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RoseRed135

Disappointed in your (new) grandparenting experience?

23 posts in this topic

Usually, no doubt, the arrival of a new baby is a joyous occasion (barring illness, etc.).. But sometimes, the hopes/expectations of GPs or parents,  don't quote come true..

Are/were you disappointed in your experience as a new GP or GP2B? Perhaps you're used to a new baby being greeted early on by "all" the extended family, but DS (dear son) and DIL (daughter-in-law) or DD (dear daughter) and SIL (son-in-law) decided that they want the first couple of weeks w/ baby to themselves? Or you've heard your friends gush about being present at the delivery, but DD or DIL only wants her DH (dear husband) there w/ her? Or you cheerfully offered to babysit several times, to give the new parents "a break," only to have them decline every time? Or...  In short, have your hopes/expectations as a GP been seriously dashed?

Or, for that matter, as a new parent or parent2b, are/have your plans/expectations ever been disrespected/disrupted by the GPs (of other relatives/ILs)?

Edited by RoseRed135

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I've been very lucky...for my 6 original GK, I've been invited to (1) participate in the birth (2) watch older kids during births then take them to meet the new sibling) (2) waiting room warrior, but one of those turned into watching a c/section through a window (1) wait at home, come to the hospital the next morning....All good...I met everyone within 18 hours of birth...my face was the first #1GB ever saw...and I got to cut the cord (SIL was overwhelmed with the process so wouldn't come down to the business end of the bed). His mother was in the waiting room....as soon as she was allowed in I handed her the baby...she sat in a window seat cooing to him in Chinese...priceless moment. 

Follow their lead...and be flexible. First time parents are going in blind...all those well laid plans can/may blow up in their face.

I have the music playing as usual this morning...as I am typing this, I'm hearing this:

The Pearl Lily's Lullaby

 

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I'm a 31 year old mother who just had my 4th in early Jan. I was shocked to see how certain cultures and generations handle a new baby!

I wanted to get a better understanding of what women went through "back then" as well get a better understanding of how grandparents today feel.

With our 4th baby, my husband and I agreed that with the way the last 3 pregnancies and deliveries went, we wanted to do this one alone. So alone we didn't tell ANYONE we were in labor except my best friend who was watching my 3 girls at home. No one got a call till the day after our daughter was born! My parents were upset and my MIL marched her butt right over after work creating a woah is me scene which made me glad we did what we did.

With baby 1 and baby 2, My mom was in the delivery room and she took over! She was bossy and telling me what to do, and grabbed my babies the second they were born! NO thank you!! My MIL texted my DH constantly to the point of stressing me out.

With DD 3, because of my moms antics I didn't welcome her back in. My dad constantly texted me and called me telling me I was "ruining" "HER. (My moms) birth experience" that my mom has a "right to be there" blah blah blah and how selfish I was. 

Fast forward to baby 4 born a couple weeks ago, we are glad we didn't tell ANYONE. I was able to labor without constant calls or having someone tell me to do this or do that. From water breaking to birth was just over an hour long and may be 3 pushes. It was super fast and I think the lack of stress really sped labor along.

My dad called me out and chewed me out but I didn't care. I wasn't going to let Past history repeat itself. It was not my moms or anyone's birth experience but mine.

Fast forward with baby 4. My MIL showed up uninvited to see "me" aka Baby in recovery. I told her we would see visitors in the evening but she showed up when she felt like it. She walked right past me, demanded to see the baby and refused to even talk to me.

When the nurses started gushing on how cute my baby was or how adorable my 3 other girls were (they showed up after school) My MIL chimmed in "They are my minis me, they got their looks from ME ME ME". This women treated me like an incubator my whole pregnancy and never once had anything nice to say to me but critize me, shame me and name call, is now on a LONG time out till she can mind her manners.

