What can be expected from grandparents?

Rachel - posted on 07/03/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Okay ladies...I am beyond frustration. What can be expected from grandparents?


Please forgive the book, but you need to hear the story. My daughter is 11 months old now, and the first, long awaited grandchild on both sides of our family. I know they love her, I hear they brag about her to anyone that will listen. And I do not expect them to spoil her, but they rarely get her anything, nor help with anything we actually need.


The in-law grandma decided to ignore us completely for my daughters first Thanksgiving AND Christmas. She's given her some clothes that she purchased while I was pregnant and a few ceramic collectibles. She sends $5 every time and again in a card only addressed and written to Isabel. The last time we visited her, she showed me the bowls that she'll save for cooking with her when she's ooohhhh...3-5? The other granny will seemingly only shop at garage sales for her. She's bought her a fischer price train and five outfits that she raved about spending a "fortune" on. There are of course the odd small trinket or ball from a shop, crane machine or fair.


Now I don't want to sound ungrateful, but I've seen them give more to other family and friends at baby showers alone. And this is what we get before we hear all about them having $9 grand leftover from a loan, spending $40 for a gallon of paint or getting a entire Wii System for working out, oh and lets not forget the details of the regular full body massages.


What really did it, was that my mom gave my daughter her first birthday present this past June, that she bought this past May. Note my daughters birthday is July 28th and her party is August 1st. They were up for the rare visit and handed me - a plastic kroger bag. Inside, was a 0-6 month latex rubber pacifier; a sippy cup; and...a 24 month romper. All this with the instruction that this was her FIRST BIRTHDAY present.


So lets see, I've long told her Isabel will only take a certain pacifier (and I'm allergic to latex), not to mention she's 12 months now; I've long told her that Isabel will not drink from sippy cups so we've just started her on cups; and she's given her a dress that she can't wear till NEXT summer...all in a plastic kroger bag that they quickly pulled out fishing lures from before they handed me. What do I do? Because this gift is the exact example of what we have come to expect from them. Bupkiss.


Even the hairdresser asks me what great things the grandparents have done for my daughter. To which, I have to lie. The dental hygentist gave her neighbor's 1 year old a $60 toy car and I can't even get them to wrap my daughters birthday present in more then a plastic kroger bag?


I grew up with grandparents that always came thru with the bigger things that parents can't afford with all the costs of daily living. That always had a corner for me in their house. I can't get my parents or in-laws to even get more then a picture of my daughter in thier house. Note...pictures that we bought and sent to them.


My husband and I have kept our mouths closed and cheeks turned but we could use some support or suggestions. Thanks...

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9 Comments

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Dorothy - posted on 07/21/2011

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I am about to become a first-time grandma. I live on the West Coast, while the "kids" live on the East Coast. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to make everyone feel loved & special?

Shayna - posted on 07/07/2009

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I can understand you being upset about grandparents not wanting to be involved in your daughter's life, but I can't really understand being upset about them not giving her things. Would it be nice? Sure. Is it strange that they don't? Sure. But providing things for your daughter is your responsibility, not theirs.
If they are not involved in her life, it's really sad, bc she will miss out on a lot and so will they, but, let's face it, not much you can do about it.
I would lower my expectations on gift giving and just try to include them in your daughter's life. Someone has to be a grown up in this situation. Might as well be you.
Good luck!!!

Dana - posted on 07/07/2009

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I don't worry so much about what the grandparents give my son but my father is the "proud grandpa" who holds the baby while he talks to everyone in the room and pays no attention to the fact that he just let go of the wobbly baby or that he just grabbed food off of his cousins plate ( my son has food allergies). He's getting better now but man, he almost drove me insane.

Heather - posted on 07/06/2009

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Hi - they only thing I can say is that honestly it is their lost not yours or hers. I know you probably feel badly, not so much about the material things but the lack of effort or appreciation on their part. I would just say not to expect a thing. It is when you have expectations of others that you are let down. The giving of grandparents is because it brings such joy to their lives (and I am not just talking material, but giving of their time and thoughtfulness). They are only depriving themselves when they deprive their grandchild of attention. Keep your head up and teach your daughter humility by not giving into their issues. Sorry you are going through this....

