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Grandma voiced her concerns now she's ousted


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#1 gardeningnana

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:51 AM

I just spent last weekend with my grandsons for Christmas. We had a wonderful time and I especially felt like I was becoming closer to my daughter in law for the first time. The grandchildren received and Xbox for Christmas and were also given Halo 4 to go with it. They are just 6, 8 and 12. The 8 year old had a terrific nightmare the first night we were there and I suggested that it may be the video games. After returning back home after the 4 day driving trip my daughter in law informed me that I was way out of line trying to tell them how to parent and that all further communication would be through my son only, and that my son would be my only contact with their family. She even unfriended me on facebook. This is crazy, we have always gotten along very well. I don't think that my son even knows what is going on. I try calling my son's cell and it immediately gets disconnected. Was I out of line offering my suggestion about the Halo games.I am just in shock and disbelief that this could be happening, we were never close, but we always got along very well.

My grandsons have never been able to spend any time with me and I never even was allowed to hold them and feed them a bottle when they were babies unless I was needed to babysit for them. They are strangers to me. I have always been kept at arms length away. I have always sent them birthday money and I never even get a phone call from them telling me thank you. I'm on a limited income and I am ready to just stop sending the checks if I am not even appreciated. I don't even know if the grandsons even get the money. I'm at a loss, I don't want to be used, what do I do?

#2 tedybearnana

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:43 AM

hi gardeningnana - i'm so sorry this happened to you. so now you can only speak to your ds (dear son) as your dil (daughter-in-law) has spoken, but when you call your SON'S cell phone you get disconnected? so you think you have been blocked by 'someone' from calling your ds? i'm so sorry this is happening to you. i am not the mod for this room and actually don't know a lot about what to say to you.

i do know how i would feel if that had happened to me and i do feel so much for you. i know that you seem to live a considerable distance away. i also gather that you have heard NOTHING from your ds on any of this. maybe he doesn't even KNOW anything about it! does he tend to call you very often, or do you normally do the calling to them? does he have a workplace where you could possibly contact him other than on his cell? it would seem to me that you need to somehow have a talk with him and see how he feels about all of this.

i'm sure that someone will be in before long who knows more about what to suggest to you. this is a hard time of year to get all the gang together - everyone is out baking cookies or have their nightcaps on, maybe. please don't give up and not come back. if no one comes in by tomorrow, you can look up in the right hand corner for the envelope. click that and put in my name, click it and it will send a private message to me. i'll be in sometime tomorrow evening, probably and check to see if someone has come to your rescue who can hopefully offer better advice. i suppose the best i can do is let you know i care and hurt for you. i hope the best for you and that you can get this worked out somehow. i personally, don't think you did anything so wrong - but dil's are sometimes strange creatures about their kids and who says what about them or what she might have given them for Christmas or whatever. my guess is that you've learned a lesson on that one and i supppose you now know your dil a little better. i'm so sorry it happened. all i can offer now is a hug. ~ tedy ~
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#3 homeygfunk

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:56 AM

Since the phone is disconnected do you have an address where you can send a letter? Maybe you can sit down and write out a letter asking what is going on and what you can do to make things better. Sometimes the best place to get the answers you need are from the source of the problem. Be careful not to accuse anyone of anything -- just ask what you can do to make things right.
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#4 BlueEyedGirl

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

I took the liberty to look up the ESRB rating for Halo 4 and they have it rated as M - which is generally suitable for ages 17+ - so I can understand your concern. At the same time - I'm guessing (based on years of observing my BIL and my DN) that there is a distinct possibility that Halo may have been as much for the Dad as the boys - I could be wrong - but my BIL often bought what I thought were age inappropriate games "for" my nephew that we really for him, and he would play a few times with DN and DN would tire of them and play other games and BIL would have "his" game. I also understand the correlation between the nightmare and game and your concern there. I think were the problem starts is whether your relationship was able to withstand unsolicited advice. I'm not coming down on you, because I really do understand your concern. But it sounds like things might have already been rocky/shaky to begin as far as the relationship with your DIL. And I'm unclear on your son's phone - is it turned OFF or are your calls getting disconnected every time you call, going directly to voice mail - something along those lines? I'm just trying to figure out if " I try calling my son's cell and it immediately gets disconnected." means that his actual phone line has been disconnected and you have no way of contacting him...or he's (or someone) actually taking steps to block you from calling.

