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Help...I do not know what to do.

Started by Goldenmom13, April 04, 2011, 05:09:23 pm

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I have one son who has been married for almost 3 years and has a new 2-month old baby girl. His wife is nice enough and I have known her for many years since they went to high school together (although were not together as a couple then). She comes from an extremely wealthy, suffocating family and she and , particularly, her Mom are extremely close. I should mention that they also live about 150 miles from us and her parents live in the same neighborhood as my son and daughter-in-law. Her parents see the baby every day (they also all work together) and when it comes time for us to see the baby..we always have to come to their house and when we are there, her parents are ALWAYS in the picture...we have not had more than one day alone with our new grandchild. My husband is becoming very frustrated at the disparity and wants me to talk to our son..I know our son loves us and wants to be with us, and he constantly says how much he wants us to be there for the baby....but I think he is pressured by the fact that he feels like he has to do what his wife's family does because he works in their business. What would you do? S.


I would agree. They have a hold on him that may make it hard for him to feel independent. Can you talk withh im about it and ask him how it could work for both of you? Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I feel for you, but I've got to be honest if I were you, I wouldn't say a word. Anything you say is going to be heard as a "demand", and they tend to backfire. You can make your visits special and fun and relaxed even if they have to include your DIL's family, :o Figure out a tradition you can have with your grandaughter that's something special just for you. My Grandmother used to bring me movie magazines and lemon drops.
It sounds like your son is in a very pressured situation. Letting him know you are there for him, without adding to the pressure I think will mean alot. I'm facing just about the same situation BTW, my DIL is extremely emeshed with her family. It ain't easy.  :-X


Maybe you could tell DS on the phone on your way down for next visit that you want to treat DS, DIL, and GD out for dinner at restaurant (don't include her parents in invite) and see what happens.  Also, you could offer to babysit and let your DS and DIL go out by themselves.  Maybe when you and DH are there you could suggest you and DH take baby out for a stroll by yourselves and you could add lightly and smiling "we want to have a little special alone time with our sweet grandaughter".  I think it may be easier when your GD gets older because then you can invite her to come stay at your house during the summer for a long weekend or a week if DIL would allow and you and your husband then will have quality time with her without the other grandparents.  Hang in there, actually since you don't live so close, as your GD gets older it will be "extra special" to her when she sees you as she always sees the other grandparents.       


Just thought...have you ever invited them to your house for a weekend?  That would give you time alone with DS and GD without DIL's parents hovering.  When you are at their house though, I would turn it around to offering to babysit while DS and DIL take a break and tell them you would love to have the time with GD and for them to go out and have fun.  Hopefully it won't backfire and the DIL's parents won't insist on helping you babysit! haha.   :-[  then you will still be stuck with her parents still there!  Good luck.


Easter is coming up. Maybe invite your DS/DIL/GD for Easter weekend. It seems kinda "natural" to me that they are very close with DIL's family since her family lives so close and you aren't. It certainly isn't "fair" but it does make sense. But I too would caution against saying anything that might come across as a demand.

You said they went to high school together? Did you guys move or did her family move?


Bless your hearts! I can understand how that would make you feel badly.
Some of our Grandchildren live within 5 miles of us and we see them all time! Sometimes daily. And when their other Grandparents are in town to see them. (They live in another state) We always stay away except for the next to last evening they are here. Then if they are up for it we carry the entire group out to dinner.
But we know that is special time for them and the grandchildren! So we don't go over there and so they can have all their attention.
And thankfully with the Grandchildren that we have that don't live near us, their other do the same for us.
I have no suggestions for you on how to get them to do right? I wish I did! It seems selfish and really kinda blind of the other Grandparents not to see that y'all want to love and play with the baby just like they do.. I don't understand that?
I'm sure that many of the WW here will be able to help you.. God Bless!


Goldenmom.. you and I need to sit down one day with a glass of wine and compare notes... I'm in the same bind as you... while my dil is pregnant with her first, it will be the same with her FOO because it has been like fighting a sea of jellyfish just to get to see my son.  They have pushed, and dil has insisted that her parents be there at every single turn....  my son was heading out on his first deployment and we had only a half of a day to see him, and guess who decided that they needed to see him off as well... I boldly went where no one should have to go and told everyone that this was going to be our time with our son, oh yes no one has gotten over it, and now it's become a game for her family... We had plans in Nov to do a weekend away with my ds/dil (we were invited for the weekend, not our idea) when at the very last minute oops guess who was going to fly in to join all of us... needless to say I said thanks but no thanks, catch you another time.... matter of fact I seem to be saying that a lot any more, because I'm sick and tired of having her family shoved down my throat and up my butt every waking minute of every day.   With us this has nothing to do with money, social class etc, it's based on the selfish wants of a very spoiled, self-centered young lady, who has parents who apparently approve of her self-centered ways, because they sure go along with it.  Now where is my hemorrhoid cream.. I feel an itch in an odd place. 


Laurie, I just LOVED your reply! And I don't blame you one bit! I'm still laughing! Did you find that cream?  :P


You know, after a few years of this, it really is just a pain in the rear... I have a good relationship with my kids, wanted to enjoy my new dil, but she has just made it almost impossible.  But.. on a good note she is showing my own daughter what not to do in life :) .. I have a feeling that I'll be searching for that cream for years to come.


Thanks Laurie for this laughing moments....priceless.

Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:

lancaster lady

Hello goldenmum ...

join the world wide club of MIL's who's sons are married and have a baby that none of us see !!
There are many on this forum who have the same dilemma as you have ! their wives seem to think that their
husbands family don't have the same interest in their grandchild as her parents .
Unless you state your case with your son , they will be happy to let you see your grandchild high days and holidays only.
As you are in a different location , it's up to him to arrange your visits .As the baby is still very small perhaps a visit
to you would be a problem , but as she gets older , make sure you  let them know you would like them to visit you .
This is not a demand , it's a gentle reminder that this baby has two sets of grandparents .
Eventually , hopefully, they will get the message .
New babies bring a lot of love , but also a lot of work . The new parents will be under a lot of stress at the moment .
Remember that feeling ? Sheer panic , lack of sleep , am I doing this right .
Given time when they have a routine established , your son will welcome your visits .
As her parents are THERE , I know how you feel , but by keeping in touch , they know you care .
Congratulations Grandma .....!



Sounds tough, but GD is only 2 months old, so I for 1 wouldn't be travelling 150 miles each way yet.  Perhaps DIL family do not realise that they are imposing, maybe they want a relationship with you guys also.  How many times have you visited and how long did you stay?  Were her parents there the whole of your visit or did they just stop by.  It may be that DIL is suffering from Post Natal depression, so needs Mum around to support her.  Or it may be that her mum is overexcited with her first grandchild too!

However, it would be incredibly frustrating to have this happen al the time.  So why not try and relax, offer to have them stay with you when they are up to travelling and next time you visit offer to take them DS/DIL out.  Try not to make it a competition.  It seems as if they are happy to have you visit them which is good. At this young age I wouldn't want to be separated from my baby, 2 months is quite young to be leaving DD alone with anyone, so don't be offended if DS/DIL don't take you up on offer of babysitting yet, if you mention it  make it an open offer as in when you guys fancy it we'd be happy to babysit sometime.  Perhaps if DIL wanted a soak in the tub and DS was out etc would you lik me to watch GD whilst you soak would be nice.  I didn't leave my dd with anyone (including dh as I was breastfeeding) for at least 6 months.

What I sometimes struggle with is the its our right to see Grandchildren, to me its a privilege to be enjoyed, its not a competition or a contest.  Children should have a right to see their grandparents (in most cases) and other extended family as I personally believe that in most cases the more people who can love and care for and be good examples to a child the better.  However as soon as someone starts demanding time with DD my shackles go up, my line was always we'd love to see you when its convenient, and would try and see each family (and there were 3 my parents, and his mum and dad were separated) once a month but at times with work, church (and as children get older parties) sometimes it wasn't possible. 


I have to say that I don't understand this need to be alone with the GC.  I don't get it.  What would you do differently with the baby if your DIL's P's weren't there?

I am a DIL, I'm not a Gma, so maybe I *can't* get it.  But, I don't *need* time alone with my Mom, or my brother, or my nieces or nephews, or cousins or even best friends.

ASIDE: That being said, Laurie, I can see where you NEEDED time alone with your DS (& DIL) before he deployed.  That's different.

I don't know GoldenMom, I think you're looking for a fight in this situation.  When you visit, I'm assuming you spend at least 1 night.  So you get to see the baby first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  Are DIL's P's there the WHOLE day?

I can see where they want to have a relationship with you.  They will likely be seeing you guys at every occasion in the GC's life, birthdays, holidays, graduations, wedding ect.  I think it's AWESOME that they're trying to form a relationship with you.

"If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change the way you think about it."

I think you need to change the way you think about this.

PS - Just FYI - for GP's (or anyone really) wanting to be alone with the baby (i.e. no parents either), that it is a HUGE red flag for most Moms.  I'm just sayin'.


I can't answer for the OP Scoop, but I can answer for myself.  My OS/DIL don't have children yet, but when we were visiting and doing things together, when they were dating and engaged, DIL always managed to have her FOO magically show up.  Then instead of being able to have an adult conversation with DS or her, it became very strained.  If you asked DIL anything, she would answer curtly then look at her Mother.  One or the other eye-rolled or smirked.  If I asked DS anything, her Mother would interject into his answer.  So then he would clam up and be very "one worded" with his answers.  Her Father, is a very nice man who I really like, but if he said anything that seemed to echo anything we were saying, she would jump all over him, so he normally just sat there not saying anything.

When we actually invited her FOO to things on our side of the family, then they would huddle in the corner of the room whispering to each other, and not socialize with anyone.  If we tried to bring them into conversations, they would answer then go back to whispering.  It was very uncomfortable for everyone.  It was like DIL had to have her FOO there so she could say, "See how bad they all are.  I told you", and her FOO could rally around her saying "I see what you mean" and therefore, she got her justification for acting badly.  When you have a very self-centered DIL, she wants people around her that will play into her self-centeredness.  Her FOO are her groupies.

I imagine that if we did have a relationship with them now, and there were children, it would be very hard to be able to play with, talk to or do anything with them without her Mother hovering or saying things.  So I for one, would also love to be able to do things with DS/DIL or GC, without her FOO around, simply because they make it very hard to have a nice visit.  I have no desire to make it a competition, but they would.  And then if we took a stand, we become the bad guys and can't get along.  It's a no-win situation.

So yes, you are right.  It would be awesome to be able to have everyone together and have a great relationship with her FOO.  It wouldn't bother me at all if they were there when we visited, if they were all about equality.  It wouldn't bother me if they were also there because they wanted to see us.  But many of us here are dealing with people that don't want to be there to form a relationship, they want to be there to uphold their DD's stance.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell