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New Parents Seemingly Choosing One Grandparent?  
User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1649 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2560 times:

Hey everyone,

So my brother and his wife are expecting their first child in October (the first grandchild in our family). My mom had offered 2-3 times to sift her schedule around at work to be able to babysit one day a week. As it turns out, apparently neither of them remember that she offered; and have asked the other grandmother to babysit twice a week while sending him to daycare for the other 3 days.

Needless to say, this has hurt my mother deeply. Not only is she upset that apparently they did not take her seriously or ever talk to her about it; but even after they understood what she was offering was told it wouldn't change anything. My mom is extremely worried that the baby will bond a ton more with the other grandmother and that they will never want her to babysit or bond with him. I have tried to explain to her that while the way they have handled it has been poor, this shouldn't be a reflection on her (the other grandmother is retired).

To me, while I think some of her concerns are valid, there will be plenty of time and opprotunities for her to bond with her grandson and she will form just as good of a bond as the other grandmother even if it is not in the way she imagined. I think her biggest problem was coming up with this whole plan without really sitting down and talking to them about it and convincing herself that there was no way they could say no.

The question to fellow parents/grandparents out there or even doctors ect. is how do I help my mom out without it seeming like I am trying to tell her how to feel...and what have been your personal experiences. I want her to be excited, but she keeps coming back to "I can't believe they never took me seriously" and how it looks to her that they seem to be favoring one grandparent over another when my brother has told her it was simply because the other grandmother is retired.


Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2543 times:

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Thread starter):
Not only is she upset that apparently they did not take her seriously or ever talk to her about it

This is the crux of the problem, they never took your mother seriously, nor did they try to talk to her about it.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Thread starter):
I have tried to explain to her that while the way they have handled it has been poor, this shouldn't be a reflection on her (the other grandmother is retired).

I agree. This is a break down in communication on your brother's and his wife's part, not your mother's since she offered the babysitting 2-3 times. I'm sorry to say but it sounds like ignorance to me on your Bro's part.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Thread starter):
I want her to be excited, but she keeps coming back to "I can't believe they never took me seriously" and how it looks to her that they seem to be favoring one grandparent over another when my brother has told her it was simply because the other grandmother is retired.

The "retired grandparent" part seems to be a win-win for your brother and his wife and went that route instead. Did your brother and his wife ever sit down with your mother and discuss this before making a decision, that way the "pain" your mother would endure would lessen? Seems to me like, according to you, they did not do that.

So, with that said, your brother and his wife is the ones who screwed up with the lack of communication.

And, congrats to you on the addition to your family.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently onlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4487 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2526 times:

A baby is a lot of responsibility and I am sure your mom wants to be involved, but I am rather sure your brother and sister-in-law saw here mom as a better opportunity since she is retired.

Not that I want to be a pain, but for some reason I have noticed most mom's are more ok with the idea of their own mother's than their mother-in-laws interactions with the children.

In some cases there is down and out dislike, and concerns about habits or behaviors they don't want exhibited around the kids, and this can actually put some grandparents on the outside looking in.

Either way though, your brother and sister-in-law and your mom need ot communicate better so no one is left in the dark about what is going on. Feelings may get hurt, but the truth and knowledge is better than the worry.

Maybe your mom can ask if she can spend some afternoons or mornings with the baby if possible.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1649 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2513 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
The "retired grandparent" part seems to be a win-win for your brother and his wife and went that route instead. Did your brother and his wife ever sit down with your mother and discuss this before making a decision, that way the "pain" your mother would endure would lessen? Seems to me like, according to you, they did not do that.

I think they would have if they had remembered she had offered; but they apparently did not, and just assumed because she was working she couldn't. I do fault my mom slightly; because when she offered, it was kind of a pass-by mention versus sitting down face to face. The two times I remember her offering I do remember at least one of the two engaged more deeply in other conversations.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
So, with that said, your brother and his wife is the ones who screwed up with the lack of communication.

