Hardly ever get to see my grandbaby

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Hardly ever get to see my grandbaby
12
Wed, 09-04-2013 - 12:02pm

Hello,

Well, I have been on the 50ish board, with parents of grown children venting about my son and DIL who are having marital problems.  But right now my problem is I don't get to see my granddaughter very much at all.  I think they are tired of me over there and some of them aren't grandparents yet, so maybe I need a new perspective, and that is why I came back here.  As I said my son and DIL are having marital problems.  They have been married just over a year and have a 5 month old baby.  They are going to counseling, and it seems to be going O.K.  I have cried so much about that and at the idea of my granddaughter being bounced around between two households, sometimes I can hardly stand it.  I just have to believe that they love each other enough and that their daughter is important enough that they need to make this work.  I don't think my DIL understands that much of what they're going through is perfectly normal, they've been through many changes and it's stressful!  Anyhow, I do not want to add to their stress, but this is getting kind of ridiculous.  Our granddaughter has spend precious little time at our house.  A couple of weeks ago we pretty much had to to beg them to come here.  Some people on the "parents of grown kids" thought I was being unreasonable.  They said we should go visit them, and that my other sons and girlfriends should also go visit them.  Well, for one thing, if they come here they can visit with everyone, instead of everyone intruding on them on the same or different weekends.  AND, the other thing, is that they are almost never home!!!  How can we go visit if they are never home? They have had a number of weddings and also family gatherings, on HER side of the family.  I can't tell you how much it hurts to think about how much time the other grandparents have spent with her compared to us.  I don't want it to seem like I'm keeping score, but if I were the score would be like 95 to 5!!!  Seriously, her mother and her sister and even her grandmother get to see this baby just about everyday.  We're lucky if we get once a month.  We were planning to go their this weekend and my dh was going to help my son with a project.  But, oh, guess what?????    DIL is going to be gone with the baby for yet another outing with her family.  ENOUGH!!!!!!!     I do not want to alienate my DIL and never get to see my granddaughter, but we hardly get to see her, so maybe it's worth risking it by writing her a letter or talking to her.  Problem is she is very emotional and she may go off the deep end and take it out on our son.  BTW, it is 80 miles to their house so this should not be happening, we should get to see her way more often.   But, no, grandparents, auntie and great grandma who live in the same town get to see her all the time, and we never do.  It just hurts.  I have all these baby items, pack n play, swing, highchair, jumper, and a bunch of toys.  I got this all on craigslist so I got good deals, but I have spent quite a bit of money.  I don't care about the money though, I just care that this stuff has not and doesn't seem like it will get used. The only thing I keep thinking is that my other son is getting married and they live closer and maybe they will have kids and I will actually get to be a part of their lives.  O.K. I feel a little bit better after venting, but I don't know how my husband is going to react when he finds out that grandbaby won't be there when we go.  This is the only weekend that works for my son and he has also lined up some friends to help, so we cannot change this project.   We can go another weekend, but he won't be able to get the extra help.   We just thought since we were going, we'd be able to spend some time with our granddaughter, I guess not!!!  My husband will be helping my son, but I can't help with the project so I guess I'll just pick my nose!  Oh, I could clean her house and make her feel really guilty maybe, but she might get offended.  I'm so sorry this got so long, I was going to try not to do that.  Thanks for reading, if you read this!   I'm going to go now and make my other son a birthday cake and eat half the batter.  I might feel sick but it can't be much worse than what I feel now. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2011
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 6:01pm

 

That just breaks my heart that you don't equal time with your granddaughter :(  Is there anyway for your son to bring her over to see you, maybe spend the weekend to give her mom a break?  I don't think you can approach her anyway that won't set her off.  I know it's totally unfair, and I hope that in time the mom will realize that she's being selfish.  Can you ask your son what time she'll be gone so you can hopefully be there to see her at some point?  Is it possible for her to go without the baby?  I wouldn't show any disappointment to your son, maybe just a "oh, that's too bad the baby won't be there.  Is there anyway we can see her?  We sure do like spending time with her."

