I have two grandchildren. My daughter and her husband have lived together for nine years. I watched the children since they both were born while their parents worked. I took them to school and the doctor's from day one.
Now that the youngest grandchild is in preschool, my daughter and her husband are making my life hard and making comments in a jealous way that shows they envy the children's relationship with me as their grandmother. The children are being told to leave me alone, and don't bother me. They are slowly keeping the children from me. The children now don't come to me or ask to go to the store with me anymore. They don't even ask where I'm going or can they go with me. In the past they always wanted to know.
I see what the parents are doing and how sad my grandchildren are. They made statements that the children won't listen to them and run to their grandmother. I have never overidden my daughter's decisions with regard to the children and support her even in disciplining the children.
This is cruel to the children and is devastating me. I see the intent in them wanting me to move out, with the way they show I'm not needed or wanted anymore. Yep they paid all their debts off as I worked very hard to help them. Now that the children are in school, they have been very plain, they don't want me around any more. My daughter's husband's favorite statement, one that he freely throws out in certain conversations to my daughter is, "At the appropriate time, not now." They have a plan to move and are keeping me in the dark about it. Please help.
By Cathy S. from Tifton, GA
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How cruel relatives can be.....do you have a friend you could move in with? Or maybe find an apartment near by. If this is not a choice then find a place to volunteer; your time and help are always appreciated.
If you honestly think they are planning to move away without you, it's time for you to be pro-active. Start looking for places to live that you can afford. In PA where I live, we have subsidized housing for seniors.
Maybe there is something similar in your area. Perhaps you can share an apartment with someone, or rent a room in a boarding house or from a friend. I agree with Patty Bertoldi. Find a place where you can volunteer, or take classes at your local college (many of these are free for seniors) What ever you do, do not allow yourself to be a victim. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
Sadly, it sounds pretty much that they used you for live-in day care and now you are not as needed and definitely not wanted and they are probably jealous that you have a better relationship with the grandkids and probably parented them better.
I'd make an immediate plan to move out, telling the grandkids how much you love them as you leave. Here is what will hopefully and probably will happen. Once you are gone, at some point they are going to need babysitting...which they will probably eventually get around to calling you back for that. At which point you will see the grandkids again.
If not, your best bet is to let the grandkids know that you love them regularly (through neighbors, other relatives, the U.S. mail, etc), miss them and wish they could visit. They will probably come around again when they are older. Sadly, at least here in Texas, you don't have a lot of legal "rights" to grandkids, I don't know about other states.
Contact a lawyer if you think you might and maybe you could get forced visitation. Anyway, I imagine it hurts very much (it would me, as I adore my two grandboys), but recognize these people for the jerks they are and hope for the best, but at the same time try to move on with your life as much as possible.
When you deal with jerks, this is the type of thing that usually happens, sadly. And I am sorry to be a bit rough with you, but in the long run I think it is better to face up to reality and I personally am one for facing facts and then going forward.
Am sorry to hear your story, I wish my gran or my mum were around but both sadly died, very suddenly 35+ years ago. Your daughter will want her mom back again in the future and your grandchildren will want their gran but you have to be strong, brave and forge a new life for yourself and yes, as other have said, start looking and making your decisions for yourself again.
You sound sad but don't be because you have had some fantastic years with the grandkids which will always be with you and them. chin up girl, put the smile on your face and begin a new chapter in your life. Take care. Meshelle
I am so sorry to hear this is happening to you but remember that seed you planted in your grandkids will forever be inside their hearts. Kids know and will eventually make up their own minds about who they want to give their love to.
As for your daughter I think she will regret having you around she just don't know it. Have a heart to heart talk with her and hope she sees your pain. much love and respect to all the grandmothers. God bless.
I think the sooner you move out the better. Leave on good terms and you will find yourself spending time with your grandchildren again. Remember, most grandmothers don't live with the family and still have good relationships with the grandkids.
