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Old 10-25-2004, 06:54 AM   #1
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Annoyed with grandparents

Ok, while reading another thread it made me think about how upset I get with my mother and her Grandparenting. Instead of taking over the other thread I thought I'd start my own. My mom lives 5 hours away. My son is 1 1/2 years. The last time we went to visit her was in December and she came to visit us in June. It's hard for us to go visit because my husband works weekends. (and those 5,6,7 hour car rides are tough)

She wanted this grandbaby so badly. She had pregnancy issues, so I am her only child. She says she loves babies and always wanted to have more...but when she is around my son she is really hands off! This last visit she was here for a week. She never changed a single diaper. She only fed him once. Gave him one bath. Never dressed him. Never put him to bed. Never offered to take him for a night so that my hubby and I could go out. Never took him early in the morning so that I could get some extra sleep. And she never got down on the floor to play with him. She would only sit on the couch and hand him toys that were within her reach. Now, she is quite a heavy set woman, so maybe getting on the floor is asking too much, but she wouldn't even get off her butt and walk over to a toy that my son wanted and hand it to him, or move to show him how to do something. Never took a walk with us. Never went to the park. And then to top it off it was a few months past his birthday. She never sent him a card or gave him a gift. SHe said we'd go shopping when she came. So we go shopping and she doesn't have a lot of money...that's fine, neither do I. So I said, how much do you want to spend. She says about $25. We buy him a few outfits and she says she feels bad that she can't spend more. Then that same day we go so I can buy him some shoes. Next door is her favorite clothing store. She goes in and proceeds to spend almost $200!

To make matters worse, during her last visit we got into a fight. We made up that same trip (I thought) Now she rarely calls, I always call her.

Now we have another little one on the way. I don't want to go through more dissapointment with our 2nd child. I feel like she doesn't care very much. My in-laws live near by (actually moved out here once our 1st was born) They are so great...take the kiddo for overnights, always ask about him 1st. Very hands on. My dad is also great but lives halfway across the country and can only come about twice a year. I don't understand. My mom was an INCREDIBLE mother. We always had so much fun. Now she isn't the same woman with my child.

Can anyone else relate? Do you have any insight?

 
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Old 10-25-2004, 01:07 PM   #2
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

I have no idea why she is so hands off with her granchild, since you say she was a great mother and says she loves babies. It's odd, and I can understand how you'd be upset. Have you talked to her about this? Or does she not really want to talk?
I have no real advice other than I hope she gets over what's bothering her soon, or ya'll can talk and find out where the problem lies!
Blessings,
Deirdre

 
Old 10-26-2004, 03:26 AM   #3
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

I know we need to have a big talk. The strange thing is that she is a super strong woman, except when it comes to talking to me. I seem to have some knack at throwing her into tears with one little comment. She feels like everything I say is an attack on her very being. And that I disapprove of her 100%. She's kinda self centered. I'm dreading the talk...I'm afraid that she is going to take it so horribly that it will cause further problems between us. How can I be gentile?

 
Old 10-26-2004, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

Sounds like my mom -- very generous person, very caring, but also very self centered -- bit of a hypochondriac. Everything has always been about her. She complains and complains about never seeing us, now never seeing our toddler, but they're the ones who moved 1500 miles away and rarely visit. When they do visit she's so self involved that she misses out on activities with ds and complains afterwards "I would've fed him or I would've given him a bath, read to him..." But if we would've waited for her to get off the computer the poor kid would've starved.

I always end up making her cry by hurting her feelings or saying mean things -- such as -- we need to make sure DS eats 'cuz we want to avoid a feeding tube or he has to have his treatments even if he cries. Drives me nuts! But, I can't help but think that the tears are just another one of her poor me, give me attention ploys. I think if my dad would've set her straight years ago instead of giving in to her whining and crying -- life would be a lot easier for all of us. I feel very very guilty when I make her cry, but half the time I don't even know what sets her off anymore.

Last edited by Ratatosk; 10-26-2004 at 06:38 AM.

