Grandma “Pushed to the Sidelines” Needs Grandma Lessons

Screen-shot-2013-02-13-at-11.44.43-AM-570x468Dear Abby, Miami Herald, June 19, 2013 seemed to put the onus on the parent of the grandchild-to-be to rescue the grandma who perceived she was pushed to the sidelines:

Dear Abby:  My son married a sweet girl three years ago, and I thought we would become a close family.  I haven’t bothered them at all.  Since then, she has become cold and distant to me.  My son rarely calls or comes around.  They are expecting their first child soon.  I have been left out of all the excitement of the baby.  She has not invited me to the baby showers of to see the nursery, etc.  I know its not all about me, but I would like to be included.  My side of the family doesn’t seem to matter to her or my son.  Because he doesn’t stand up for me, I fear I will never get to be close to my grandchild.  I don’t want to upset them, but how do I handle this?  Sad Grandma-to-be

Dear Abby’s answer. Talk to your son about your feelings, and ask if there is a reason for his wife’s behavior.  Then ask if he WANTS you to be a part of his child’s life, because the way things are going, it doesn’t appear to be the case.  That you haven’t been invited to the baby showers is terrible, but nothing will change until you bring your concerns out into the open.  I’m sad to say your problem isn’t unusual, and it usually happens in marriages where the husband is afraid or unwilling to talk about uncomfortable subjects and prefers to avoid confrontation.

I usually love Dear Abby’s answers.  This time I think her answer falls short.  I agree that all uncomfortable subjects should go to your child, not the parents together or to the in law child.  However, this uncomfortable subject will still go no where.  The change must come from the Grandma.  If this Grandma knows nothing, it is she who is the problem.   The Grandma did not get pushed to the sidelines.  She moved to the sidelines herself.

Grandma lessons is what this Grandma needs.  This Grandma should say nothing.  This Grandma should DO a lot.

From the time of the announcement of pregnancy, a Grandma can be excited and involved without bothering the new parents-to-be.  See this Grandma’s advice:

See the first  Grandma tips upon learning of the pregnancy.  Click here.

See how a Grandma-to-be can be involved immediately, but not bothersome or intrusive:  Click here.

Never Say No and see how popular grandma-to-be becomes instantly.  Remember pregnancy brain affects both mother-to-be and father-to-be.  Say yes to everything.  They will remember the no, but forget what you said yes to.

Never say No 2 is a little premature, but the Grandma who perceives she has been pushed to the sidelines needs all the help she can get.

Yes, it is the responsibility of the Grandma to be proactive.

It is not too late for this Grandma to create a coupon book to deliver to the parents to be, within financial limitations and constraints.

It is not too late for this Grandma to buy all the little items left on the baby registry that are usually left!  This gift is most appreciated.  Forget the past hurt.  Concentrate on future joy and involvement.  If this grandma wants to hit the jackpot and go to the top of heap, take a look at this post which is an expensive way to get to the top.

There are so many blogs in the Archives that are of assistance to the Grandma who feels like she has been pushed to the sidelines or to avoid being pushed to the sidelines altogether.  However, I think this next blog shows how to be the perfect mother-in-law.  Just follow this example and the grandma’s child will never have to be put in the uncomfortable position of saying, “Mom, you reap what you sow.  You have chose not to bother us, so we have chosen not to bother you.

Anyone can change, especially when the reward is a close relationship with a grandchild.  The grandma who perceives she has been pushed to the sidelines can reach the goal line.  Change is rewarding and Grandma Lessons bring

Joy,

Mema

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