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CHANGINGBALANCE's Photo CHANGINGBALANCE Posts: 1,173
6/27/19 2:19 P

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@howaboutthisname, that's great your DIL and you get a long so well. I admit, my MIL and I do get along better now. We were just so uncomfortable those first few years. When husband and I met we lived 10 hours away (at college) and after we were married we lived 2 hours away. We just didn't know each other well enough for either of us to be comfortable with chit chat. We were very formal.... Now we live close enough we see them regularly, and I think nothing of sending her a text telling her what hilarious thing D5 said today. And, I think my husband was just a proud dad and he wanted to be the one to share those things with his parents.

~ Tara~
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Psalm 65:11 You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.

Jesus Lover/Wife/Mom of 3/NDTR/Soccer Coach/Crafter

I want to live a full, active life, without pain. I want to hike beautiful places. I want to ride my bike, play tennis and coach soccer. I want to know I beat T2DM. I want to breathe easy. I want to be strong.


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6/26/19 2:00 P

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@ CHANGINGBALANCE

I am in the same stage of life as the OP - I am the grandmother who helps out with the grandchildren. I have no daughters, only sons, but I want to mention that is has been my DILs who have kept me up to date on the goings-on with the kids, not my boys. I never thought this was considered exceptional, all of them do it without me even asking. I have always just assumed that women form the ties that keep the families connected. If we're having a family get-together, for example, I contact the DILs with the details and the husbands come along accordingly. The DILs are the ones who send me the pictures, and keep me posted on sporting and school events. I think it just doesn't occur to men to do that the way it does for women (for example, you had to "remind" your husband to tell his mom news about the kids.)

A few years ago, I went abroad for several months, and it was my DILs rather than my sons who were like, "Hey, you're LEAVING us?" They got together and put together a little book where each family member wrote me a message and/or drew a picture for me to take on my trip. Yes, the girls did this, the boys just went along! ;)

And while I was in Europe, it was the DILs who emailed and Skyped me most often so I could keep up with the kids. My boys love me, I know, but they are just guys - kinda clueless that way. LOL






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CHANGINGBALANCE's Photo CHANGINGBALANCE Posts: 1,173
6/25/19 12:04 P

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So... I could be the daughter in law. Because my parents and my in-laws watch my kids while my husband and I work. There are many times when I drop off and pick up and say little more that "hello" and “thank you" because, dang it, I want to go home and spend time with my kids. Or make dinner. Or we are on the way to soccer or cheer practice. Or because I had a rotten day and can’t deal with idle chit chat. We make time with BOTH grandparents to hang out and visit. But during the work week when we are going 3 different directions, is not the time. I am also very careful to make sure all the grandparents know they are loved and appreciated.

Please remember that 10 and 12 year olds have their own opinions and ideas of fun. There was definitely some adjustment when my kids no longer wanted to “cuddle” and wanted to play and do their own thing. There were some feelings of being unfavored, but really, it was just that the girls wanted to do their own thing. If you want to connect with them, you will have to find out what they are interested in. Here's the thing: You are likely seeing your grandkids more than their parents are. Especially if you watch them during the summer. SO TALK TO THEM. What are they reading? What subject do they like at school? What music are they listening too? Who’s the cute boy they want to sit next to at lunch? What’s the must see movie of the summer? This info should not come from the parents.

As for not knowing first steps or lost teeth… I never called my mother in law. My husband always did. Granted, I always had to tell me husband "text your mom that daughter did such and such today. And now my mother in law and I have a much more comfortable relationship and will send her a quick text to tell her something funny the kids did. But in the early days, not so much. I felt like I was still winning her approval.

Field trips and school programs? Speak up. Let them know you would like to be told. I messed up major last month and asked my mom to pick up my youngest on her last day of preschool. I knew it was a half day and there was a party. I had no idea there was a program. My mom posted pictures, my mother in law’s feelings were hurt and let us know she wished she had been told about it. It was an honest mistake which I apologized over and over for. I felt terrible. Mostly because I missed my baby’s preschool graduation! But my concern in arranging my mom to pick her up was because it was a half day and I knew she was available to get her. I wasn’t intentionally annihilating my mother in law. I truly didn’t know there was a program- it was supposed to be a surprise for parents.

If watching your grandkids makes you so unhappy, let them know you won’t be able to next year.


~ Tara~
MI/ EST
Invincible Indigos BL Summer Challenge 2019

Psalm 65:11 You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.

Jesus Lover/Wife/Mom of 3/NDTR/Soccer Coach/Crafter

I want to live a full, active life, without pain. I want to hike beautiful places. I want to ride my bike, play tennis and coach soccer. I want to know I beat T2DM. I want to breathe easy. I want to be strong.


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6/22/19 8:08 P

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It takes an act of grace and humility to step back, calm down and keep the love flowing in these situations - even when it seems to be a one-way street and even when it's that way for an extended period of time. So, what's needed here is a re-direct. All that energy going into feeling angry, betrayed, vexed, vengeful and hurt and hateful (negative energy) needs to be changed into a few positive actions (the more positive feelings will follow - believe me...I've been there and done that). View your DIL through her eyes. She's really just a struggling momma who feels like nobody is in her corner. She's only human...with foibles and feelings just like you and I have. She needs some love....applied. How about just asking yourself about what she needs - right now. Does she need some space? Give this to her! Be there for her...not just for the kids. Start by just being a friend. Appreciate any amount of time to interact with your grandchildren as a blessing, not as a score card. Be helpful in other ways than babysitting so that you show an interest in your DIL, too. Be patient. Be kind. Then repeat...being patient and being kind. Your DIL is a very important person in your grandkid's lives! Celebrate her because of this - whether you're with the grandkids or not. Like her because she needs you to like her, but do it from your heart. It's very easy to blame one's overeating on others. We do this to try to escape responsibility for our own actions. This is a very human trait that we all seem to possess. So, I encourage you to own your overeating! Get yourself a punching bag and pound on it until you're utterly exhausted. Then cry for a while, if you must, but don't take your emotions to the table if that's at all possible. Now breathe. Nice slow breaths. You can do this! You can take the high path and you'll survive it...with a lot of grace working in your life. Seek mental health counseling if you find yourself unable to do the things I've suggested here. Professionals can truly help with overeating triggers. Your health insurance will cover this!

