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Old March 20th, 2012, 01:39 AM
proudgrandad proudgrandad is offline
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What did we do wrong?

Hi guys, I've came here in the hope that someone may be able to share their own experiences with me in regards to a situation we have with our daughter-in-law, our son and our newly born grandson.

My wife and I have two children, a boy and a girl, and our boy met his fiance over a year ago at work. We were so happy he met a girl he was happy with but then over time we noticed problems with their relationship. He would often come back to us after rowing with her and one time we even saw her swing a plastic bottle off his face which was one of the times he marched back into our house.

At that point we explained that it was time he thought long and hard about the relationship he was in, he just seemed to be taking anything she threw at him and he seemed to be showing more and more signs of pressure as he would snap at the slightest thing whereas he had always been a chilled and laid back boy. It even got to the stage where he ranted that much about his work and he became so frustrated that he went online and major *****ed his bosses - he eventually got the sack for this and hasn't been able to get a job since which was well over 6 months ago now.

In the meantime, his fiance announed she was pregnant. Initially we were shocked and a little dissapointed with both of them but we didn't show it and instead supported them. His fiance has (apparently) fell out with her own mother before this and so was effectively homeless, so we allowed her to stay with us which eventually lead to them both sleeping in the same room through pressure we felt from them.

So, fast forward a few months and his fiance applied for a house from the council and she then had a minor accident at work, came out of work on sickness benefit and has been in that situation since. She tried claiming maternity and my son (now 18) tried claiming JSA and now in their own home they more or less were asked to provide supporting documents for their claim which they messed up time and time again. We helped them out financially over quite a period, we bought a lot of the initial furniture and appliances for their home and my wife even took the daughter in law around buying things for the baby.

We still had our doubts about the daughter in law, but we just thought "who doesn't have doubts when in comes to their own" so put those thoughts to the back of our heads and honestly did not give off any impression other than we wanted to help and support them.

My son has since applied for just about every job under the sun and as the time came nearer for the birth of our grandson I was the one driving us back and forward to the hospitals for check-ups, appointments and all manner of other things. By this time, allegedly, the daughter in law was now speaking to her parents again, which was partly due to my wife encouraging her to do so which we thought was great and then on the day before our grandson arrived I took her and my son to the hospital, dropped them off and explained we were only a phone call away if they needed anything.

My wife even offered to be there if she needed anything or anyone as support through the labour as we still didn't know if her mother was going to be there. My son said she didn't want anyone down visiting through her labour, etc, etc. Then we find out her mum was there through the entire labour. Strange, we thought. Why didn't they just tell us?. Did they feel we'd be aggrieved?.

So, our grandson was born and we were so excited to see him but visiting was split between us and the other grandparents - we could visit 7.30-8.00 and the other grandparents 7.00-7.30. Strange again, I thought, why can't we all just visit at the same time?!.

Oh well, there decision we thought, they must have their reasons.

On the day she was released, her dad arranged to collect them all from the hospital which, again, I thought was strange as none of her parents had particularly supported her or went out of their way to help up until now. But again, we popped that nonsense to the back of our heads and got on with it. They came out of hospital on Monday and I phoned my son, I told him to settle into their house with the baby and tell his fiance to have some rest and we would see them shortly - he explained they would come down the next day. Great I thought. So the next day, they came down and we were made to feel incredibly awkward with the baby - we were even told he'd been getting lifted all day so they didn't want him lifted just now. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The first visit to our home and we weren't to lift our own grandchild?!. No chance, I thought, I'm not having this, so I lifted him and both my wife and I cuddled him like normal grandparents would do. 10 minutes into the visit, the daughter in law rushed us and told us the baby needed a feed and she was tired.

Fine, we thought - we were obviously hurt about this but let it go. The next time they came down was 2 days later and although we weren't told not to lift the baby, we were still made to feel the same way and then rushed holding him to the point we just handed him back and walked away to go have a smoke. The daughter in law then simply walked past us and into her car. Our son did the same but we all knew how awkward and unwarrented the situation had now became.

