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Grannygreensmith

Is this behaviour common in new parents nowadays?

742 posts in this topic

IDH and I have been forced to defensively limit info from both his mother and mine in response to their behavior regarding our babies and pregnancies. It definitely did not solve the problem and created a distance, added tension sometimes, but it was not in our power to resolve the problem.

They were the ones being intrusive, overbearing, self-absorbed and inconsiderate (in their owns ways, on their own scales). Until they took responsibility for their own actions and emotional and started behaving respectfully, all we could do was protect ourselves.

My mil has, in fact, changed her ways quite a bit and we don't feel a need to limit info as much.

My DM makes me feel unsafe, so she gets told squat.

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2 hours ago, Grannygreensmith said:

Thank you for your kind advice, rose red. I'm working hard to learn more and study. 

Glad you appreciate the advice! And kudos to you for trying to learn more about these issues! It can be hard to lower expectations and make changes in behavior, I know, especially when you (general GP) are so psyched for the arrival of that baby/first GC!

I didn't actually tell the gf anything she didn't know, or me either. But I suppose dil felt that we were gossiping and talking about her. Dil is closer to the gf than she is me, and I just admit I was hoping the gf would let some info slip. But generally we were just talking about how happy news it is etc, and about an upcoming doctors appointment dil has.

Thanks for clarifying, Granny! I'm going to chime in w/ PPs and say it seems that DS feels you ladies were "gossiping" also (even if he wouldn't choose that word) b/c he's the one who told you not to "jibber jabber" about the pregnancy, etc. Also, if it's any comfort, the fact that you even know when DIL has a doctor's appointment coming up suggests she/DS is sharing more than some parents do. You're eager to know more, I understand, but please try not to press for it. 

One point my son did touch on was that "how do we know we can trust you?" Ouch! That must have hurt! So sorry! Which I thought was ridiculous, but maybe in hindsight I can see why. 

Did he just mean "how do we know we can trust you not to talk about this pregnancy any further?" Or do you feel there are bigger trust issues behind his comment, as per skipped's concerns?

 

Edited by RoseRed135

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4 minutes ago, PLS21 said:

There is a worst case scenario here and then there is the best case scenario.

Part of the worst case scenario... you've mentioned before about 'Facebook stalking' your step daughter and finding out information, then have made the suggestion to your DH about fighting for grandparents rights, and have questioned siblings/relatives about her. Now, connect the dots and see how that looks to an outsider like your DIL and to your DS. You've looked nosey, have interrogated people and have seemed entitled to children you don't know. Worst case scenario is you've completely ruined trust with your DS with this and with more actions of questioning them, and talking behind dils back for hopes of slipping information. Not good. Yes you DS has years of trust with you, but trust is easily lost and hard to earn back. This can account for the secretiveness, the lack of trust, and keeping you at arms length. In order to protect themselves from you.

Best case scenario, DIL is just a private person. Perfectly normal, and even though you have years of experience with your DS it's good to keep in mind that you don't have that with your DIL. You have made some faux paus with questioning them, talking behind her back, voicing opinions.. but all can be fixed if you just respect the boundaries they BOTH have placed, stop the questioning, and lay back. Won't it be great when they give you info freely rather than you having to force it out of them? 

Lower expectations to nilch, and when you get more than nilch you can be pleasantly surprised and happy. Respect boundaries. Stop questioning. Stop opinions when not asked for them.

Oh my, I didn't even think of that. I hope your DS and DIL are not aware you were all for pursuing GPRs for children you have never met, whose parents you've never met either.

Did you know the GF knew about the pregnancy before you started talking to her about it? What if they hadn't told her yet?

 

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8 minutes ago, PLS21 said:

There is a worst case scenario here and then there is the best case scenario.

Part of the worst case scenario... you've mentioned before about 'Facebook stalking' your step daughter and finding out information, then have made the suggestion to your DH about fighting for grandparents rights, and have questioned siblings/relatives about her. Now, connect the dots and see how that looks to an outsider like your DIL and to your DS. You've looked nosey, have interrogated people and have seemed entitled to children you don't know. Worst case scenario is you've completely ruined trust with your DS with this and with more actions of questioning them, and talking behind dils back for hopes of slipping information. Not good. Yes you DS has years of trust with you, but trust is easily lost and hard to earn back. This can account for the secretiveness, the lack of trust, and keeping you at arms length. In order to protect themselves from you.

