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nanab333

Not being able to be alone with my grandchild

11 posts in this topic

A little background, my dil got pregnant at 18 and came to live at our home. We were very close. When she had the baby a beautiful little girl i can admit that i was very excited and probably did things i shouldn't have. At this time i was also starting to go through menopause, i have had a drinking problem for a while and back then it was really bad. I felt my dil and sons "rules" were stupid ex: the wanted us to ask before we went in there room and picked up the baby, and they wouldn't let me babysit.I know i have said some very mean things to my dil, but i have apologized and i am truly sorry. anyway they ended up living there for 2 1/2 years and during that time i can admit that i talked very bad about my dil to other family members , i yelled at them screamed even. But towards the end before they left i thought me and my dil were getting along better .

Since they have moved we see them a couple times a month and they have never asked me to babysit. My dh has babysat once or twice at there house, but i think they dont ask him more because they dont want me to get upset. Me and my dil are close we go to the same hair salon ever couple weeks together, but i feel like she still doesnt trust me around my gc. I have asked that they drop gc off at our house sometime, and she just says that she is not comfortable with that but we really havent had the chance to sit down and really talk. i dont drink as much , and i would never drink if i knew gc was coming over. I just want to have a normal relationship with my gc. I dont know if my dil will ever trust me . My gc is already 4 , i see no reason why they cant drop her off here for a little bit.

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First off I'm glad that you can acknowledge your actions towards your DIL. And I'm happy to see that you've apologized. Please focus on the relationship you're rebuilding with her, its wonderful that you do things together like the hair salon. It sounds like you were awful when she was trying to learn to be a mom. If it were me, personally the disrespecting of rules, screaming and talking badly about me to other family members, and whatever else you may have done - I wouldn't be spending time with you and definitely would not allow you to spend time with my kids - why risk letting them hear grandma talk badly about their mom, nope no way.

Anyways sounds like your DIL is forgiving you and willing to be friends. Allow that relationship to flourish and build back the trust in its own time. Be thankful that you get to be a part of your son and DIL's life and that they do let you spend time with their child. Trust needs to be earned, as does the privilege of alone time, its not mandatory to be given time with their children just because you're the grandmother. Please accept the no that you were told and don't keep asking or push for a "sit down to really talk" again it sounds like you talked more than enough when they were living with you.

Your comment "I don't drink as much". Again given all your bad behavior when they lived with you and seeing what you are capable of when drinking....this might be a key to their rejection. Please enjoy the time this family shares with you, and be thankful that they haven't cut you off, it sounds like you're being given a second chance, embrace it and don't make any more demands on this young forgiving family.

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I have a four year granddaughter also. I also have a very good relationship with my DIL. We live 1 1/2 hours apart. I have been asked to go down and babysit when they wish to celebrate a Bday or anniversary or when DIL goes to the doctor or dentist. They have never brought her to me and left even though our son has came alone once and brought her.

You admit yourself that you drink and have had a problem with drinking in the past. I really can understand why they have no desire to leave her alone with you. You also say that you have yelled at your DIL in the past. Maybe she is afraid you will yell at their child.

The only way you will ever be allowed to have alone time is IF they feel comfortable with doing so. May I suggest that you work on your relationship with your son and DIL and maybe...maybe...that will lead to a closer relationship with your granddaughter. It really isn't your decision to make, it is theirs.

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It's great that you're trying to make amends in the relationship. And the fact that they're willing to have a relationship with you is impressive. Honestly though, with the history you've described, I probably would not let you be alone with my child either. The fact that you've had alcohol problems in the past and continue to drink, even not "as much", is alarming. If I had seen that kind of alcohol induced bad behaviour, that person would not be spending one second of alone time with my child until they'd been stone cold sober a long, LONG time. Continuing to drink when you know you've had problems before is a giant red flag of poor judgement.

I wouldn't push the issue at the moment, just keep working on your relationship with your son and DIL. You can build a relationship with your gc that way. Your DIL may never fully trust you, but you've been given a second chance with family and I wouldn't complain about it not being enough. They've gone above and beyond what many others would've done.

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Unfortunately sometimes when you burn bridges, they are hard or impossible to rebuild. Honestly you have two separate issues.

1.)you treated them badly

2.) you have or had a drinking problem.

Both of these reasons are very valid for them not to trust you alone with their child. I'm not saying that you would drink with their child there, but as a parent you can't be too careful about such things.

I'm not saying you are an alcoholic, only you know if that is the case. BUT I wonder if your DS and DIL see you as an alcoholic. If that is the case, you will probably never get alone time with your grandchild and that is exceedingly reasonable. My kids don't spend time with people who need to drink, and that is that. Again, I'm not saying you are, just wondering if that is their perception.

The bottom line here is this: You messed up. You treated them badly and You drank to a bad point. It is good that you admit it and have apologized. But just because you are truly sorry does not mean that they now have to act like none of it ever happened. I would stop pushing. They are allowing you to have a relationship with your granddaughter, when frankly a lot of people wouldn't. Just because you apologized does not mean you now get to choose the terms of the relationship. That is the parents job regardless of the situation. Enjoy the relationship you have and don't ruin it by focusing on the things you don't have.

