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Started by DixieDarling, October 19, 2013, 07:59:43 am

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Hello Ladies,
I'm new to your group. I've been reading a lot on this site and I'm impressed with not only the advice I've seen given here but the gentle kind way in which its given. So I thought that maybe someone here could help me?
I need suggestions on how I could get to know my newest DIL without bothering her? I'll try to give a little info about each of us. Maybe it will help?
I really like my DIL and to be totally honest she impresses me in so many ways! I'll name a few reasons why,
1) Our son is so happy that his face glows when he's with her.
2) Saying she's smart would be a gross understatement.
3) She is a hard worker and a wonderful RN
4)One of best home makers I've ever met! I know that to many women that isn't important but it always has been to me. So to see this young lady not only cooking a meal but actually plants a large garden and puts stuff up and uses it all thru the year. Their home is always spotless and decorated wonderfully!
Be honest how many women do you know at age 23 that can do these things anymore?

We have 3 DIL's total and I get along with the other two just fine. I've always been very aware to not butt in or crowd them. I don't show up without calling. I'm in love with my grandchildren just as most Grandmothers are. But that is what I am the "grandmother" not the parent and I don't over step.
Our sons have been blessed with fine wives. Women who to me are family.
Ok, here is what I'm having some trouble with.
I haven't found a way to connect with my newest DIL. I know she's busy and I don't want nor expect to be her BFF but I'd like to be able to talk to her when we are around each other. They've been married a tad over 2 years and now expecting their 1st child. She is an only child and lost her Father her Sr year of high school. She is very close to her mother and I just can't seem to get a foot hold on building a friendship with her. She is always polite and everything and its hard to explain. I just feel like I'm stumbling around her.
Does anyone have a suggestion about something I could try? I don't want her to ever think I only care because of the baby. So it would be good if I could start something before he's born.
I'm sorry this is so long. Thank you for reading it and for any suggestions. DD?/b]


Since your DIL is so talented maybe you could ask her to help you with something?  Maybe you could plant a little garden and ask for help with a problem (all gardens have a problem sometime!) or her advice on where to place a new outdoor plant?  If not that then you could consult with her over a medical condition that might need attention or ask her advice about a new vitamin supplement or just the nutritional values of some food.  Once you have an area where she can offer help you have an area for conversation.  Lucky you!!   
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


Welcome D - If you haven't already done so, please go to our HomePage and under Open Me First, read the four posts we have put there for new members to be sure WWU is a fit. We're a monitored Website.

My take is that I wouldn't do anything regarding my new DIL. She is creating the distance and that's her choice. I would honor her and adapt as best I could and be grateful for all she brings to my son's life. Having her be how she is can be your gift to him.   
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thank you for replying. I like your ideas still learning.  I will think how I could use your suggestions.
Luise, I hadn't thought about the issue maybe being on purpose because she wants to distance her self from us. I hope you are wrong. I'll have to consider it and see where I go from that.


For me, at least, stepping back is the hardest part of interacting with adult children. You have offered her an open heart, just as you did the others...but she has responded differently. It was once our role to fix things...it isn't any longer. It's actually not even about us. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


If you see each other at all, it will happen naturally over time.  She must may be a private person....also, she DOES sound extremely busy and if she's an RN probably tired as well....and pregnant!  Just offer yourself in small doses.   ;)

"When you allow life to flow... without struggle... your Soul is restored."   ~z2z~


Thank you firelight, I will and yes she is busy, Her and our son both work a lot and when off are busy doing other things. Its hard to know when is a good time to call even. So its not often we see them even though they only live a few miles from us. Thank you each for your replies.


Maybe you could plan a little family gathering ....even if not for a big dinner, for finger foods and/or for cake and ice cream or something....but you might have to plan ahead by a few weeks to a month.   Once the baby comes, you could plan something with just your DIL and it could give her "a moment away" with you for a cup of coffee and a dessert or a short shopping trip for something in particular when she's ready to step out for a sec away from the baby.  Make it something short and that way it would be with less pressure.  I like the idea of the gardening help but that would take a bigger effort on her part and I doubt that would happen with all the busy-ness.  You could draw a diagram though of your own yard and take it to her at her home since time is precious for them and seek advice on any plants you should get and for where....I don't know, just a shot in the dark....it will come naturally no matter what you do.  At least your son has found a nice wife that you approve of....that's where you happiness for him can lay.   :)

