Post # 1
My parents live in the midwest, we are on the east coast. I don’t have a bad relationship with them, but we’re not super best friends and I don’t REALLY enjoy their company. Visiting with them is more like an obligation than something I actually want to do. After I moved out after college and moved to the east coast, they came to visit me maybe once a year, or less. I have gone back to the midwest ONCE since leaving (7 years ago).
Well now my husband and I made a little human. Which means grandma just can’t stay away! My dad still works so he only came for the birth. But my mom visited in June (for the birth) and stayed for 2 weeks, and then again in September for one week. I bought plane tickets to visit them for Christmas, but the other day, my mom was saying she wanted to visit me again in early December. I was like “WHY? That’s so close to Christmas!” She took offense and got all mopey and guilt trippy about how my husband’s parents see the baby more often. This is true, but they have seen her fewer days so technically my mom has spent more time with her.
Am I wrong for being annoyed with how often she wants to come? I don’t like being the hostess and she always stays for a week or more and compared to how often she used to visit, this feels like I’m seeing her all the time, even though it’s just once every few months. There is no way to convey this to her, of course, because she’s fragile. I’m not trying to keep the baby from her, but I recall visiting my grandparents just once a year and that seemed just fine. She will see her granddaughter 3 times in 7 months by the end of the year and I say that’s plenty. Maybe not for her, but definitely for me.
Post # 2
Oh god, this is exactly how it could be with my parents when the time comes.
We live in Europe and my parents live in the states. We theoretically are really close – too close some might say. To the point where my parents moved to Europe for a year when I first moved here. But now they are back in the States and I’m still in Europe (a different country). I’ve lived here for 9 months but they haven’t visited yet. And since my mom “is not able to” talk via phone, Skype, or email, we aren’t as close as we used to be.
But they’ve told me that it is “different for a woman” and “harder for her” to be away from family when she has small children. That may be true, we will see, but one way or another I’m guessing I’ll see a lot more of them once that happens.
Post # 3
Is she staying with you when she visits? For me, that would make it too much. When my parents (and in-laws) visit, they stay in a hotel, which I find makes it much easier to deal with than when they used to stay with me. (DH and I try to stay in a hotel when we visit my parents, as well, despite their objections – it really does help me stay sane during visits).
Maybe she regrets not having a super close relationship with you and wants to build one with her granddaughter? As annoying as it is to you right now, it could be great if her interest stays at this level so that your daughter gets to experience a good relationship with her grandmother.
Post # 4
idoalterations: OMG I feel you! DH and I joke that there’s a reason we’re in Ontario and our mothers are out east. Even if we move back east we’ll never live closer than 2 hours from either mother – just far enough that they won’t show up unannounced. DH’s brother lives around the corner from their mom and she doesn’t think she’s there all the time but holy eff is she involved with those kids (BILs GF and I have had many conversations about this).
I look at my friends who have mothers who fly out to visit all the time and i think they’re batshit crazy. There is no way I want my mom saying with me for more than a day or 2, I love my mother but we’re not BFFs and she drives me nuts.
All that said, it’s sweet that shes excited and if she’s home alone all day I’m sure the gaps in time seem much longer to her than to you. Maybe sit down and plan a few visits at a time that are in managable increments for you? If they’re more evenly spaced it might make her feel better?
Can you skype with her? DH’s mom just got a tablet after we got married so she can skype with the grandbabies (That we don’t have and aren’t planning on just yet) because ‘she’ll never get to see them because we live so far away’ (giving me the side-eye as she says this – DH moved here with me when I got in to school, it’s all my fault I stole her baby).
Post # 5
idoalterations: My dad/stepmom live a few streets away. We see them pretty regularly and like hanging out with them. My mom lives 14 hours away, and I have a really hard time being around her. She visits here (stays with my grandma) at least once a year – sometimes more. I never go to where she lives.
My ILs are about 7 hours away, we generally see them a couple times a year. I love my ILs a lot, but do find it really annoying we always have to go to them and they never make an effort to come to where we are.
In your case, I would just put the breaks on having your mom come so much if you don’t want her there.
Post # 6
LadyBear: Yes, she stays in our townhouse with us, which is quite small. And she stayed with us after the birth, which was not good. She thought she was being helpful by cleaning the bathrooms for us, but she didn’t cook dinner or clean the kitchen so ummmm no. You try telling her to get a hotel, no way! It’s too expensive! I know that’s exactly what she’s doing (trying to have a better relationship with her granddaugher). She probably also wants to be the favorite grandma, which is going to be hard because DH’s parents are awesome.
