to spend the weekend here for DD bd at the end of July. I asked my SIL if they had anything planned and he reiterated that DD had been adamant she didn't want anything. Come to find out that he has planned a birthday weekend at the beach and will be having a small gathering with some of their friends, which would involve going to clubs on South Beach (we live in Miami) and doing the whole party thing. We are not invited, nor are any of the older relatives, which is fine, as none of us are interested in that scene at our ages.

However, he told me he had hoped to count on me for babysitting the grands for the ENTIRE weekend. I guess what bothers me about this is that they must think DH and I have no life at all, as he just assumed that I would be available. I do what I consider to be a lot of babysitting already, often at the last minute so they can go to happy hour or have an outing. In May DH and I took care of our grandchildren for 4 out of 7 days while DD and he celebrated their 10 year anniversary in Italy (his parents did the other 3 days). We have had them multiple times on many occasions when they have gone away for a long weekend or had a "date night". I pick up my grandson every Tuesday at summer camp and take him to tutoring and then either bring he and DGD to my home or back to theirs, depending on DD request. If they get sick I am called on to care for them so that DD or SIL don't have to take PTO and I am happy to do so as I did not have that kind of help when I had my own kids. If DD wants to go to the gym and SIL is working, I have the kids over, although not as often (the gym thing).

I want to reiterate that I LOVE my grandchildren but I am not interested in babysitting so often. DH and I enjoy spending time together and going out on our own. To be fair, SIL's mother does a LOT of babysitting but often at her own request to have the kids come over on weekends "just because". I am not like that. The grands are wonderful, but together, they are quite a handful, so I don't mind helping out but I also don't wish to be taken for granted.

I guess I am feeling like a crap grandma because until a few months ago, I used to spend quite a bit of money buying the grands toys, uniforms, shoes, clothes until I realized that as a retiree I can't afford to continue to do so, I would rather spend my money traveling while DH and I have good health. However the other grandma continues to spend like there is no tomorrow and is constantly buying the grands everything in sight. I mean that pretty literally, she enjoys buying for them, as I do, but does not travel or do things with her husband.


So as I can see I am feeling badly for not wanting to babysit as often, feeling bad for making the decision to stop throwing toys and clothes at them and focusing more on DH and I, I am also feeling guilty for not wanting to have them the entire weekend of DD birthday. I told SIL that I could do ONE day, Friday, picking them up from summer camp and then taking them to his moms by noon as DH and I have plans.


Any words of wisdom ? I feel like a terrible mother and grandmother for feeling this way.


I told him I was only available on Friday an
5
Gabbi wow what a difficult situation! I know the feeling of wanting to step in and make everything better but the reality is that you are done with parenting (at least as it pertains to raising your children). It is hard when they make choices that you can plainly see are not good but in truth the best thing you can do is step back and let her (and her DH) be who they are. Accept that your role in raising her is done. Easier said than done I know. Good luck to you !
6
Thank you Luise ! I have been, since I posted this thread been repeating no news is good news and trying to detach as much as possible when I feel negative! It is working ! This weekend we had DGD ballet recital and DSIL family planned an entire outing after to which we were not included, and I was on the verge of feeling so upset, when I reminded myself that I was too tired to go anywhere anyway. That is not to say that I did not feel sad not to be invited, I just did not dwell on it and was aware of other reasons that they might be doing so as the following day was fathers day and DSIL father could not attend as he had to work and all his other kids from out of town where there. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and told myself they may be having a family celebration.

Additionally DGD other grandmother purchased her balloons, flowers and gifts for the ballet recital and for the first time ever I thought, "I'm not in a competition", and after that I felt pretty good! Thanks so much for all the support!
7
Thank you so much gettingoldandcranky, I am feeling so much better since I posted. I think I needed to realized that I was not the only one, and that I was contributing to my own distress by focusing on it so much. As stilllearning posted, I need to feel needed. So at this point I am working on myself because I am my own worst enemy when it comes to this type of thing.

Case in point, I am always second guessing myself, worried about and trying to compensate my adult kids for the abandonment they suffered at the hands of bio dad, despite the fact that I myself did (I think) a pretty good job raising them. I made sure they knew they were loved and during their childhood were involved in many, many activities of their choice, went on many happy family vacations with us and were loved and nurtured by my extended family as well.

DD gave me a particularly hard time during adolescence, she was a moody, strong willed individual (still is). At any rate, at the time I suffered tremendously on her behalf because her bio dad had neglected her time and again. In fact, she didn't invite him to her own wedding, and when I asked her why she told me she had spent her entire life "waiting for him to show up" and she didn't want to go through that stress on her wedding day. She now sees him once or twice a year and they appear to have a distant but amicable relationship. However, it is DH that our grandkids consider grandpa and they don't yet seem to realize that "mommy's daddy" whom they see once a year is related to them LOL.