This is true. My brother, while I love him dearly; is very quiet, and it is really hard for him to speak up. My mom was actually starting to move past the initial disappointment when apparently my sister-in-law was feeling really bad, so she went over for dinner; and that is where my mom brought up the coversations and them not recalling it. So, as she said, the healing was beginning and then they ripped the band-aid right off.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 2):
In some cases there is down and out dislike, and concerns about habits or behaviors they don't want exhibited around the kids, and this can actually put some grandparents on the outside looking in.

Thats the thing, everyone in our family, including her parents, get along great. We all don't have any problems with anyone; so my mom was really shocked when they told her.

Heres the thing, I have actually thought that my mom took it was to hard (as she had this all planned out, and was excited without really talking to them about it. What comes to mind is the phrase, "the harder they fall). Up until they didn't said they don't remember her offering. I was with them when she offered twice. What I am really trying to do is covey to my mom that they were honestly not 1. Trying to make her feel bad or 2. That they are not trying to make her feel left out. What I also keep telling her is that the baby is not even born yet; and for all she knows things could change after he is born.



Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2492 times:

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
I think they would have if they had remembered she had offered

I don't think this a memory problem here. Like I said, this is sheer ignorance. I am willing to bet that they DID, in fact, remember your mom's offer but just chose to take up a different route without discussing it with your mother first. If I was put in that position, I would be pretty pissed.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
I do fault my mom slightly; because when she offered, it was kind of a pass-by mention versus sitting down face to face.

Pass by offers are done all the time. If she offered 2-3 times, it would have been enough to warrant a discussion on the 3rd time it was offered. At least your mom put herself "on the map" on this, but the fact still remains that your brother and wife chose to ignore it.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
The two times I remember her offering I do remember at least one of the two engaged more deeply in other conversations.

If that is the case, then still the communication problem still exists when they did NOT tell your mother what they chose to do until after the fact.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
and that is where my mom brought up the coversations and them not recalling it.

See, I smell BS here. They just don't want to admit they screwed it up. It contradicts everything you have said thus far especially when "one of the two engaged more deeply in other conversations." That is what troubles me. Sorry to be rude and I apologize in advance here, but your brother and wife sound like liars to me.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
I have actually thought that my mom took it was to hard (as she had this all planned out, and was excited without really talking to them about it.

I know I said this before, but it bears repeating: Your brother and his wife dropped the ball here in the communication department.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
Up until they didn't said they don't remember her offering.

That's BS.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
I was with them when she offered twice.

Did you tell your brother and his wife that? I think you should have and make them think a bit more. I am still not buying that they do not remember the offer.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
What I am really trying to do is covey to my mom that they were honestly not 1. Trying to make her feel bad or 2. That they are not trying to make her feel left out.

Don't hurt her more than need to be. At the same time, don't BS her and don't take sides.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
What I also keep telling her is that the baby is not even born yet; and for all she knows things could change after he is born.

Good point and agreed!



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1649 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2453 times:

Knowing them as well as I do, I don't think they are liars, I think it is simply:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
They just don't want to admit they screwed it up.

They obviously are caught between a rock and a hard place now, because they already signed up at the day care and don't want to offend someone else (her mom) by taking away the one day and giving it to my mom.

I think that it would make my mom feel a lot better if they would admit that they screwed up, and were able to find 2-3 hours a week for my mom to spend with him to bond as well.

I am just glad I know what I am supposed to do as the uncle 1. Whatever they need, for free 2. Spoil him as much as I can and give him back to mom and dad  



Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5640 posts, RR: 32
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2438 times:

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
This is true. My brother, while I love him dearly; is very quiet, and it is really hard for him to speak up.

This could be the problem. A psychologist friend once explained to me that the wife makes a lot of decisions in a marriage, particularly concerning things to do with the family: where to live, which school for the kids, where to go on holidays, etc. Women are usually much closer to their families than men are, and naturally involve themselves more with them than their husband's or partner's family.