All things are possible.


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ELEKTRA0412's Photo ELEKTRA0412 Posts: 4,351
6/20/19 8:07 P

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Some of these responses seem a bit judgmental to me.


@ the OP. Clearly, you feel unvalued by your DIL. Have you been able to have a frank discussion with her or your son? I can understand how you feel as a grandmother myself. Please continue to come here for support. Keeping up with a 3 year old is hard work. Be proud that you are able to do that!
I recently watched my 5 year old and 1 year old grandchildren. It was the first time mom and dad had been away from the baby. Those lovies gave me a run fro my money!

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“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

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SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (313,758)
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6/20/19 7:43 P



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Like the others, I'm a bit confused about your time being limited with your grandchildren yet you have been minding them for a considerable length of time.

One thing that crossed my mind is jealousy. Grandparenting isn't a competition and should never be made into one. It is about quality time spent with them.

Kris

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LININPARADISE7's Photo LININPARADISE7 Posts: 1,115
6/20/19 8:18 A

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I would be exhausted if I spent three days a week with a three year old...and you have been doing this for 7-8 years?
I think you should find some outside interests...a volunteer group, a church ladies' guild or hook up with friends for lunch and shopping.
The more you dwell on your DIL, the more she will pull away.
And it is your son's job to control her behavior around you. Not yours.
Many times my favorite line to my husband was, "She's YOUR mother, deal with her!"


Live, Laugh, Love!!


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HOWBOUTTHISNAME's Photo HOWBOUTTHISNAME SparkPoints: (1,700)
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6/19/19 9:41 A

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I'm a little confused - you help with the grandchildren three times a week, but you feel that your time with them is limited? Maybe I'm not understanding that correctly. That is more than I see my grandchildren - I think three times a week is a lot, and any more than that, I wouldn't have time for myself!

Maybe what you're really saying is that you don't feel appreciated by your DIL. But even so, if you spend that much time with your grandchildren (and I think that is a lot, actually) then they surely know who you really are and love you in spite of your DIL's attitude.

But here's the thing: You need to take care of YOU, first and foremost. We love our kids and we love our grandkids (I have four of each) but now that we've raised our families, it is OUR time. If you're helping out with the kids three days a week, you are already going above and beyond what many grandparents do. So instead of focusing on your "limited" time with them, use the rest of the time to join a yoga class, or work out at the gym, or take tennis lessons. Get out and have some fun and get healthier at the same time. This should be a time of life to enjoy a little freedom and reinvent yourself. I'm at the same stage of life, so this is one grandma talking to another. :)


PS... I just re-read your post, and I'm even more confused. You take care of the 3-year-old three days/week. And you've been taking care of the kids for 7-8 years, so that means you've been taking care of him three days/week since he was born, right? So how can you not know when he got his first teeth or took his first steps? Something isn't adding up, maybe you can clarify that... ???

Edited by: HOWBOUTTHISNAME at: 6/19/2019 (09:55)

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LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 30,473
6/18/19 1:23 P

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Not quite sure how having them three days every week for several years is considered limiting your time with your grandchildren...
But, what does your son have to say about things? Have you voiced your concerns with him?

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
~ Randy Pausch

"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."
~ Art Turock

"We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good."
~ 7 Years in T
ARCHIMEDESII's Photo ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (221,597)
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6/18/19 8:56 A



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IWANTTOSUCCEED,


I'm sorry to hear that you're relationship with your DIL has caused her to limit your time with your grandchildren. How is your relationship with the older children ? If you've been watching them for all those years, they should have formed their own opinions about you as a grandparent. if your relationship with them is good, that's something to be glad of.

Have you talked to your son about your concerns ? It seems to me your DIL should be pleased to have two sets of grandparents who are able to watch the children. I have a cousin who does this and taking care of a toddler is a lot of work. Your DIL couldn't do what she does if you guys weren't there to help her. She should be more grateful, but isn't.

Unfortunately, some people are selfish like that. Talk to your son to see if he'll act as a mediator.

Just take things one day at a time.

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 6/21/2019 (09:36)
MLAN613 Posts: 22,902
6/18/19 6:45 A

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I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Families can be so messy. However, overeating isn't going to fix the problem. I am sure you know that. Have you chatted with your daughter in law? Or maybe your son?

Meghan in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


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IWANTTOSUCCEED Posts: 2,753
6/18/19 4:00 A

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OK - finding myself in a place where I am overeating because, I am hurt and stressed and terribly unhappy. My DIL limits my time with my grandchildren favoring her own parents and literally speaks 2 words to me when we see each other (kids notice this behaviour and start to limit their contact with you because they see their mother is indifferent to you). Be aware that I watch the kids 3 days a week (the girls are now 10 and 12 and get put on a school bus, the boy is 3 years old and with me those 3 days). I have been doing this for about 7 or 8 years now alternating with the other grandparents (one year we'll do 3 days - the next year they will do 3 days a week). I have 3 grandchildren and have never been to a grandparents day or a field trip. I couldn't tell you when they took their first steps or when they lost their first teeth, etc. Just about nothing is shared with me.

Charlene
Rochester, NY



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