10 minutes later my son walked back into our house and explained he couldn't take the pressure anymore and could he stay with us for a while. Obviously, we said yes but explained that the pressure surely wasn't coming from us was it?. No, he said.

Rolling on a few days and a few words later, he met with his fiance and spoke about things and 5 days into this arrangement (which I felt unusual) I asked my some, via text, if we could see the baby for an hour or so at least to which everything blew up big time. He snapped back at me that they were working on THEM and NO-ONE else just now. I basically told my son that was it - we've been treated unfairly and there was no reason for it, he was putting up with behaviour from her without reason and we were all suffering because of it. Things definitely came to a head that day and whilst I told him to be with her and his son and not come back to us again, I duly retracted the statement and told him he always had a place with us but his fiances actions are bang out of order, with us and now with him.

He did stay a with us a while longer and we could get no answer from him why she was being like this, in the meantime she stayed with her mum.

Eventually, my son told me he had "arranged" with his fiance that they would bring the baby down at least once a week for at least an hour. We've not got to that yet, but it's meant to happen this week at some point but I'm left wondering where did we go so wrong to deserve treatment like this from someone we took in, supported, fed, etc, etc?.

Has anyone else experienced a complete 360 from someone like this or are we on our own here
Thanks in advance
Grandad
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Old March 20th, 2012, 04:04 AM
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LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
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Re: What did we do wrong?

Welcome and congratulations!

There's a lot going on with the birth of your grandson and I'm sorry that he's been brought into such an unstable situation.

I suspect that there are three major things going on: First, your son and DIL are having relationship problems. Those problems are being transferred to you. Because of his age, his unemployment, etc, you are involved in his relationship with DIL. That's a problem. If you give an opinion, it will come back to bite you. If you encourage him to stay with you, she'll see you taking his side and he'll get angry with you later. He's over 18 and a father now. It may be time to refer him to someone else for his relationship problems so that you can just be dad and grandad.

Second, your DIL has an unstable relationship with her parents. She may very well have wanted no one at the hospital but felt she had no choice when her mom stayed. Don't compare yourselves to them; they may not be getting everything you think they are and she may be quite angry with them, too. By complaining, you add to the pressure and make yourself a target.

Third, even if those first two things were not true, your DIL is a first time mum. Do you remember when your wife was a first time mum? Sometimes we get crazy (but don't say that to her)! All you can do is accept the craziness and let it wear away as she becomes comfortable with being a mum.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 05:19 AM
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Re: What did we do wrong?

bg: I have a total of 3-4 MILs (despends on how you count)

ex MIL
current MIL
step-MIL
Pseudo MIL (DH's deased 1st wife's DM)

Only one of these women has ignored my feelings (well, not just my feelings) - what she wanted was more important than anything/anyone else, and that's the one I avoid.


I've got two suggestions: one if your DS & DIL have rules for thier child - follow them. The other - couldn't you travel to see the baby, rather than the parents haing to pack a ton of stuff?
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Old March 20th, 2012, 09:07 AM
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Re: What did we do wrong?

Welcome!

I don't really see too much that you've "done wrong." As Lucy pointed out, there is a lot going on right now.

snafu pointed out that if your DS and FDIL have rules for their child, you have to follow them. It doesn't matter how much you wanted to hold your grandson. The parents of that child said that they didn't want him lifted and you ignored their wishes and lifted him anyway. That was a big no-no. It gave the message to your DS and FDIL that you do not think their opinions on parenting matter. I hate to be harsh, but your FDIL was right to cut short the visit. It is her child, not yours, and you must not disregard requests that she considers in the best interest of her child. Of course you have much more parenting experience than she does and it probably did no harm to cuddle the baby, but that's beside the point. The point is that she's the mom and she makes the rules.

When my firstborn was an infant, my MIL did something that (1) my husband gave her advance warning to not do and (2) made me not trust her with my child. Protectiveness runs fierce in new parents... my firstborn is now 16 years old and my MIL has never been allowed to be alone with him. Momma Bears have long memories.