Wow! I'd guess you still have some vital years in you, in your favor, if worse comes to worst. An elderly friend of mine sold his lifelong house to his grown son for $1, with the understanding (not documented) that he, the father, live out his remaining years in the in-law unit. That son built an expensive house and sold this house, leaving my friend to a wretched and cold existence and death by dementia. IMPORTANT: Check with your County's elder advocacy agencies. Check with church and any other moral authorities. And find a lawyer who can advise you on any rights you may have as both a tenant. Your daughter may be torn between the options. You may need mediation; it could be generational or maybe they want a divorce and any other possibilities. Please let me know how it turns out. My heart goes out to you. The children are resilient; they will be okay. It is you I'm concerned about. You can also discuss with child welfare anonymously in case they have experience, but again, the kids should be okay.
I agree the sooner the better you find your own place, surprise your daughter and husband with your proactive stance, and then share with your grandkids how exciting it will be when they see your "new place" and how much fun it will be for them to visit you there. Sorry about how you have been used for the "adults" selfish gains, but don't let their actions define you.
First thing, I'm sorry that things are like this for you.
Second, I think you are fully understanding the situation. The parents are jealous of you and their children's relationship. However, see it as a good thing that they want a better relationship with their children.
I agree that now is the time to move out. Don't let your daughter and s-i-l have all control. Try to be cheerful and look at this as a new adventure.
When you are settled, invite them all over for a meal. Tell the parents that you think they are doing a wonderful job of raising their kids. Mention that you miss watching the kids grow. Then mention that you would like to take the grandkids somewhere for the day. Perhaps say you would like to have a couple of days a month with the grandkids. Keep your emotions cheery or neutral.
All looks bleak now, but I believe once you are on your own, they will appreciate you more. God bless you, Cathy.
Talk to them! Get the facts straight. So far, you're going on speculation and could be wrong about some things. This is your daughter and your grandchildren. You deserve to know the truth, and then act accordingly.
I doubt if your daughter is planning to just "put you out to pasture." Please talk to them, or at least your daughter. She's probably torn between you and her husband. This is your family and you need to know exactly what's going on.
Does your youngest go to preschool all day? Who watches her when she comes home? Is your daughter home from work at that time? Who will watch them during the holiday school vacation?
These may be some questions you pose to your daughter and son-in-law. Is there something you may be doing that you are not aware of that irks your daughter and s.i.l.? Maybe a frank discussion is needed and some things brought out into the open.
Do you cook for them? Do you shop for them? Do you chauffeur the kids to their activities? Can you afford to go away for 2 or 3 weeks somewhere so they can get a taste of reality? These are all some things to think about. Even the best grannies can get on their own kid's nerves.
Hello - I am very sorry that you are having to live in this sort of atmosphere but you must be in control of your life - not them.
It is sad that you were used but that is the past and you have to move forward and you will not receive any sympathy from the adults in that house.
Please do not discuss your feelings with the children as they have to live with their parents and should not have to deal with things like this. I believe you do need to realize that you may not see your grandchildren very often after you move - yes you will have to move unless you are willing to continue living with abuse.
I am a family counselor and I see things like this a lot. You have to be concerned for your own welfare now and give up your feelings of resentment and anger toward your daughter and son-in-law. They may or may not "come around" to being glad and thankful that you gave so much in years past but you have to not count on having a good relationship after you move. Let it be a surprise if you do.
You do not say how old you are or if you have sufficient income to support yourself but I hope that you do. Try to find a good area that has people of your own age and is close to shopping and churches.
You also do not say if you contributed to your own living expenses while you have lived with them but I am sure they have thought about this and may feel that your babysitting was payment for your housing and food.
I believe the main thing that you need to consider is finding a place to live and move!
Some cities/places have apartments that are available on a sliding scale according to your income. If you need help then you should either go to your church or to a seniors help center. Thy to talk less about your feelings about this situation and more about how nice it will be to have your own place and your own friends.
Try to realize that children grow up and maybe it is time for you to make a life of your own. Life can be fun or it can be a drag - that is everyone's choice.
