Author Topic: now there is a crack.....how should I react?  (Read 4331 times)

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Offline Stilllearning

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now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« on: August 12, 2013, 05:01:43 AM »
They are inducing labor to deliver my first grandchild today.  Of course I would not be here if there were not issues between myself and my DS/DIL.  There has never been any argument or much in the way of explanation, just the silent treatment.  I spent months trying to 'make it better'.  I even went to a session with her  counselor (I did not even know she had one) where it was pointed out to me that I was having empty nest issues....great!  So I pulled back and gave them room.  It was during that time that I discovered that life without the constant drama was really quite nice.  So life goes on.

Last December they stopped by (both of them!) for the first time since before they got married two years ago to let us know that they were pregnant.  I have spent the time since then getting used to the idea that I would now have a grandchild that I would not know.  I let my DS know that I would be there for him as much or as little as he wanted me but that I knew I would make his wife uncomfortable and she has enough on her plate for today already.  I have ordered a gift for my new GC which will be here in a day or two and I was planning on mailing it to them even though they live in town.  Now for the latest development....

I got a message on that horrible site Facebook.  It came from my DIL who unfriended me years ago and it contains, in my opinion, a veiled threat.  My DS disabled his FB account a few weeks ago and now that feels like part of the plan.  So the message says that although my DS has promised to send me pictures by e-mail he will not do a proper job of it.  She sent me a friend request so that I could see pictures of my Granddaughter.  It will effectively make it so that she can pull my strings again....

Evidently she wants me to stop by the hospital today too.  Now that sounds like fun!!  Let me go down there and hang out with her family who all have decided that I ride a broom!  Yipee!! 

Now I am really in a pickle!  If I go then I have to act excited about the grandchild I will most likely never get to know.  If I don't go then I am just adding fodder to the pot she will keep stirring. 

I need a mantra that I can keep saying to myself to help me get through this visit!  Either that or I need to know how to bow out gracefully.  Help!! What should I do???

Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Lillycache

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 05:40:20 AM »
Oh yes... You have been put smack dab into a catch-22 situation.  Much like the one I'm in.   If you go and act all "Grandmotherish" and try to be involved in your granddaughter's life, you will be viewed and overbearing and intrusive.  If you go and act reserved, and limit contact..or don't go at all,  you will be viewed as disinterested and uncaring.   Don't you love these no-win situations that we get placed in?   

I don't know what you should do.  I don't know what I should do either.  It depends I guess which course of action is the least bothersome to you.  My DIL blasted me from here to eternity.. calling me every name in the book and accused me of the most ridiculous things... NOW she seems to be softening.. She even hugged me at my Exhusbands wifes wake.   I still, however cannot bring myself to speak to her or her FOO..(who also think I ride a broom).    I just can't do it.   I may be sorry one day, but I'm sure I'll be sorry for lots of things.  I was never allowed that much contact with my GKs even before the incident.. So you can't really miss what you've never had.. 

Offline jdtm

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 05:44:37 AM »
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She sent me a friend request so that I could see pictures of my Granddaughter.

This one is easy - stay off of Facebook and "pretend" you never saw the request.  Facebook can cause so much needless pain.  If you use Facebook to socialize with certain friends, then, I believe, they can be grouped so that only a "few" have access to your account.  Frankly, I believe that the best use of Facebook is contact with distant family and acquaintances - never immediate family or even close friends - that's the purpose of the telephone and personal visits.

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Evidently she wants me to stop by the hospital today too.

What do you mean by "evidently".  Were you asked in person or by telephone or even by e-mail?  What was your response?  If someone said that someone said - this is not an invitation but simply grapevine gossip that is best ignored.

By the way, congratulations on the birth of your first grandchild.  Labour by induction is not fun nor easy so "dropping by" the hospital at this time probably is not a good thing.  I would wait until your son calls and invites you to see this new baby - my hope is that everyone will be so excited and proud and relieved from the probably long birthing process that "issues in the past" will be forgotten.  It seems to me, from what you have written, that your son should be your contact and not your DIL.  After all, she is going to have far too much on her mind for the next few months. Again, congratulations ...

Offline Lillycache

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 05:57:35 AM »
I still can't help but see this as some sort of game.  DIL.. makes a half hearted effort by FB.. if you refuse to comply,she can then go to your DS and claim to have "tried to include you" but you are the one at fault for staying away.  It's what I KNOW my DIL is doing to me.  I can just hear the conversation...." I TRIED to include your mother in this or that, but she wouldn't come.. She is just a bitter nasty old lady"  "look what a wonderful persson I am"    Stay off her fb.. and pretend you never saw the message or friend request..  that place causes nothing but trouble.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 07:12:01 AM »
Thank you all for your replies!  Yes,my DIL did say I should stop by the hospital and she even gave me the room number.  I accepted her friend request, mainly because I did not want to give her more ammo.  I blocked her posts so that when I go on there I will not be constantly reminded of what I am missing.  I do not post often and I will have the option of checking out her posts if I should so choose.  I am thinking I will answer her message by telling her that I am rarely on facebook so if my DS could email the pictures to me I would appreciate it. I invited my son to lunch in the hospital cafeteria and I will take her flowers when I go.  All of this is about damage control and trying not to feed the fire.  Never thought I would be here......but who does?
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Scoop

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 07:25:02 AM »
Stilllearning - I'm a DIL who is struggling with my relationship with my MIL.  One of *my* mantras is that I don't want it to be *MY* fault.  That it's not  ME putting the nails in the coffin of our relationship.  So I say, go see the baby.  Bring a box of muffins from the coffee shop for everyone and a little 'something' for the baby.

