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New Grandmother(37 Posts)
Hello everyone, newbie please be gentle with me!
I've a dilemma about my first grandchildren. I'm beginning to feel increasingly pushed out by the childrens other Grandma. She lives in much closer proximity than me, has another grandchild that she looks after, although I'm only a couple of streets away, she is always asked to babysit, look after them when Mum goes to work. I've never been asked to look after them, take them out for a walk etc. Everything I make or buy them has to be washed - even though I've already done this (my house, belongings etc are all clean so that's not a problem) before they can have them. Maybe it's me, but I feel that I'm not trusted with them. I'm 'invited' to visit but the other lady is usually there so I don't feel I can stay long as I feel under scrutiny. I really don't want to say anything and cause bad feelings but I just feel their mum's mother is always there looking after them and doesn't really want me involved.
This is starting to make me feel upset, or maybe I'm just being over sensitive?
Anyway, thanks for listening :-)
Is it your son and DIL?
It does sound really hard for you.
Yes it is. I've always had a good relationship with both of them, and I think she'd be so upset to think I feel like this. Her mother is very controlling and ''family'' orientated, some might say interfering, and doesn''t seem to want anyone else to participate. I expect I'll just have to bite my lip. It does make me feel like being 'unavailable' if or when I'm ever asked to babysit.
I think you should speak to both your son and you daughter in law about it and just say what you did here. What's all this about them washing things? Who is doing that? Have they said why?
Why dont you invite them all to yours more -- then other GM will not be there....or suggest nice day trips family days out etc?
Dont give up
Or you could talk to your son "off the record" to get a bit of insight if you think that there are issues....
My DDs do this with their Dc (my Grandchildren).
I have both DGS during the week whilst they work, and again at weekends if they are going out for overnight stays.
Both Grandmas on the other side rarely get a look in even though they are very nice and everyone gets on well
I have mentioned it to DDs and they both looked at me as though i had 2 heads, neither realised how hurtful it must be.
DD1 hasnt really increased contact because of distance but DD2 listened so other Grandma is now getting more visits.
I think they feel more comfortable leaving the kids with me because they know my style of parenting so well and are confident enough to tell me if i do something they dont agree with.
Invite them all around together once a week for tea so you can all get used to each others ways so your DIL sees you in Grandma mode and how fabulous you are!
I would talk to your son too, my SIL involves her DM in everything she and DB do with their kids and my DM never gets a look in which I know upsets my DM a lot. Talk to your son and try and arrange loooopo's suggestion of visits to your house or days out so you get some time with DGC.
Welcome to the best club in the world OP - but one that does resemble walking on eggshells.
It sounds as though your DGC is very little and I think that a new mother does favour her own DM over her MIL but I agree with pp - talk to them.
Young parents these days are very fussy about not exposing their newborns to the chemicals used in the manufacture of fabrics and yarns, in a way our generation were not. This is why your DIL wants everything washed - not because she thinks they are dirty!
Hopefully, as the weeks pass, you will be involved more in your DGC's life.
I washed everything before I put it on my son. Even though I knew it had been washed before I got it. So don't take offence at that.
The rest needs an honest conversation.
Have a word, but if the other DGM is staking it as her territory you will struggle to be allowed in I think. Do you have other DCs?
I have a similar problem to yours op although it's different as I'm the step granny, the other granny is dominating and pushy and at times has tried undermining me to my step daughter and in my grandchildren's hearing . I couldn't find a way in but like previous posters have suggested, try doing things on your terms at your house, and talk to your son. I have found that it has helped to really work hard on befriending the other granny - she's not my cup of tea but it's helped things, and gradually she's got used to me and accepts me more.
Good luck, it's not easy X
Don't be "unavailable", that's just cut-off your nose to spite your face.
But I would say to you DIL that you'd like to take your DGC for a walk with the pram or to the park or something like that, and would that be okay? That way she and you can get used to spending some time together without being watched over by her DM.
It does sound tough. I do feel like my mum gets more of a look in with my son to be honest (although I extended lots of offers to mil to visit which weren't taken up)
I think the reason I'm more comfortable with my mum babysitting is because I will just tell her if I'm not happy and I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that with mil.
Make sure your son and dil know you respect their parenting ( you could make up a little story about how a friend didn't listen to her dd and you think it's awful if you don't want to directly say anything) maybe then you may be asked to babysit.
