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What to do about well meaning grandparent(18 Posts)
I am a young mum of 2 young children age 2 and 1 and I feel like my well meaning grandmother is taking over (my childrens great grandmother).
She is 70 years old but very fit and able she's more like 55 in health and fitness.
My problem is she wants to be involved in everything to the point that I can't go out the house without her tagging along which she totally means well about but I feel overshadowed by her all the time. If we Are at the park or toddler groups she is speaking to the other mums and I'm walking about like the babysitter.
For example my granny calls in the morning and asks what we are doing I'll say we are going wherever and I feel rude not invite her so along she comes. Then we come home and the door bell will ring and here she is again with some random reason for visiting again. This results in her staying 3 hours and then come about 7pm I will be getting a text saying how brilliant the day was etc etc. this is daily. I have no friends to do things with instead but I want to make the effort to make friends by going to the park these groups etc.
today I went out to the car and she was waiting on my doorstep to return my sons jacket we were heading to the park but I didn't invite her but she was in the car seatbelt on before I was :s ahhhh!
What do I do? It's even worse that I have nothing to say to her as she is constantly with us
But you do have something to say to her.
Kindly but firm. "No you can't come with us today I want to take LO on my own. See you next week" She doesn't know - she has to be told. " Perhaps you need to learn assertiveness.
It will sting her a bit but this is your child and your life. She must step back. (72 yr old GGma here ) Stick up for yourself - say what is right for you.
Practice the "No, not convenient" then drive off to another park in another town for a few weeks.
Good Luck and remember your child your rules.
Gosh that's very tricky. I'm guessing she is retired, single, bored and lonely? So you have become her new occupation. I can't see any alternative to sitting her down and gently explaining that as, you say, you need To spend time alone with the dc and times to meet other mums and make your own friends. Very difficult.
Could you set aside a few slots per week to give her some contact and really be quite firm that the rest of the time you need space. And no unannounced visits. It sounds as if you have a good relationship but she has misread the signals. Maybe she even thinks she's doing you a favour by helping do much.
Time for her to get some other interests and friends.
Suggest she joins Mumsnet! I've found the Mothers/Mothers in Law/Grandmothers threads invaluable in helping me to negotiate the potential minefield of Grandparenthood.
Can you not go to a few groups per week and just casually drop in something like 'I'm trying to meet some other mums with children to hang out with so the kids can interact' Id hope she wouldn't want to tag along to that! X
If you don't feel you can ask her to stay away, do you think you could engineer a conversation whete you talk about wanting to make friends, be a bit braver, where her only real suggestion can be to do things on your own with the dc?
Or say you'd love to go to a group on your own and almost task her with finding you a new one to go to?
Would she watch one dc while you did say a mother and baby swimming group (or something where it's only practical to take one) with the other?
I think it needs to be her idea, or her still being useful, but at home
Can't you lie a little and say you are going to a specific group every tues/thurs with a specific friend to give you these slots at least free every week?
I would be leaving the two children with her and buggering off out for the day on my own
Thanks everyone for your replies.
Matildathecat you are right about us being her occupation any time I call her she is suddenly doing nothing so she is free to join us, I don't think it would bother me so much but everyday she says I wish Granda would get out more and meet people and I feel like she should too it's frustrating.
Snavenator she come to the group we go to on Wednesday she totally thinks she is doing me a favour and I couldn't possibly manage on my own - I think she forgets I'm an adult and the dcs mum!
Whereisegg I'm going to try what you suggested as dgm definatley needs to be involved in some way. I just know if she knows where I am she will have 'popped out for a walk and happen to stop by' and then 'oh I'll walk with you home'
She cares too much which is sweet but it's suffocating, I should be caring about her phoning to give her a lift to the shops etc
Just got a text 'sorry didnt realise you were going out after the park will be up with a new hot water bottle tomorrow' I haven't mentioned a hot water bottle. Bless her she means so well I just hate being guilted in to bringing her everywhere.
Text straight back,'sorry, tomorrow I'm busy. How about a cup of tea on Thursday at 3?' I think you are going to have to be very direct. She sounds impervious to hints
And yes, she's viewing you are a child who needs her. Out of interest, did she raise you or be unusually close when you were growing up?
Text her back and tell her you'll be out tomorrow and you'd like to see her again on Thursday.
She must be lonely. How about find her some groups to go to so she isn't left in the lurch. (And you won't feel guilty) x
She did look after me all the time as I grew up as my mum worked full time and she has suffered with eating disorders and drink problems all her life so I think that's why she is so close. Also she lived in Africa for years in her 20s and felt she missed out on her children having grandparents so she tried to make up for that I think.
You could say you're seeing a friend tomorrow (so no more room in the car ) but you'll see her weds or thurs.
Then, when you do see her, say that your friend cancelled at the last minute and just rave about what a wonderful time you had with the dc, bonding etc.
Say you realise you've bern leaning on her too much but you're ready and excited to get out on your own more.
Suggest she join you for 2/3 of her favourite activities with you and dc a week?
I wish she would spend all her time and energy helping my mum, her daughter, but she brushes over that it's never mentioned
Agree with all the above - but one thing you say in your OP, that you invite her to things you tell her about 'because it seems rude not to'... stop! You're not being rude if you don't invite her. So, when there's the pause which you would normally fill with 'would you like to come' - let it hang, and move the conversation on! If she asks explicitly you can then say 'not this time Grandma, how about xxx'.
Gosh, how awkward.
You mentioning that she is an addict (don't be offended/shocked: addiction to alcohol, ED...) makes me wonder if you (and LOs) are her latest addiction. Addicts have no 'off' button, go the full hilt and can't stop themselves.
To that end, I wouldn't take it too much to heart that she is 'wanting to be helpful' - it's her who needs it iyswim, no reflection on you. The addict's impulse is to escape, using whatever. We have to have strong boundaries around addicts and, as difficult as it is, you're going to have to start flexing your boundary muscles. she'll be drawn to your lax boundaries like a moth to a flame.
I'm saddened to hear she isn't much of a mum to her own daughter, though. Does it hurt your mum that she's all over you like a rash? What does your mum have to say about it?
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