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Nanab, truth be told I agree with your DIL and DS. They don't trust that you'll remain sober while GD is in your care. This may be difficult to hear but is drinking so important that you'll jeopardize your relationship with GD? Your DIL may never feel comfortable with her DD or any future children in your care but why not try and stop drinking? There are support groups you could attend and then DIL could see you're making an effort to be responsible. It may not change anything but you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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My FIL is an alcoholic. He is 3 years sober and doing awesome. He was told before we had ODD that he would never be alone with her, even if we were in the house, as long as he was drinking. Leaving everything else you said about your prior relationship with your DIL aside, your drinking alone would be enough to make me keep my kids from you. I'm really sorry if that sounds harsh, truly. My FIL doesn't have a mean bone in his body even when he was drinking, but that just isn't a safe environment for little kids and that was the rule we had for him. Now I don't know if you are an addict, but you say yourself that you have had issues with drinking in the past and I imagine that it is a concern for your DS and DIL. I say, get yourself under control and keep working on building a healthy relationship with DIL and see what happens. You may have to accept that you aren't going to get "alone" time with your grandchild, and just build a relationship based on what you do have. They seem to think that you are an important part of their lives if they make an effort to see you multiple times a month, which is a very good thing!

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It had to be stressful when they were living there. I'm sure it was a tough time for all of you. But props to you for recognizing your behavior then, probably has a lot to do with what's happening now. My own MIL wouldn't have had the same guts-- and I can tell you, the way she acted around my wedding and early marriage pretty much established my view of her early on. Even now, she takes no responsibility, really. There's a saying, "Life's not a dress rehearsal." There are few real do-overs.

I think, if you can recognize the things that lost her trust, you stand a better chance for changing those things and earning her trust back in ensuing years. No guarantees, of course, but if you have a cordial, dven close, relationship, it seems promising.

Too, your DIL might actually want to trust you, but if anything happened to her child under your care, she might lose trust in herself, and never forgive herself. She has to look out for her little one, but she also has to look out for herself if something should happen.

I think it's wise not to ask her if you can babysit anymore, if indeed you have been, even. Don't bring it up with your son or other family members, either, please. I'm really glad you brought it here, that was really smart. Even if you might not enjoy the feedback you're getting, please know that not all "support" feels very good at the time, and it's what you choose to do with help that's offered that will make all the difference. Prior posters had really good advice and feedback for you, I think.

Good luck, I hope it will all eventually turn out well and you'll have peace on this situation.

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Locking this thread, temporarily...

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I'm opening my heart to you about something that is very, very painful for me - and something that I have basically glossed over for the most part during my time here so I hope you will take what I'm about to say in the sincere spirit in which it is intended - to help you.

My father is an alcoholic....not a recovering alcoholic...he IS an alcoholic..he went to rehab when I was a teenager and managed to stay sober long enough to work things out with my mom..and then he started drinking again...and he hasn't stopped since. That was over 25 years ago. My daughters are now the age that I was when my dad went to rehab. I love my father very much. And I'm sincerely thankful that when he drinks he only becomes a very mellow, laid back, silly person to be around. I was never fearful around my dad when he was drinking (I was never fearful around my dad period - he's a big teddy bear 100% of the time - I have never once heard him raise his voice) That does not mean that his drinking did not impact my life.

And more importantly - that does not mean that I will EVER trust him alone with my daughters. Let me say again - I LOVE my dad. And my girls have a great relationship with him. They adore him. But my dad is not capable of being alone with them. Because I never know when he is going to drink and therefore he is never, ever going to be alone with them until they are adults and capable of making that choice on their own.

My mother babysat for them all the time - but she knew that she was NEVER to leave the house and not take them with her. My father was not able to be trusted to not have had a drink and get behind the wheel of a car in an emergency.

I do not mean to insult you. I do not mean to belittle the progress that you have made. If anyone knows that a "drinking problem" is a very real and very powerful thing - it's me. It has followed me into adulthood so strongly that I can count on one hand the number of drinks that I have had in my entire life and we don't keep alcohol in our home. But as the adult child of an alcoholic - when you come from a household with a parent who drinks - even if they cut back - any drinking is bad drinking. I'm going to venture out and say that so long as you are drinking AT ALL - your son and DIL are not likely going to allow you to be alone with your grandchildren.

Believe me when I say my heart breaks for you - I know that you love your grandchildren - I know that you would never hurt them and that you want the best for them. I know that you are an adult and that what you do on your own time is your choice. But I am here to tell you that my dad choosing to drink is the number one reason why my daughters are never allowed - even now - to be anywhere alone with him - because HE can not be the only adult somewhere with them. They are perfectly capable now of getting emergency help and only now am I beginning to loosen my grip because NOW is the age where *I* was most impacted by my dad's drinking and now is when *I* remember thinking "If he loves me - why can't he just stop?"

Please know that I'm not attacking you in any way. I truly believe that your son and DIL are trying VERY hard to create a good relationship - but there is obviously something standing in the way. You have to ask yourself what that something may be.

I wish you the very best - I truly do!

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@BlueEyedGirl - What a beautiful, honest, kind and heartfelt post!

Meanwhile, please check your PMs.

@ All - IDKY this thread didn't lock b4. I'm going to try again. This is only temporary and I trust I will be able to open it up again soon.

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