Post # 7
MsGinkgo: Yes, we skype every week too! I think the problem stems from the fact that my sister used to have our mom be their live-in nanny for about 3 years because daycare is so expensive in DC. My mom would fly out to DC every week and she got to see my sister’s kids all the time. So she’s spoiled. But I am not my sister. I could never have handled that.
Post # 8
idoalterations: that would do it. That’s the same problem we’ll have with DH’s mom. DH’s nephews mom (not BILs current GF) is a deadbeat, she’s useless – when newphew was born MIL/FIL had him ALL THE TIME, he spent more time with them than with BIL & baby mama (BIL’s job has him away from home 5 days a week). They were spoiled. Now BIL has a great GF who we all love, and they have a daughter and GF has tried to set boundaries but MIL is so used to having so much access and she just bullies her way in and gets super pouty. I remember when GF said that her daughter wouldn’t be spending the night at the MILs house she had a fit.
I wish I had good advice for you but I would absolutely feel the same way as you!
Post # 9
My in laws live 4 hours away and visit at least once a month for about a weekend usually. Even though they don’t stay with us, it can be a lot because we usually drop everything to spend time with them and my son’s schedule goes right out the window. My in laws have very strong personalities and I love them but it works better for our relationship to love them in doses. To be honest, I see them enough and can’t imagine seeing them more or for longer periods.
I don’t really have any good advice but I can say that I didn’t have grandparents growing up and I wish I did, even if it was only a yearly visit. I try to remember that my son is blessed to have his grandparents around and I want him to have what I never had, even if it causes me some inconvenience or annoyance.
Post # 10
My dad lives in the Midwest and I live on the west coast. He’s kind of a workaholic so I haven’t physically seen him in about 7 years. My FIs dad lives in South America and hasn’t been back to the states in over 5 years, though there was some talk of him returning to get his wife established here, but that’s it’s own separate issue.
The only one nearby is my mom, and when we have kids I fully intend on letting her borrow them whenever she pleases. She’s an amazing grandma, and I feel bad about how little she gets to see her current grandkids.
Post # 11
I will give you my honest opinion.
Yes, you are wrong for being annoyed at how often she wants to visit. She still is not visiting very frequently. And… she’s your mom! Don’t you want to see her? Visiting grandparents once a year, while that may have been “just fine” for you, is not a great set-up. You don’t really know someone you see once a year. Sounds like she wants a genuine relationship with her grandchild. You should be happy about that. I wish my parents (or in-laws) visited as frequently.
Post # 12
Our parents also live out of town and also wanted to experience every stage with our kids when they were young. At first that was not less than every 6 weeks. By the time they were school age, not less than every few months. To this day, when they visit, it is a huge help for me. In hindsight it really helped the kids have a lasting bond with both sets of grandparents.
Post # 13
+11111 to stillme. I guess I have issues with my parents on the opposite end of the spectrum, It’s like pulling teeth to get them to visit, but I wish mine were willing to actually come see DD.
Post # 14
No you aren’t wrong. Seeing my mom a couple times a year is plenty for me. I know she will want to visit a lot if/when we have grandkids, and I don’t know how I will handle it. She’s not the best houseguest — she doesn’t offer to help cook or clean and complains about how late we eat (we usually aren’t done working until after 7). I dread having her visit when there’s a newborn in the house. My guess is she will want to do all the fun baby stuff and will leave me to do the housework.
It’s okay to set some limits on how often she comes to visit. It might be better for your relationship overall. That is much better than getting annoyed with her and having a huge fight while she is there, for instance.
Post # 15
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
I would try to make the time they each spend with the grandchild even. If your mom spends 4 days, your in-laws should get 4 days. We tend to share or split holidays. If everyone is getting along, we’ll spend Christmas together. If they don’t want to share time, then we spend one Christmas with my parents and the next Christmas with my DH’s parents. We’re all about fairness.
I have also had to put my foot down with my mother staying in our apartment when she comes to visit. We just don’t have the room now that I’m pregnant. We converted our den into the nursery. There’s no room for the blow-up mattress. There’s no guest room or guest bed. I don’t want her sleeping on our couch in the middle of the apartment. It’s just too disruptive. She threw a fit too, but I held my ground and now she’s staying in a hotel. Trust me, if your mom really wants to see her grandchild, she’ll stay in the hotel too.