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To think my mother should make more effort with grandson

(77 Posts)
ParsleyCake Thu 23-Feb-17 23:06:04

Since we had my now 2 year old son, we've been trying to spend more time with our families, so that DS will have a bond with his grandparents and aunts and uncles. My partner's family are doing a good job of this; they are almost always available to meet up or visit and are always offering to babysit. My mother (my dad passed away years ago) isn't doing much at all.

This is surprising to us both, as OH's family were not supportive parents, and were not very good to him (I won't go into detail, but it contributes to why I'm not comfortable taking up their babysitting offers), whereas my mum was there for both me and OH as we grew up (we met when we were quite young), and helped us out when we had no money, and drove us around to get to work and college and things like that, long after I left home. That said, I was a moody teenager and cut myself off emotionally from her...well it looks like that has come back to bite me, as she has become quite distant with us.

My mother is always 'too busy' or 'too tired' when we want to meet up. As I said, my son is 2 now and we have yet to get her to come out with us anywhere with him. She hardly ever visits, and though we try to visit her every weekend, she often fobs us off. It's not like we are expecting her to do much either - it takes us half an hour to walk to her house with the pram (we don't drive and don't have enough money to waste it on a bus if it isn't necessary) and then we just sit in her living room and talk to my sisters (she'll only come down to talk to us for a few minutes because she's 'too busy')and we're never offered tea or biscuits or anything. It's very awkward and uncomfortable.

All we want is for him to have a bond with his granny, but she doesn't seem to want to play ball. At first, when he was about 3 months old, she was happy to babysit him, but he cried a lot and after the first few times she got noticeably less enthusiastic. She doesn't have a good manner with babies, to be honest. She's too loud and 'in your face' and it freaked DS out, and though I tried to let her know, it just seems like she has decided he doesn't like her and she's not willing to make further effort. It's ridiculous, he's only a baby and yet she has repeatedly told me he doesn't like her - but he sees her less than once a month (during our visits where she barely talks to or touches him) and she doesn't seem to understand that she has to make an effort with him if he is going to like her.

This is all really starting to get to me, but I really could deal with it, because I know she doesn't have it easy. My siblings still live at home, she is a single mother, and she has bad health and a difficult job. It's no wonder she doesn't want to go out during the week or do anything too strenuous. I would argue that she could stand to give up an afternoon or morning, but truly I could even forgive that. If it weren't for her church.

Not long after DS was born, she started going to church, and because of that, her Sundays are now completely off limits. She's at church until mid afternoon, and after that it's 'too late' to do anything and she's too tired. Fair enough, there's still Saturdays, right? Nope, that's the one day she doesn't have plans and she needs it to relax and recover from the week. So while she allows visits sometimes on Saturdays, it feels very grudging and DS doesn't have much fun there and we don't feel particularly welcome.

I'm just getting quite upset at the moment. I feel really cut off from friends and family - none of my friends have kids and they are busy with the student lifestyle and studying, so though I do go out with them when I can, I can't talk to them about parenting issues - and parenting is pretty much my life now. There's only so much I can talk about my boring job. I have social anxiety and struggle to make new friends. Apart from that, we are really struggling with money and our only trustworthy option for babysitting is my mum.

What do I do? All I can think is to keep trying. I'm not usually so depressed, I'm an upbeat kind of person but every time I think about how my mum is slowly cutting us out of her life, I get upset and angry.

ParsleyCake Thu 23-Feb-17 23:08:36

Just to add, she refuses to miss church EVER, but has missed most of her grandsons life and this is what is really getting to me

5OBalesofHay Thu 23-Feb-17 23:11:52

So you had a child and your mum, who was a good and supportive mum to you, and helped dh now wants her own life?

SwissChristmasMuseum Thu 23-Feb-17 23:13:55

There is no 'should'.

ParsleyCake Thu 23-Feb-17 23:16:02

I'm just desperately trying to make a connection with my mum and she's not interested. For myself it hurts but I can deal with it, but for my son - it breaks my heart he won't know his granny. Is that really so wrong?

PennyPickle Thu 23-Feb-17 23:18:00

I'm not sure why you feel that your mum should see your son every week to have a good bond with him? Sure some grandparents see their grandchildren on a regular basis - especially if helping out with child care. But lots of children don't see their grandparents weekly.

Your mum has a demanding job, is a single mother, has helped you and your partner out. Maybe she needs a little time for herself? That is allowed

SwissChristmasMuseum Thu 23-Feb-17 23:18:33

How old are your siblings?

ParsleyCake Thu 23-Feb-17 23:19:59

Fair enough, I guess I'm being too demanding. We don't really have much other family. I adored my granny growing up, and I just feel bad for my son knowing he won't have that

SwissChristmasMuseum Thu 23-Feb-17 23:20:33

Doesn't sound as if she's had it easy. I would give her a break. Or see if I could do anything for her.

ashtrayheart Thu 23-Feb-17 23:20:35

It is hard, but when you learn to accept it, it gets easier. I have 4 children and my mum has been hands-off with all of them and has never babysat!
Her loss. It's sad for us more than the kids I think, who don't know any different.

ParsleyCake Thu 23-Feb-17 23:20:40

My siblings are teenagers

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 23-Feb-17 23:21:34

The bits that stand out for me

* My siblings still live at home, she is a single mother, and she has bad health and a difficult job. It's no wonder she doesn't want to go out during the week or do anything too strenuous.*

but truly I could even forgive that

our only trustworthy option for babysitting is my mum.