Best case scenario, DIL is just a private person. Perfectly normal, and even though you have years of experience with your DS it's good to keep in mind that you don't have that with your DIL. You have made some faux paus with questioning them, talking behind her back, voicing opinions.. but all can be fixed if you just respect the boundaries they BOTH have placed, stop the questioning, and lay back. Won't it be great when they give you info freely rather than you having to force it out of them? 

Lower expectations to nilch, and when you get more than nilch you can be pleasantly surprised and happy. Respect boundaries. Stop questioning. Stop opinions when not asked for them.

Oh my goodness. Best post on this thread, maybe best on this site in weeks. Read this ^^^^ 100 times.

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PLS21 makes excellent points.

 

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1 hour ago, JanelleK said:

I think Sue touched on something. Many GPs first visit the baby in the hospital for a few minutes, we always have (I do realize not all GPs see baby in the hospital).

I wonder how this ^^^^ generally translates to when baby is born in a birth center or at home... But no matter, however the parents want to do it is all that counts in the end (plus any policies the center or midwife, etc. may have). No doubt, Granny, DS and DIL will let you know when they're ready for that first visit and how long - or brief - they'd like it to be.

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, PLS21 said:

There is a worst case scenario here and then there is the best case scenario.

Part of the worst case scenario... you've mentioned before about 'Facebook stalking' your step daughter and finding out information, then have made the suggestion to your DH about fighting for grandparents rights, and have questioned siblings/relatives about her. Now, connect the dots and see how that looks to an outsider like your DIL and to your DS. You've looked nosey, have interrogated people and have seemed entitled to children you don't know. Worst case scenario is you've completely ruined trust with your DS with this and with more actions of questioning them, and talking behind dils back for hopes of slipping information. Not good. Yes you DS has years of trust with you, but trust is easily lost and hard to earn back. This can account for the secretiveness, the lack of trust, and keeping you at arms length. In order to protect themselves from you.

Best case scenario, DIL is just a private person. Perfectly normal, and even though you have years of experience with your DS it's good to keep in mind that you don't have that with your DIL. You have made some faux paus with questioning them, talking behind her back, voicing opinions.. but all can be fixed if you just respect the boundaries they BOTH have placed, stop the questioning, and lay back. Won't it be great when they give you info freely rather than you having to force it out of them? 

Lower expectations to nilch, and when you get more than nilch you can be pleasantly surprised and happy. Respect boundaries. Stop questioning. Stop opinions when not asked for them.

If they know that you encouraged your dh to go for GPR, for a woman you've never met, to have access to her children who are completely unrelated to you, I can't imagine that they WOULDN'T be very, very leery of your involvement with their baby. If you were willing to look into GPR for a stranger's child, what would you do for theirs?

I do wonder what the relationship w/your ds and DIL has been like, prior to her  being pregnant. What was their wedding like? How did the planning go? Have their been boundary issues before?

Just seems like there's a bit more going on here. It *may* be to do with your stepdaughter, and how you've handled that situation, but I'm wondering what things were like before your DIL announced she was pregnant.

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24 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

 

I mean, this info train thing is fairly new. Wasn't that long ago that "We're pregnant!" was followed by, "Baby's here!" was the norm, b/c there *wasn't* other info to give. Heck, they weren't even *allowed* to say, 'pregnant' on TV that long ago (I Love Lucy, anyone?) Dads were left out in waiting rooms. Now, folks want to know gender, attend ultrasounds, etc. Even expect to be at the birth. I've had friends who's Moms got VERY upset that they chose *not* to find out the gender, even demanding that they get it written down, sealed in an envelope and given to *her*, so SHE would know, and she promised not to tell them. Like...what? Why would Grandma be entitled to know the gender when the parents don't?