Good luck, I hope that you will get to see her. 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 7:33pm

Hi Sparrow, and thank you for your reply.  A couple of weeks ago when they almost didn't come to visit we offered to come and get the baby, bring her to our house, and bring her back to their house. (Sat.-Sun.) but DIL didn't want to be away from her that long.  That's O.K., I understand that and they did come so I am thankful for that.  Yeah I wish she could leave grandbaby with me when I go there, but evidently these plans involve the baby too.  These plans were made before the plans to help my son, so I need to respect that, but it is disappointing because she is just gone so much with the baby that it is making it extremely difficulty for us to see her.  I knew we weren't going to get equal time because that is just not possible when the other grandparents live in town and we live 1 1/2 hours away.  I just didn't think it would be this extreme.  They've had so many family things involving her immediate family and extended family.  (They've been to a family gathering on our side exactly once with the baby.)    In addition to that, the other grandparents have had her over night numerous times, and we haven't had her overnight ourselves even once yet.  My son works nights and so DIL always goes to her mom and dad's while he is at work.  I get that she gets lonely, but lots of wives have husbands that work nights.  Their child is their family and she shouldn't get that lonely that she goes there every single night.  (She sleeps there too, btw, she is WAY, WAY too attached to her mother, it's not even healthy how attached she is.)  Anyway, so yeah, other grandma gets to see her tons more than me.  I try very hard not to get my son in the middle of this because he agrees with me that we should get to see her more.  It is just very hard though to hide my disappointment.  I don't want to cause further problems and stress for them either.  People will ask me how she is and I say that she is good, and growing like crazy, but the truth is I don't even always know exactly how she is or what milestones she's accomplishing.  My biggest fear is that soon she will start remembering and recognizing people and that she will not know us and be afraid of us.  We are going to do skype, but that is not the same as being there.  That would absolutely break my heart if she cried when I tried to hold her.  I'm just waiting for that to happen. Thank you again for reading and responding. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 10:11pm

So, I was just texting DIL and found out that she is going to be gone longer on Sat. than my son even thought.  She is going to be gone the whole day pretty much.  I cannot go there tomorrow night because I have to work and we have animals here to feed.  I was going to go Sat. morning early and hoped to spend a couple of hours with dgd before they left.  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!  Dh will barely get anytime with her either.  He was going to come home on Sat. evening and I was going to maybe stay until Sun. but DIL doesn't know that.  What's really funny (sarcasm!) about this is that I was texting her telling her I was bringing three meals of food for all these guys and what's she doing?????   SQUAT, that's what!  Oh, I guess she'll maybe serve the food I'm sending with dh for tomorrow night.  BIG WHOOP!!!   My dh and ds's friends are helping and she can't even feed them.  What a loser she is.  I'm sorry it this sounds harsh but I'm just PISSED!!!!!  Feel a little better now, but not much.  I hope somebody reads this so I can talk to you again.  Thanks! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2011
Fri, 09-06-2013 - 1:30pm
Do you think she would be receptive if you offered to come over one night when your son is at work to keep her company? Could you take a day off of work to go over and give her a break? I agree that she is way too attached to her mom, and would guess that's why they have so many issues in their marriage. You can't fully support your spouse if you are constantly turning to your mom when things go bad. She needs to learn how to stand on her own two feet.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2011
Fri, 09-06-2013 - 1:32pm
That's pretty rude of her. It's such a sticky situation because if you ask your son to interfere, than it could totally backfire. I think you are just going to keep biting your tongue, keep asking to come over, and just bide your time. Hopefully therapy can address the issue she has being too attached to her parents.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Fri, 09-06-2013 - 9:43pm

Hi Sparrow,

Well, since it is 90 miles it is little too far away to go for an evening, though I would love to.  It is also too close to justify taking a day off work.  If she would just be home with the baby on a Sat. for once!  I hope the counseling helps with the apron strings.  It's really pathetic how she goes crying to mommy when things get tough.  I have told my son he needs to model the behavior he expects out of her. He must act like the adult that he is and that he expects her to be.  Thanks for listening to me I really need this right now.  I've contacted a BFF and we are getting together too.  She's a great listener, she's been through a divorce so she knows how much it sucks.  Well I've decided I don't need to rush in the morning, because I'd have a tough time getting there much before she leaves and I don't want to see the baby for like a 1/2 hr and have to watch her go. 

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Thu, 09-12-2013 - 1:39am

Hope you don't mind that I jump in here even though I'm from the over 50 board. I visit this site when I have a few extra mins. As I have said before, I do feel for you as it's very hard to be the long distant grandparent. That was & is my current role even though it's my daughter who has the kids. They do plenty with his family & it's always way, way more than they do with us. This was even true before they had kids. So I'm guessing that the spending time with your DIL's family would have happened even if they didn't have kids & that is just normal for a son. I'm very close to my kids (1 DD & 2 DS) but the other families are closer georgraphically & so they naturally see more of them.