 
Old 10-26-2004, 06:40 AM   #5
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

Is there a possibility that she could be suffering from depression?Marcia

 
Old 10-26-2004, 07:05 AM   #6
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratatosk
Sounds like my mom -- very generous person, very caring, but also very self centered -- bit of a hypochondriac. Everything has always been about her. She complains and complains about never seeing us, now never seeing our toddler, but they're the ones who moved 1500 miles away and rarely visit. When they do visit she's so self involved that she misses out on activities with ds and complains afterwards "I would've fed him or I would've given him a bath, read to him..." .

Yes!! Do we have the same mother?? And the moving thing. I think she may have guilt. We moved 1500 miles from the midwest to Washington. We loved it out here and she happened to be out here, so it worked out great! Then about 1 1/2 years after we got here, she moved 5 hours away. She had always complained about how I lived too far away, and then we move close by and she leaves! I think she may feel a little bit bad. And she is very self centered...it is always about her, her feelings, what she wants to talk about, what she wants to do.

And that is a very good point about what the other poster brought up. Maybe she is depressed. I never even thought about it. She is a therapist, so I guess I just figured that she would have a handle on that kind of stuff.

Thanks to those of you who replied so far!! You're really helping me!

 
Old 10-26-2004, 07:24 AM   #7
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

Kiera,

you just described my mom to a T! Except she was not a good mother. Yes she provided meals and disipline & that is pretty much it. My dad was allways at the bar & that left her home with 3 kids and she was mad at dad all the time, but he was never there for her to take it out on, so my brother's & I got the brunt of it.

I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and my mom and her new husband (which I love) moved off to Florida. When I called to tell her I was going to have a baby, she nothing but negative things to say to me. She started off by saying...."why would you even want to have a baby, they do nothing but take all of your money and ruin your carpet". I was 31 when I got pregnant and it took me forever to tell her, I knew what her reaction was going to be. I felt like I was a 14 year old having to tell my mom I was going to have a baby. It was aweful.

Her attitude has gotten better & she gripes all of the time that I do not send her enough pictures, but when we visit, she is exactly like your mom. She has NEVER played with my daughter in 2 years. Has fed her 1 bottle and never changed a diaper. We are renting a condo in Destin, FLorida in March and my mom & her husband are going to drive down and spend a few days with us. I am not sure how that is going to go, but I know that it will be interesting. She has already told me that I better have Riley out of diapers by then or I will never hear the end of it. Riley will be 2 in December and our trip is in March. I know that is around the time that we should be working on the potty training, but I do not know if she will be ready for an 18 hour drive by then or not. We will make stops of course, but to be honest, I almost feel like we should hold off on it until we get back from our trip. I honestly think she is not ready yet. & Then I wonder if I am putting it off just to irritate my MOM! Who knows.

I do think that if you are able to sit and talk with your Mom, I would do it. I would maybe start off by asking her if there is a reason that she doea not spend any quality time with her grandson. I know that when there is something that needs to be done with Riley, I just "DO IT". & That really makes my hubby mad. He says that at times I complain because he dose not do enough & he says that I really do not give him achance. & I know that I do that. I just expect everyone to see what I see & handle things how I would. & That is not very fair of me.

My mom is also overweight and I think that has some to do with her not really playing with my daughter, but it is no excuse. Just beacause you are fat, does not mean that you can't sit on your fat "you know what" and read a book! ....OK sorry...that was a bit out of line. I just feel your frustration.

I think that the other post you mentioned was the one I started about venting about grandparents. I have people tell me that they are the ones that are missing out on Riley's life & they think that is going to make me feel better. Well, it does not. I never had grandparents & I am sorry that I was not able to enjoy that part of life. I would like for my daughter to enjoy the grandparents that she doeas have. I feel that these babies that have "dead beat" grandparents are also missing out.

I guess we will just have to make up for that part of their life. I know Riley has a fun Mom and Dad and we do tons of stuff together, so maybe she won't miss it as much.

I will try to think of a way you could bring this up with your mom. Maybe she does not even realize that she has been the way she is.....WHO KNOWS!

Good luck & keep us posted!
Kim
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Old 10-26-2004, 07:55 AM   #8
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

My mother had a tough childhood and my dad has always protected her -- kept her sheltered. My sibs and I think he's a saint for putting up with her. 'Cuz none of us have the patience or time to deal with all her drama. Since I was a tiny child she's practically been an invalid and now she plays the guilt card -- "I don't know how much longer I have to live". She does suffer from depression, is overweight and she goes from doctor to doctor to doctor. She LIVES for doctor's appointments. We just wish she'd get involved in something, but she lives in the past or through my dad's career.

