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Old 06-22-2011, 11:16 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,262 posts, read 33,383,775 times
Reputation: 20198

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Quote:
Originally Posted by h886 View Post
Yes, but it's only five kids, not 30. Of course it's harder to give individual attention to five versus one or two, but it's not impossible either. And even if you weren't perfect in the execution, showing up and making the effort would do a lot to foster better feelings. Living 2 miles away and never visiting probably feels rather hurtful to them.

You visited and the baby was asleep. That would have been perfectly acceptable, but with an expiration date. Now it's been 3 months and you've made no effort to return, which speaks volumes. While I understand there are limits on what you can do, realistically, making the effort to visit once or twice a month during the summers could make a difference.
I think that's pretty presumptuous. Ivorytickler is a teacher. Being with kids all day during the school year is her JOB. It's what she gets paid to do, what she was trained to do. Why do you feel she should be expected to volunteer to do the same thing on her time off?

She shouldn't be expected to do ANYTHING on her time off. It's her time off. The fact that she LIKES seeing her grandkids on her time off should be enough. She should not be expected to take care of them, and she should be thanked when she offers to take care of them. ESPECIALLY since they're not, technically, even her own grandkids.

Last edited by AnonChick; 06-22-2011 at 11:20 AM.. Reason: edited cause IT is a she, not a he

 
Old 06-22-2011, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,377 posts, read 28,863,816 times
Reputation: 14398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
My grandmother had 24 grandkids; a good chunk of us lived more than two hundred miles away. She didn't have a problem nurturing a relationship with any of us. If you truly would "love" to have a relationship with your grandchildren, you'd find a way to do so.


Shouldn't your children build relationships with their nieces and nephews as well? Why can't you just be one family?


Don't they go to school? Why would they expect frequent visits during the school year when they, too, are busy?


Take them, too?


What's unfair to the kids is that their grandmother wants little to do with them.


Amen to that. A weekend with a bunch of kids is a great form of birth control!


Because they're your grandchildren?


That's ridiculous; the baby needs to feel loved, nurtured and secure. The more adults he has to help him feel that way, the better for him. You do want your grandchildren to grow up feeling loved and secure, don't you?


Which begs another question: Where is your husband in all this? What does he think of spending time with his son's children? What does he think of your reluctance to do so?


Oh, for heaven's sake, grow up!
I'm not the one who needs to grow up here. That would be a DIL who thinks trashing her MIL in public is not only acceptable but something to brag about.

As to the baby, I'm not in the picture enough to be an adult the baby will feel secure with and nothing is going to change that. Right now, I might as well see pictures as I'm not in position to have a relationship with him. Babies form bonds with people who are there consistenly, not with people who visit once a month so mommy can have a break.

I've already stated that dh just wants to stay away from ddil. He loves to see the kids but ony does so when dss brings them by or dss is home.

My kids miss their neices and nephews. That's one of the issues. Ddil used to have them baby sit. Now that they don't, they don't see the kids much. What I have to decide is whether summertime visitation is enough. I can't take the kids on weekends, like her mom does, during the school year because I have too much on my plate. I can take them during the summer. Is that enough.

One issue is we have to keep dd#1 away from ddil. Dd#1 is having some problems and getting her around ddil is like throwing gasoline on a fire. DDIL has herself convinced (she has told us this) that she and she alone will be dd#1's salvation because she's the only one who understands her, but it takes several visists to dd#1's therapist to undo the damage done by contact with ddil whether it's on the phone, texting or on facebook. One of the things dh insisted on when ddil appologized to him was that she butt out of the situation with dd#1 because she was making it worse. One of the reasons she's upset with us is that we don't accept that she knows how to raise teenagers (apparently, dh and I don't).
 
Old 06-22-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
1,194 posts, read 1,470,105 times
Reputation: 1715
Well said anifani.
 
Old 06-22-2011, 11:25 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 86,362,102 times
Reputation: 30150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
The issue is the amount of time it takes to do this. If I take two, I owe the other two in short order. We get into a situation where I'm spending every other weekend with one or two of them and not my own kids to have visits regular enough to develop a relationship and that's only seeing each child once a month if I take them two at a time.
My grandparents lived in another state, about a four hour drive from where we lived. But I still had a powerfully loving relationship with my grandparents. We saw them on occassional holidays, not every year. When we were old enough, my mother would send us, one at a time, to spend a month with them in the summer. We weren't all sent at the same time or in the same summer even. I personally visited for two summer, one after 7th grade and another after 9th grade. My sister went for many, many summers, taking a girlfriend along with her. My other sister never had the opportunity because my grandmother died while she was in elementary school.

