Want to handle this right ~

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Im a Believer, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    My difficult child #2 is due to have my granddaughter February 1st.

    My daughter comes around or calls when it is her birthday, Christmas or she is needing someone to throw her a baby shower.

    I already wrote in a previous post that she and her husband have never came for a meal or spend a holiday with us (she has been with her hubby for three years). I have seen him maybe three times for about 10 minutes each.

    My husband and I forked out $4000.for wedding deposits (she talked to me for a few months last year as we planned and I paid for wedding plans) but then last minute they eloped and left me with the debt.

    My question - Do I explain to her why she isn't getting gifts this year or do I just sit and wait for the opportunity.

    She has yet to call me - Hasn't called me since my cousin and I threw her a baby shower last month.

    I know once this baby is born my heart will be jerked like never before.

    I have never been a grandma and am afraid to get too excited ~ My heart can't take much more.

    Thanks in Advance ~ Judy
  2. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    "Do I explain to her why she isn't getting gifts this year?"

    Just curious why you have decided to not give gifts this year? Anger? Setting boundaries? Making a point? Understanding why you're not giving Christmas gifts may help you figure out how to handle the situation effectively.

    Why do they not come for holiday dinners? Why do you not speak to each other on a regular basis? How long have you has the relationship been like this?

    Sorry for so many questions - but again - I don't want to offer advice with-o more fully understanding the family dynamics.
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member


    Hi......im guessing your putting your foot down to some extent regarding your daughter and her behaviors.

    In families all too many times things get swept, we've done it in ours. The junk goes under the carpet nice and neat. I'm all about gutting it out!! LOL

    I honestly think you should sit down with-your daughter and tell her how your feelings. Now, that's just me, yet this new little person will be in the world soon and your already feeling apprehensive about it and how much contact you will or won't have.

    Maybe it's time to addresss all this stuff with her, it seems to be coming to some sort of a head lately, you yourself have made so many realizations about the dynamics of the relationship between ex/kid/you and your new husband.

    That's just my thought. Your a person first and foremost, than your a mom. You deserve respect, and maybe it's time to gut it out??

    what do you think???? just my thoughts as i said
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am not sure what advice to offer. It really would depend on family traditions, the reason you are not giving gifts, etc...

    If you are not giving gifts because the cost of the wedding deposits, maybe you should gently explain this prior to a family gathering, esp if you will be very uncomfortable if she makes a scene. If you are not giving gifts because you do not feel close to her, it probably won't help you become closer to her.

    If you are just cutting back everywhere, that is something else. There are just so many reasons, feelings and situations that are or could be involved that it is tough to give advice with-o more information.

    I am sorry you do not have a good relationship with her. It sounds very painful.
  5. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    I will give more insight because I really do want to do what's appropriate and not react on my emotions.

    My daughter has had a pattern of not talking to her Dad nor I unless it benefits her materially.

    She is married to a man with a "perfect" family. In other words his parents are not divorced and that is something that my daughter is ashamed of - that is my fault by trying to portray we were a perfect family as she grew up by denying the reality of our family.

    She lives an hour away but has not come around since she met her husband.

    I have often wondered if it were a way of protecting herself from her now husband in possibly hearing of her Bulemia. I don'tknow what he knows about that.

    I don't believe she is acting out now that she is pregnant - her weight gain has been normal.

    When she canceled the wedding she appologized and said they would pay me back. She vanished from my life for several months and wouldn't speak to me so I wrote them a card and said my husband and I wanted to give them that as their wedding gift and they didn't have to pay us back.

    She started talking to me again.

    As I've mentioned in previous posts my children simply do not respect me nor their Dad really - but they do respect him more than I due to what I believe was that they saw me honor him in the marriage.

    My husband (her step father) has seen this behaviour all along - she would send me a ooey gooey card and I would be all excited that "she loved me again" and he would say "what does she want". Sure enough - a few days later she needs something.

    My eyes are really being opened lately asto why my children act the way they do and I am not blaming myself so much and I know I do need to stand up for myself and "demand" to be respected or you evidently do not truly want a relationship with me.

    What I struggle with now is - I tend to be an allor nothing person and I don't want the pendulum to swing too far the other way -

    I am trying to find balance.

    Hope that gives more insight to "my view" of the situation.

    Thanks for any help in seeing it more clearly ~


  6. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Rob also tends to be more attentive if it will benefit him materially. As I mentioned on Nomad's thread, I consider birthdays and Christmas as "truce" time. Even in our darkest days, we gave Rob a gift. Now, it might have been a pair of socks - lol- but it was a gift all the same.

    That said, you told her you "forgave the $4000 debt" so, difficult as it is, in my humble opinion you need to let it go.

    You mention that she hasn't called since the shower- have you called her? Did you invite her et al to your home for Christmas dinner or whatever your tradition is? I'm just curious. I know that sometimes I don't call Rob because I figure if he really wanted to talk to me he'd call me- but in truth, he's just as busy with his life as I am with mine and he's glad I call when I do (provided it's not too often ;) )

    Anyway, I am rambling. Bottom line is that to me Christmas is truce time and I would get them a small gift.

  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm with Suz. Christmas and birthdays are sacrosanct. I don't care what horrific things you have done in the past even if just 5 minutes ago, you get a gift from me. There are no strings. It is a way to let my child know that she can never be bad enough that I don't love her and I will always celebrate her being in my life, even when I don't see her or hear from her.