Their visits are so infrequent and so short because when they travel here they have to visit my siblings, grandparents and aunts and uncles and we're all about 2-4 hours away from each other. So we try to play nice and have a nice visit, but eventually one of us gets into it with Mom. It's usually me 'cuz I let things build and build and build and get so crabby that suddenly I just blow and let my feelings fly. She's never going to change, I should just keep my mouth shut 'cuz all I end up doing is upsetting her, but sometimes I just can't take it anymore and sometimes she does need to get a dose of reality. She's still my mother. And even though she'll probably outlive us all, I'd hate to say or do something to hurt her feelings and never have the opportunity to apologize.

 
Old 10-26-2004, 07:57 AM   #9
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

I am blessed to have parents who love my children as much as me. I used to visit their home every day with my kids, and they doted on them accordingly. My husband's parents have a philosophy that kills me: if you bring the kids to me, call me, and let me know what is going on, we will see them. They NEVER call, had never been to our home (we lived like 10 minutes away) and almost never sent gifts. With birthdays, if you didnt throw a huge party at their house, they did not acknowledge it. Our youngest has yet to have a party (she is 2) due to illness, we just did our thing at home with a small cake, and each time they used the excuse of "why didnt you throw a party, we were waiting to hear of a party". But they are the same way with their children. I guess they are crappy parents, and now they are crappy grandparents. If they are afraid that we may need something (ie when we are moving) they literally do NOT answer their phones. I figure, cant change em, so forget about it. My parents make up for it and then some. Always there for us and our kids. I guess I could be mad, but this is just how these people are, and have always been. Feel sorry for hubby, that is the kind of parenting he grew up with.

 
Old 10-26-2004, 08:14 AM   #10
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

Hi:

I too am very blessed to have wonderful parents who turned into wonderful grandparents. But my son's parental grandparents, although they care a great deal about my son, leave contact initiation etc to me.

My motto: That's why they are the GRANDPARENTS and not the PARENTS.

I am not trying to be rude here, believe me, but if you want to go out with your husband or sleep in you really should just hire a sitter.

Our parents do not owe it to us to take care of our children. That's our job- they already took care of us. As they get older they have their own issues to deal with.

I have a sister that feels the way you seem to judging from your initial post. Some of her thoughts are: no one helps me, it's so hard, I need a break etc.,. Again, my thought is you CHOOSE to have three kids. Not us. We all love her kids and spend a great deal of time with them. But we can get resentful when she implies that we owe it to her to do these things.

God Bless.
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Old 10-26-2004, 08:37 AM   #11
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

When I got pregnant I was sooo worried that I would have to explain to ds why his paternal grandparents did more things with his cousins and uncle 'cuz that's the way DH was raised. The eldest son got all the attention, got stuff handed down to him. One year MIL FORGOT DH's birthday and is always doing the "I didn't have time to shop for you for Xmas or birthdays" We've gone years without presents or acknowledgment. DH's attitude was that he was used to it -- was the way things were.

Anyway, when DS was born it actually helped bring the family together to a certain extent. The inlaws actually moved closer and love spending time with him. So that's a relief for me. I was so worried I'd have a brokenhearted little boy who would ask why his grandparents treated him differently than the other grandkids.

 
Old 10-26-2004, 08:44 AM   #12
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimianne
Hi:

My motto: That's why they are the GRANDPARENTS and not the PARENTS.

I am not trying to be rude here, believe me, but if you want to go out with your husband or sleep in you really should just hire a sitter.

Our parents do not owe it to us to take care of our children. That's our job- they already took care of us. As they get older they have their own issues to deal with.

God Bless.
I agree with you a bit...but she talks like thats waht she intends to do when she comes to visit and then she doesn't deliver...but you're right, I can't depend on her for that. But I do think that it is not asking too much for her to play with my son. Ok fine if you don't want to do any diaper changing, or cleaning or anything considered "work", but at least be involved...why are you coming if you don't want to participate?? I know I am spoiled because my husbands folks are super grandparents. And I know that everyone is different, but if she wanted this grandbaby (her only one) to come so badly, why doesn't she seem to really care now?