Other than that, I think you are acting as a typical protective father would. And that might be the a problem.

Your son and his wife have to stop relying on you. You are not longer "the dad" - he is "the dad" now for his little family. While he no doubt is grateful for the help you have given them, it is time to trust them enough to stand on their own feet and make their own way. You need to give them space.

Not to offend or attack, but rather to point out examples of times that you have taken over the father role when you should have sat back and let your son be the "father" -

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Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
They came out of hospital on Monday and I phoned my son, I told him to settle into their house with the baby and tell his fiance to have some rest and we would see them shortly
Your intentions were good, but can you see how you treated him as a child here? You phoned him and (from the sounds of it) pretty much dictated things that your son should have been being the one to say. The conversation should have been "Hey Dad - Thanks for all of your help. We're home from the hospital now. Wife and I are going to settle in with the baby and I'll call you soon for a visit." I'm not sure how things went when you and your wife came home with your firstborn, but you sound like a natural-born leader to me so I'd be willing to bet you were the one to set the boundaries.



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Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The first visit to our home and we weren't to lift our own grandchild?!. No chance, I thought, I'm not having this,
I've already addressed this above, but it's another example of you not allowing your son his role as "father." This incident may have been more important than you realize and a heartfelt apology for it might go a long way.



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Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
10 minutes later my son walked back into our house and explained he couldn't take the pressure anymore and could he stay with us for a while. Obviously, we said yes but explained that the pressure surely wasn't coming from us was it?. No, he said.
Your son followed his wife out of the house in a momentary support of your DIL. That is what "real men" do. His wife needed his support (sorry, but you ignoring her request about lifting the baby seems to have really upset her and she doesn't seem over it yet). He was right to follow her out and totally wrong to change his mind and then side with you. At this point he abandoned his "father" role and came back to you to be a child. Please understand that I'm not criticizing what you did because I really don't think you had any clue about it, but as an outsider this is what I see. Your son did not act like an adult here - he was not a "man."

I want to be clear that I'm not taking your DIL's side. I just think that your DIL needs - AND DESERVES - your DS's full support at this very hormonal, scary, but joyful time of her life. Probably by returning to you instead of standing by his wife (and reassuring her) your son has done more harm to your relationship with your DIL than you did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
I asked my some, via text, if we could see the baby for an hour or so
Understandable, given that you are so happy to be a grandpa, but again... you are - gosh, what's the right way to say it? - assuming control of the situation. This time you "asked" though, so that's good.




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Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
He snapped back at me that they were working on THEM and NO-ONE else just now.
This should make you so proud!! Your son wants to be a man! He wants to work on his marriage with his wife and establish his role as a dad!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
I basically told my son that was it - we've been treated unfairly and there was no reason for it, he was putting up with behaviour from her without reason and we were all suffering because of it. Things definitely came to a head that day and whilst I told him to be with her and his son and not come back to us again, I duly retracted the statement and told him he always had a place with us but his fiances actions are bang out of order, with us and now with him.
So you told him he had to take sides. You or his wife and child. Ouch. Which would you have picked when you and your wife were new parents?

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Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
we could get no answer from him why she was being like this
(a) Do you really think he knows? and (b) Do you really expect him to discuss his wife's issues with you?

This is between him and his wife. You have made your desires clear (access to your grandson) and it is up to your son to work things out with his wife. You must not be involved in their marital issues.

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Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
but I'm left wondering where did we go so wrong to deserve treatment like this from someone we took in, supported, fed, etc, etc?.
I don't feel you "went so wrong" but I also think that you're making this all about you and not about your son and his new family. I don't think you're being horribly mistreated, and I think your son and DIL are making an effort to include you in their family. They are feeling their way in the dark and are apparently trying their best to make a go of it.

My opinion was that what you did for them (food, shelter, assistance) was done out of love and not to ensure that they'd be obligated to you. Maybe they felt like you were enabling them to behave like children when they are trying so hard to become adults.