I'm glad you accepted her friend request.  And I hope that motherhood changes her a little bit and if so, that you get to know your grandchild, and if not, it won't be because of something YOU did, or did not do.

Also, I was reading a speech given at a graduation, and he said that his greatest advice would be to "err on the side of kindness".  I'm working with that in MY life right now, and so far, it's pretty nice.  Even if things don't work out, at least I "erred on the side of kindness".

Good luck - it IS a minefield.  Remember that your DS has the map though!

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 07:29:09 AM »
Scoop, my DS may have the map but he has me blindfolded and he seems to be giving me warmer, colder clues.  I wish he would just tell me straight up instead of me having to guess and hope I am right!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline luise.volta

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 07:57:25 AM »
SL - I'm so sorry this occasion is being turned into a Circus. My take is you are being handed a Clown Suit. I think I would have scheduled a coward's cruise someplace. Facebook is not my thing although I do respond once in awhile to something. I feel it has distilled sharing into something soulless. The game..."Get Her If She Does/Get Her If She Doesn't" has only one winner...you always lose. In that case perhaps the thing to do is what works best for you and leave it at that. The "they know where you live and how to reach you and you would love to see them when it works well for them" sort of thing might give you some peace. By its very nature, peace isn't built into it. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Keys Girl

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 08:39:11 AM »
Stilllearning, I doubt that your son will ever give you a straight answer, but I would take heed of his cooler cues.

I would close down the Facebook page.  People in the younger generation go ballistic if you "unfriend" them, after you have "friended" them.

I'm not sure when you received the invite on Facebook, but a little advance notice for you was certainly in order. 

I would come down with a very contagious flu that you wouldn't want to pass on to a newborn, in case you are looking for an "out" that puts the baby's needs first and pass that on via Facebook before you close the page, if nothing else it will buy you a little time to decide what you want to do, and they can get themselves settled with the new baby.

KG





"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown

Offline Lillycache

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2013, 10:09:38 AM »
That "Clownsuit" analogy is spot on Louise.   That's exactly what it feels like.    Let's get her over here so we can watch her and see what she does!!  Then.. we can all chatter and gossip about her every word and move and have a good laugh..  NO THANKS..  is how I feel.   You know what happens when you feel like you are being observed and critiqued... you feel conspicuous and self conscious AND you behave stilted and unnaturally giving plenty of fodder for the chatterboxes..   

Offline freespirit

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2013, 11:19:19 AM »
I know of a few families where a new born child  actually brought the families closer together. Maybe this is what your DIL is hoping for. Maybe she sees this as a new beginning in many ways. And maybe, now that she is a mother, she understands what she put you through.

I think it would be easier on you, if you take the freindship invitation and the invitation to the hospital as a truce, and as a new beginning. You can always cop out, if it shouldn’t prove to be an honest gesture. But I certainly would give it the benefit of doubt, for this may be on your mind for a long time, - if you don’t go.

I’m with Scoop on this one. There are only positive things about being on the kind side. Just be yourself when you visit your first grandchild. I hope you will be able to enjoy the warm and fuzzy feelings a grandbaby can give you. Congratulations grandma! :)
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline luise.volta

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2013, 12:06:27 PM »
Beautiful, you guys! I can't "go there" but that doesn't mean there isn't a "there."
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2013, 05:18:48 PM »
OK, so DH vetoed the flowers before the delivery but we did go by and chat with her FOO and take DS to lunch.  We left and GD was born about an hour later.  Posts on FB show everyone from her family including her brother who drove in from hours away all posed holding the new bundle of joy.  DS sent us the room number and asked us to visit.  I told him we would come tomorrow since she will be staying till Wednesday and it seems that they have plenty of visitors for now.  Flowers tomorrow, I promise!  I hope my refusal to visit during the times when the room is overflowing with her family is not taken in the wrong light.  I do what I can do.........
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline jdtm

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2013, 05:26:31 PM »
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I hope my refusal to visit during the times when the room is overflowing with her family is not taken in the wrong light.

If I understand the news correctly, Kate Middleton's parents visited the hospital to see the new baby Prince George - I believe a day before Queen Elizabeth (and this is definitely not protocol).  So, it seems to me that you are in good company.  Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter!

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: now there is a crack.....how should I react?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2013, 06:00:02 PM »
Personally I think it is always better for the mother of the new mother to visit first and for as long as she feels needed.  New Moms have so many questions and so many challenges and so many physical changes and they need someone they trust and feel completely comfortable with to ask.  I just hope the others in her family and my DS do not take this as reluctance to accept the new addition.  If they do then the tongues will wag.....yet again.  Oh well, what was that saying about the path to.....where was that???
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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