With my mother she didn't show up to the hospital (After creating a HUGE woah is me scene with dad who was on a business trip overseas). With my Mom we told her she was welcome to visit after 5pm (Baby was born 10pm precious day) but she lied and told my Dad that I wasn't "Allowing" her to visit. She wanted to come on her terms but because I wanted to bond, breastfeed and shower instead of have visitors she apparently took that as "Not being allowed".  So of course my Dad has to contact me and inform me "How disappointed he was"... My husband ****** called my Mom and said "Look MIL, I heard DW say you could visit, I'm confused why you would say we aren't allowing you". When DH confronted my mom she tried to back peddle and say things like "Well you took it wrong or I misheard you.

I'm 2.5 weeks into recovery and now the MIL baby rabies have started. She told me she is coming over and there is nothing I can do about it because she "Has rights" and if I am too moody she will take my kids out of my home and I can stay locked in my room.

Yeah hubby shut her down quick!!

 

 

 

 

Edited by Momof4girls

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Welcome @Momof4girls, congrats on the new bundle...I understand why you did things the way you did...With both my kids' births we didn't tell anyone (except the friend watching the older). We made a ton of phone calls after...and had very little blowback, fortunately. 

Continue to hold your ground and not apologize for your (very legitimate) choices. 

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Thanks Mame925!

Its so hard for me to stand up for myself. I am always worried about retaliation especially with my MIL.

I'm adopted and my parents are in their late 60s. They aren't involved much with my kids and my mom and I don't see eye to eye. My mom is overly critical of me but because of the low contact I'm spared from much of her negativity.

My MIL tho, is emeshed with my kids. Just today she told my husband she has "More rights" to my kids because shes blood and my parents aren't. I don't know who she thinks she is, bu

t no no no!

Edited by Momof4girls

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Also I have been told that the grandparents of "Baby boomers" were heavily involved with their grands to the point it sounded like they were an extra parent instead of a grandparents.

I would love my kids to have involved grandparents but I don't want an extra "Me". Also my DH is very very hands out with our girls, and apparently DHs back then were not? My DH is the one who does the gymnastic runs, helps with Dentist visits and bathes and puts out two oldest to bed with hugs, kisses and stories. I stay home with our kids which in my generation isn't very common anymore.

Edited by Momof4girls

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I'm another one who supports your standing your ground, Momof4girls. I'm just sorry that your parents and MIL have been creating such stress during what should be a joyous time.

But I'm a little confused about one point. You tell us that MIL "is now on a LONG time out till she can mind her manners. But then you say, "She told me she is coming over..." If she's in TO, I'm not sure why you're even conversing w/ her. But if you are and if she does just come over, do you plan to let her in? Or??

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Ya, what Rose said! "NO" is a complete sentence, as is "that won't work for us". Is your DH on your same page?

My dad was a warm loving man whom all kids adored (old ladies, kids & dogs just couldn't get enough!) but he didn't do babies...my kids' dad was totally hands on...some men are, some aren't and some just don't care what society says is appropriate. 

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She's on a time out with me and my kids. My husband still talks to her via phone or text. He's an only child and she's a single mom and he feels "Obligated" to her. I dunno. She doesn't have access to our kids till she can put their safety, health and well being first. (We have years and years of bad behavior with her, I just never had a spine till now)

My MIL manipulates and guilt trips DH. Calls crying in hysterics saying she's depressed and all alone (She pretty much alienate everyone in her life with her antics) or blows medical issues out of proportion (aka I'm dyingggg) making DH drop everything to help her.

Its never ending.

Edited by Momof4girls

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Just now, Momof4girls said:

Also I have been told that the grandparents of "Baby boomers" were heavily involved with their grands to the point it sounded like they were an extra parent instead of a grandparents.

As a "Baby boomer," myself, I would say that this varied from culture to culture and family to family. Nor is it necessarily a blueprint for how parents and GPs should do things today.