I think folks, in general, have gotten used to more information, and a regular stream of it, and sometimes the fact that hey, this is someone's personal info gets lost in the eagerness/excitement of a new baby on the way. Thing is, "Everything is fine." *is* enough information, for anyone that isn't the woman's partner.

 

Oops! Meant to quote this ^^^^ also, earlier. IMO, it's very true. The more that technology allows us to gain info, the more info "everyone" seems to feel "entitled" to. No one's fault, IMO - it's just the way the direction the times have been taking us in. But again, not every set of parents likes/agrees with this. Please remember the parents don't have to give anyone info (such as the gender, etc) just b/c they can. Clearly, it's still a choice on their part..

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9 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

If they know that you encouraged your dh to go for GPR, for a woman you've never met, to have access to her children who are completely unrelated to you, I can't imagine that they WOULDN'T be very, very leery of your involvement with their baby. If you were willing to look into GPR for a stranger's child, what would you do for theirs?

I do wonder what the relationship w/your ds and DIL has been like, prior to her  being pregnant. What was their wedding like? How did the planning go? Have their been boundary issues before?

Just seems like there's a bit more going on here. It *may* be to do with your stepdaughter, and how you've handled that situation, but I'm wondering what things were like before your DIL announced she was pregnant.

Yup agreed it could have a lot to do with the step daughter, or have nothing to do with it. It could just be prior experience with Granny that has made the leery about divulging into the info train. Or still, DIL could just be private, which is normal and nothing to balk at.

The 'trust' comment is the thing to be concerned about. Not what they are or not telling you or how private they are being, or how they are choosing to give birth.

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Hmmm... I'm not clear, though, whether or not the parents are just being cautious about info in regards to Granny or if they're being this way w/ other closely related family members, as well...

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2 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

Hmmm... I'm not clear, though, whether or not the parents are just being cautious about info in regards to Granny or if they're being this way w/ other closely related family members, as well...

I don't think OP would know for sure.

My guess is, since she was the last to know, and was trying to pump gf for info, she may be the least informed. That's the impression I'm getting.

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The "I'm not sure we can trust you" is a clear statement.

Maybe they are being private in general, but Granny clearly has set off some alarm bells for them and I can see why.

 

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1 minute ago, ImpishMom said:

I don't think OP would know for sure.

My guess is, since she was the last to know, and was trying to pump gf for info, she may be the least informed. That's the impression I'm getting.

Ok, I see what you're saying...

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24 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

If they know that you encouraged your dh to go for GPR, for a woman you've never met, to have access to her children who are completely unrelated to you, I can't imagine that they WOULDN'T be very, very leery of your involvement with their baby. If you were willing to look into GPR for a stranger's child, what would you do for theirs?

I do wonder what the relationship w/your ds and DIL has been like, prior to her  being pregnant. What was their wedding like? How did the planning go? Have their been boundary issues before?

Just seems like there's a bit more going on here. It *may* be to do with your stepdaughter, and how you've handled that situation, but I'm wondering what things were like before your DIL announced she was pregnant.

Honestly? 

Not just the GPR for a stranger related by marriage.  The fact that she wanted to do it without EVER asking to meet the parents of this supposed grandchild.  

That alone, and she's lucky she gets any information at all.  I highly doubt that she was able to keep her GPR research and plans from her son.  Any GPR threat or talk of taking rights from parents, particularly those that she has never even met, would be met with instant distance from most people.  

Any person that looks into third party visitation for a complete stranger's minor child would be mistrusted by me.  Even if it were my own mother.  Although, I would be strongly encouraging my mother to attend therapy and perhaps get a physical done, because trying to get court ordered visitation with a complete stranger's kid is not even remotely in the realm of acceptable behavior.  

