Need opinion ASAP

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Need opinion ASAP
21
Thu, 08-22-2013 - 12:44pm

Hi, it's me again.  You're probably getting tired of me.  Well, I'm looking for advice again.  You know the history of my son and DIL.  Well, they were supposed to bring our grandbaby here this weekend and now their plans have changed and they're not coming.  We have been looking so forward to this.  We have been very patient because they've been very busy and with the issues they were having we didn't want to push it.  Well, it's getting to be like once a month we are seeing her.  (You may recall me mentioning they are only 80 miles away.)   They aren't coming here, they say, but we can come there.  Well, in almost 5 months of our grandbaby's life she's been here only 3 times, and one of them was a very short visit.  We are tired of this.  I have put together an e-mail to send to my son (to the both of them)  My husband has proofed and critiqued it and I even had my other son's girfriend look at it and she thinks we're being reasonable.  BUT, I am so afraid my DIL is going to go off the deep end.  The biggest point we are making in this letter is that they are not just keeping dgd from us, but from her great-grandparents as well.  My in-laws live here, by us.  MIL is asking when baby is coming again.  I don't have to tell you that with old people we don't know what's going to happen, and my son understands this.  So, I'm hoping this letter will get that point across that this isn't just for us, but for them.  I need to send this e-mail really soon, if I'm going to send it.  Like I said, I'm just afraid DIL will go off the deep end and then keep her from us.  I don't think she would be that mean, but I just don't know.  WDYT?   Thanks!   Oh, and we already offered to go and get her and bring her home again, that didn't work. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Sat, 08-24-2013 - 10:41pm

Thank you all for your responses.   We are having a wonderful visit.  Son and DIL went to visit great-grandparents.  For everyone that is still saying  that if we want to see the baby, we should go to their house, I will be happy to go to their house some time when they're actually home.  I have mentioned about all their weddings and her family obligations.  It's pretty hard for me and my husband, my other two sons, or the great-grandparents to go and visit them when they are not home.  So, then we should have all bombarded them this weekend because it was the only weekend that they were home?  I would personally think, as a new mom, that that would be more stressful to have a bunch of company all in one weekend or a bunch of different weekends.  You worry about how clean your house is, providing meals for them, etc., etc.  To me that's more stressful than going to someone else's home (grandma and grandpa's) where they're making the meals and I could just leave my messy house behind.  Now they've visited with everyone here, they can go home, and not have company for awhile.  There are two views to everything, that is my point of view. 

Something else I thought of, is that distance sometimes is not a factor if your priority is family.  My husband's sister, husband and two kids lived 4 hours from here when their kids were small. They traveled here probably once a month to see the grandparents.  I used to think they were nuts, coming all that way so often.  But, my SIL wanted her children to have a close relationship with their grandparents.  I can't say that my sons really have a much closer relationship than her kids, I think it's pretty equal.  She did all this when her kids were small, all while holding down a full-time job, and getting her master's degree.  Now, we aren't all superwoman, I certainly could never have done any such thing, but, it shows you what you will do when something is important to you. 

So, how this all started about needing advice "ASAP" doesn't apply anymore, because I didn't and am not going to send the e-mail that I typed up.  So don't worry about giving me advice now.  If you would like to come back and just chat, I am happy to do that. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Sat, 08-24-2013 - 4:47pm

I am very concerned that you are setting yourself for a rough road as a mother-in-law. Do you want to be known as the nasty MIL? In years to come, do you want your grand-daughter to say that "oh, Granny hated my mom"?

Please remember it is your son`s responsibilty to arrange to visit you and your in-laws, not your DIL. Don`t blame her. It is not her duty to take into account their health concerns. Your DIL DOESN'T Know them; they are not her family.  If your son's grandparents are as important in his life as you say they are, your son would have arranged to visit them with his wife and child sooner. He is an adult and a married man now. 

And by the way, his siblings could have visited their new niece if they had wished too. Again, if it was important for your son, he would have made sure that his siblings meet his daughter.

Remember, it is very normal for a young woman to gravitate towards her family. Your DIL is very young; she lives very close to her mother. It is only natural that your granddaughter sees her maternal grandmother often and that your DIL turns to her mother for advice. So?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 11:34pm

Hi,

They are here now, and DIL is feeding baby for bed. It is so great to have them here!  Already my youngest son and his girlfriend, and my other son and his fiance have gotten to see her!   I totally think that they should get to decide what is best for their family.  However, I'm just asking for a little fairness.  I don't want it to seem like I am keeping score, but until this weekend, I could've counted on two hands the number of hours I've held my grandbaby.  It just hurts very badly knowing her other grandmother and great-grandmothers have had countless hours.  It makes us feel second rate.  I am especially concerned for my in-laws.  My son loves his grandparents deeply and he has a strong relationship with them, because of our effort when our kids were small to make their grandparents a part of their lives.  Because of this close bond, I know my son wouldn't forgive himself if something happened to either one of his grandparents and it had been months since they saw their grandbaby, or him for that matter.  My in-laws can no longer safely travel.  We could take them to son and DIL house but that's hard on them too.  So, I think that DIL has to take all of this into consideration and just try to give my son's grandparents the same chance as she does hers.  Oh, and btw, my parents are dead, so there's only one set of grandparents here, it shouldn't be so hard.  I haven't asked, but I'm sure they will go see them tomorrow.  If we were really far away from them, I would just have to accept that "it is what it is"  but, since it isn't that far away, it's very hard pill to swallow.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 10:01pm