I think there is more going on than you may realize. One offering of unsolicited advice doesn't usually(though I'm certainly not ruling it out) result in this kind of reaction. Have you offered advice before and received any kind of reaction? What was the climate like when you visited? You say you (we) had a wonderful time but what were the logistics of the invitation - was there maybe some reason DIL was already upset about the visit and already looking for a fight? I'm not placing blame on anyone - just trying to get to the root of the issue. Did anything else happen that may have been perceived as questioning their parenting? I'm not question you - just trying to help you get to what might have happened from their point of view. That is a pretty strong reaction for one event.

The holidays are stressful and even families that get along well can have issues. It's hard being under the same roof and not offering input but often the very best advice is not to offer it unless asked.
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#5 Baga

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:25 PM

I agree with homeygfunk and BlueEyed Girl.

Please resist the urge to assume anything and you will eventually get into touch with your son to get to the source of what's going on. Your son is now married to your DIL and will support his wife. So if the DIL has taken any offense to what happened, that's what I see is the relationship that will need to be repaired. She will be the one who can say what can be done to make it right.

I know your intent with the comment was concern for your GCs nightmares. It sounds like your DIL did not receive it that way. I can see that the DIL may have seen your comment as unsolicited advice. (sorry, but when I read that part I said "ouch" to myself.)

And yes this time of year is hard for families. Be patient, have faith :)

#6 gardeningnana

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:39 PM

The only reason that I even offered the idea of Halo being a problem is that my DIL voiced her concerns about the boys even having the Xbox, she would rather have the boys read or play outside. And how I stated it was, I don't know if you were aware that the Halo game is listed M which is not recommended for children under the age of 17. Many times over the weekend the oldest one wanted to watch R movies and she continued to refuse, so I know she was a concerned mom about what the kids were watching.

We made the 6 day trip in order to see my son graduate from college, and to help my DIL host an open house for the celebration. We had a great time all day of the party, cooking and preparing for the party, had a wonderful party, great Christmas the following morning, went looking at Christmas lights and went shopping together the following day. The perfect Christmas holiday, that is why I am so shocked by all of this. And a day later I am told that I will no longer have any contact with their family besides through my son. She has even deleted me from her Facebook. There were no conflicts whatsover the entire weekend. That's why there is the shock factor on my side.

#7 Baga

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:45 PM

I'm sorry this is hard for you. I wish you the best.

#8 Guest_Kalana_*

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:42 PM

Hi gardeningnana. Wow, I can see you're hurting alot, and I'm sorry you're going through this, especially at the time of year when families are traditionally close.

I'm a bit confused though. You said you have always gotten along well, but also say you've been kept at arms' length. The first seems to contradict the second, doesn't it?

I think there's a bit more going on in this. There could be all sorts of reasons, and only your DIL knows, but she did say you were out of line for telling them how to parent. From what you told us, it seems she could be making a mountain out of a molehill, when your intentions weren't as strong as she perceived them. Whenever something this big happens, without everyone knowing what's going on, completely, I tend to think there's stuff under the surface.

I hope you can get in touch with your son so you can work through this. I bet there's something wrong with his phone or you'd be able to get through to him. If either of them has blocked your calls, that's just pretty huge, and hurtful. Warm hugs to you about that.

As for getting some sort of thank you from the kids for gifts...I think you are reasonable in expecting that. Didn't they thank you in person when you were there?

#9 NewMama

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

This might seem like it came out of nowhere, but the way I read your post is that there has been some long standing issue that you maybe weren't aware of. You mentioned that you get along well with DIL, but have always been kept at arms length from GSs. Sometimes something that seems very insignificant (like the video game) is sort of the 'straw that broke the camels back' to another person. Especially if they've been holding stuff in.