Jessica - posted on 07/05/2009

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Wow what can I say. I totally understand why you are upset and confused by thier behaviour particularly when most people are having the opposite problem (grandparents spoiling the kids). My daughter's brithday is the same day as your daughters (what a small world) and as we have moved away from our friends and family we are going to them for her birthday. My mum is throughing her party and is having a ball going over board with decorations. She often buys Marlie a small present when we go visit, has purchased a lot of her clothing and she and my dad came to us for xmas. Marlie got more from them for xmas than she did us...lol! My mum is one of Marlie's favourite people is the world and Nan was one of her first words. Mum even sat down with me and went over ideas for Marlie's birthday present as she want it to be something Marlie would truely enjoy without stealing mine and my partners present ideas.

My to-be mother-in-law on the other hand rarely buys her anything. I realise they have a lot of bills and have three school aged kids themselves but this is their first grandchild. For her first xmas they bought her a small stuffed toy. They complained that we wouldn't travel there for xmas but made no attempt to come to us. If fact they only time they have seen Marlie is when we have taken her to them. I have no idea what their plans are for her birthday.

As for advice on her to deal with it, sorry I dont have any. I just try to ignore it and appreciate the fact that at least they shower her in hugs and kisses when they see her. If it is really getting to you, you could try and mention to them that you are hurt by them not coming to celebrate her birthday but it could cause more trouble than its worth.

Good luck.

Rachel - posted on 07/05/2009

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Thanks you so much ladies. Though I am so glad to know that 1. I'm not crazy for feeling this way and 2. that I'm not alone, how sad is it that we all share this frustration? Blessed be to you all, and here is a wish and prayer that we all see these grandparents "make good" for the years' worth of lacking.

Tabatha - posted on 07/04/2009

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iam in the same bout! my boy will be 1 year in 6days! the inlaws told me that they wont be making it to their ONLY grandchild and tryed to feed me a bunch of B.S. my mother has only seen my boy 2 times in the year! and when my sister came down in april to see my boy she gave me a plastic shopping bag with a few random toys in it, i asked what is this for?!?! my sister said " mom sent it down for owens first bday! and i keep callin my mother and asking are you coming for owens 1bday? and she says no and maybe! pffffff

i love the books she got my boy but the other toys freak him out! lol 2 purple singing elephants! lol

it really sux that NO family will be at my boys first bday! but we will have lotz for friends there!



if feel for you and your hubby it sux when the ppl closest to you arent there to share and support you in this stage of your life!

i love my mom and inlaws but if they dont want to be there then what can you do!?!?!?!

i remeber when my sister had her first and second baby my parents would send money on the kidz all the time taking the kidz all the time. are with me my mother booked lipo for my sone due date then when i had complactions in labour and ended up having an emergancy c-section she would call to see how me or my son where doing! my inlaws booked 2 weeks off and told me befor i had my son that they would be with me for the 2 weeks and i welcomed the help, and they didnt stay with me! and 2 weeks ago my car broke down on the side of the road and i had my son. the next day i found the part that i needed and called my father inlaw and asked if he would go put a depoist down for me and i would pay him back, he said sorry iam too busey! i live in a rual area and so i was stuck at home with my boy! if i needed milk or formula i had to wait till hubby got home!

i called my bff in tears and she said to me "hun does it matter 3days from now, how about 3 weeks or 3 months......... if the answer to any of those is no then its not worth stressing about" its true we need to focus on our family and dont sweat the small stuff! they will be the ones missing out on your baby girl growing up because they grow so fast! this situation is not worth the energy but your baby girl and hubby are :D

i hope this helps or at the very least let you know your NOT alone :) good luck and happy early first bday!!!!

Bridget - posted on 07/04/2009

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At least they are involved to some extent.

In answer to your question, you can expect nothing from grandparents.

My daughter's paternal grandmother didn't meet her until she was 5 months old, wouldn't come to my house for xmas, and has sent her 1st birthday by mail because she is too busy to come and visit (and she got the date wrong by a month)

Samantha - posted on 07/03/2009

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I wanted to you let you know that i feel you on whats going on. My mom does buy sadie things but its the other family members that dont really. My husbands family when we went to visit them this past nov. We were given a box that she told me she would send before sadie was born. Mind you it was a really small box. She as well didnt buy anything or send anything while i was pregnant or for my baby shower. My mom has bought things for sadie and then has also bought the same exact toy that she has multiple times AND she's seen her toys.



Im waiting to see what hubbys family does for her birthday as they are flying out here to celebrate it with us. But i dont really know what else to say. Besides i feel how you feel. It sucks but i dont know how to say anything to people and i dont know if i want to really get on their nerves. with how much crap i've delt with from them i dont really expect alot..

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