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