So, bearing that in mind, maybe your sister-in-law is deliberately picking her mother over yours for selfish reasons and your brother is too quiet or unassertive to do anything about it. Men often take the easy option over things like this, particularly when the wilfe is determined enough.

I think you should have a long chat with your brother to get to the bottom of it.

[Edited 2012-08-29 13:25:31]

User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2420 times:

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 5):
Knowing them as well as I do, I don't think they are liars

But they are, and they KNOW that your mom offered 2-3 times. They are beating around the bush, man. Everythign you described seems like your brother and his wife is contradicting themselves.

But then again, Braybuddy here has a pretty good point:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 6):
Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
This is true. My brother, while I love him dearly; is very quiet, and it is really hard for him to speak up.

This could be the problem.

I agree. You gotta talk to your brother, JetBlueGuy.... Seriously. He needs to man up, he has no choice.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 6):
A psychologist friend once explained to me that the wife makes a lot of decisions in a marriage, particularly concerning things to do with the family: where to live, which school for the kids, where to go on holidays, etc. Women are usually much closer to their families than men are, and naturally involve themselves more with them than their husband's or partner's family.

This is the part I hate, and I don't understand that, but it is true.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 6):
So, bearing that in mind, maybe your sister-in-law is deliberately picking her mother over yours for selfish reasons and your brother is too quiet or unassertive to do anything about it.

Another good point, I never thought about that.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 6):
I think you should have a long chat with your brother to get to the bottom of it.

       Your brother needs a reality check, bro!



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7760 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2400 times:

Airframe I think you may be being a little harsh on the brother and sis-in-law in this case, but I don't think you are all that far off either.

My assessment is that there is a whole lotta passive aggressiveness going on here. How did your mom approach them and offer. Was she asking/talking about their child care plans once your sis-in-law is off leave or did she toss out the fact she'd like to be able to and can watch the baby during the week. I think that is a big distinction and however it was done may have impacted how well your brother and sis-in-law received it.

That said I suspect your SIL feels much more comfortable with her own mother rather than yours watching the child when she can't or the day care can't. Because whether or not they remember your mom offering to help they/she may have only considered having her mom be the main babysitter.

Second frankly I think your mom has no business (I'll be harsh on her for just a bit) having hurt feelings. She needs to step back and remember what it was like being a new mom and first time parent. Having, at least to me, both sides of the family fighting for face time with the new baby is REALLY stressing on parents. New moms have it especially tough as they often have a hard time being able to let others in to help with the childcare, let alone leaving them with somebody else. 2nd kid and on I am sure she'll be glad to let your mom watch, but with the 1st things are different. Your mom needs to put her feelings aside and follow their lead. She'll have a lifetime to bond and get to know the new grandchild.

That said (time to be harsh on your brother and SIL) they need to, as a couple, and talk to your mom. Thank her for the offer but to explain for whatever reason there is that their current childcare arrangements are going to be what they are for whatever reason they are.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12345 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2397 times:

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Thread starter):
even after they understood what she was offering was told it wouldn't change anything

That sounds pretty harsh. I'm surprised Bro didn't pick up on what was going on.

It'd seem the fair thing to do is for each grandparent to babysit one of the two days, no?

Hopefully Bro can convey your Mom's true feelings on the issue.

If not, and the Grams get along well, maybe the Grams can have a chat? A delicate thing indeed, but if your Mom gets the sense that her Mom understands where she's coming from, maybe the two of them will sort it out and the SIL will be presented with fait accompli. Who knows, maybe the MIL will be glad to split the chore (which in the end, is what it is!). Of course, if the MIL doesn't want to share, it could go pear-shaped pretty quickly.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2382 times:

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 8):
Airframe I think you may be being a little harsh on the brother and sis-in-law in this case, but I don't think you are all that far off either.