And just because I thought of it just now, here's another thing my MIL did wrong when I was pregnant with our firstborn, which wasn't in her mind our firstborn but rather HER FIRST GRANDCHILD. The subject of nursery furniture came up. DH and I were scraping by at the time, and we decided together that we just wanted an inexpensive crib. MIL did not accept that. After a visit, she called and left a message on our answering machine offering to buy us a nursery set - crib, changing table, goodness knows what else. By the time we got home on Saturday night and got the message, it was too late to call back. DH and I discussed it, and we decided that *we* wanted to buy the nursery furniture, even if it was just an inexpensive crib. This was *our* baby and *we* wanted to provide for it. We went out to brunch on Sunday morning, and got home to a message on our answering machine from MIL. Without even thinking she needed an answer from us, she had already gone to the store, picked out a nursery set for us, bought it, and would I be home on Tuesday for the store to deliver it? That was such a slap in the face to my husband - that she didn't think he was providing adequately for his family. It was also a slap in the face to me - that my taste in furniture wasn't acceptable to her. He called her back and told her that we would not accept the furniture. Do I think my MIL was trying to insult us? Of course not. She thought she was doing a great thing that would thrill us. But how we interpreted it was that she didn't like the decisions that we had made for our family and she was going to impose her will on us. Does that story help you at all?

At any rate, I apologize for the length of my reply. I don't mean to criticize you; I hope rather to have shed some light on a different viewpoint.

Congratulations on your new grandbaby. Don't ever forget that the mother of that child holds the keys. Treat her with respect and encourage your son to be a good husband and father first, and then you will be welcomed as his grandpa.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Re: What did we do wrong?

Hey guys, thank you so much for the responses, they're all really interesting and enlightening to say the least.

I think I'm realising that what we did as parents isn't necessarily the same as what everyone else would do. I know my son would be happy to show off his son to all the family but his fiance has other idea's - I think what I'm trying to say is whilst we still don't really fully understand their way of thinking we have to begin appreciating and understanding that we are the grandparents, not the parents. It's very possible we just expected things to happen, like visiting, or getting the grandchild overnight to give the kids a break, etc, etc, but we're seeing things from OUR perspective and quite possibly not theirs, or our DIL's at least.

For our son to tell is they have "arranged" that they will come down at least once a week for at least an hour felt a bit like a custody situation - we just felt, what's to arrange? As for going to visit them, I'm afraid we'll be told no and the whole situation for us now is like walking on egg-shells!!.

So, basically, to avoid getting into any further situations my wife and I have chosen to simply wait for them. We won't pressure them or make any attempts to visit but I can't help feeling now that my son will take this as a negative and feel we're purposely not contacting him because of the situation whilst his fiance quite possibly will be entirely happy about our decision.

On the last visit from our son and DIL, whilst we were holding the baby she explained she had to get back home as it was near his feeding time. My wife asked if she wanted us to run out and grab a bottle for him which she didn't. She then started explaining she was tired and wanted to get away. My wife then explained if she wanted to leave the baby it was absolutely no problem to feed him and we could bring him back to their house after she had a sleep. She point blank refused and said she didn't want to leave him. After that we found out she and our son had spent most of the day at her parents house and we were to accept a 10 minute, rushed visit!. I'm sure it's not just us, but I'm sure most people will see that as unfair I hope.

As I say though, we have to draw a line under this entire affair and move on, my wife and I have done that now as it's becoming too hurtful to do anything else - we're not expecting anything from here, so if we get something it's at least a start. It does hurt to think we may not be in the life of our son and grandchild as much as we would have liked, but life sometimes doesn't pan out the way we'd have hoped

Thanks again for all the replies, really appreciate the time you guys put in.
All the best
Proudgrandad
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Old March 20th, 2012, 11:57 AM
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Re: What did we do wrong?