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I just saw that post previously mentioned where you said you had encouraged your husband to look into grandparent rights and I have to say that PLS21 and Imp have some excellent points.  Hopefully, you can answer some of their questions and clarify a few things.  With the new information about the GPR issue I am getting concerned that your previous actions are what has caused your son and DIL to back away from you and not share information.  If they are aware of what happened with your step-daughter and how you felt about the situation with her then it makes sense that they would try to keep information from you.  I am trying to think of a way to say this because you seem like a nice person and I don't want to be mean or cruel, but...they may very well already see you as a threat to their little family. They could be thinking, "If mom/MIL has already felt that slighted by a step-daughter she's never met and already pushed her husband to take his daughter to court to take away rights from his daughter then what is she capable of doing to us in her eagerness to have a biological grandchild?!?"  I'm not trying to be mean here.  I'm trying to give you a little insight into what might be going on in their heads - give you their perspective.  I really hope that isn't the case and they are not at all aware of went on with your step-daughter but if it is then it might be good to discuss it here so that we can give you some tips that might help you alleviate their fears because, as I said before, I would hate for you to alienate them.  

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Did you know that if you Google something on your wifi that people can see it when they are in your home, using your wifi, and try to Google something themselves. They don't even have to be on your computer/tablet/phone, just simply be using the same wifi. 

Granny didn't even have to utter one word or even hint that she was thinking of this with her step daughter. The cat could've been out of the bag simply by DS or dil trying to Google something at her home! Difference is that instead of having the info about wanting visitation with step daughterschildren, they could've jumped to conclusion that Granny was looking it in terms for THEIR child. I'm not sure which would be worse. 

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I also wanted to answer the question about how mothers are treated versus MILs.  A lot depends on how you treat the pregnant woman.  I did not want my mother anywhere near my L&D and with my first child did not tell her when I went into labor.  She got a call a few hours after I had him.  She said something about wanting to come to the hospital to visit and I said it would be better to wait until the next day and she got offended by it and decided not to visit at all while I was in the hospital.  She did visit about 2 weeks later and didn't grab baby or ask to hold him and was very cautious, which I appreciated.  She didn't push her opinion or push to hold him and it allowed me to get comfortable enough to ask if she wanted to hold DS.  My MIL and FIL also wanted to come visit the night we had DS and DH told them not to and made them wait until the next day.  They stayed an hour, took an annoying amount of pictures and poo-pooed DH's request to wash their hands before holding DS.  They just got more annoying. By the time I had my second, DD, I'd gotten pretty comfortable having my kid around my parents because they didn't push their opinion on me, even when they disagreed with something, and they didn't interfere and weren't grabby with my son.  They came and stayed with DS in the waiting room while I had my daughter via c-section.  They came back to recovery with DS so he could meet DD and they stayed in the background.  I actually asked my mom if she wanted to hold DS and she was so sweet and said something like, "No.  This is a special time for you three so enjoy it.  I'm happy to wait."  I can't tell you how much I appreciated her putting me, my son and my DH first and thinking about us and realizing that the birth of our second child was not about her.  That sort of attitude went a long way towards building trust.

Edited by britomart
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3 minutes ago, PLS21 said:

Did you know that if you Google something on your wifi that people can see it when they are in your home, using your wifi, and try to Google something themselves. They don't even have to be on your computer/tablet/phone, just simply be using the same wifi. 

Granny didn't even have to utter one word or even hint that she was thinking of this with her step daughter. The cat could've been out of the bag simply by DS or dil trying to Google something at her home! Difference is that instead of having the info about wanting visitation with step daughterschildren, they could've jumped to conclusion that Granny was looking it in terms for THEIR child. I'm not sure which would be worse. 

Actually, I was thinking that they don't have to know that Granny talked to her dh about GPR.

Granny has stated that she 'has a void' in her heart, due to not having access to her unknown step daughter's children. It speaks of an emotional attachment to children that not only has she never met, but has no expectation of having a connection to, since her husband doesn't have a relationship w/his daughter. That Granny facebook stalked the estranged daughter of her husband and discovered she had children is also a huge boundary cross.

Those issues alone would set alarm bells off for a lot of folks.

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But as the mother of a son, I want to remind everybody that there are those of us out there that do the same as birts parents do.  Not all baby grabbers are the fathers mother.

