Posted by: chlost | May 11, 2010

I’ve got to get over myself

These past couple of days I have been feeling sorry for myself, I admit it.  On Mother’s Day, my oldest son and his girlfriend came to see me, and brought dinner.  My husband was working, so the three of us had a nice afternoon on the deck and just talked.  That was nice.

But, my other son and his wife and my two granddaughters did not come out.  I missed them terribly.  My son had to work until 4 pm.  They have just one car, and my daughter-in-law was not able to get out with the girls.  I hate the “poor me” feeling that I had.  I have not seen my granddaughters for several weeks.  I have started to feel like those nightmare mothers we all read about who try to make the kids feel guilty.  I can now see how easily that could happen.  I will have to watch myself carefully. 

They lived here for a year and a half.  I have gone from seeing them every day to seeing them for just an hour or so about once a month.  Withdrawal.  I now know what the non-custodial parent must feel like after a separation.  At least in that situation, though, there is usually a schedule, so there is a set time that you would know that you will see the kids.

The last couple of times that I have seen them, my oldest granddaughter holds back from me.  I have to win her back.  It takes quite a while, then she warms up to me again.  Of course, that is about the time that I have to leave her again.  I have hoped that we would always have a close relationship because she lived here.  I can see now, that is not a given. 

In trying to figure out a way to make changes, I realized it all comes down to transportation.  We live about 45 minutes apart.  They don’t have two cars. We do.  I am going to have to figure out how to get there much more often.  My daughter-in-law keeps the two girls on a very strict schedule, and I feel as though I disrupt them if I go in to see them.  I guess that I am going to have to do it, and try to work around the schedule as best as I can.  I hope that she will be able to roll with things a bit.

I am tired of feeling sorry for myself.  I want to see the girls, I need to see them.  Waiting for them isn’t working.  I am going to figure out how to make it work to go there. 

Grandma-ing is too important.

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Responses

  1. I’m so glad you arrived at the notion that you need to make the drive and make the visits happen. Taking action is exactly the way to get past your feelings. Just a side question: have you directly asked your daughter-in-law, “I really want to come visit more often, but I also really want to be respectful of the schedule your girls follow…so when would be the best times for me to slip in? Could I come bring dinner once a week, and if you want, you can even take off and go for a walk during that time while I feed the girls?”

    I just know, as a mother of young kids who do best with a schedule–but who could use more grandma time–I would be more than happy to think of about 29 times in the week when a Grandma Visit would be welcomed by everyone.

  2. Hang in there and smile! Have a great day!

  3. Two of my grand kids live in town, the other two are two hours drive away. I can relate to the feeling of estrangement; particularly in my case when the distant grand kids have a plethora of other grandparents to shower them with attention.

    What I try to do is make their experience unique when they are with me. I teach them songs or tricks or different ways of playing with their toys. My wife comes up with different events to have the grand kids associate her with. For example she took our granddaughter to a play.

    You can find a way, be creative.

  4. You have my sympathies. My son has been abroad for several months and I have tried to be a support for daughter in law and family. But recently daughter in law has had to care for a different family member and taken on more work: I asked when might be a good time to visit so that I do not interfere with a tight family schedule and was told that one particular evening a week might be ok. But every time I went, she was so stressed that I felt it would be more tactful to keep away. Phone messages were never returned, and if I dropped by during the day just to talk to daughter in law alone so that she knew that I was as interested in her as the children, she was out. So I kept more and more out of the way.
    Now son is home and I feel it is safer to go back round as he will tell me exactly what the situation is when I go round. It turns out that the family felt I was ignoring them by staying away! So hard to get it right.


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