I would love my kids to have involved grandparents but I don't want an extra "Me". Also my DH is very very hands out with our girls, and apparently DHs back then were not? My DH is the one who does the gymnastic runs, helps with Dentist visits and bathes and puts out two oldest to bed with hugs, kisses and stories. I stay home with our kids which in my generation isn't very common anymore.

Well, no, when I was growing up, I don't recall too many dads being very involved w/ childcare. Some "helped" more than others, but i didn't know any that thought they had equal responsibility for childcare w/ the mom. So yes, perhaps, help from GMs was more needed then.

But that's 2 generations ago. When my DH and I were raising our kids, more of the dads we knew were sharing more of the childcare. My DH didn't get too into it, and so, I turned to my DM for help when I needed it. But, as I say, I knew dads who did do some childcare though usually not enough to rule out the need for GP or other outside help sometimes.

Now, of course, w/ more dads, like your DH, taking on more parenting responsibility than some did in the past, I can see where you might feel less of a need to turn to GPs for help. And I'm sure you're not the only mom - in this generation or any other - who has ever resisted the idea of having "an extra 'Me' (mom)" around her kids. Please don't let this talk of how things once (supposedly) make you doubt your own choices for your own family unit.

 

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Just now, Momof4girls said:

She's on a time out with me and my kids. My husband still talks to her via phone or text. He's an only child and she's a single mom and he feels "Obligated" to her. I dunno. He probably also still loves her and has many memories of good times w/ her. After all, she is his mom..She doesn't have access to our kids till she can put their safety, health and well being first. (We have years and years of bad behavior with her, I just never had a spine till now)

My MIL manipulates and guilt trips DH. Calls crying in hysterics saying she's depressed and all alone (She pretty much alienate everyone in her life with her antics) or blows medical issues out of proportion (aka I'm dyingggg) making DH drop everything to help her.

Its never ending.

Good for you for getting "a spine!" And trust me, you're not the first DIL whoever had trouble doing so. 

Unfortunately, the fact that it took so long for you - and DH - to stand up to MIL is probably making it harder for her to accept your boundaries now. So please expect the drama to ramp up for a while before she realizes it's not going to work (not w/ you, anyhow).

I'm sorry that she guilt trips DH, and I hope he learns not to let it get to him (not easy, I know).

Wishing you & DH all the strength and courage you need to deal w/ these issues!

 

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6 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

 

Thanks Rose!

My dads extended family and my mom are all about "tradition". It was rough when I first had kids because any talk about us doing family holidays different automatically turned to war. I have 2 older brothers growing up and no matter how old we got, we were EXPECTED to be at my parents house Christmas day. I remember my dad yelling at my brothers on the phone that they BETTER be home for Christmas no matter what!

Now with 4 kids, DH and I have to tell my folks that we are creating our own traditions and we will see them during the holidays but not ON Christmas every year. That is making my dad upset. Well I'm glad you are a doormat dad and made your mom happy for 35 years of marriage by doing what she wanted... But I'm not you.

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6 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

 

DH and I are in counseling learning to establish healthy boundaries. Neither one of us grew up in homes with healthy boundaries so we were ignorant when it came to establishing them. We were so used to being told what to do, being walked over etc, we just accepted it as fact. It wasn't till some close friends commented on how "Messed up" our families were that we started to realize how unhealthy and toxic our relationships with our parents were.

When we finally started standing up to my parents and MIL, there has been a lot of push back. Its our fault we should of wised up sooner. We were married at 21 and 23 and both lived with our parents till we got engaged and moved out at 20 and 22. Thankfully we wised up. Better late then never I guess!

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1 hour ago, Momof4girls said:

When we finally started standing up to my parents and MIL, there has been a lot of push back. Its our fault we should of wised up sooner. We were married at 21 and 23 and both lived with our parents till we got engaged and moved out at 20 and 22. Thankfully we wised up. Better late then never I guess!

It's much tougher when you have to change the rules after the game has already started. Just stay strong & hold your ground.