I'm of the opinion that there has to be a balance, and everybody may have to make sacrifices to achieve that. So grandparents shouldn't be insisting on frequent visits but the young family should be mindful of the desire of the extended family to know the baby. Its true that I do not have grandchildren so cannot speak with authority on how I would behave in this circumstance but I know my past experience and my feelings.

We made trips to visit dh's family which were inconvenient to say the least. Its a 2 hr drive to get there but a much longer return because of the wait to cross the border back into the US. Stuck in a sea of cars inching along for at least an hour and sometimes much more; sometimes leaving late at night to avoid the heat and hope that the lines would be shorter. We certainly didn't go as often as they would have liked, but we went often enough to satisfy them I hope...there were a lot of things we would rather have been doing with those weekends, but beyond the familial "duty" we also like to make them happy, so sometimes chose to put their happiness ahead of ours. Fortunately both kids tended to fall asleep once the car got to about 35mph.

Dh and I were both raised with a sense of duty to family and have passed that on to our kids. I still occasionally feel the need to remind my kids of the "right" thing to do even though in general they understand it and buy in to it. I don't put a lot of pressure or expectations on them but sometimes they need that. I guess the key is to use the guilt and pressure sparingly and only when most useful.

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 1:06pm

So glad your son is bring the baby for the weekend. I don't know what your email said & I'm wondering if you sent it or if this change was just from a simple text. I'm hoping it was a text. At this point, I believe it's only Sabr, Nora & I who have grandkids on the board now along with you. You will also get a variety of opinions & need to chose the one that works best for you.

I would have sided with not sending an email but even that would have been unfair if I hadn't read it. My Mom lived an a 90 min drive away when my daughter was a baby & my baby was an excellent traveller. I didn't like having to drive there with her though. The 3 of us got so little family time together that 3 hrs in a car over the weekend seemed to be a chore. It was so much easier/restful when Mom came to visit us. No packing to do, no worrying about the trip, about who would be wanting to visit. Frankly, I never found those visits restful & being sleep deprived, I wasn't in the best of moods when we got home again.

My daughter is 2 1/2 hrs away & 90% of the time I travel to her. Her inlaws are close by & so they see our grandkids more often. It's just a fact of life. I am the one making the greater effort to be involved in my grandkids lives as their parents have busy lives of their own. They welcome us & yes, I have had times when they have been busy entertaining when we showed up at an appointed time. It bugs me but that is life.

I hope you have an amazing time with plenty of baby love coming your way. I think it's ok to express that you feel disappointed when they don't come to visit often but I don't think it's right to tell them what they should be doing. Just remember to use the "I feel ..... when you ....", it's highly recommended when communicating to talk how you feel about someone's actions not that what they are doing is wrong, cruel, etc.

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 7:46am

So I guess when out stated that you need opinion ASAP and wanted advice you meant that you only wanted opinions and advice of those that agreed with you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 7:38am

Do not think you are going to like my opimion.

How about treating your son and DIL like the adults that they are.  They make the decisions that they think are best for their family.  If they do not want to make the trip they they should not have to.  If they do not want to have someone take their young baby for the weekend, they should not have to.  They are the parents of the child and make those decisions.

I think one think that helped our marriage is we were of the mind that our family comes first, all of our decisions were based on what was best for our family not our extended families.  Another think that helped was our exended families  never gave us problems with that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 7:18am

Thank you Elc, I will enjoy their visit!   They're coming later today (Friday) and leaving on Sunday.  Yay!  When I texted my son I mentioned about his grandparents wanting to see the baby.  It's not him that doesn't want to come it's her.  Don't understand it, but they're coming now.  So just have to make them feel as welcome as possible. 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 2:14am

So now they are coming for the weekend, arriving Saturday and leaving on Sunday? I'll bet you are happy about that! Any idea what made them change their minds?

Enjoy your weekend with your dgd!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2007
Thu, 08-22-2013 - 11:12pm

I'll just add another thought here, sabrtooth.  Obviously you have had some bad experiences with babies riding in a car, that doesn't mean it is that way for everyone.  My granddaughter does very well in the car otherwise it would have been a little tough to do all the traveling they've been doing.  Many babies do very well in the car, I've not known too many that you describe.  Also, they are free to leave whenever they wish to on Sunday.  My son and his girlfriend will have left for college early in the day, and I'm sure they will visit with great-grandparents earlier in the weekend, maybe even on their way here.  So, it won't get "ridiculously late." 

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