Question: Dear Luise: My heart is broken this week has been a nightmare for me. I have been a loving Mom and Mother-in -law I stay out off my children’s marriages and keep my opinions to myself. I’m a grandmother of five. My daughter-in law’s father passed this week and my son asks me to baby sit and I did. I wanted to pay my respect at the viewing for her father but when I went to leave, my 15 year-old granddaughter said her mom told her to make sure I stayed there. There was other adult supervision, so it was clear she didn’t want me to go. I just don’t understand. I know they don’t like my boyfriend and that’s OK. I don’t know how to handle this. I know she’s grieving and don’t want to cause a problem now but it hurts me a lot. I’m also there for them to baby sit but now I feel that’s all they want. J.
Answer: Dear J. Good for you for not bringing it up at this time. Your DIL has enough on her plate.
There may be a good reason for her decision. For instance, she may have thought you would bring your boyfriend. Or she may have wanted you to be the sitter in charge because she trusts you the most. Or she may have had some other reason that made sense to her. However, people who are facing such a huge loss often don’t make any sense at all.
Do the best you can to be supportive and let your hurt feelings take second place to hers for now. Down the road a way, you may be able to ask what was behind it, if you think that’s wise…but I’d wait for quite a while before following up on it.
If you are just being used as a free sitter…it’s up to you to decide if that’s OK or not. Some grandparents don’t care, just as long as they get to hang out with the grand kids and some are insulted to be the unpaid help. It’s a point of view…and you always have the choice to not sit for them. You can’t change how they view you, though. That’s about them, not you.
You may want to come over to my web-Forum with this issue to get further input. You can find us at: www.motherinlawsunite.com Blessings, Luise