Wouldn't you like to know, for sure, what your daughter's plans are (and your son-in-law's)? Then you need to ask for a time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk. Let them know you're uncomfortable with the way things have been going on, and you're not sure why. Ask if there's something you can do to make the situation better. In the meantime, be looking around for a place to live, either on your own, or with a roommate. (Some of the suggestions already mentioned list places to check out.)
You have a lot of love in your heart, and even if you won't be able to spend a lot of time with your grandchildren, there are other children who can benefit from your love (in hospitals, homesless shelters, etc.). The skills you acquired and perfected all through your life can be shared - offer to volunteer to teach cooking, baking, sewing, etc. at recreation centers, YWCAs, etc. You'll be surprised how many places would love to have you. Once you find how valuable your skills are and how much good there is in other people, you will feel so much better about yourself. Pray for guidance and trust God; my prayers are with you as you transition to this new time in your life.
I am a 77-year-old grandmother of 18, and after reading your sad story I felt I could offer some advice. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. I read between the lines and it sounds like you are concerned about "poor, pitiful me" and not about the family who took you in. Did they charge for room and board? That in itself is generous, regardless of the babysitting, which I am sure you enjoyed. You have been allowed unlimited access to the grandchildren, something most of us grandparents haven't had, so perhaps you have unknowingly made the parents resent what they consider their job as parents. You might try putting yourself in their position and just be grateful for the blessings you have. If you spread a little sunshine in the home, it might drive out the gloom. Good luck!
I think they need you more than they realize both adults and children. I think I would have to move out on my own. It would help keep the awkward feelings at bay should they have to tell you about their plans to move and not inviting you. I know you have to feel used and abused, but they will see their mistake and ask you to take care of the kids some other times if there's no awkwardness between you all. I hope you are capable of indepedent living. Let them miss you for a while!
I am so sorry to hear stories like this. They just tug at my heart because I know if any of my daughters did this to me I'd be crushed. I would definitely find a place to live separate from your daughter and her spouse. It would break my heart to leave my grand children but you don't need the abuse either. And so what if you are feeling sorry for yourself. You have been the major adult role model in the household for years. Just get into some place where you can live your life and be happy.
I can only say you are in my prayers. Hopefully things will take a turn and it will be in your favor.
There is a lot of advise here and I think the best comes from the 77 year old Grandmother of 18. Although she comes down a little too hard on you I do agree that you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself.
If I don't hear from my Daughter, her husband or my Grandson's I've learned to let it go. They have their life and I have mine. And I too, am a single, 71 year old. They all know I love them, and I know they still need me. Make a life for yourself apart from them even though you live with them. Sounds like you don't know for sure if they are "kicking" you out but worse case make some plans to get your own place. Where there is a will there is a way.
Please let us know how this dilemma turns out. We all would love for it to be a positive outcome for you and your family.
I read about your dilemma and prayed for you. There was some conflict between my grandmother who helped raise me and my two sisters and my dad and stepmother who lived across the street in the house in which we had our legal residence. So I understand and have compassion for you.
I am very sympathetic.
In many families, the grandmother is welcomed into the home with open arms when the children are small. Mother works full time and congratulates herself on "doing it all", forgetting that grandmother is actually keeping house, cleaning and babysitting. When the children are older, mother and father begin to talk as if grandmother is a problem, a dependent.
Cathy, you would feel better if you had a home of your own, however modest. Then you would be independent.
For the rest of us, be warned. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into the same position as Cathy, however much you love your grandchildren. Keep your independence.
I was treated well when I was an unpaid babysitter as well. I went through a grieving period, but now I am independent, am careful not to hurt the grandchild and I am not accessible as a convenient babysitter any more. I cleaned their house, made their meals etc. - but now I am no longer needed as the grandchild is older. So be it. I figure what goes around, comes around. I shed my tears and got over it.
It is sad that the younger generation has this "I am owed, I deserve it attitude." I didn't raise my daughter that way. However, her husband probably has a lot to do with it. I am happy doing things with my friends and doing charity work now.
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