The one thing I cannot come to fathom is that his mom is asking for only ONE day out of the week. I don't see how ONE day is a big deal to the brother and the wife. One day is nothing.....

.....But then coming back to say "Oh, we don't even remember you even offered." Bullshit. They remember. They just wont admit it, making the problem worse than it needs to be.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 9):
I'm surprised Bro didn't pick up on what was going on.

   This is why the Brother really needs to get on with the program here.....



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5424 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2381 times:

OK, here's the truth, and it is not bad or mean or wrong, it just is:

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Thread starter):
my brother and his wife

The mother of the child dictates who cares for the child. She has it coming out of her body, she knows her mom better, she feels more comfortable with her mom. It just is the way it is. And it is OK.

I know this because I am a father and my wife and I went through the same stuff. It took me a bit but I learned and now understand. And I also held my ground and explained just how important this kind of stuff was to my mother too and how we must include my family here equally and so we do now. And my wife understands and agrees with me. But it did take some explaining because she just logically and automatically defaulted to her mother. And it wasn't easy.

And it is not up to your mother (the mother in law) to explain anything to the new parents. It is up to your brother to stand his ground and wisely and carefully explain stuff and get his wife, the mother of the child, to open up and be accepting and understanding.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 2):
Not that I want to be a pain, but for some reason I have noticed most mom's are more ok with the idea of their own mother's than their mother-in-laws interactions with the children.

  

Quoting casinterest (Reply 2):
Either way though, your brother and sister-in-law and your mom need ot communicate better so no one is left in the dark about what is going on. Feelings may get hurt, but the truth and knowledge is better than the worry.

I honestly don't think the mother in law should get too involved (directly), it will appear as butting in. And it will turn to ruin if the husband does not support his own mother (the mother in law) and instead cops out with things like "well you know my mom" or "I can't control my mom" (not saying he will, but "if"). This is up to the son/husband/father of the child to either stand up or let his family not be as important. I have seen it happen plenty.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 3):
This is true. My brother, while I love him dearly; is very quiet, and it is really hard for him to speak up.

This does not bode well for things. He must speak up and make it known that it is important to include his family equally. If he can't or doesn't then he can't let his mother "fight his battles", that would probably lead to bad relations. He needs to do it. Not her (the mother in law).

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):
, but the fact still remains that your brother and wife chose to ignore it.

It is the brother that is the issue, not the wife. It is automatic (unless we do not like our own family) that we choose and default to our own parents and our own family at certain times. And a new mother turning to her own mother is to be expected. And that will always be the case.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 6):

This could be the problem. A psychologist friend once explained to me that the wife makes a lot of decisions in a marriage, particularly concerning things to do with the family: where to live, which school for the kids, where to go on holidays, etc. Women are usually much closer to their families than men are, and naturally involve themselves more with them than their husband's or partner's family.

Yep, it is the normal thing in many human societies. As the saying goes:
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 6):

So, bearing that in mind, maybe your sister-in-law is deliberately picking her mother over yours for selfish reasons and your brother is too quiet or unassertive to do anything about it. Men often take the easy option over things like this, particularly when the wilfe is determined enough.

As I said above, I don't think it is particularly wrong or selfish, it is a normal thing for people to turn first to those they know and trust the most and who taught them what they know in life. The husband (the OP's brother) must carry the banner for his own family! And if he is not willing to do it then it is what it is. And if he actually lets his family get involved and fight his battles he is really very weak.

I have had to learn that I have to speak up and talk things out with my wife and my family is very much on equal footing with hers. But I could have just let her make the decisions and kept out of it and her family would have had a much more dominant role. But I value my family as much as my wife values hers so we have a good balance.