I feel that you really didn't understand or take to heart what I said. The reason this has me sad is because you are headed down a path that my IL's travelled which has disappointed all of us. They are not the beloved, involved grandparents that my MIL was hoping to be and my kids do not benefit from having loving, involved grandparents. Titling your post "what did we do wrong" seems a little misleading, if you are not actively seeking out to determine if you were at fault so that you can rectify the situation.

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Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
For our son to tell is they have "arranged" that they will come down at least once a week for at least an hour felt a bit like a custody situation - we just felt, what's to arrange?
The arrangement is between him and his wife. She was hurt (possibly scared) by you going against her specific wishes, and he has "arranged" a way for you to be involved and her to (he thinks) move past it, apparently without you having to acknowledge wrongdoing or apologize for it. (Hint: she won't move past it) She is the mother, she holds the power. You are lucky that you will get visits, but know that without any acknowledgment from you that you made a mistake in lifting the baby over her specific request that you didn't, visits are something your son will have to bargain for. I suggest, AGAIN, that you really consider what you have done and apologize for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
So, basically, to avoid getting into any further situations my wife and I have chosen to simply wait for them. We won't pressure them or make any attempts to visit but I can't help feeling now that my son will take this as a negative and feel we're purposely not contacting him because of the situation whilst his fiance quite possibly will be entirely happy about our decision.
Waiting is a good idea. I don't think you need to not contact him though. I think that contacting him with supportive "We love you guys" and "We're proud of you" messages would be good. Include her. And apologize to your son about telling him he could come back for help but his wife's actions were out of order. That was a very hurtful thing for you to do to both him and his wife, the mother of your grandson.

She is a new mother and she is very fragile. She is probably very scared of things that are going on in her own life (husband who can't find a job, parents who abandoned her when she needed them most). She deserves far more tolerance and empathy than you are giving her. Frankly, I'm stunned that neither you nor your wife can remember that time of your life?

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Originally Posted by proudgrandad View Post
On the last visit from our son and DIL, whilst we were holding the baby she explained she had to get back home as it was near his feeding time. My wife asked if she wanted us to run out and grab a bottle for him which she didn't. She then started explaining she was tired and wanted to get away. My wife then explained if she wanted to leave the baby it was absolutely no problem to feed him and we could bring him back to their house after she had a sleep. She point blank refused and said she didn't want to leave him. After that we found out she and our son had spent most of the day at her parents house and we were to accept a 10 minute, rushed visit!. I'm sure it's not just us, but I'm sure most people will see that as unfair I hope.
Just to make sure I understand this, your DIL had given birth at most a few days earlier (not sure how long she was in the hospital). The very day after she was released from the hospital - not even having 24 hours to "nest" with her baby at home - she is carted to visit her parents. You don't know the situation, but she is having her own issues with her parents that have nothing to do with you. She is tired, but she stops in to see you and your wife. She asks you to not lift her brand new baby because she felt that he had been lifted too much, and you ignore her and do it anyway. She then makes a polite excuse about needing to leave to feed the baby (is she breastfeeding? Many women aren't comfortable breastfeeding in front of their father-in-law.) Your wife asked if she could run out and get a bottle for the baby (again... a touchy subject if your DIL is breastfeeding - it can be construed as being unsupportive of her decision to breastfeed). Your DIL said no and gave a little more information - she was tired (hello? The girl is one day away from being in the hospital having given birth and probably not getting a good night's sleep anyway!) and wanted to get home. Your wife asked again (having been told twice that the DIL wanted to leave - this is called pressuring) and then suggested that your DIL, a BRAND NEW MOTHER, leave her newborn.

And you see nothing at all about that situation except that it's unfair that you only got to see your grandson for 10 minutes? Really? Do you not remember the week you brought your firstborn home from the hospital?

Can this not be about you and instead be about your son and his wife and their brand new baby?