Also spend time with your dil instead if just saying you want to babysit invite her and the baby out for lunch. I found I felt a bit undervalued when I had ds everyone wanted to spend time with him but didn't even ask how I was
I knew it was going to be your son's children. I had the opposite problem: I wanted my MIL to show more interest but she favoured her own daughter's child more than ours (her son's). At the time somebody told me not to take it to heart: mothers and their daughters' kids have a special bond (stronger than with their son's kids). I'll be very sad if that is true,seeing as I have all sons.
What's all this about them washing things
I think there is some parenting site that recommends this, so don't take it personally. My dd washed every item of clothing, including shop-bought stuff before putting in on my dgd. Seems daft to me, but there you go.
Re the washing of clothes do you smoke? Have pets? Use bio detergent? There's also sensitive skin and allergies to consider.
With the rest make an effort to be kind and useful to dil, speak to son as advised.
You're offended that your DIL washes any clothes you give her for her baby? Seriously? I am very particular about DC laundry - are you using bio detergent, fabric softeners, etc presumably? It is normal that your DIL prefers to wash them herself. And it is also normal that your DIL has her own mum help her out more.
I definitely wouldn't be "unavailable" when asked to babysit. Babysitting will be when you get to build your relationships with the children without interference and all opportunities should be made the most of. I would always ask my mum to do me a favour first because I would feel a bit cheeky asking my MIL. If she said no, I probably wouldn't ask again.
The PP's idea of inviting them round to yours is also a good idea.
I disagree it's 'normal' for DMs to be more involved than MILs. I would guess they don't realise you are upset and you need to talk to them.
And it is also normal that your DIL has her own mum help her out more.
No it really isn't
Probably it is usual the DGM who lives nearest gets most time with the DGCs.
Be positive, interested and don't give up - the DGCs are going to be around for a long time. Perhaps when they are older the DIL will feel happier to have them spend time with you, perhaps she is being protective.
I don't know what age your DGCs are but I, as DGM, feel quite anxious watching mine. Will they fall off stairs/furniture/chair, will they fiddle the front door catch and get out!, leave the tap on, stick something in plug socket, will they manage to open the garden gate whilst my back is turned. All are well fastened but it doesn't stop me needing eyes in the back of my head.
They are normally fine, but as I don't see them everyday (as I did my own DCs) I dont' know what new little
escape method skill they have worked out.
Perhaps you can pick them up from school, I'm sure there will be something in the future, if not now.
lookatmego I'm sure it won't be that way for you! That woman back in the day was talking a crock of shit
Please don't take offence at the washing of things. I do this, but only because my baby has very sensitive skin, and it seemed politer to just chuck everything through the machine with the levels and type of washing powder that I know is ok, than grill whoever gave it about what they washed it in, whether they used softener, how much powder they used.
I know it's something that even parent of children without sensitive skin can be careful about. So I don't think that's an offensive act at all.
You say that the other GM is pushier? Well I think that's your answer. Do you offer to have the baby? Do you want to commit to a regular date?
If I had two close relatives, and one offered to take the baby to give me a break, and the other sat back and waited for me to ask, it's a no brainer to see who would be the obvious choice. I wouldn't want to foist my children on someone who I wasn't positive wanted to babysit.
If you do ask, then perhaps try a more definite approach. Instead of the vague, "if you ever need a babysitter then let me know", try naming a time, "ddil, would you like a break while I take the baby to the park this week? Is Tuesday good for you? Wednesday then?" Or "you two should have some time together, would you like that? I could look after the baby on Friday evening if you'd like? They can either stay overnight at mine, or I'll babysit at yours and drive home later on. Whichever you'd prefer."
If the answers to those questions are "no" without a decent reason (and actually prior arrangements for that week is a decent reason, so suggest the week after if that's the case), on more than one occasion, then perhaps you do have a problem.
Is there anything that you do that they don't want around the baby? Specific things I wouldn't like are smoking and always bringing a dog with you.
I wouldn't want my baby to sleep in a smokers home as it hugely increases the risks of cot death. It also lingers on the person. If I had the choice between a smoker and non-smoker then again, that's a no-brainer. One increases the risk to my child.
I'm just trying to suggest possible obstructions that would affect the scenario. If there are things you can change to make this better, then in many ways that's ideal because it's in your control
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