IMO, you are coming across as entitled and seem to begrudge your mum a time (church) when she does something that is time for herself.

melj1213 Thu 23-Feb-17 23:22:02

* I know she doesn't have it easy. My siblings still live at home, she is a single mother, and she has bad health and a difficult job. It's no wonder she doesn't want to go out during the week or do anything too strenuous*

So her "excuses" of being busy and/or tired are fully justified and you expect her to give up her only free time (which she just happens to spend on her church) because you have decided that she should prioritise your child over what she wants to do, despite the fact she gives up so much time for other people, including both you and your OH in the past, and maybe now has decided she wants to put her own needs first.

Would it be nice for her to have a closer relationship with your child? Of course

Do you get to decide how she spends her free time? No you don't.

Darlink Thu 23-Feb-17 23:23:27

YABVU
Sorry

tabithakitty Thu 23-Feb-17 23:23:51

Op I get that you are hurt about this; I would be too if I were you. It's not like you are asking her to help with child care; just to make a connection, as you say.

I guess she's maybe just really knackered the whole time, and doesn't feel like entertaining.

Do your sisters give any indication of any problem or issue?

ParsleyCake Thu 23-Feb-17 23:24:31

It's just that now I'm a mum myself, I appreciate what my mum has done for us more than ever and have been trying to show appreciation by what (to me) seems the best reward - offering to spend time together, and giving time with her grandson. This Christmas, in despair that nothing was working I splashed out on gifts that I couldn't really afford and it was pointless because it didn't change anything. In her place, I would be devastated if I couldn't see my grandchildren and I just don't understand why she's not interested.

SwissChristmasMuseum Thu 23-Feb-17 23:25:01

Only teenagers? Deffo give her a break. See if you can do anything for her for a change.

5OBalesofHay Thu 23-Feb-17 23:26:07

She is a single mother. She works. Her health is not good. She likes to relax on a Saturday. Church is important to her. You feel isolated, have social anxiety and are struggling for money so you want her to babysit.

You say she's the only babysitter who's trustworthy but she doesn't have a good manner with babies.

YABVU.

Jenniferb21 Thu 23-Feb-17 23:27:29

Hi

Just want to say I had only a few friends with babies and it can feel very lonely even though you're never alone. If you feel depressed it may be Something you need to see your GP about. Have you joined any baby groups or classes? My local childcare centre has playgroup mornings for £1 and things like that I now have a few new mum friends.

But to address the main point in your post OP I would talk to my mum and it sounds like if she's always been there for you maybe she has no idea you feel this way? I would just say you feel lonely/down and would love to spend more time with her and so you can see them bond. I'd focus on how I was feeling rather than the lack of bonding though because you want it to come across as a way of asking for more support and contact rather than criticising her decisions and lifestyle.

Good luck xxxx

ParsleyCake Thu 23-Feb-17 23:30:21

Yeah I can see I'm being too demanding, and wanting to be closer to my family doesn't change that.

Just to be clear, the babysitting isn't an issue - it's not that my mum SHOULD babysit at all. I just mentioned it as an extra bit of stress. After all, we can't ever go out on dates together, but more importantly my son has almost never been cared for by anyone other than myself and my fiancé and I'm worried that this isn't a good thing for him.

I guess I just thought that when life is tough at least your family should be there for you. And she's not letting us be there for her, or being there for us. She's even talked about moving away - that's my entire family, leaving us.

ollieplimsoles Thu 23-Feb-17 23:30:38

Op she is interested but give her a break! She sounds like she has been through a lot and your son is only two! She might start spending more time with him when he's a bit older and less demanding, Shea got teens living at home and looking after a toddler I bloody hard work - as I'm sure you know.

What really stood out for me is that you are feeling a bit isolated, none of your friends have children. Do you think if your dh could have ds on a Saturday and you could go to your mums alone for a while just to hang out and wind down together you would feel better?

Awwlookatmybabyspider Thu 23-Feb-17 23:32:07

YANBU. You're not saying you expect her to help raise him or even look after him. You just want her in your ds life. I bet the YABU brigades mothers play an active part in the gcs lives.
I'm sorry but it is weird when grandparents especially maternal don't want to know.

SmallBee Thu 23-Feb-17 23:33:17

Can you invite your sisters round to your house instead? It'd give your mum a break every Saturday and it sounds like she'd really appreciate that. After a few months of extra time to herself you might find she wants to visit occasionally as well. Or not.

It is really sad that at the moment she isn't interested in the relationship you want but that doesn't mean she won't be in future. I'd give her a bit of space but in a way that leaves the door open for the future.

Orangebird69 Thu 23-Feb-17 23:41:12

YAB a bit U. Just don't panic about the amount of time she spends with him. My DF lives in another country. My ds is 16mo. They only see each other every few months at most but they adore each other. Admittedly, it doesn't sound as though your DM and dc are even having any quality time together let alone quantity, but from your posts, your mum sounds absolutely knackered... not sure what you can do about that. Hope you work it out.

Nofunkingworriesmate Fri 24-Feb-17 00:27:26

Every week is too much
Back off and wait till she contacts you and requests a visit
I understand your hurt
Why don't you go yo church with her just once or twice a year to show support for her passion?
How about a christening for your little one in the church
Maybe she had attachment issues with you send your son?

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