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It does hurt to think we may not be in the life of our son and grandchild as much as we would have liked, but life sometimes doesn't pan out the way we'd have hoped
It doesn't have to be that way, and frankly doesn't sound like either your son or DIL want it to be that way, but unless you allow them to be selfish during this entirely-appropriate-to-be-selfish time of their lives, you're putting the nails in your own coffin. Just like my MIL did.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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Re: What did we do wrong?

Kaykay, Lucy and Snafu have all raised good points. Please listen to Kaykay. What you need to do is stay in contact with your son and DIL, ask after them and baby but LEAVE OUT any mention of visits them to you or you to them.

Follow THEIR lead in what THEY want to do. This is the start of THEIR family nucleus. You, your wife, DIL's parents, and any siblings (of your son and DIL) are now EXTENDED family.

If you follow their lead, they may start to relax and trust they will not feel pressured by you. They may start to initiate more arrangements to visit with you or invite you to visit with them.

Please don't you or your wife offer to do any feeds, change any nappies, bath or do sleepovers. Newborns need to bond with their mums and dads and there is certainly no reason whatsoever, for a baby to be away from the mum. Mum needs to be able to establish a routine for her and baby and needs dad to be able to fall within that. Anyone else just has to fit around the routine. It takes time to do that - no amount of reading baby books can actually prepare you for the reality, because babies don't read the books themselves - they prefer to do things their way!

You really need to question yourselves as to the motives for why you would want so much involvement at this stage; is it genuinely for the mum's welfare and welbeing (because baby will be very happy with mother and if mum is tired then dad's role is to step in (he needs to bond too). If it is really because you and your wife want "grandma and grandpa" time and be able to say you've "had" baby, then you are putting your own wants before the actual needs of baby and parents. Doing this for your own reasons makes the mother feel you just want to play "dollies" with her child.

You and your wife had your time of being parents to babies (you will never stop being parents). The first few weeks of a new baby coming into the world is very precious to the parents. ANYTHING negative that happens in that time puts a stain on those wonderful memories. Time with their child that they will never get back if it is lost within bitterness and resentment. If you really love your son, you will do everything you can to ensure your son and DIL's memories are able to be cherished, not blemished. This is the greatest gift you can give them right now.

If you can do all this; respecting your son and DIL and earning their trust, then they will feel safe enough around you and then trust me you will get plenty of Grandparent time. Your time will come, but right now it is THEIR time.
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Last edited by Annsdil; March 20th, 2012 at 12:38 PM.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 12:42 PM
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Re: What did we do wrong?

Hi KayKay, I honestly did read your entire thread from start to finish, and your new reply. I digested it sincerely but that's possibly not came across in my post. We do feel a little hard done by, rightly or wrongly, but we're trying to draw a line under the entire situation and move on.

We wouldn't, at all, wish to try and explain to our son or DIL how we feel, because as you say, this now has to be about them, not us. I had thought our DIL knew us well enough and felt comfortable talking with us, even if it was to tell us we were wrong - but it felt as though she simply left us in the cold whilst we and our son basically did the arguing between ourselves, each side struggling to figure out what was happening.

Having read the replies here, including yours, I can see the errors we have made, although we're basically in the dark and don't know for sure what we did wrong. I know that lifting the baby against my DIL's wishes was the wrong thing to do now, and if I were able to be in that situation again I'd do it differently or rather not at all, maybe it could even be that our DIL feels a little left out by us - maybe she feels hurt by us or as you say maybe we just plain and simply annoyed the living daylights out her by lifting the baby?. I just wish she would talk to us and tell us how she's feeling or at least what it is we did to annoy her.

I can't really apologise when I don't know what I've (or rather we've) done wrong but I'd like to speak to our DIL when or if they do come down this week with the baby and explain that I'm not sure what happened last week but if it was anything we have done to upset them or her in particular then I would be sincerely sorry for it, but we need to know what we did wrong so we can put it right and avoid the situation again. If it was a clear cut situation of lifting the baby then fine, I for one would hold my hands up and apologise.

We're not pig-headed or anything, we can be guilty of letting our emotions run us a little, especially where family are concerned as we were a very close family, but we certainly don't consider ourselves too old to learn - we just need to be taught.