When DIL had the baby this spring via repeat Csection, I was asked to help with older sister.  I only did what I was asked to do and waited to be asked instead of making suggestions.  When DS and GD left the house for the day, so did I and I didn't hang out at the hospital all day either.  I had many errands to do in the city.  The day she was to be released from the hospital, I went shopping instead of going to the hospital.  I was waiting for DS to call and say they were home to leave town (I live an hour and a half away).  Instead I got a call from DIL asking that I go to the school and pick up GD who was sick.  I did that and left within 15 minutes of them finally getting home.  Which is exactly how I would have done things if it was my DD having a baby.

A couple of weeks after baby was born, I had to go to the city for an appt.  I did ask DIL if we could drop by for a few minutes since hubby hadn't seen the baby yet.  She said of course and we stayed about 15 minutes.  We were invited to his Baptism several months later and she brought the kids to visit us before school started because DS hadn't felt the need to do so.

Being the "easy one" doesn't guarantee frequent visits, but it doesn't do any harm either.  It isn't unusual for DIL to call me several times a week, send pics of the kids or give medical updates.  If it was up to DS, we'd be left hanging.  He was raised with a close set of grandparents that he saw sometimes daily and a set of LD grandparents that he saw a couple of times a year.  We fall somewhere in the middle.

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7 minutes ago, SueSTx said:

But as the mother of a son, I want to remind everybody that there are those of us out there that do the same as birts parents do.  Not all baby grabbers are the fathers mother.

When DIL had the baby this spring via repeat Csection, I was asked to help with older sister.  I only did what I was asked to do and waited to be asked instead of making suggestions.  When DS and GD left the house for the day, so did I and I didn't hang out at the hospital all day either.  I had many errands to do in the city.  The day she was to be released from the hospital, I went shopping instead of going to the hospital.  I was waiting for DS to call and say they were home to leave town (I live an hour and a half away).  Instead I got a call from DIL asking that I go to the school and pick up GD who was sick.  I did that and left within 15 minutes of them finally getting home.  Which is exactly how I would have done things if it was my DD having a baby.

A couple of weeks after baby was born, I had to go to the city for an appt.  I did ask DIL if we could drop by for a few minutes since hubby hadn't seen the baby yet.  She said of course and we stayed about 15 minutes.  We were invited to his Baptism several months later and she brought the kids to visit us before school started because DS hadn't felt the need to do so.

Being the "easy one" doesn't guarantee frequent visits, but it doesn't do any harm either.  It isn't unusual for DIL to call me several times a week, send pics of the kids or give medical updates.  If it was up to DS, we'd be left hanging.  He was raised with a close set of grandparents that he saw sometimes daily and a set of LD grandparents that he saw a couple of times a year.  We fall somewhere in the middle.

Absolutely.

It has *everything* to do with personalities, not titles/family connection.

Daughters can, and do, CO, just as sons can and do. They can TO, ITO, LC, ELC as well.

It's not about the xx or xy chromosome. It's not about the maternal vs paternal side. It's very much about the personalities, and quality of relationship involved.

I get along far better with my BFFs parents than I ever did with my parents.

*Wolf* gets along with my BFFs parents better than he ever has with his mother.

The reasons have *everything* to do with mutual respect, consideration, and basic manners that have built a relationship of caring and mutual concern and interest. They refer to me as their other daughter, Wolf's taken to calling them 'my new inlaws' and 'your other parents' as frequently as he refers to them by their first names. Heck they've shown more interest in our teen dd's accomplishments than either my parents or my MIL ever did, at any time.

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There is scientific data out there, and if I have time I will find it that concludes when it comes to motherhood, a DD has an increased rate of survival when supported by her mom vs being supported by her MIL.  The reason being is that in a healthy mom/DD relationship, the DD's mom (MGM) is primarily focused on making sure her DD is supported vs the DH's mom (PGM) who is primarily focused on the new grandbaby.   I think sometimes you see this played out in which the DD only wants her mom in her inner circle when a baby is born or thereafter as she knows she will get the support she needs.