Your best bet is to talk to your son, he may be able to fill in some blanks for you as to what happened or maybe help get things back on track.

#10 rosered135

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

My heart goes out to you gardeningnana! It must hurt enough to suddenly have your DIL decide she doesn't want any further contact with you, but to then try to call DS and find that his phone disconnects you must be quite alarming! After all, DIL told you all contact would be through him, from now on! It's possible, I suppose that when DS heard the story, he got mad, too, and decided to block you. But more likely, his phone service is off, for some reason or something is wrong with his phone. I agree that you should try writing him a letter or emailing him and see what happens.

I also agree that there's is probably more here than meets the eye - that either it was a "last straw" issue or there are some issues between DS and DIL about who should contact whose FOO (family of origin) and you just happened to get caught in it. But you may not know till you get hold of DS.

It does seem strange that DIL would get upset with you for voicing concerns that echoed hers. A lot may depend on who bought the Xbox though. If she and DS got it and she was just saying, sort of, "Well, I wasn't sure if we should but I decided it was ok..." then your comments might have made it seem as if you were questioning the wisdom of her decision. But even if someone else gave them the gift, I suppose she still might feel as if you were doubting her parenting abilities b/c she let the boys play with it... IDK... Again, you won't really know till you talk to DS (if he even knows).

Please don't be too concerned if DS doesn't get back to you, right away, regardless. Given all the demands and stresses of the holiday season, it may be a while b4 he and DIL sort this out enough for him to even discuss it with you.

Glad you brought your problem to us, though! Please keep us posted and know that we're here for you!

#11 gardeningnana

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:17 PM

To answer some of your questions. The Xbox was a requested present from my DS and DIL for the grandsons. It was too expensive to pay for alone, so we and the other grandparents along with the parents went together to buy the system and the games and controllers. Before we had agreed on going on with this present my DIL and I had a long conversation about what kind of games would be played because we were BOTH concerned. I was reassured that they would be playing sports games and not the violent games. So, I feel I was lied to. But, I did not say anything about it.

I was there was the GS's opened the present along with the other grand parents and NONE of us were thanked. I didn't say a word.

My DIL and I always got along but definitely with restrictions. My son and I are very close and I really do believe there is some jealousy there. Not that it needs to be. We spent a week there and the only time that the boys came near us, hugged us, said goodbye or had any interaction with us is when my son initiated it. I always taught my children to kiss grandparents goodnight when they were visiting, not the case here. I don't want to lose my son, so I have just shut my mouth about a lot. I was told several years ago when I was looking for suggestions to get closer with my GS's that she doesn't want me to be close because I will end up hurting them. Huh???? No explanation about what she meant and I just dropped it, to keep peace. Quite frankly, I've had about as much as I care to deal with. I think she's acting like a spoiled little girl. We spent last Sunday shopping because I had offered to make them a handmade quilt and I wanted her to pick out the material and show me what her style is. So, I feel like I have gone above and beyond the call of duty to try and make things work in this relationship. I learned a long time ago, you can't force someone to love you. They live 3 states away, and right now, I feel like that's a good thing. My son knows where I am and I did NOTHING to deserve being treated like this. I respect my mother in law, just because she is my mother in law. I'm tired of being in a relationship that is a one way road. I taught my son better than this, and I do feel that he will call when he's ready, and I really have a feeling he has no clue about what's going on. He has always been very protective of me and I think that's what the problem is. I will be patient and just wait. It will be a sad Christmas though for this Nana.

#12 tedybearnana

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:23 PM

well, gardeningnana - i checked back in on you and you had all sorts of posters who came in and rescued me! this subject just isn't my strong suit. i believe you have received some good advice here, even tho some if was sort of different opinions, so that leaves you room to 'take what you like and leave the rest' - or eventually, try ALL of them! Hugs to you and i hope you have a nice Christmas.