My POINT is that you can foster a deep relationship with your grandchildren only seeing them once a month or once every other month. To go three months without finding even an hour to see your new grandchild is really unforgiveable. You live two miles away. You could have stopped to see your grandchild. One failed attempt at the hospital isn't an excuse for not making an effort to see the new baby.

If you can't handle every other weekend, then take two one weekend a month, alternating. Your not being a grandparent type isn't a good enough excuse. The reality is that you are a grandparent. Your daughters are aunts. You're not taking away from your daughters by spending time with your grandchildren. Your daughters' lives can only benefit from having a close relationship with their neices and nephews.

Your DIL having 5 kids or 10 kids isn't really your place to judge. She can have as many as she wants. And you can foster a relationship with your grandchildren as a group. You're a teacher. You know how to handle groups of children. Just think how children attach themselves to teachers. That time spent has a powerful impact on the children even though they are in a group with the teacher. You CAN make a difference in your grandchildren's lives if you CHOSE to do so.
 
Old 06-22-2011, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,377 posts, read 28,863,816 times
Reputation: 14398
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
It isn't as simple as separating out the relationship b/n a mom and her DIL and not have it affect the kids and the g/ma's ability to have any sort of relationship with those children.

Sometimes, for all concerned, it is best to just leave well enough alone. Send cards to the kids, invite the whole family over, presents at b/days and christmas and that's it. When the kids are older, maybe they can choose or demand to have time w/ grandma, but it may be DIL has poisoned their opinion of OP so much by then, it may not be possible.

I defy any of you to tell me you can successfully deal with a DIL who is hell bent on making MIL out to be the Wicked Witch. THe sympathy typically goes to DIL. Why would MIL even subject herself to that crap? Life is too short. Some battles, you can't win - especially if son isn't willing to draw a line in the sand.

And for all of you boo hooing and pointing fingers at OP as if she has offended mankind by not inserting herself IN A HOUSEHOLD WHERE SHE IS CLEARLY DISRESPECTED . . . the children HAVE a grandmother. STEPSON'S BIOLOGICAL MOM evidently is part of their lives. The kids are not suffering, for Christ's sake for lack of "grandparenting."

DIL's animosity is the root of the problem here and my answer to OP's original post . . . DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. Guilt is a train that only YOU can buy the ticket on. Take care of your own family and let your stepson and his wife stew in their own juice. Getting involved in their drama is just gonna make OP a target to deflect the actual problems going on between husband, wife and their 5 kids.
Thank you. Insightful post.

Actually, it's her mom that is in the picture. Dss hasn't seen his mother since he was a baby. Long story but she doesn't recognize two of her kids as hers and he's one of them. He, BTW, is not pushing this issue. I think he's fine with us visiting them or them visiting us. The visiting is just difficult with ddil in the picture.

You are correct that her lack of respect for me casts a shadow over the entire situation. I also don't feel the kids are missing something by not visiting me regularly other than friction between their parents and I since they have her mom doting on them, which is fine as she's retired and has nothing better to do than take her grandkids all the time. They have an active grandma. A very active grandma. Sometimes I think leave well enough alone at other times, I miss the kids and I know my girls miss them. They used to see them all the time when they baby sat for them. Now, we see them a few times a year.

Thanks. I think you've hit why I keep hesitating. You're right about the guilt train.

I am convinced that ddil simply likes attention and she'll get it any way she can. I think that's why she keeps having babies. Each baby is a reason to put her at the center of attention. A gaggle of kids accomplishes the same thing. So did the drama she created with dd#1 and with me. And when that wasn't enough, it was texting old boyfriends who were sending her gifts.... She really likes attention...positive or negative which makes her EXACTLY the wrong person to have around dd#1.

Last edited by Ivorytickler; 06-22-2011 at 11:43 AM..
 
Old 06-22-2011, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,377 posts, read 28,863,816 times
Reputation: 14398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
My grandparents lived in another state, about a four hour drive from where we lived. But I still had a powerfully loving relationship with my grandparents. We saw them on occassional holidays, not every year. When we were old enough, my mother would send us, one at a time, to spend a month with them in the summer. We weren't all sent at the same time or in the same summer even. I personally visited for two summer, one after 7th grade and another after 9th grade. My sister went for many, many summers, taking a girlfriend along with her. My other sister never had the opportunity because my grandmother died while she was in elementary school.

My POINT is that you can foster a deep relationship with your grandchildren only seeing them once a month or once every other month. To go three months without finding even an hour to see your new grandchild is really unforgiveable. You live two miles away. You could have stopped to see your grandchild. One failed attempt at the hospital isn't an excuse for not making an effort to see the new baby.

