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Old July 19th, 2011, 03:40 AM
GrandmaJ GrandmaJ is offline
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What is Grandma to do?

Hello everyone, I am new to this forum and would appreciate your comments on my situation. My daughter and her husband live 8 hours away, my SIL's parents also live near by. My problem is that when my daughter, SIL and 2 grandsons come for a visit they always stay at my SIL's parents. Although it really upsets me I never voiced my opinion until recently when the grandson's were born. I have lots of room for them to stay with me, have invited them on countless occasions but they always stay at the SIL's parents home. I am expected to go there and visit them if I want to see them when they are in the area. I have told my daughter that I feel uncomfortable about this visiting arrangement and would prefer that they would come and spend some time with me at my home. She feels that is is too much work to "pack up her kids" and come to visit me and sees no reason why I should find this situation uncomfortable.

She is planning a visit next week without my SIL and is still going to be staying at her inlaws for the visit. I got very upset with her about this on the phone yesterday and she hung up on me. My question is, should I suck it up and go visit my daughter and grandson's at her inlaws or should I stand my ground and see if she comes to visit me? I would really like my grandson's to have memories of their visits to GrandmaJ's house, not a short visit at their other Grandparents. Any comments and questions are welcome.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 04:02 AM
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Re: What is Grandma to do?

Have you ever invited her/them to stay at your house?

You don't mention her dad - are you still married?

What kind of relationship did you have when she still lived at home?
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Old July 19th, 2011, 04:20 AM
GrandmaJ GrandmaJ is offline
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Re: What is Grandma to do?

I have invited her to stay with me almost everytime I know she is coming home, to the point of being a broken record!! Her father and I are divorced and both remarried, she was in her early 20's when we separated, this happened after she had left home and was on her own. I have often thought that she is still upset with me about that. I have had a conversation with her father on this topic and he feels the same way I do, only he has chosen to suck it up and visit. I never mention in my previous post that I have another daughter who lives out of town and she, her husband and 2 kids stay with me when she visits.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 04:26 AM
GrandmaJ GrandmaJ is offline
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Re: What is Grandma to do?

To answer the relationship question, we had a very close relationship when she was growing up and living at home. I guess that is why I find it hard now when things aren't going so well.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 04:50 AM
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Re: What is Grandma to do?

Hi, GrandmaJ.

I'm sorry that you're going though this. Feeling rejected by your daughter really hurts. Feeling like the relationship is all one sided makes it worse.

Maybe I can shed some light from your daughter's perspective. My ILs routinely "got more" than my mother because I did not trust them to love us unconditionally. I never talked to my mom about this because I could not bad mouth my ILs, either, or she'd want to come to my defense. So, I just continued to give my ILs their way and allowed my own mom to be hurt. Until I couldn't do it anymore. The result was disasterous for my little family and my ILs, but my mother certainly gets much more time! And I was right to trust that she'd love me anyway.

Call your daughter. Tell her you don't want to fight and let her know you love her. Don't "suck it up," but give her time and space to grow as you visit. Be polite, don't look for the bad guy, and don't make her feel like she has to choose. She will appreciate you for it.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 06:39 AM
GrandmaJ GrandmaJ is offline
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Re: What is Grandma to do?

Thanks LucyVanPelt, I appreciate your comments from my daughters perspective. I have suspected for sometime that there is alot of pressure from her inlaws....I will always be there for her, but it sure hurts sometimes.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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Re: What is Grandma to do?

That's so frustrating that your daughter and SIL seem to want the other GP's to be the "favored" ones. I'm sorry.

GrandmaJ, I realize you have asked repeatedly for her to stay with you, but have you sat down and calmly (and lovingly) asked her the reason that she doesn't? Maybe there's some reason that she doesn't want to come, but she also doesn't want to hurt your feelings by telling you.

How does she get along with your new husband? How does her husband get along with you? Do any of her kids have any special needs that are better accomodated at the other grandparents' house? Is your house less child-friendly?

When my kids were toddlers my in-laws lived in a house where the entire second floor was open to the great room below, with just an easily-crawled-under railing separating the balcony from a twenty-five foot fall onto a hard floor. They also had a pool out back which was beautiful but not easy to walk around (lots of steps and uneven stone). I was a nervous wreck whenever we visited them. (My MIL scoffed at my worries, which made me trust her less... just mentioning that in case there's some similar situation in your case.)

