Sort of O/T how to deal with awkward Grandmother

Discussion in 'Pregnancy - Second Trimester' started by scuffer, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. scuffer

    scuffer Mum to 3 lovely boys!

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    I'm really quite cross right now and need a vent but also some advice on how to handle my Grandmother. It's a bit of a long story I'm afraid.

    My Nan has always been difficult, she can be rude and mean but can also be lovely and welcoming. I always had an OK relationship with her and used to make a huge effort with her, making sure I called and visited regularly and write when I moved away (this was how to keep her on the nice side!). She has been horribly rude to everyone in the family at some point and always gets away with it as they accept that's how she is. Unfortunately we're probably a bit TOO alike and I won't put up with it. We can't even blame the fact she's in her 80s, she has always been like it.

    Anyway, I was married (for the second time :blush: ) and seperated from my husband. I then got pregnant with a friend's baby. I was in a serious mess all through this period and in the end had counselling which completely changed things for me, I had been so unwell for so many years, I can't even begin to explain the difference it made. During this period I was not in contact with my Nan, not that I was ignoring her, it just wasn't on my list of priorities (this contact things tends to be one way!).

    When I was 4 months pregnant I met my current partner and at about 6 months pregnant we went on a camping trip near where my Nan lives. I called her to say I was in the area and could I call in and see her. She was really short with me and told me off for not contacting her to tell her about the situation, I tried telling her it had been a difficult time and I know it wasn't good enough but I knew my sister and Dad would have kept her up to date. She then told me that my baby was an utter disgrace and it was disgusting. Not my behaviour, but my baby. I was utterly devastated and so angry. I replied that she could hold whatever opinions she wanted but I didn't want to hear them and put the phone down, we haven't spoken since.

    Now my Nan isn't some shy, prudish little granny, I know it was shocking for her but she'd often told me about the amount of rolling about in the hay that went on when she was a land girl and it was lucky she'd never been 'caught out'. So I expected shock but not that response. Though I shouldn't be surprised, as my Dad got a girl pregnant before he married my Mum and she's never recognised the son they had as a grandson and it was kept very quiet :growlmad:

    ANYWAY... My eldest son has just received a Christmas card from Nan with £5 in it (someone else has written the address so it's obviously been sitting around in my cousin's house). I knew it was from her so I opened it before he could see it as I wanted to check the contents first. now I don't know what to do. She's never acknowledged my baby and this is further proof and I am so hurt and angry. Whatever mistakes I've made my little boy is an innocent child and I wouldn't change him or what happened for the world. I firmly believe that you learn through your life expereinces and without him I wouldn't be where I am now and my life is pretty damn wonderful.

    My instinct is to send the card and money back with a letter saying she appears to have forgotten her other great grandson and by the way there's another one on the way. AND she has a grown up Grandson who is the loveliest man you could ever hope to meet (I only found out about him and met him about 7 years ago) and so she also has another 4 great grand daughters (his lovely girls). Or do I just ignore it. It's not like we live close enough for my eldest son to have a relationship with her, it's just this person who sends him a fiver twice a year (I always used to exchange cards with her too), she asked me to stop taking him to visit as it used to annoy her that he was scared of her German Shephards, who were bigger than him. I just don't want such a poisonous person in my life and I hate the way everyone lets her get away with it.

    Sorry it's so long but I really don't know what to do :cry:
     
  2. scuffer

    scuffer Mum to 3 lovely boys!

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    OMG that's huge, sorry.
     
  3. scuffer

    scuffer Mum to 3 lovely boys!

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    Already back with an update, have had a little rant to my Mum (it's my Dad's mum that's the problem) and I've agreed that letting my son have the card and money and him sending a thank you card would be a good thing to do. But I am going to send her a seperate letter explaining how I feel (in a nice way) and that it upsets me that she won't acknowledge her great grand children or me any more.
     
  4. Eliza_V

    Eliza_V Wife and Mummy!

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    Oh honey I feel your pain, you're not the only one with an evil grandmother! Mine has torn my family apart, got her hands on some inheritance money that was meant for me from my Godfather and made my life hell for years before giving it to me (minus £30k of it, mind), was a massive contributor in the breakdown of my Mum and Dads marriage, has driven a wedge between me and my Mum and because of her my Mum didn't come to my wedding, she tried to "buy" my twin sister from my Mum because she looked like her dead daughter (her daughter was unfortunately murdered when we were young, which is very sad.. But she was evil long before this, and now uses that as a reason to be even worse, such as she started blaming my Dad for her death when he didn't agree with something she'd said which was completely unrelated, despite the fact she was murdered in Spain and had moved there to get away from Nanna... She cut of my Dad and his three chiodren from hsi second marriage and said they were "no longer family".. They talk again now though).. She's forever cutting people in and out of her will (her choice, her will.. But she always is saying "you're in/out of my will because of so and so..) She's interfered in my relationships, my sisters relationships (without us knoiwing, mind!) and when I moved in with DH half an hour away she'd told everyone my Mum had kicked me out and I was actually living with her.. She's stirring, interfering, manipulative, and if there's drama anywhere SHE's usually the cause (and it's normally over money or the fact she isn't in control).

