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In praise ....(9 Posts)
I am here almost by accident, as I was looking for something to do with grandparenting and then discovered a world of painful messages on this site re experiences with mothers and MIL's. So, I wanted to redress the balance a little.......
No grandparent is "entitled" to anything (nor come to that, is any parent) Each of us has to earn the right to be trusted and/or respected by our adult children. If we are, then it is a gift. To earn the respect of a d/s-i-l is ten times harder.
My own mother was dreadful (and I did finally walk away ) so needed to work very hard not to repeat parenting patterns and have been paranoid that I might emulate her attitudes to me as a new mother. Well I am now a new grandmother and it is a total joy to watch my DD mother her new son. Why would I want to interfere when I derive such pleasure from just watching her grow into a confident mother? I want to shout from the rooftops that I am proud of her ....that she is doing a great job!
And that is really what I want to say to all those new mums who are suffering interference and dominance issues from their extended families. Trust yourselves!! You too are doing a great job don't lose faith in yourself if someone in the family tells you to do things differently, just smile sweetly and carry on regardless.
Bestow your trust and respect where it has been earned, and as you grow into motherhood you will gain the confidence to say "my way - or the highway". Just make sure you have prepared to relinquish that stance when you have d/s-i-l's of your own :-)
In praise of my daughter (and every young mum like her!)
x x x
Your family are very lucky to have you in thier lives and thank you for taking the time to give support to others.
Thank you 'betterthanever' ....... but they are not that lucky, because 5 minutes after posting I realised that it should have said "in praise of my daughter AND son-in-law" because they are both doing a great job!!
Lesson 1 of mothering: you never stop making mistakes, but if you are lucky your children forgive you for them!
you have that spot on, the ability to know that you will make mistakes and can only strive to improve and do your best is a wonderful thing. Those who claim to be the best at everything all the time always worry me lol
Awww. Mumngran - can we have a parenting lesson of the day from you each day please?
towicymru ... :-) the "lesson" was aimed at myself! lol
Thank you Mumngran, I did trust myself, this of course added fuel to the fire of MIL and own mother. As a dear friend said to me as a new mum 'if you've been in the shower and got dressed before midday you're having a good day'.
I made a suggestion to my daughter..... I promise never to just drop in, or assume, if you promise that you won't try to be the first ever supermum of a one week old, and will TELL ME when help would be useful.
It worked for us, because we are people who tend to talk through issues before they happen (equally we could be seen as crossing bridges before we need to! take your pick lol)
The upshot has been that I don't ever violate their alone time, but they do seem to really appreciate when I go over by request and just give TLC to DGS so that they can do the things they need to do (my DD is waaaay to independent to let me do her housework ...I have managed to iron for her just once!)
We have built enough trust that the parents know I can calm my DGS as well as Dad, and almost as well as Mum. My daughter knows I handle him her way . The upshot of learning her ways has settled into a blissful routine of her asking for my back-up on couple of afternoons a week when I get to cuddle, feed, change, walk and play while DD does all the things that are so hard to achieve when baby is tiny.
My biggest verbal bouquets have been when DSIL asked for me to please not shoot off the minute he got home, because it was lovely to just have a bit of time to unwind! .........and the amazing request as to whether I would babysit for an entire day/evening when they have to attend a wedding. IF!?! were they kidding!! ..... I smiled all the way home
As I said .... its about trust and respect. Trust is rooted in honesty, respect has to be mutual. I think sometimes families have to unravel a whole mass of knots in the way they have always dealt with each other, before they can start to relate in a way that works for the newborn "family".
And before anyone runs away with the idea that I am trying to appear 'qualified' to spout those afore mentioned parenting lessons ..... I am as inherently inclined to be as dreadful as any other granny......have tied myself in knots keeping my mouth shut over one or two modern approaches to things which seem to make little sense to me ..... have had to sit down and seriously lecture myself to prevent picking up the phone and saying ' I'm shopping in your neck of the woods ...can I call in?" ..... and seriously dropped myself in it by asking when the christening might be!!!!
I am so far from perfect that you can see the flaws from miles off ....it is my daughter who keeps me on the straight and narrow. She tells me if she is not happy with something .... and I long ago learned to accept that any adult has that right.
Full circle ...right back to that whole honesty and respect thing, again!!
x x x
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