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When did Grandchild become Pay-per-View? (Grandparents perspective)

(180 Posts)
Wheresmyturn Tue 20-Feb-18 12:39:49

I have a DD who is 25 and has a 2 year old DD of her own.

I've always tried to be a good mum to DD and her DBro. I'm single since their dad left me a few years ago, he never sees or speaks to either of my children and has never met my GD.

I live a short 15 minute walk from my DD. She visits me once a month on a Sunday with GD we have a roast dinner and my son comes out of his room for a change. This is the only time I get with DD/GD. I've offered to visit them at DDs flat, I've offered to meet her in town for a coffee with or without GD (DD is married and her husband is GD dad) - I always offer to pay as I know money can be tight with a young child, I've even offered to go to a soft play centre or swimming even though I hated these things when my own children were little. DD says she doesn't have time and she'll see me at my house on that one Sunday.

I wouldn't mind and would accept it but I see her MIL gets to see my GD once a week she looks after her on her own and then meets DD in town for a meal sometimes too. When I ask DD about it she says her MIL pays for GD to have private SALT because the NHS waiting lists for both were long - GD has a speech delay and glue ear - and that's why she gets to see her more because MIL insists on seeing her once per week minimum because she pays for the therapy and DD feels she has to make it up to MIL so buys her a meal once a month or so.

I feel really hurt. I work but can't afford to offer similar for GD, I didn't realise she was pay-per-view. The MIL will also get a huge bunch of flowers, box of chocolates, and a hand made card by GD from "her son" (aka DD) on Mother's Day, she gets similar on her birthday and at Christmas. I'm lucky if I get a 20p card from a charity shop. That's not to say I mind, I appreciate a card I just thought my DD and I were close and I'd see her more often considering I live so nearby. Her MIL is about half an hours drive a way so not a huge distance but it still stinks.

How can this be? It just doesn't seem fair. If it's relevant me and the MIL are the same age, and both still working so it's not a case of the MIL having more time I don't think. I just don't think my DD has the time for me anymore.

Wheresmyturn Tue 20-Feb-18 12:41:06

*MIL also pays for swimming to help with a muscle condition GD has

gimmesomeapachepizza Tue 20-Feb-18 12:42:07

I'm guessing your DD would tell a different story.

FlouncyDoves Tue 20-Feb-18 12:43:00

That’s pretty shitty of her. Have you expressly told her how you feel about this? She might feel under pressure to pander to MIL more.

Explain how you feel, and that you’d like to see more of your GD.

WitchesHatRim Tue 20-Feb-18 12:43:41

I'm guessing your DD would tell a different story.

hmm well you could say that about every MIL thread. Do you put the same on those?

Glumglowworm Tue 20-Feb-18 12:44:01

It sounds like your DD is being guilt tripped into the frequent visits with her MIL. Don’t add to that by trying to make her feel guilty about not seeing you more

How often did you see DD before she had her child?

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Tue 20-Feb-18 12:44:03

Well - the thing that stands out to me from this story is how the MIL is basically blackmailing her son and daughter-in-law, by saying she will only pay for the SALT if she gets time on her own with her granddaughter - and maybe they feel they have to butter her up with nice mothers' day gifts too. To me, that says you are the nicer and better person.

That said, I can see why you are feeling hurt by this - you haven't stooped to the level of the MIL, so you are losing out - and you aren't even getting any appreciation on Mothers Day.

Wheresmyturn Tue 20-Feb-18 12:45:54

She lived with me until her DD was a few months old then her and the father moved in together. I'd see them a few times a month until GD was about 1.

HerSymphonyAndSong Tue 20-Feb-18 12:46:27

An alternative interpretation is that she is seeing you because she wants to but feels obliged to see her MIL due to guilt trips over money spent

100lbtolose Tue 20-Feb-18 12:48:33

I'm not a grandparent but I wonder if your daughter is struggling with a child who has some difficulties and a MIL who is putting on pressure? It seems that she feels obliged to spend lots of time with her MIL as a result of her paying for your GD's treatment, and perhaps as a result her free time is very precious. She may feel that she can rely on you to be nice and supportive, and so limits herself to one visit a month to protect her own free time (to do chores etc and to look after herself).

That said, I can totally see why you are hurt and upset and it might be worth speaking to your daughter. I would avoid using language like 'pay-per-view' which sounds very judgmental and just tell her that you would love to see your GD more, and feel that you are missing out by only seeing her once a month. Let her know you are upset about it but without blaming her or she will likely be defensive.

Hope it all works out for you xx

gimmesomeapachepizza Tue 20-Feb-18 12:56:03

hmm well you could say that about every MIL thread. Do you put the same on those?

yes actually.