#13 tedybearnana

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:32 PM

well, nana, i'm writing back to still wish you a nice Christmas - tho our posts were being written at the same time and yours came out first.

do you have any friends who don't have family near, also that you could at least maybe go out to dinner with? i'm assuming you're alone as you haven't mentioned anyone else but this son. maybe it would be nice to spend the day helping those who can't help themselves - like go to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter and share some cheer or listen to their problems or whatever. many hugs to you and i hope you find something worthwhile to do on Christmas besides stay at home by yourself. also, i don't know how you feel, but i feel that this is Christ's birthday - you might go to a church's Christmas services Christmas Eve or even a Catholic Mass Christmas day whether it's your religion or not. So many opportunities to do something for others. and i hope this mess gets straightened out soon.

#14 gardeningnana

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:10 PM

I won't be alone for Christmas. I have a wonderful husband (stepfather to my son) and a son still at home and a son home visiting from the Navy. Also my other son and DIL will be here for Christmas dinner, so I will have a full house, but a heavy heart inside. I really do try hard to please all of my family, make their favorite things to eat, etc. and this just hurts. I tried to treat her like a daughter and I should've never done that. That is were I overstepped my bounds. But when you truly love someone I believe in loving unconditionally and without rules. Just simply love and respect one another. And we also have a daughter that is visiting with her husband's family for Christmas, so I have a large family and am very blessed in so many ways. My husband is trying to let me handle this while being extremely supportive. It will take time but this wound will also heal. God bless you all for your kind words and have a very Merry Christmas.
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#15 Cobaltblue

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 04:19 AM

gardeningnana,
I am glad you have other family to focus on. Maybe your son will miss your contact and will call you soon. It is good that you have a husband that is extremely supportive. That is wonderful. I hope you have a wonderful time with your family.

#16 blondiex46

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:51 PM

I am so glad that you have other family members, I agree she is acting like a spoiled brat and I am a big education person for christmas and 17+ is totally inappropriate for those children...she is probably upset that she thinks you are questioning her parenting and she knows she is wrong....it is up to your son to handle this....if his phone is disconnected, interesting, just remember he has to live with her and she will give him a hard time...jealous I bet you are correct there also....have a wonderful holiday with your other family members it is their loss...

Sandy

#17 gardeningnana

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 02:30 PM

Received a text message this morning from my son wishing me Merry Christmas! so I texted him back and will just given them some room. At least I haven't lost my son. I'm sure that a phone call with the grandsons would cause a problem this morning at home, so I will be patient and wait for things to cool down. Merry Christmas Everyone, I am a happy nana!
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#18 Cobaltblue

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:19 AM

I am glad that your son texted you this morning and you are a happy nana.

#19 dnadya

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:27 AM

Merry Christmas Gardeningnana! I'm just catching up now as I've been recovering from surgery for awhile. It was great to see your son texted you! It does seem like he's not really sure about anything going on. I'm wondering if your dil actually struggles with a mental health issue-I say that only because from what you say she seemed to really overreact-even if it were the straw that broke the camel's back. Also because she has gone out of her way to keep the children from really bonding with you. That almost sounds like someone who themselves tends to cut people off quite frequently and easily, and someone with some trust issues. But anyways, regardless if there is or isn't other things going on in your DS's family hopefully time and space will give your dil time to get her bearings again. I currently have a son that is estranged because of various issues he's struggling with. When I notice my mind starting to focus on him I pray for him and then remind myself of the other children we still have regular contact with and the sons that go out of their way to make sure we stay in close touch. I really try not to let the one son that isn't around keep me from enjoying the rest of my family. He left November 10th and as time has gone by it's getting a little simpler to keep from focusing on him. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed your holiday with the rest of your family! What a blessing to have the rest of the clan at your home! Take care and please keep us posted. I know the other members here have been a great support to me.

#20 tedybearnana

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:49 AM

Nana! Hooray! I'm so glad you have heard from your son. I'm sure, with that contact going on that you will eventually get all of this sorted out.

I also was SO glad to hear that you do have a great husband and a great group of kids to be able to spend Christmas with. It sounds as if things are going to work out in the end. I'm sorry, though, about your ds who has drifted from the fold. I hope that will work out, also. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, despite this setback with your ds.