If you can't handle every other weekend, then take two one weekend a month, alternating. Your not being a grandparent type isn't a good enough excuse. The reality is that you are a grandparent. Your daughters are aunts. You're not taking away from your daughters by spending time with your grandchildren. Your daughters' lives can only benefit from having a close relationship with their neices and nephews.

Your DIL having 5 kids or 10 kids isn't really your place to judge. She can have as many as she wants. And you can foster a relationship with your grandchildren as a group. You're a teacher. You know how to handle groups of children. Just think how children attach themselves to teachers. That time spent has a powerful impact on the children even though they are in a group with the teacher. You CAN make a difference in your grandchildren's lives if you CHOSE to do so.
Teaching classes is different than fostering relationships . A gaggle of grandchildren is not the same as a class to teach. Not even close.

AND I REPEAT...dss has not been home since the baby was born. When I did go, he was sleeping and I was not allowed to see him... There is no way in hades I'm going over there without dss there to mediate. I'm not that stupid. And the baby does not care whether I've seen him in only pictures or not. Unless you're a regular fixture in a baby's life, you don't exist. He's too young to care. The older kids are another story. They are aware that they haven't seen dh or myself in three months.
 
Old 06-22-2011, 11:40 AM
 
423 posts, read 614,895 times
Reputation: 399
I think you should have them over a couple of times this summer for a cookout. Volunteer to take them to a zoo, if that works for you. I don't think you need to get into a rotating schedule of having children over every other weekend. Nor do I think you should take orders from your DIL. Truthfully, this mess is really should be handled by your DH and your stepson.
 
Old 06-22-2011, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,377 posts, read 28,863,816 times
Reputation: 14398
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinacool View Post
I think you should have them over a couple of times this summer for a cookout. Volunteer to take them to a zoo, if that works for you. I don't think you need to get into a rotating schedule of having children over every other weekend. Nor do I think you should take orders from your DIL. Truthfully, this mess is really should be handled by your DH and your stepson.
I can do that. We're headed off on vacation for a couple of weeks but after that, the girls and I will spend a lot of time at the beach, the zoo and a couple of other local attractions that the grandkids would like that also make a handy excuse to take them without the rotating schedule going up.

You're right on dh and dss. This is theirs to deal with. Theirs is the one relationship that needs to survive this mess. If dss and I end up with no relationship, that's not a big deal. I'm only his step mother. Dh is his father. I don't need a relationship with ddil and neither do my girls. While relationships between my girls and the grandkids would be nice, they are also optional given the issues with ddil. I may have to give up one to avoid conflict with the other.
 
Old 06-22-2011, 12:06 PM
 
2,505 posts, read 5,021,782 times
Reputation: 3463
Wow! I just read this entire thread and now I feel so sad. My fondest memories were of my brother, sister and I spending Friday nights at my grandparents. It sounds to me that you didn't have the best relationship w/ your dss and never had a relationship w/ his wife. The grudge you two are holding onto is only punishing the children. They didn't do anything wrong, yet you seem to be taking it out on them by not seeing them. How sad! Not to sound mean, but we're only hearing your side. As they say, there are two sides to every story. It's a shame when people can't forgive, forget and move ahead w/ an issue instead of being weighted down w/ it remaining bitter and stuck in the past.
 
Old 06-22-2011, 12:12 PM
 
4,267 posts, read 5,009,025 times
Reputation: 3579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
My kids miss their neices and nephews. That's one of the issues. Ddil used to have them baby sit. Now that they don't, they don't see the kids much. What I have to decide is whether summertime visitation is enough. I can't take the kids on weekends, like her mom does, during the school year because I have too much on my plate. I can take them during the summer. Is that enough.
Yes! That is enough. Since your kids miss them, spending time with will be great for your family.

Quote:
One issue is we have to keep dd#1 away from ddil. Dd#1 is having some problems and getting her around ddil is like throwing gasoline on a fire. DDIL has herself convinced (she has told us this) that she and she alone will be dd#1's salvation because she's the only one who understands her, but it takes several visists to dd#1's therapist to undo the damage done by contact with ddil whether it's on the phone, texting or on facebook. One of the things dh insisted on when ddil appologized to him was that she butt out of the situation with dd#1 because she was making it worse. One of the reasons she's upset with us is that we don't accept that she knows how to raise teenagers (apparently, dh and I don't).
You don't have to have your dd around dil in order to have a relationship with your grandchildren.
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