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Estranged grandparents help!!(19 Posts)
Hi, I'm new to mumsnet so please excuse me if I don't use the correct prefixes. I am a first time Mama to a beautiful almost 7 month old baby boy. Me and DH are struggling with the fact we have 3 recently estranged grandparents out of the 4 and 1 estranged Uncle out of 2.
My DH's parents were very unhelpful and saw our baby once when he was 2 weeks old and haven't seen him since nor have they asked to see him. My DH's only brother has not came to see his nephew once and is yet to meet him and he has not been in contact. DH fell out with his Dad and his Dad sent a text message so easily severing the relationship and both him and my mother in law have not made attempt to contact since. It breaks my heart that they haven't once contacted me to ask to see their grandchild (they have only seen him once.)
Since that time my own Mother has estranged herself. Me and her have always had a strained relationship as she had narcissistic tendencies and I have struggled to deal with her behaviour over the years. I have always tried though to get the love and support from her that she has never have; I have cried out for this all my life constantly striving to please her and live up to her oh so high expectations as nothing I do is ever enough for her. It seems she expects people to bend over backwards for her yet gives nothing in return. I would like to think we had been getting on a little better right up until I became pregnant with her first and only grandchild. She had not supported me in anyway through my pregnancy not the way mothers should in any shape or form. When I was in my early crucial stages of pregnancy she would think nothing of stressing me out with her minor health ailments and trips to A & E telling me she had cancer when it only ended up being a minor bowel issue. She would think nothing of calling me up late at night expecting me and DH to drive all way across town to pick her up whilst I was pregnant and we both had work early next day from said a and e after all of the saga (no thought for anybody else.) She lives ten minute taxi ride away and isn't short of cash. She also had a nother hospital episode a few weeks back and again was found to to have minor bowel condition despite her again saying she had cancer and wanting me to bring our baby into hospital at the end of visiting hours (daytime wasn't good enough for her) with no regard for him picking anything up and germs and no regard for his bedtime with an hours notice when we live over an hour away from the hospital. She was 'dying' yet eating birthday cake and gallivanting around the hospital and leaving the grounds and going to the park. She in my opinion was taking a hospital bed up somebody else could have had as she was an outpatient and forcefully admitted herself! Also my mother expected me and DH to come pick her up at exact time of her choosing and take her home for a cup of tea so she could get more clothes then take her back to hospital and drive all way back again across town in traffic with our baby back and forwards (us picking her clothes up and taking then to her wasn't good enough.) As if this isn't bad enough she had no regard for our son and her fragile mental state and would think nothing over sitting crying in front of him and him picking up on her stress.
We fell out because of her unnecessary demands she was placing on me (basically if you don't dance to her tune she spits her dummy out like a child.) I told her I am a mother now and my son comes first (I cannot adhere to her unnecessary demands anymore). My mother is an attention seeker and does not show love or support to others. She has never made the effort to come over herself to see myself or her grandson or invited us over to her place and seen him a handful of times since he was born (all of the times she has seen him I have arranged.) She has been lying to everything saying that since I because pregnant I have distanced myself which is not true and she has also been lying saying I havent wanted her to come over. She has only said those things in defence to others asking why she doesn't see her grandchild much. My mother cares very much in what others think and likes to look good to them even if she has to twist the truth and make stories up. She really isn't bothered as if she was she would have supported me and have seen her grandchild ( she has passed where I live many times but had no interest in stopping by.) To cut a long story short things escalated and my mother severed the relationship just like that; she cannot take any form of criticism yet can dish it out to everybody else. This was acouple weeks ago and she hasn't been back in touch and hasn't asked to see her grand child (she hadn't seen him in months now.) I don't know what to do and how to cope with all of this? My dad is very loving and supportive where he can be but suffers from mental health problems and due to that cannot do alot but his love means the world to me. He is divorced from my Mam ( they were still friends but she has also recently servered all ties to him again over sheer pettiness.) I have an extremely great relationship with DH and we love our baby to bits but find it difficult and utterly heart breaking that our son will grow up with one uncle (my brother), one granddad (my dad) and no other relatives, no cousins, nobody else. Possibly he may have a brother or sister if we decide to have a second in the not too distant future. Also I get upset when I see big happy families and mothers and daughters who are like best friends with loads of people buzzing around new parents as for me and my DH it has been very lonely with no support. We have done everything ourselves and entirely on our own. I am so angry at all of them and still in sheer disbelief. The time in my life I needed them the most and they do this now. Me and my other half have pandered to these people for years and the minute we need support they severe ties! Our wonderful baby boy is the first and only grandchild on both sides which makes their behaviour even more alarming. Where do we go from here? Comments would be much appreciated. Thank you...
Emigrate. Everyone will be without family support and you can make a new happy life for yourselves.
I know it's rubbish but try not to worry too much, your DS will be fine with you and your DH as his family. He'll meet friends when he starts school and hopefully have a busy, fun life.