Have you tried skype or facetime to visit with your granddaughter? We do it all the time with my grandkids. My little granddaughter is only 3 mths old & today we watched/talked to her for 20 mins until she got tired & went off to bed. She watches the screen, laughs & gurgles at us. She recognises our voice & even pays special attention to our dog who she loves watching in person. It's not the same as holding her but it's the next best thing. I have told my DD that I miss being with her & the kids, so she makes sure that she takes lots of pictures & sends them to me each week. Does your son do this for you?

Try to understand that your DIL doesn't really know you & everything has changed so fast for her. In spite of my DD living with her inlaws in the beginning, I was the only one she trusted to keep my grandson overnight until he was 4 yrs when she finally let the other grandparents have him for a night. They lived in the same house until he was 3 but my daughter would drive 45 mins to my house to leave her son overnight. Next weekend, I will make the 2 1/2 hr trip to babysit the 2 kids for the weekend while my DD & her DH head out to a wedding 8 hrs away. So we are back to the same thing, SIL's parents are 20 mins away but my daughter said only leave the baby with me. They are nice people who adore their grandkids.

It really is a mother/daughter thing & yes it sucks for those of us with sons. I totally expect to see much less of my DS's kids when he has them even though he has always said that he expects me to babysit his kids like I did my grandson. But I know how close his wife is with her Mom who lives 5 mins away vs me at 90 mins. I know it will be the other Mom who is there daily. She sees her daughter almost everyday now.

I wouldn't give them a hard time about getting equal billing but I would let them know you are open to them visiting like they did a few wks ago. Ask when they have their next weekend free & tell them you would like to visit. It's great you have all the baby stuff, me too. In fact, I have always had a room for my grandson. Your things will get used by this baby & by any others you have.

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Fri, 09-13-2013 - 12:49pm

Hi Dee, and thank you for your response.  Yes, you're right, my DIL always did do a lot with her family, so it's no different now, it's just that I care more that they are gone because it means less time for us with grandbaby.  It's just really weird because they (son and DIL) lived for a couple of years quite a bit further away before they were married.  She seemed to survive just fine without mommy then.  But, my son lost that job, and ended up getting a job back in her hometown.  I thought, how nice for her, because she is so close to her mom.  No, it isn't good, it's actually very bad.  It's very bad for my son and DIL's relationship because she is so attached to her mother.   She spends the nights when my son is working at her mother's with the baby.  So many times she isn't there when he gets home.  She just doesn't get it.  I hope the counseling will make her get it.  She also is getting nothing done because she is at her mom's.  She doesn't just sleep there, she goes there for the whole evening.  So, their house is a complete disaster and she barely keeps up with the laundry.  I would like to help her at least organize the baby's room (I could buy some things to help with this) but I'm afraid she would get offended (I might have too if my MIL had done this, I would've felt my housekeeping wasn't good enough, even though my house never came close to how bad this is!!!)  but would this enable her?  If I help her clean her house will she then think "well, my house is clean so it's totally O.K. for me to go to my mom's."  I want to do skype, but my DIL has the newer computer that you can do skype on.   I will get my husband to help me set it up on mine, but I'm sure I have to wait until DIL finds time to set it up on hers.  Something else that is completely crazy, I was there last weekend, DIL puts baby down for nap, sits down on couch, which is 12 feet away from baby's room.  She has the door open to the baby's room and she has the baby monitor sitting next to her!!!    SERIOUSLY?????  This girl is neurotic!  Notice I said girl, because in so many ways she doesn't behave like a woman.  I think my son is a saint for putting up with her.  I just had to bite my tongue.  I'm sure I had quite a look on my face though, if she would've looked at me and noticed, but she didn't.  She's too busy texting somebody or on facebook.  Since I was playing with the baby, or the baby was napping, she might have taken this time to tidy up her house.   NOPE!   I just feel very sorry for my son.  I don't think he had any idea how bad it would be once they had a child. (BTW, my son is sleeping during this time so as to stay on his schedule for work.)   I hope you guys don't think I'm just being an overly critical MIL, and that nobody is good enough for my son.  I just don't think she is right for him.  I totally love my other future DIL, she is perfect in every way for my second son.  My third son's girlfriend is also very sweet, hardworking and a good match for him.  But, I have to respect the fact that despite her faults, my son loves her.  I just wish she could put forth a little more effort into this relationship and into the house that they share.  I do love DIL.  Deep down she has a good heart, it's just getting harder to see it these days when she treats my son like a piece of crap.  Sorry this got so long!!!!!  