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Thread starter):
The question to fellow parents

I hope things turn out well but don't let your mom be the one doing the talking, make sure it is your brother is the one doing the talking. Talk to him. He has to understand, be OK with it (he has to live with his wife). And above all else, do remember that this is a new mother we are dealing with! She is "nesting" and looking to keep her baby safe and sound and will always do what she believes to be best (if she's a good mother) so her husband needs to have her understand and agree as well, it can't be a forced thing.

Tugg

[Edited 2012-08-29 14:57:25]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1649 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2339 times:

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 8):
How did your mom approach them and offer. Was she asking/talking about their child care plans once your sis-in-law is off leave or did she toss out the fact she'd like to be able to and can watch the baby during the week. I think that is a big distinction and however it was done may have impacted how well your brother and sis-in-law received it.

When she thought of the idea, both of the parents mentioned that they wanted him to be in daycare and around other kids. What she thought was that one day with one grandmother, another day with the other grandmother and 3 days in daycare.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 8):
That said (time to be harsh on your brother and SIL) they need to, as a couple, and talk to your mom. Thank her for the offer but to explain for whatever reason there is that their current childcare arrangements are going to be what they are for whatever reason they are.

They kind of tried that, but that was when they told mom that they don't recall her offering, which actually made the feelings a bit worse.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 8):
Your mom needs to put her feelings aside and follow their lead. She'll have a lifetime to bond and get to know the new grandchild.

That is what I say to her all the time, but she feels as though I am trying to tell her how to feel; but I come from the perspective that the baby will bond with all of us (including both grandpa's and myself) and he won't remember who watched him when he was a baby. My mom acts like they will never let him spend the night over at her house or try to find a time for her to bond; which gets on my nerves more than anything

Quoting Revelation (Reply 9):
That sounds pretty harsh. I'm surprised Bro didn't pick up on what was going on.

It'd seem the fair thing to do is for each grandparent to babysit one of the two days, no?

That is what she had hoped, but they assumed (and got under my moms skin) that just because she was working (and often works later than 5) that she couldn't. If they had asked her, she would have been able to tell them that she thought changing her schedule would actually work well for her, but never got that chance.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 9):
Hopefully Bro can convey your Mom's true feelings on the issue.

I think he can, to a point. I don't think he quite knows how badly the process to their decision has hurt her. But, my mom also doesn't want to make anything worse. My SIL was actually the one that invited her over for dinner because she does feel bad...which is the point that doesn't make sense when they say nothing will change.

If not, and the Grams get along well, maybe the Grams can have a chat? A delicate thing indeed, but if your Mom gets the sense that her Mom understands where she's coming from, maybe the two of them will sort it out and the SIL will be presented with fait accompli. Who knows, maybe the MIL will be glad to split the chore (which in the end, is what it is!). Of course, if the MIL doesn't want to share, it could go pear-shaped pretty quickly

I have actually suggested that, because knowing the other grandmother, if she knows the story (not knowing exactly what she knows) that maybe she would offer such a solution.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 10):
wont admit it, making the problem worse than it needs to be.

Pretty much

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
And I also held my ground and explained just how important this kind of stuff was to my mother too and how we must include my family here equally and so we do now. And my wife understands and agrees with me

With my brothers personality, he can to a point, but also wants to make her happy. I think everyone would do well, including my mother, to take a deep breath and just let the baby be born and see how things shape out to be; as it can and might change.

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
And it is not up to your mother (the mother in law) to explain anything to the new parents. It is up to your brother to stand his ground and wisely and carefully explain stuff and get his wife, the mother of the child, to open up and be accepting and understanding.

Completely agree



Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineSmittyone From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2297 times:

There is an inexplicable Alpha Hen thing that goes on between new mothers and their mothers in law.

Best for all male personnel to stay the hell out of it.


User currently offlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5621 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2263 times:

I would consider it normal for the mother to trust/want her mother to do the grandparent thing the most with any baby. It just seems to me to be the normal thing. With everybody I know that is how it has worked, unless there was some other major factor, such as the mothers mother being dead or sick or living very far away or something..

Gemuser



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