My DD doesn't have any grandparents and it used to break my heart, but she's 6 now and doesn't even ask about grandparents so I don't worry any more.
Thanks zzzzz I wish it was that easy! These things can take a big toll on you. It has been very stressful for myself and my DH as i think one parent is bad enough but 3 estranged in a matter of a few months is a lot and rare not to mention the uncle! It is very upsetting they they aren't making contact to see their one and only grandchild. Our little boy had sepsis when he was born and we almost lost him so you would think they would hold our little guy even more so dear. He is our incredibly precious little man and they are missing out on so much. When I think about their behaviour I feel sick to my stomach. Thanks...
Thank you Getoutofthatgarden. I think the worst thing for us is they live relatively local which adds insult to injury. My DH fears we will bump into his parents with our son as we've bumped into them in past before the estrangement 😬. As for myself my mother's estrangement has made me reevaluate our whole relationship and I've realised I had buried so much; it has been a real struggle I never think wanted any of this but have to put my sons needs first and evidently cannot please these people.
I have a similar family (or non-family?) and it really isn't the end of the world. You need to accept this this is how it is - it isn't easy and it takes time. It's actually quite a relief not to have contact with people like the ones you describe.
It would be lovely to have caring and interested grandparents for our children but children can be perfectly happy without them. It would be much worse to have toxic and demanding people in their lives.
I like the emigrate idea. Too late for me, but I wish I'd done that.
My in-laws live fairly locally and I used to dread bumping into them. We never have, 12 years free of them now.
Thank you Fafoutis I agree it will definately take time. I guess I expected better from these so called 'family members.' Having a baby has certainly been awakening and made me and DH see people for who they truly are. I guess before this I gave them all the benefit of the doubt; how wrong can was I!!
Oh wow I hope we don't bump into ours like you haven't yours! I know I would have loved to have emigrated but my dad suffers from mental health problems and he wouldn't cope. Plus getting a visa not that easy; dam!! 😳
I’m quite serious about the emigrating. Unless you are providing day to day support for your df I would work around that and flip your negative (and horrible, I am so sorry it’s happening to you) set up to your advantage and start a bold new adventure for yourselves. There is a new life with other nuclear families waiting for you somewhere.
No zzzzzz we bought our house last year and cannot sell for 7 years. Plus we love our house and area and will not be driven away by other people. Plus my DH is having trouble with his job and could end up out of work so we have money troubles at the moment. Lucky you if you can put plan into action. It's not possible for all.
And yes I am supportive zzzz to my Dad. He tried and very almost succeeded in committing suicide awhile back and I've been his main support. I was the one who found him and he had be doing better at the moment. Me, DH and his grandson keep
him going and like I said we like the home we've made for ourselves.
anybody in a similar situation to me who understands please let me know how you've dealt with your situation. I'm not interested in the 'pull your socks up' attitudes as they went out with flares! Thank you.
Build your own family, and be joyful that you're saving your own child(ren) from their hassle and drama. Not having Grandparents isn't a problem if those grandparents are awful. One of my Grandads was abusive, and we've never met him (he only does recently, and I'm in my mid-theories) - I'm not sorry, and I'm pleased that my parents never tried to make a relationship happen with someone who really wasn't worth it. One day, your child might feel the same.
Don't focus on what other people have - we all have something different, and that's ok. I don't have parents that can come and babysit or finance a deposit on a house, but plenty of my friends do - and there's nothing I can do to change that. We just keep on.
Thank you callamia it is refreshing to hear from somebody in a similar situation to myself. I feel like all I have heard lately is about wonderful grandparents but me and my DH can only strive to be the best parents we can be and hope it's enough. And you're right those personality types wouldn't be healthy around my baby boy. It's weird but I feel guilty even though I haven't done anything; it's a feeling I will have to learn to live with or overcome in time! I constantly re-evaluate why they are the way they are but have to realise you cannot reason with crazy!! 😲
Something that helped me come to terms with this situation were self-help type books. I tended to have a crisis moment around Christmas every year and those helped.
If you look up 'Toxic Parents' on Amazon you get a good selection.
Mumsnet is supportive too, have a look at the 'Relationships' board.
Thank you Fafoutis I will check it out. I've been meaning to get a book on it for awhile now. It's hard because despite everything my mother has done or not done for lack of a better word I love her and always will. I wanted my son to have a relationship with her because when she's nice she can be lovely but it's this other side to her. She spoils herself and it's such a shame. She switches too easily and this demanding narcassitic side some out that is extremely damaging for myself let alone my child . And now I am thinking was this nice side genuine or all or in fact an act. If she'd had the qualities I thought she'd had she wouldn't be estranging herself and cannot care like I thought she did underneath the front. It feels very much like bereavement but with the person being out there which in some ways makes it worse. Thank you I'll check out the relationships section.
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