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15 hours ago, Momof4girls said:

Also I have been told that the grandparents of "Baby boomers" were heavily involved with their grands to the point it sounded like they were an extra parent instead of a grandparents.  Not any I know, I've never heard of such and I'm an early boomer. My dad, fil, and husband all helped with childcare if they were home from work. My Dad and brother were glued together, if my brother wasn't glued to me. My husband took over the kids when he walked in the door, other than nursing them, he cared for their needs and played with them. When he helped out with his parents place and our kids were small they stayed with me, the moment they were old enough he took them wherever he went. I think that's normal boomer behavior.

I would love my kids to have involved grandparents but I don't want an extra "Me". Also my DH is very very hands out with our girls, and apparently DHs back then were not? I think DH's have been quite involved/hands on since my Dad's generation (he'd be over 100 if alive).

But none of that ^ matters, it's a distraction from your real issues. Do what works for you and DH, you're the parents. 

ETA: Personally? I'd CO anyone who ignored a peanut allergy. Our boys had allergies and nobody was allowed to give opinions, hand out food to "see if the allergy was real" or in any way try to go around our food rules. NO.

 

 

Edited by JanelleK
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1 hour ago, JanelleK said:

But none of that ^ matters, it's a distraction from your real issues. Do what works for you and DH, you're the parents. 

ETA: Personally? I'd CO anyone who ignored a peanut allergy. Our boys had allergies and nobody was allowed to give opinions, hand out food to "see if the allergy was real" or in any way try to go around our food rules. NO.

 

 

We are going to raise our kids how we see fit. Our counselor suggested we try to "Understand" my Mil and see that maybe she is trying to raise our kids how she was raised etc. I noticed in some families the older folks hang on to traditions/upbringings etc and expect it to be passed on.

With my parents and MIL it was " Well we did XYZ this way you should too"

I'm always called a "special snowflake" because my kids are in car seats, have helmets, locks on cabinets etc. My mom likes to be snarky and say "My My I wonder why you didn't drop dead from not having XYZ" or growing up we rode in Windows etc.

Also my husband's grandmother was his main caretaker but I stay home "Like they did in the 50 s". My parents never stayed home and think I'm selling myself short. My mil thinks I'm lazy.

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11 minutes ago, Momof4girls said:

We are going to raise our kids how we see fit. Our counselor suggested we try to "Understand" my Mil and see that maybe she is trying to raise our kids how she was raised etc. I noticed in some families the older folks hang on to traditions/upbringings etc and expect it to be passed on.

But, IMO, they need to accept that it might not be.

With my parents and MIL it was " Well we did XYZ this way you should too"

Sigh... Same w/ my DM (dear mother/mom) and MIL. I only wish I knew the phrases back then that I've learned since those days: "My/our house, my/our rules!" (or "My/our kids, my/our rules!").... "Sorry, but we're doing ABC instead"... "Don't tell me/us how to raise my/our kids!"

I'm always called a "special snowflake" because my kids are in car seats, have helmets, locks on cabinets etc. My mom likes to be snarky and say "My My I wonder why you didn't drop dead from not having XYZ" or growing up we rode in Windows etc.

Ok, the name-calling really gets my blood boiling! Especially when it's about safety measures that some states require by law! The next time someone calls you a name, it might be worth ending the conversation and letting them know you won't speak to them if they can't be civil. Same if your mom gets "snarky."

Also my husband's grandmother was his main caretaker but I stay home "Like they did in the 50 s". My parents never stayed home and think I'm selling myself short. My mil thinks I'm lazy.

Again, they can think whatever they like, but they don't get a vote. As long as you know that, you're ok, IMO. But you don't have to participate in discussions of it and can bean dip (change the subject) if it comes up.

