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confused grandma

Started by cdngirl59, April 01, 2015, 05:35:18 am

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So glad to find a site that can give some advice!  I thought that i wouldn't have to seek out some advice since  things were going good now.  I have always had a great relationship with my DIL..she lived with us before getting married, we travel together but once our granddaughter arrived it changed.  We weren't allowed to hold her only when she gave her to us.  I would never just be able to pick up the baby i would always ask knowing that is what she wanted.  If i asked her if she wanted me to do something she would say "if you want to" like take the baby for a walk since she didn't get any sleep.  I have been babysitting her since she went back to work. That has been a challenge.  She did not want me to take her out anywhere in my vehicle.  I would walk everywhere just to get out of the house.  Finally my son talked to her and she agreed that i could go out with her to playgroup or the library.  This has helped my well being and is good for my granddaughter.  My DIL's mother came for 3 weeks to watch the baby as i went on holidays and it was the best thing that happened.  She realized that her mother cannot do the physical things i can do and don't question what she tells me to do..unlike her mother.  She never said anything to me but things got alot better.  Now she just posted on facebook an article about overbearing family members and the "rules" regarding their children.  My son got upset with her and asked why she would post something like that knowing that i would think it was directed at me.  I have been respectful of my DIL's instructions in caring for my granddaughter, suggest things only when she asks me. I bite my tongue when she says/does something that i think is not good...as i am sure my mother did.  Babysitting little ones is not new to me i did home daycare for 25 years but i understand that everyone does things their own way and have done that..no questions. I would like to ask "what have i done wrong" but feel this will only make things worse.  Sorry for the long rant.


Welcome, C. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Read Me First, to read the four posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to make sure WWU is a good fit for you. We are a monitored Website.

We are not an advice Website. We are not qualified to give advice. We sharr our take on what others are up against from our own experiencesr ...which is very different. We'd have to be qualified professionals and licensed and bonded to do more than that.

You may find reading the existing posts and topics, helpful and well as the current ones.

What I have to offer is that, for me, there hasn't been anything I could do to change my adult son and DIL. Their views and behaviors are as foreign to me as mine are to them...and I have learned to build a full and happy life (eventually) that isn't centered around them or my grandchildren. Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Welcome. It sounds as if you are doing great in being sensitive to your dil's desires and parenting decisions.  Might she have posted in reaction to her difficulties when her mom filled in for you? We've all read those rules and many of them are key to getting along with our adult children, so they read them as well.

Like you I follow my dil's lead in being with my grand daughter. It is easy  since I do want her/them to make the decisions, not me. I have great belief their way is theirs and sometimes I am along in the back seat between car seats. I'm enjoying the ride when that happens.


Exactly!  I want to be the grandmother..i did all the mothering for my 3 children.  My son knows she has a hard time saying thank you to your face for anything.  It is really weird because in one moment she will give me a card saying all nice things and the next thing she is posting something on facebook that isn't nice.  My family (i have 3 sisters) get very upset in the way she is treating me since they know what i do for them.  I know that it is a control issue because she contradicts things with the baby but will insist on it telling me what to do...i just shake my head.  I guess i feel hurt that someone would not be respectful, appreciative of a family member babysitting their most important gift..someone who actually did this for a living, comes to your home, expects no money just lots of hugs, cooks and cleans.  I don't want her to bow down to me i just would like a "thanks so much i really appreciate it" ONCE.  I am hurt from what i saw on facebook but will once again pretend it never happened...sad. 


Are you 100% positive the stuff she is posting is about you? Facebook is notorious for causing issues in relationships between people because one person read something vague or indirect they believed was about them, come to find out later on  it had nothing to do with them. For already tense relationships, Facebook can be like pouring gasoline on a fire. Unless you've been told, yes that was about you, I'd be careful with assuming everything she posts is directed at you.


Yes, that is very true about facebook.  As soon as it was posted my son texted her and said "why would you put that out there..you know it will look like it was for my mom"  I don't know about you but most males don't get stuff like that so i knew i was not wrong in my feelings plus people sent me messages asking what was that all about???  I know she is jealous that i get to look after her sweet baby, she really wanted to stay home or have her mother..i was third choice and it shows.  I feel lucky to be able to spend the time with my granddaughter since i know it will be short lived (they are expecting another baby in August)  I just don't understand why anybody would want to make someone feel bad...i always take care to make sure the other person is not offended.  Just the fact that you are not appreciated...i came out of retirement to watch my granddaughter but like others here she perceives it as she is doing me a favour...


QuoteI just don't understand why anybody would want to make someone feel bad...