Edited by BSW
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6 minutes ago, BSW said:

There is scientific data out there, and if I have time I will find it that concludes when it comes to motherhood, a DD has an increased rate of survival when supported by her mom vs being supported by her MIL.  The reason being is that in a healthy mom/DD relationship, the DD's mom (MGM) is primarily focused on making sure her DD is supported vs the DH's mom (PGM) who is primarily focused on the new grandbaby.   I think sometimes you see this played out in which the DD only wants her mom in her inner circle when a baby is born or thereafter as she knows she will get the support she needs.

I saw a pic floating around Facebook, of a Mom obviously shortly after birth. New Dad was there, holding baby, Grandma was cooing over baby...but Grandpa was brushing Mom's hair off her forehead in the background, leaning in and talking to her.

It was very clear that he was checking on *his* baby, making sure she was ok, while others checked out the new baby.

Very, very sweet.

Funny enough...my BFF's Mom is like that. When I remember when talked to her after our youngest was born, she was very much asking if *I* was ok. I can even remember her saying, "I know everyone is healthy, Wolf already told me that. But how are YOU doing?" Once she knew how I was doing, *then* she asked about the kids and new baby, but her primary/first concern was, how was I doing, really, after baby. How were my pain levels? Was I getting the help I needed? What about sleep, was I getting enough?

She's pretty awesome.

Everyone else asked about the baby, and didn't really ask about me. It was a noticable difference.

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I think in this study the maternal father was next in line Re: support to the DD then then the paternal mom then the paternal dad. 

I think about my own DD's if they gave birth, and I know I would be focused on them and the support they wanted from me (if they asked) much as my mom did for me. (She was with me during all 3 childbirths)

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2 hours ago, skipped said:

Mame- in your examples- if I recall correctly- you had relationship issues with both your ML and your mother.  I'm wondering how much that had to do with you limiting information.

For all that my mom and I weren't close, at the time my kids were born she was "doing what mothers did" in the late 70s.." making sure her DD was ok. And I didn't know any better. When my nephew was born 5 years prior, she lived close to my sister so didn't "come to stay", but saw her just about every day.  I didn't know how I was going to feel post partum....she planned to come to help. And she was a great help. It turned out I didn't need much, but enjoyed the pampering for a short time!. She did cuddle up on the baby, but wasn't particularly baby grabbing....and she understood breastfeeding as she'd done it herself. My first MIL was a joy....still is, we're still very close 35 years post divorce. They lived a distance away and xFIL was unable to get time off from work to travel to us, so at about 3-4 weeks we went there...like I said, I felt great, the baby was very easy so we just went there, taking our time driving to them. When the second came along, my mom came down the day he was born to watch older child while I was still in hospital. She did come to see me in hospital, but it was the days before babies could be in the room with visitors....she left noseprints on the nursery glass...and was satisfied with that! even though her fingers were itchy to get hold of him.

Remember, I am an introvert/ambivert and don't like to be the topic of discussion regardless of who is doing the talking. However, overall my family is not toxic other than my mom & her second AH, who at that time wasn't in the picture. People talk, can't make that go away. No one was malicious so whether I liked it or not, there was no point is getting all in a state over it. These people love me, were excited for a new bundle. So, I get why grannysmith wants to shout it to the world because it is a happy time. However, for what ever reason, DS/DIL want to keep their business to themselves and she'll need to respect that. No fishing for info, no gossip, just know the baby is coming and you will know when its over. Not a reason in the world for you to sit in a waiting room for what might be a ridiculously long time. Like I said, I have babies like a peasant, but my DIL had a protracted 27 hour labor that ended in a c/s with a 9lb/2oz baby that was almost as big as she is. I could only support her any way SHE needed and I did....I kept her mom calm and figured out a way to watch the surgery which actually helped DIL. My kids have been very generous to me with the GK, which your son may be with you if you follow their lead.

 

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I think a huge issue comes from that stupid saying "a daughter is a daughter all her life, but a son is a son til he takes a wife." 

I do think it has a way of changing actions when you enter into a relationship thinking you are 'losing' something. Maybe not even consciously change of actions. I think having that saying in the the back of your mind has a way to where there is no chance of a relationship for DIL and MIL before it even begins.

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