At any rate, I have started to detach, I took care of the grands all day Friday and it was the first time I had seen her in abou 2 weeks. I usually try to engage her in conversation and put myself out to have a nice visit but yesterday felt different. I greeted her happily but did not ask about her new job, or anything else. SHE was the one that began to talk about things when I did not pry and thus encouraged, I just smiled and laughed during our conversation but did not pressure her for more.

I usually try to kiss her several times before she leaves and this time I didn't, I let her give me one kiss and that was it.

So I think it is all me wanting to be loved and needed and being too smothering perhaps, which turns them totally off and I think if I can rein myself in, it may all go better.

I will continue to read everyones experiences and posts as they are very helpful and participate as often as possible. This site is a godsend.
8
Stilllearning thank you! You have no idea how much what you said resonated with me! I think you're right in that I need to feel needed. It was a light bulb moment for me to read that and my goodness you've no idea how realizing that made me begin a turn around! Still a work in progress but thank you so very much for your wise words!
9
Please forgive me for posting this again, I found I had posted this in the wrong forum, I am new and not very savvy about this site.

Hello, I found this site when looking up distant adult children. I hope you can help me. I am feeling oh so sorry for myself. I have 2 adult children, a son and daughter both in their 30's. I have been married to their stepfather for over 20 years and they have a good relationship with him. The divorce from their bio dad was due to marital infidelity over many years among other things and was very, very bad. Despite this, I think I managed to hold myself together and raise them well, although I feel very guilty about the divorce (which was not my fault) but the suffered a lot of neglect and indifference from their father as a result.
Fast forward to the present, my son is single, a college graduate, living with his girlfriend who is very nice ad working in his chosen field and is very successful. He lives over 2000 miles from DH and I.
My daughter married her HS sweetheart just out of HS and despite my entreaties to think it over due to her age, her marriage is a success. He is a lovely person and a wonderful husband and father and they have been together for over 15 years (dating and married). She has a Masters degree and works at a high level administrative position.They are the parents of my only grandchildren, ages 8 and 5. DD and her family live about 30 minutes from us.

I am writing because I am confused. Neither of my children are affectionate people yet they have demonstrated that they love me in other ways, for example, last year, my DD went to a great deal of trouble to throw me a surprise retirement party and DS flew in for just that one night to be present. Another example is that my son was awarded a big prize in his industry and chose to take me as his "date" and paid for the entire thing, including my flight. This was several years ago.

So really I should be thrilled but I guess I am at a loss because they are so inconsistent. Both are not one to call just to chat, or check in. This year I did not get a card, or a gift from either for Mother's Day or my birthday (just a few days ago). As it happens, over Mother's Day DH and I babysat our grandkids for 4 days while DD and her hubby were on vacation for their anniversary. Upon their return, she gave me a chocolate bar. My son called me Mother's Day and asked if I had a wish list on Amazon (I had but I took it down when I realized that it was already Mother's Day and the moment had passed). Call me proud but I did not want to be an afterthought. Of course, I did not tell him that, I just told him I was so happy to hear his voice and that was good enough.

This year for my birthday (last week), DH took me on a trip. DD and DS called to wish me happy birthday and upon our return my DD asked if I could babysit the grands until summer camp started, which I did. No happy birthday, no card, no gift. I returned this Sunday and have yet to see her, all this was done via text.

Anyway, I am very hurt primarily because I have expectations which I know I shouldn't but its still a work in progress. I feel like I have done so much for them and they have taken me for granted. Financially I have given them thousands of dollars to help out, am constantly buying the grandkids clothing and shoes, babysitting on a regular basis, ect.

I remember a few years ago I took DD shopping to purchase baby clothes for DGD. DD was in a mood and after a few stores and lots of money spent I suggested we have lunch. I had so been looking forward to doing a girls type outing with her to buy things for my as yet born granddaughter and had planned to make a day of it. She basically walked out the mall and kept going, in the car I began to cry and I will never forget what DD said to me "Mom, your problem is that you have an idea of how things should be and build it up in your mind like a fairy tale and when it doesn't go that way you start to cry". I thought that was kind of cruel but accurate.

At any rate, I am in a quandary. I want to close the purse strings (by the way, they  have NEVER asked me for money, I've always been the one throwing everything at them anticipating their needs). I don't want to seem petty but I am kind of done. Just this week, on impulse I went with DH and purchased DGS everything he still needed for baseball (DD and DSIL were grateful) and then yesterday bought DGD a bike for our house because the one she had here she had outgrown.

Again, I realize this is all me, I am giving stuff constantly without being asked. I don't know if I am trying to buy affection or love, or compensate my adult kids for their childhood. Any ideas? They are good people truly but it is not in them to be effusive or affectionate or even show much interest in DH and I on a day to day basis and my feelings get hurt. Thanks so much in advance.