There is obviously a lot more to this than meets the eye. The woman doesn't particularly want to spend any time at all with her mother, there must be more to it.

FancyNewBeesly Tue 20-Feb-18 12:58:11

This makes me really sad. My mum passed away six months before I got pregnant with my twins and I would give anything to have her around, spending time with my boys. I’d also give my right arm for a parent who would give me a break of any length, at any time, and take care of my boys for me, but I don’t have that. It’s sad that your daughter doesn’t appreciate having you so close by.

Have you told her how much this hurts you? I don’t think that it’s pay per view - I suspect she has feelings of guilt around your MIL paying for these things and therefore feels she can’t say no to meeting up etc, and feels the need to show their gratitude with gifts. It does suck if this negatively impacts your time with her though.

Viviennemary Tue 20-Feb-18 12:59:17

This would annoy me too. I think I'd stop the meals once a month and leave it up to your DD to invite you. I'd offer to babysit or take the child out. It's too one sided. I think your DD is cheeky.

thecatsthecats Tue 20-Feb-18 13:01:15

It could be that, entirely selfishly from our daughter's point of view, she wants some time for herself. She's happy to see you once a month. She's obliged, by necessity, to see her MiL more frequently. And perhaps that's enough for her, family life wise?

Without any malice whatsoever, I don't see my family as often as my fiance's. They will see more of my sister's children than of mine.

whiskyowl Tue 20-Feb-18 13:02:20

It's impossible for us to tell what is really going on with your daughter. Maybe she is selfish and grabby. Or maybe there are reasons that she keeps you at arm's length. Without knowing worlds more about the relationship, it's really hard to tell.

I think my MIL could have written your post - only we don't have kids, so she and FIL are always hassling to see us. But when we do see them, they are bossy, domineering, and frankly, undermining. Everything has to be done their way, and it's exhausting. So we don't really want to spend time with them - because it's unpleasant when we do. Ask yourself whether something similar might be the case with your daughter.

It may be that you are a paragon of sweetness and light who is genuinely getting lost in the maelstrom of modern life. But given that most parents would give their right arm to have a grandparent who was capable of taking care of a child for a few hours, unsupervised, my guess is that something more is happening here.

Wheresmyturn Tue 20-Feb-18 13:02:39

If I stop the meals (I have in the past) then I don't get to see DD or GD at all as they just don't invite me. Which upsets me more as I do want to see my GD and spend time with her.

Wheresmyturn Tue 20-Feb-18 13:07:42

I'm not bossy as far as I know and if GD needs disciplining I leave it to DD. I literally cook a meal, serve it and then they go home, sometimes my son walks his sister home sometimes she'll have driven so she drives home.

DD does not say anything bad about her MIL, whether that's through loyalty or something else I don't know, she always says she's lovely and she's really grateful that she's spent so much money on DD to try and help her.

Love51 Tue 20-Feb-18 13:08:04

Does your dd work? Because if she does, then between seeing you monthly, mil weekly, using her annual leave for SALT appointments, she doesn't get a lot of spare time.
There may be something about DD needing to strike out on her own with her DH. If she lived with you when GD was tiny, she might just need some space to make her own decisions.
Or, she could be a big meanie. I don't know, I've not met her. You may have to accept the answer that she gives you.

diddl Tue 20-Feb-18 13:09:06

Well more fool your daughter if she is seeing her MIL because of what she is paying for.

Doesn't explain why she only sees you once a month though, does it?

Wheresmyturn Tue 20-Feb-18 13:09:42

DD works, 2 days a week.

YellowMakesMeSmile Tue 20-Feb-18 13:10:41

MIL may not be putting any pressure on her at all, she may feel obligated to see her more as MIL is helping out with the therapy and swimming. Or maybe she's just grateful and is subconsciously spending more time there.

Just talk to her without the pay as you go comments.

whiskyowl Tue 20-Feb-18 13:10:51

Have you asked your DD why you don't see her more often? If so, what does she say?

essietopcoat Tue 20-Feb-18 13:11:50

Sorry to hear this - did you and your daughter get on well when she was younger?
does your son have any idea why she is like this?

Wheresmyturn Tue 20-Feb-18 13:11:50

If I ask her why I don't see her she just says she's busy and likes our Sundays together.

NachoAddict Tue 20-Feb-18 13:12:03

If you and the MIL both work I imagine that the meetings are taking place at the weekend? So in a four week month that means MIL is taking 4 of 8 weekend days, you are taking 1 which only leaves your daughter and her husband 3 days a month to spend time together as a family.

I can see why she is reluctant to give them up. Try not to take it personally.

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