Is there any kind of kid-friendly venue where you could meet and visit with your grandkids instead of under the watchful eye of your daughter's in-laws? Could you meet them at a park or take them to dinner at a kid-friendly restaurant? Maybe as the kids get older and it gets easier to travel with them, your daughter will start coming to your house.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Re: What is Grandma to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandmaJ View Post
I would really like my grandson's to have (fond) memories of their visits to GrandmaJ's house, not a short visit at their other Grandparents.
To me this is the most important part!

It would be really great that the situation changes and that she comes visit at your house, I understand that. And with all the advice and tips above, I'm sure it could happen sooner than you think.

But until then, there is still a way to move away from your hurt. I'm sure you can find an opportunity to connect with your grandson in a special way. Have a special moment, a special activity, a special story to tell him... Whatever it is where you can really feel that connection with him and that can be really fulfilling. Make it a habit or a routine every time they come and cherish those moments with all your heart, knowing that as he grows up, he will have this special place in his heart for his grandma and that you are really important for him.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 09:59 AM
GrandmaJ GrandmaJ is offline
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Re: What is Grandma to do?

Our home is very kid friendly, we have what could be a 2 bedroom apartment in our basement we call the "guest suite", it has a kitchen, full bath, sitting room & 2 bedrooms, it works very well for guests. She likes my husband, he has treated her like his own, but he and I have agreed that he will manage his children and I will manage mine....good advice that someone once gave me for blended families. We have never tried to make the children mix, they were adults when we got together so except for the odd occasion we celebrate most things separately. We do have a vacation property that everyone enjoys, so this might be a good place to try to meet. I just feel very strange visiting her at her inlaws, she just doesn't understand why I feel that way, and seems totally unwilling to make any compromise. That seems to be the biggest obstacle between us. Last Christmas they were here for a week and were 2 hours late for our planned Christmas together, so out of the week, I got about a 2 hours visit. I never have put demands on expecting them to spend Christmas eve or day with me, all I have every wanted is sometime over the holidays when they are home. It almost seems like she wants there to be a problem between the two of us for some reason....perhaps to justify staying at the inlaws all the time....I am really not sure and just don't get it. I think one of the reason's she likes staying there is because her MIL will be her around the clock child care, which she know that I won't provide since I work full time and have a very busy schedule.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 10:18 AM
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Re: What is Grandma to do?

GrandmaJ, you sound pretty ideal in my book. I'm sorry your daughter is being a pill. There's *something* going on all right, I just can't figure it out. Usually when one grandparent feels shut out by their grandkids' mom, it's an inlaw situation... not a parent situation.

I think an invite to your vacation home (at a time different than the scheduled visit to the other GP's) is a great idea. It's kind of a "neutral" place, and if the other inlaws are really part of the problem it gives your daughter a graceful way to exclude them. Maybe you can invite your daughter, SIL and grandkids for a weekend, then tell them to invite SIL's parents for a couple of hours on Sunday. That will help if your daughter is having inlaw issues.

Maybe one approach is to make small inroads rather than insist on the whole goal of her staying with you. Baby steps. There's a Chinese proverb that the way to move a mountain is one pebble at a time (paraphrased, of course). I know you're hurt that she won't stay with you, but maybe it's best to first focus on getting her to visit you at your house. I can understand her not wanting to pack everything up for an overnight visit (especially if I understand it correctly and they'd only be with you during non-working hours) when they're already settled at the inlaws' house. But maybe there's a way to get her to visit you. What if you offered to take an afternoon off and pick them up and take them to an attraction (zoo, museum, arcade, pizza parlor) then AFTER that go to your house for an artsy/craftsy type of thing like decorating cookies or making paper airplanes. It would take some planning on your part, and some sacrifice with your time off, but I was just wondering if it would appeal to your daughter.

On one hand, it's nice that your daughter feels so comfortable with her inlaws that she can't understand why you wouldn't be comfortable visiting there, but on the other hand - yeesh!! You don't feel comfortable! You're allowed to not feel comfortable without it being an insult to her inlaws!

P.S. There are ways to connect with your grandchildren even from afar. A lot of people use Skype and webcams for that.
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