    I do not hear from my child unless she wants something. I accepted that a long, long time ago. It is part of her Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I really am out of sight, out of mind most of the time. It hurts. It always will but she can't change who she is no matter how much I would like her to. I had to learn to accept that.

    However, I do have my limits. She does have to come over on Christmas and spend time here. She does have to have a birthday dinner with me. Not necessarily on the actual date, but as close to it as possible. It cannot be get my gifts and run. She has to at least pretend she cares. I'm not sure how I would handle it if she so totally rejected me as yours has done. I know I would sit her down and talk to her about it, try to find out why. I would also let her know that I have earned her respect. Whether she loves me is up to her but she does have to respect me and all that I have done for her from wiping her tears when she fell to not killing her in her teens. Part of respecting me is accepting that I have needs and desires, too, and one of those needs is spending time with my children. If she can't give me that, then I think I would have real problems giving her anything. My thought would be she is an adult and rejecting me as her parent. That being the case, it may well be time to totally detach and get on with my life without her being a part of it no matter how much it hurts.

    I'm sorry. I really can't imagine a child being as cruel as your daughter is being. The odds of her holding your grandchild hostage sound pretty high. I think I'd tell her she has a choice: treat me as a beloved mother and grandmother or get on with her life without me. It would hurt like hell but the alternative would hurt more.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    It's difficult to find balance in this sort of thing. The 4000.00 you told her you gave as a gift. You need to let that go, as a gift, and forget it.

    This may come out sounding a bit weird. So bare with me. lol

    You have to sit down and decide how you want your kids to treat you. Then think of ways to facillitate that treatment.

    Since your daughter tends to only appear when material things are needed / expected, I'd keep material gifts down to a minimum. I personally wouldn't be offering help. (that's just me) Because someone who only cares enough to show up when it benefits them....well, let's just say I don't do it. Not unless it's truely a matter of critical importance. And only then, if it doesn't hurt me to offer that help and if I can handle the fact that the "debt" will go un-repaid.

    Gifts are gifts. I'm a person who gives gifts because it makes me feel good to make someone else happy. I don't give a hoot if I ever get a gift in return. So when a birthday rolls around, or holiday to give a gift....I give as I'd normally do and don't worry about it.

    Now I'm going to admit upfront I am not the most trusting person in the world. We were estranged from step daughter K for 5 or more years before mending those fences this past summer. The Moms here can tell you how that estrangment tore me up. And although I had nasty little thoughts of "what if K decides to take everything I buy back to the store to get the money out of it??" And I even caught myself tearing tags off a few things before I forced myself to stop......... (ok, I said I'm not very trusting lol) I bought xmas for her and the grands as if nothing had ever happened. And sent it off to them.

    My own mother would tell me I'm insane. So be it. But to me, this is my daughter and my grandchildren whom I love unconditionally. I gave them xmas because it's just as important to me to give it as I think it is for them to receive it. If she were to take it back to the store for whatever reason, so be it. I would assume she has her reasons and let it go.

    Of course, the kids are eagerly awaiting xmas morning and nothing from my suspicious mind took fruit. lol But I get burned bad from someone and it's hard for me to forget, even when I forgive. (that trust will have to be earned back slowly. K understands that)

    My point is, despite any lingering suspicions of the whys K decided to suddenly reunite with the family, I did what I felt was the right thing to do despite any potential for hidden motives on K's part, imagined or otherwise. The rest was up to her.

    However, K and her husband are more than dirt poor. They're currently surviving with 3 young children in a motel room, just getting by. I don't offer to help that situation, and wouldn't if I could. This is a result of choices they made. It's not "punishment" on my part, it's expecting them to live up to their responsibility. I will be there to offer advice, a shoulder, support, and and ear when K needs to vent. But that's it. I did buy the kids alot of clothing and sent them. But I do that for the other grands as well.

    Do you get the idea? I do what I feel is the "right" thing for me to do as a parent / grandparent, what I can live with, and try not to do things that will encourage K and her husband to continue to make bad choices. No more and no less than I'd do for any of my other children. I enjoy when we're able to talk and such, and force myself not to worry when we don't. I've told K from the beginning that this time the relationship has to be more open and honest so that no misunderstandings occur.

    I'm doing my part. I don't worry about her part. I do what I think is right and let the rest go. I don't get "used" because I don't allow it to happen.

    I understand you're concern about the arrival of the grandbaby and the potential for him/her to be used as a pawn. But that can only happen if you let it. You can still love that grandchild no matter how often you see it.

    Well, this turned out longer than I planned. lol But I hope you can see what I'm trying to say.

  9. linda lou

    linda lou New Member

    I am learning how to deal with this issue also...just hearing from my son when he wants something, needs something, or thinks he is entitled to something (despite my financial situation).

    It is hard to say no, but after talking to many people, I realize and agree that I am 1) allowing him to treat me this way - disrespectful, uncaring, just contacting me for his own gain and 2) by 'helping' him, I am supporting his 'habit' of not being responsible for himself.

    Last year I was tricked into sending $450 to him when he went on a trip to Mexico without adequate funds. He said he was bit by a bat and had to go through the rabies shots. I kind of believed him, and since health was involved, I sent the funds. 1-1/4 years later I realized and confirmed that it was a lie and he needed money to stay in Mexico for a few more weeks. The money I sent funded his vacation.

    Handling it
    'right' may be a simple as saying, "I'm sorry, I can't help right now." "I'm sure you will figure this out."