Usually a person who "wants to make someone feel bad" is using this self-centered method to make "oneself feel good".  Usually, this is a statement of one's own feeling of inadequacy and is not a reflection of the "other" - shall we say "victim".  A reply on Facebook (if you decide to comment) would something to the effect of "oh dear ..." and then add nothing else. 

As for the new grandchild - congratulations!  But this is a good time in your life to make changes - especially in choosing activities which nurture your soul and add peace and quiet enjoyment to your life.  Surprisingly, our children can get along without us - and quite well, I might add - (although financially it might be easier if we helped but their choices comes with their responsibilities).  I took me a long time to learn this (oh, I made their lives easier; I just am not sure it was better).  Anyway, just one opinion ....


I responded to the facebook post with "duly noted" and that the article was a good read for all people who have a little one in their life.  I talked to my son this a.m. and he said he doesn't know why she is like that.  She said that she didn't like that i gave my granddaughter chocolate cake at a function my son did not attend...but in fact there was no cake and i let her lick the fork which had nothing on it.  I feel that is just stupid to say something that isn't even true....again the control issue if feel.  I said to my son that obviously she is not happy with me for some reason and that he needs to let her know that i would not be offended if she would like to find someone else to care for the baby.  I feel bad for my son because he hates to be in the middle which i why i hesitate to bring it up but it is affecting my well being.  Her family acts like that so she thinks that is normal but my son says to her that is not good for relationships.  I just feel that if i just became "grandma" again it might be for the best.  My husband and I will be probably be retiring early (November) and will spend our winters in florida so things will be changing.  I am torn about being away from my kids/grandchildren but understand they have their lives and we have ours.  Thank you so much for the great comments...it is really helping me get through this.


cdngirl - I am going to go "out on a limb" and say that I am wondering if your DIL might be suffering from some punitive/destructive personality traits.  Your DIL so reminds me of our now ex-DIL - as the years the passed, her vengeance against me increased.  Our son did not stand up for me; I was the recipient of many a smear campaign.  I was accused of things I did not do, did not say, er - did not even think.  Eventually, she left our son and abandoned her children.  I hope your relationship follows another path.

If the campaign continues against you, you might wish to consider this thought.  Spending time is Florida is an excellent option for those of us who are "snowbirds", eh?  Hoping that I am way "off base" here and your DIL is just having hormonal difficulties.


NO i think you are correct, unfortunately.  She disliked my other son's girlfriend that it caused problems between brothers.  She would not talk to her, ask anything about her, actually said terrible things about her to others in the family.  They were together for 3 years and my younger son said he had to deal with his girlfriend crying about how she was treated.  I actually could not have them for vacations at the same time since i knew that she would be treated poorly.  They eventually broke up and i do believe partly to that...so my younger son told his brother that will never happen again with his future girlfriend.  I wanted to say something so badly but it can so difficult when someone is spiteful.  The thing is what i told my son is that you may not like someone but why would you be so rude to them.  In fact, my DIL would not even know that i really do not like her mother but extend my home to her, and i am very nice to her.  She will not be a friend but i would never be rude to her.  I am not the type of person to confront someone about their actions.  It's a really confusing relationship...we will be travelling with them (they have always come away with us) in April and they seem to like our company.  I totally let them be as a young family..always tell them let me know when you want help....i just don't get it and either does my son.


Quotei just don't get it and either does my son.

The reason "we just don't get it" is because our brains work differently.  I always say that "one cannot reason with someone who can NOT reason".  So, trying to get a person with a disordered way of thinking to understand an ordered way of thinking - well, it just won't work.  If your DIL is indeed suffering from mental health issues, she will not be able to empathize or understand your point of view.  She will only be able to understand her point of view and nothing you can say or do will change that.  To her, issues are probably black/white or good/bad or right/wrong - and, of course, that is not the way our world works (actually, this is the thinking of a young child).  Although, according to research, intensive therapy can make a huge difference - but, we are not talking about that here.

There are ways to communicate with those with personalty disorders/traits - called "validation".  I don't know if this would help, but, it will always be a one-sided relationship.  Those with personality disorders are extremely sensitive, probably anxious, vulnerable and deal with shame and low self-esteem.  I feel for your son and pray his children did not inherit these traits.  One of our teenaged grandchildren inherited the "personality traits" of the mother - but, at least, we now know how to interact - and, with therapy and medication, we are seeing improvements.  The best thing we have done is to live "our life" and be there for "them" when asked (and sometimes, if inconvenient, we say "no").  It is a long and difficult path - so sorry ....