    Anyway, sorry about that.. Basically what I've learned to do is keep her at arms length. It's easier said than done I know, and there's always going to be that "pang" of guilt as it were because she's your Nan, but as you say she's not the shy, sweet and caring Nan that we'd all expect. Since she's not got a hold over me financially anymore (and I've moved 200 miles away and am starting my own family) there isn't a lot she can do. She will try and play the guilt trip and say I don't ring her, but then I say she doesn't ring me either. I would ring if it's something important, ie. after a scan to say "baby is fine" so she doesn't hear through the grapevine and get annoyed, and even though it turns into a conversation about her and then she tries to stick her nose into my marriage and how I'm going to raise my baby, at least I can say I did my bit. It sounds like your Grandmother certainly knows how to push your buttons and wants to get a reactionp out of you so she can then say "Oh she's done *insert the horrible things she said about you here*, and NOW she's spoken to me like this and IGNORES me!" to get sympathy. And she is definately a hypocrite too.. What with the rolling around in the hay thing.. Nanna used to tell me stories like that too but it's "never the same" if it's us, is it?

    Anyway I'm blabbing AGAIN.. I think it's best to let it blow over for a while, and then eventually send her a letter with a picture or something in it, just as an update. Say that, despite what horrible things she said about your child, he's still her great-grandson whether she likes to acknowledge it or not. Say that everyone makes mistakes (maybe casually bring up her hay-rolling days) and dwelling on the past isn't going to change them. It's not you that's going to miss out, it's her great-grandson missing out on a relationship with his great-grandmother, and it's not fair on him just because she doesn't agree with how he was conceived. It's not fair for him to be brought up in what is effectively going to be a broken family with certain people only talking to certain people (I have already warned a couple of people in my family that they're either in my life or they're not when my baby arrives, as it's not fair to have people flitting in and out and arguing over you when you're growing up, as I did).

    If she is still nasty, then it's her loss and I suggest you get on with your life. She'll come around eventually and realise what she's missed. Despite what HORRIBLE things my Nanna said to my Dad, years later she apologised and is now back in the lives of her other 3 grandchildren (but as I said, I now keep her at arms length to be safe).

    Best of luck, sorry for the blabbing, and if I can be of any help (even if just for a vent) then drop me a line. xxxx
     
  5. scuffer

    scuffer Mum to 3 lovely boys!

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    Thank you so much vixiepoo, it really helps to hear I'm not the only one with a crazy family situation! I think your suggestion is good and I like the idea of sending a photo. Despite everything I love my Nan and I miss having her in my life.
     
  6. qpaulina42

    qpaulina42 Well-Known Member

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    My grandma is a nightmare and I barely bother with her. I wouldn't even bother sending her a note, just ignore her unless she calls to apologies. I have no patience for my grandma's shit anymore.
     
  7. qpaulina42

    qpaulina42 Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I know I said I have little to do with my grandma but as luck would have it, it was her b-day yesterday so I figured I'd call and say happy birthday. After much pleasantries we start talking about the baby and she tells me that my mother and her husband (grandma is dad's mom, parents are long divorced thank goodness) should help pay for our baby so I can stay home from work. This makes no sense as a) we probably make the same amount of money as my mom if not more cause we have fewer financial commitments b) this is our baby, which we planned for, and waited till we were financially secure enough to have it. Long story short this was just a way for grandma to say that my mom will be a bad grandparent for not helping out, while insulting our ability to support ourselves.
     
  8. scuffer

    scuffer Mum to 3 lovely boys!

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    Grandmothers!

    :nope:
     
  9. Tiffa130

    Tiffa130 first time mom

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    I too have an awful grandmother but for different reasons.

    She's the closest (geographically) relative to me & OH but I never see her (unless she uses my store for free parking)

    I don't give my grandma the time of day unless she is at a family event & then I am cordial. She'll talk behind my back one way or another so I'd rather she talk about me being cold or rude than make up rumors like she used to.

    Unless you are really close to her, I'd say cutting her out is the best option.
     
  10. DragonMummy

    DragonMummy Well-Known Member

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    i have the same thing with my mother - again she's poison. she sends H a card at christmas, i send her photos every now and then. that's that. don't send the card back, just send a thank you card from your son (otherwise you can add "ungrateful" to the list of vile adjectives she's chucking your way) and leave it at that. Moral high ground!
     
  11. scuffer

    scuffer Mum to 3 lovely boys!

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    I really am shocked at how common this seems to be. Thank you all for the advice x
     

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