As for when we were young with our son, and then our daughter, I can remember my wife did have issues with her own mother at the time and it was my mum and dad that helped us out the most. Eventually, my wife did get back in touch with her mum and things were great for us all, of course we had the odd up and down like everyone but I can't ever remember a particular time when any of us fell out. Our parents would do the normal things that grandparents do, like spoil the kids, take them for walks and return them with chocolate covered mouths - it didn't phase us one bit, or rather it didn't phase my wife because as our parents did that, she managed to get everything else done that she needed to do, whether it was around the house or nip to the shops without the prep of a baby or toddler. When I returned home from work, I'd take over with the silly nonsense that dad's do and annoy the living daylights out of my wife as she tried preparing the kids for bed as I hyped them up. Those were fab days for us as parents, and all we want to do is extend the invitation to our son and DIL in the same way our parents extended their help, support and love to us - if we've stood on their toe's then we obviously need to learn not to do that again, but as I say, we can't guess our way through a relationship with our DIL - she needs to speak to us and us to her to figure out where we are going wrong - if she won't do that, then we either have to second guess the situation or distance ourselves from the situation which is what we're doing just now.

We honestly want to have a good relationship with our son and DIL but it's hard to think of the possible outcome to this situation. For now, whatever issues they have as a couple have to obviously come first, we understand that now and we hope they can move forward together and we can be there for and with them as a family sometime soon - it will take as long as it takes but as far as my wife and I are concerned we're now giving them all the space they need. Hopefully, things will work themselves out naturally
Thanks again for the advice, appreciating every minute of it.

@annsdil - hi, just saw your reply as I replied .. great points, well said and duly noted
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  #9  
Old March 20th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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Annsdil Annsdil is offline
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Re: What did we do wrong?

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So the next day, they came down and we were made to feel incredibly awkward with the baby - we were even told he'd been getting lifted all day so they didn't want him lifted just now. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The first visit to our home and we weren't to lift our own grandchild?!. No chance, I thought, I'm not having this, so I lifted him and both my wife and I cuddled him like normal grandparents would do.
You have already acknowledged a few times that you know this was wrong. There was a request NOT to do something that you felt was unfair, so you thought to yourself "stuff it! I will do what I want to do and discount my DIL's feelings and not be respectful of hers and my son's wishes.

I really don't understand why you need to wait for DIL to point out the error of your ways before you apologise. I know I would not want to say something when I was in that position with my first baby. I wouldn't want to be disrespectful by challenging my "elders", and I certainly wouldn't want to have a confrontation with anyone.

Why can't you say; if and when they visit "Look DIL, on your first visit to us you asked us not to lift baby, and I instinctively let my emotions override your wishes and I disregarded that request. I can see on reflection how that may have felt to you and I am sincerely sorry for doing that. Please don't be afraid to let us know if and when we overstep the line again, although we promise to do our best not to in the first place."

If you offer that, again, maybe she will feel safe enough with you to accept your apology and be honest and direct with you on adult to adult terms.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 01:12 PM
proudgrandad proudgrandad is offline
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Re: What did we do wrong?

annsdil, as and when they come down with baby I'll be the first to apologise for anything we've done, as I've said already, that's exactly what I intend to do. The next step after that would be to ask if it was because I lifted baby and if it wasn't that, was there something else we did wrong?.

As I say, we're not unreasonable people, we don't consider ourselves to know best, and we're certainly not beyond apologising ... but just as this is a learning curve for our son and DIL to be new parents, it's a learning curve for us as new grandparents - we considered it unreasonable and unfair to ask us not to lift the baby and it really annoyed me - now I can see how this created a situation that shouldn't have existed and as I say I or we hold our hands up to that one big time.

As new grandparents, it's easy to forget how hard it can be sometimes for new parents, especially as it appears our son and DIL are having their own relationship problems, but as I say, hopefully at some point this week we can talk about it together and put the entire situation behind us
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