Posted 16 April 2010 - 08:11 PM
I am not sure I agree wholeheartedly with firefly. In my situation, I have had a ongoing discussion with my adult son and DIL about there lack of organization and cleanliness in their household. It begain before my first grandchild was born almost 6 years ago. My husband and I sat down and discussed what, if anything, we could do to help them get organized so when they had the baby, it would be much easier to find things, etc. They said that they weren't interested in changing. Over the years, I've offered to pay for cleaning help, organizational help (my DIL is almost a hoarder) and for me to help going through piles of trash and clothes all over the home. No interest on changing their ways. My son was a stay at home dad then and DIL worked outside of home. Fast forward 4 years....DIL had another baby, they moved from NY to CA (3000 miles away from me), DIL now stays home but place is unbelievable. In Feb. we visited them in CA. I promised myself and others to be seen and not heard. I did a good job while there, but it was extremely difficult because my grandson is almost 6 and becoming aware of differences between a neat and clean room and their living quarters. He remarked about the "beautiful" motel room we were staying in. While we were there in Feb., I learned that my granddaughter, aged 9 mos old had thrush. She was very uncomfortable and barely ate (DIL was nursing her). DIL refused medication from dr. and decided to do homeopathic treatment in unsterile conditions. I said nothing, but prayed a lot. Ten days after we came home, I got a call from my son who said my granddaughter was very ill in the hospital with Coxsackie disease. He told me she wasn't moving and her eyes were rolling up in her head. I was frantic, crying and not knowing what to do. My husband had been laid off and I am now the sole bread winner so flying out to CA so soon after we'd been there was not an option. I ran to computer as I never heard of Coxsackie disease. I was shocked when I read that it was due to poor hygiene. Later that day when my son told me that she didn't have that disease, but she had Kawasaki disease, I told him that he needed to change his lifestyle and he hung up on me. I was so distraught and angry that I wrote him an email telling him and he and my DIL needed to get off their butts and have a clean and healthy home for my grandkids. I said other things too that I won't describe here but in my mind were warranted. I know it was bad timing on my part to say these things about their lifestyle, but I was so upset that I let my feelings get the best of me. I haven't heard anything from them since except one email he sent shortly after he got mine that said, "cancel your trip. you are no longer welcome in our home." I have tickets to go out Memorial day. I consulted with Dr. Joshua Coleman (author of When Parents Hurt) and he told me to write a brief apology letter (which he read and approved of) and I emailed it to my son and DIL. It said that I was sorry for what I said (not really) and that I am sorry I hurt them. I told them that my grandchildren meant everything to me and I wanted their forgiveness. My son called my husband and said he wants nothing to do with me. I sent my DIL lovely gold earrings, things for kids for Easter and a gift card for their April 10 anniversary and heard nothing. Today my son called and spoke to my husband and said that they received everything. I don't believe that my husband is speaking to my son correctly in regards to his estrangement from me. My son is not even allowing my grandson to speak to us on the phone. I know that they don't have to forgive me, but I really am a loving, caring person and grandparent. I love my grandkids more than anything and just want them to be happy and healthy. I am not a clean freak or ocd, but their home is really unbelievable. I know I spoke out of turn and particularly at the wrong time. I am just freaked that they may never forgive me and allow me to see my grandkids. I have a M.S. in counseling so I am not a complete idiot. I know I did wrong, but have been a great mom to my son for over 40 years so doesn't that count for anything. I promised in my letter never to mention the subject again and that I intend to do. Any suggestions or thoughts would be welcome. Should I write another apology letter, send flowers to my DIL asking for forgiveness, etc? I really think I deserve to see and spend time with my grandkids.