"When you allow life to flow... without struggle... your Soul is restored."   ~z2z~


The thing about relatives is that they are relatives, not (necessarily) friends.  Your DIL may intentionally be setting space between the two of you or maybe she's  a more introverted person than you or maybe she's trying to connect with you in ways you don't recognize and she doesn't recognize your attempts at friendship.  Or maybe something else is going on.  You may prefer to be friends with your DILs, but it would be a shame to mess up a harmonious MIL-DIL relationship because you think it needs to be more.  Sounds like you've made some overtures which haven't been returned, but more importantly, haven't rocked the boat.  Just continue to be yourself around her.  Banish any thoughts of stumbling.  It's different from your relationship with your other DILs, but that doesn't mean it's worse. 


In my case, I quickly realized that my DIL did not need me, or any member of our FOO (family of origin), at all, for anything, ever. My DIL has a perfectly wonderful FOO of her own & is very capable in all areas of her life. We are totally expendable to her. If she deigns to be around us for a few hours we should consider ourselves extremely lucky.

I think many DILs these days do not see a relationship w/their ILs as necessary. ILs who push too hard for a relationship w/such a DIL might find that they are actually pushing the DIL away.

However, if your DIL is just shy or overwhelmed around you, a bit of gentle pushing or coercing might help. Good luck!
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Like I said above I don't want or expect to be her BFF. And what the family is now is a blessing. I have no intention of messing that up.
Its clear that this young woman doesn't need me what so ever. We are his family and something she just has to get through a few times a year.
I'm proud of her and our son. And I look forward to being Mimi to another little one. Hopefully there will come a day it gets easier. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a book of answers that worked for all of us? LOL
I know some women have way worse problems and I'm thankful for what we have. Maybe one day it will be more? Thank you for helping me sort it out in my mind.


Welcome DixieDarling.  Sounds like you have a great DIL.  I agree with the others about just letting it happen.  I think it's perfectly fine to find ways to let her know you are thinking about her.  Maybe a gift card for a manicure or something small that you could send her with a card that just says, "I know you are very busy, so thought you might enjoy some "you" time when you get a chance."

I think when people acknowledge that they know how busy I am, and don't take it personally, it makes me realize they appreciate me and that they understand.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Hi Dixie. I agree, it's a balancing act. You don't want to be overwhelming or pushy, but you do want to get closer to her. I haven't read all comments through, so I hope this hasn't been suggested yet. Does she enjoy reading? How about a book in her taste, with a personal  message from you inside, saying something like: how you value her, and want to give this little gift, just because... and as a token of your friendship. ...something along that line.
I think you are on a wonderful mission, and I'm sure you will succeed.  :)

The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne


Thank you freespirit, I went today to a nice spa in our area and bought a gift card for a maternity massage and mani/pedi. She does work hard and I'm hoping she will enjoy it. Thanks again everyone. It's helped ease my mind just being able to talk about things. 


Hi Dixie --

Good luck.  I won't say don't try - because it may just work for you.  Who am I to say? 

I just know that I had a similar situation - talented, smart DIL, son crazy-in-love with her.  We welcomed her warmly - she pushed us away.  I tried the thoughtful little gifts routine - - her favorite perfume - gift cards to their favorite carry-out place as a study treat when she was in school (so she wouldn't have to cook during finals) - thoughtful little gestures.  All totally ignored. 

I also was careful to never go over unless invited.  One apartment they lived in (in our same town) - they lived in for close to a year and I had never even seen it. 

Finally I just let go, and quit.  I felt better after I quit making efforts that were never appreciated or reciprocated.  Try as I might, when I made the effort - made a gesture - I couldn't help but be disappointed that it was ignored.  I finally got the message - ignoring us was her way of saying - "No thanks, not interested."

When I don't put myself out, I don't get hurt. 

You say you know some people have worse problems.  Sure they do.  But that doesn't mean it doesn't still hurt when your son's life partner chooses to ignore/reject his family, despite their best and non-intrusive efforts.  Pen knows what I mean, don't you, Pen?   

Sorry to not be more optimistic - but I've been there and done that.  Still have the T-shirt.