 
Old 10-26-2004, 10:28 AM   #13
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiera1595
I agree with you a bit...but she talks like thats waht she intends to do when she comes to visit and then she doesn't deliver...but you're right, I can't depend on her for that. But I do think that it is not asking too much for her to play with my son. Ok fine if you don't want to do any diaper changing, or cleaning or anything considered "work", but at least be involved...why are you coming if you don't want to participate?? I know I am spoiled because my husbands folks are super grandparents. And I know that everyone is different, but if she wanted this grandbaby (her only one) to come so badly, why doesn't she seem to really care now?
I am so glad my post did not upset you because that was not how it was intended.

In your original post it only stated about the work and her spending less money on your baby's stuff then her own clothes. With the exception that you said she wouldn't get on the floor to play with him because she has a weight problem.

You live far enough away that you can only visit a couple times a year. And apparently she has health issues (weight) that keep her from doing the activities that you see fit for a loving grandmother.

I feel bad that you feel this way and am having a real hard time understanding. Maybe it is your expectations are too high for your moms circumstances and that's the cause of your frustrations?

What exactly is she doing or not doing (besides the above issues which are reasonable for her to avoid) that is upsetting you?
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:35 AM   #14
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

I don't know about Kiera's feelings on this, but in my situation my mother complains and complains about not seeing enough of her grandchild and lays a guilt trip on me for not visiting often enough.

My parents moved 1500 miles away, but it always seems to me that it's my fault -- that DH and I should quit our jobs and moved away from my remaining relatives and all of DH's relatives, just so I can be closer the my parents. She says that all the time. They live in a warmer climate and refuse to travel during the cooler months.

DS has a genetic disease and is a toddler -- right now when we travel it's a major production because we have medical equipment and medications that have to go with us, plus all the baby stuff.

Plus, when my mom comes to visit -- she still complains about all the above, when she could just sit down and enjoy the moment -- watching DS play with his toys, read his books, sing gibberish, splash in the tub. Half the time when she's visiting our house she's on the computer checking her email or reading all her listserv messages.

 
Old 10-26-2004, 11:40 AM   #15
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Re: Annoyed with grandparents

If I understand Kierea correctly, it is not that she wants her mother to come to take care of her son, it is that she just would like her to interact. I feel the exact same way she does.

My daughter was in the NICU for 6 weeks and when we finally got to bring our 4 pound baby home it was wonderful. I enjoyed every bottle and poopy diaper. When my mother came to visit a few weeks later I was very tired. I did have the thought that I might be able to get a little extra rest when my mom got here. Not that I expected her to take complete care of my daughter, but an uninterupted nap would not have hurt my feelings.

Instead, my mom wanted to stay up all night and work on her scrapbook of the baby, watch movies all night, and basically have a 2 week slumber party. At this point I was getting up every 2 hours to take care of Riley. When I would get up to do this mom would be sitting at the kitchen table and peer at me over her glasses and say "it's that time again already?". It was just irritating that she was already up and right there in the kitchen. Would it have killed her to stop for 45 minutes just ONCE to help out? & Then when I would get Riley back to sleep, Mom would ask if I wanted to sit with her to work on the pictures!! I THINK NOT!

Hubby & I were working in the flower beds in the backyard and mom said that she would stay in the front and play with Riley so we could get done quicker. So I accepted and went on about my work.....I went to the front to get a tool out of the garage and Riley was NO WHERE to be found and Mom was asleep on the swing in the front yard. SHE WAS 14 MONTHS OLD! Luckily Riley had tottled the other way around the house as I was coming to the front, so the panic did not last long, but who knows what could have happened? GEEEESH!

She does not play with her at all, she just sits there and does whatever it is that she is involved in at the time and looks over at her on occasion and smiles. & Then gives me the pathetic speach that Riley is never going to know who she is. We should move to Florida so they can know eachother. & I am honest with her and tell her that Riley will never remember anyone that does not want to play with her. & Mom just says that they will play when she is older and Riley can work on scrapbooks with her. It will have to be something that my mother likes to do, or she will not do it. That is how she has allways been.

BUT....lets face it....not many of us are fortunate to have people love our kids as much as we do.

I am glad that there are some of you who have wonderful grandparents for your kids...that makes a world of difference. Cherish that, it is very important.

OK.....I'll shut up now......gotta go color!
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