They Have Hurt Me

Question: Dear Luise: How can I let my son and daughter in law know how hurt I am right now, without totally destroying our relationship?  My daughter in law was due to have my second grandchild 6 days ago. The first day past the due date, I called to let her know I was going shopping but if she needed me I had my cell phone on. Thirty minutes later my son called and told me that no one was going to be called until several hours after the baby was born; they wanted their “private time” with him. Then after I got home there was a very lengthy mass email from the daughter in law stating that no one should come to the hospital until the day after the baby was born and they should call before coming since the nurses station would be instructed to check with them before letting anyone come back. She also went on to say that the 2 1/2 year old granddaughter should be the first one to see her baby brother. This is not possible until after they go home since the hospital has restricted children’s visits to age 5 or older. I am completely devastated by this email.  We were not told we could not come to the hospital to await the birth of my grandson. When my granddaughter was born her mother and I, along with her grandparents and my husband, were in the waiting room, I got to see my granddaughter over a hour after she was born, then out in the hallway for about 10 minutes.  The next day was the next time I visited.  This could very well be my last time I experience the birth of a grandchild, another daughter in law had a tubal ligation after a previous marriage. My husband is not the emotional/personal type and says it is their decision.  How can I let them know how much they have hurt me? B.

Answer: Dear B.: Please say nothing. It is their decision. Take the “I” out of it. Go for the bigger picture and pray that this grandchild arrives alive and well. Then, get in line.

The parents are young and put off letting everyone know their preferences until the last minute. Perhaps it would have gone more smoothly if they had tackled the issue earlier or maybe they feared not having their decision respected.

They did it the other way last time and they want to do it differently this time; end of story. You don’t have to be unemotional and impersonal to see this, you only have to be wise. Step back and give them some room, let go of how you think things should be handled and thank your lucky stars that you have them in your life. Blessings, Luise

One Response to They Have Hurt Me

  1. M. June 26, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    wow B, I read this and was very shocked at your attitude towards “YOUR” new grandchild.

    What you seem to have forgotten somewhere along the line is that he is your son and DILs child first, your grand-daughters brother second, and you and the other grandparents and relatives come in a VERY distant third place.

    Although you personally enjoyed the birth of your granddaughter, you have no idea whether or not your DIL did – perhaps she felt her privacy with her new baby was being invaded, with all those people waiting outside for her to finish – it must have been an awful lot of pressure for a first time mother.

    Certainly when I had my first child, I wanted to be left well alone until a few days afterward, until I was feeling a bit more human, rather than having my precious child ripped away from me to be handed round a waiting queue of grandparents and cousins and whatnot outside.

    It seems to me that your husband is right – it is THEIR choice. Nothing to do with you at all I am afraid. Please give your DIL some space to bond with her new little family. If you push too hard on this issue (and it really is only a couple of days, lets be realistic here) you may end up upsetting your DIL so much that she wont want you to see the new little one at all.

    Please understand this is NOT about you – this is about the Mother to be, and the daddy to be, and the sister to be. Their wishes are paramount here.M.

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