And "lazy?" LOL! With 4 LOs (little ones) to take care of? No doubt, you do a lot of work (as did DH's caregiver GM, I'm sure). :)

 

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8 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

 

Not easy to raise 4 littles for sure! I appreciate wisdom I get from "My Elders" (Tho I don't consider 60 old, just more experienced )

My mom wad born in 1951 and I remember her sitting around talking with other women her age on how my generation is so "Entitled and selfish" and how we are raising a generation of kids who can't take No and feel "entitled".

When my then 4 year old daughter had a temper tantrum my mom says "My My acting like a spoiled brat like her mom" She looks at me, smirks and says "Payback"

Yet I clearly remember my Mom having several "tantrums" over not getting her way about family holidays not going how she wanted or get upset ovet someone not doing what she wanted... I'm wondering who the spoiled brat is after all.

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Groan!

But, IMO, you really need to shut down the name-calling when it happens - whether it's aimed at you or DD. It's disrespectful on your mom's part and a bad example for your kids. Not to mention that you can't expect DH to shut down MIL's bad behavior if you don't shut down your mom's poor conduct (I realize she's nowhere near as  OTT as MIL, but still...)

Edited by RoseRed135

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1 hour ago, Momof4girls said:

Not easy to raise 4 littles for sure! I appreciate wisdom I get from "My Elders" (Tho I don't consider 60 old, just more experienced )

My mom wad born in 1951 and I remember her sitting around talking with other women her age on how my generation is so "Entitled and selfish" and how we are raising a generation of kids who can't take No and feel "entitled".

When my then 4 year old daughter had a temper tantrum my mom says "My My acting like a spoiled brat like her mom" She looks at me, smirks and says "Payback"

Yet I clearly remember my Mom having several "tantrums" over not getting her way about family holidays not going how she wanted or get upset ovet someone not doing what she wanted... I'm wondering who the spoiled brat is after all.

"Mom, we don't tolerate name calling. The visit is over, we'll try again another time." then either hand her her coat, or leave.

You don't have to accept name calling from anyone, and you SHOULDN'T. You have four little girls watching you, and you're setting the example for them about healthy relationships, and how you (and they) should be treated by ppl.

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16 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

"Mom, we don't tolerate name calling. The visit is over, we'll try again another time." then either hand her her coat, or leave.

You don't have to accept name calling from anyone, and you SHOULDN'T. You have four little girls watching you, and you're setting the example for them about healthy relationships, and how you (and they) should be treated by ppl.

That's really good advice!

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My mom believed that babies were born empty vessels to be filled by the parents (honest!)...My older sister was an easy personality, very compatible with mom's. She even looks like our mom's family...And then there's me...I was a real eye opener for my mom...She found me difficult from the beginning...I look my dad's family (Celt) not my mom's (Scandinavian)...I'm sure, had she not actually seen my birth, she'd think the hospital mixed up the babies...my PGM was living with us then...she took one look at me and told my mom that I looked like my aunt as a baby...Mama calmed down after that. i had trouble nursing...well, after my birth she started smoking again...one of my asthma triggers is nicotine so I'm pretty sure it "flavored" her breast milk. I spent my childhood not feeling heard...because I resisted being 'packaged' the way she thought little girls should be. 

So, I raised my kids according to their personalities...basic things were done in basic ways, of course, but I fed their interests, taught them to make informed decisions and listened to their opinions...

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6 hours ago, Mame925 said:

My mom believed that babies were born empty vessels to be filled by the parents (honest!).

I believe you, as I've heard this before. I've also heard that a baby is "a clean slate" for the parents to "write on."

And, I suppose, to some degree it's true. No one is born, say, having good manners (according to their culture) or having a "work ethic," etc. Many things have to be taught.

But, no doubt, IMO, each child comes w/ their own set of personality traits (maybe it's in their DNA?). And if parents pay attention, I think that begins to show early on.

Kudos to you, Mame, for doing differently than your mom and "making room" (my words) for your kids' individual personalities, interests and opinions!

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