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Fri, 09-13-2013 - 7:43pm
lol, sorry I had to laugh at your comment re: the monitor. This generation of Moms are all slightly crazy so your DIL isn't alone in some of her actions. I have a severe hearing loss & didn't have hearing aids when my first 2 were babies. There were no monitors but we set up an intercom system so I could listen for the babies in the other room. Mine survived but now my DD who is on her 2nd child has the monitor on even if the baby is just in her room with the door open too. They are afraid to leave these babies to actually cry as they run when they whimper. My DD is an intelligent, capable woman of 33. But I am constantly telling her she is crazy. I can get away with this because I'm her Mom & we have a good relationship. I would never even think to tell my DIL anything similar. The nurses told my DD she had to wake up the baby to feed her every 2 hrs. Thankfully after 3 wks of seeing the baby gain even when I won't let my DD wake up the baby, she stopped waking her up when I wasn't around. However, if the baby sleeps on her tummy, which is her preferred way to sleep, then someone must watch her to ensure she doesn't stop breathing. These poor Moms today have so much advice & they are told so many terrible things will happen if they don't follow all the advice. It is stressful for them. Also, imo, I would not mention a thing about the house & her lack of housework nor would I worry about your DS's care as he is an adult who can take care of himself. If he doesn't like it then he can do the housework or laundry. You don't see what happens when you aren't there & maybe the baby is constantly fuzzy which your DIL finds hard to deal with. My DD is obsessive about neatness, having a clean house & being totally organized. Well, her house is not as clean nor as tidy as it normally is. The laundry is always behind & I do this when I'm there to help her catch up. She is tired & as a result, just sits & plays mindless games on the computer or messages friends when she has free time while I'm there. Being a new Mom is exhausting & can be lonely. I don't like DD's husband & I really feel that he doesn't handle his share of things nor treat my DD the way she deserves to be treated. But it's not my life, it's hers & as long as she knows I'm here for her, then it's up to her to make the changes or accept things as they are. My DD deserves so much more than she gets from her DH but she loves him, he doesn't abuse her & he does go to work. He just prefers to party, relax & hang with his friends over being with his immediate family & working to advance in his job. In our family, we have careers & he only wants a 9 to 5 job. But he doesn't stop DD from advancing in her career. I was a lot more unable when they were first together because I spent too much time listening to DD & watching my SIL's treatment of her. Now I keep my distance & what I don't see/know doesn't make me angry. Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sun, 09-15-2013 - 6:26pm

Hi Dee, and thank you for your response.  I posted a  message yesterday (or so I thought) but it's not here, so here I go again!  I am wondering what you think about my DIL always spending the night at her mother's.  I understand that she might be scared or lonely and to sleep there sometimes would be O.K., as long as she comes home before my son gets home from work.  She didn't use to be there because she couldn't get her butt out of bed.  But  now she is because she has to get ready for work.  My son gets home from work and feeds and keeps baby happy so DIL can get ready for work.  Then he finally goes to sleep.  He sleeps for 6 or 7 hours, gets up, showers, eats, goes through mail or checks e-mail and it's time to go to work again.  He has zero time for tidying up the house or doing laundry.  She, on the other hand, is going to her mother's right after work the way it sounds, and staying there the whole evening until the next morning.  This is why she doesn't get anything done.  It isn't right and it isn't healthy for their relationship that she spends so much time with her mommy.  They will be addressing this in counseling.  He has some free time on the weekends, but he has his own work to do like mowing the lawn and fixing things.  No marriage can be happy if only one person does all the chores in the house and out of the house.  I found out something interesting though when I was talking to my son. He told me that her parents house is a disaster as well.  I mentioned to him that doesn't it bug him that they can never eat at the kitchen table and he says it is like that at her mom and dad's as well.  Well, I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  She was taught these horrible habits.  My house was never perfect when my children were small, far from it.  But I tried.  I don't see that she even tries.  At least my family was able to eat together at the kitchen table. 

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