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Ask Amy: I feel like my daughter pits us against the other grandparents


dear Amy: My daughter and son-in-law recently welcomed our first grandchild. Both the other grandmother and I have shared part-time babysitting to help the parents with their work schedules.

We have also helped on the weekends when they have social obligations etc.

Recently, it feels like we’re going up against the other grandparents as to how much we’re doing for them and vice versa.

This makes me feel uncomfortable, like I’m being pushed into a corner.

I raised my children with very little help, as we moved frequently due to my husband’s job. The in-laws have roots in the area and many extended family members.

Suddenly it seems we “don’t love them” as much as the other side of the family.

My husband still works and I am caring for an adult son with special needs. We are not getting any younger and I don’t want to participate in this kind of dynamic.

What else can I say and do to affirm myself in a kind way?

I would do anything for my grandson and feel that we are extremely generous with our time and gifts.

We are definitely second choice when it comes to holidays, birthdays and special occasions. He feels like a non-winner, and the resentment only grows.

Tired: To clarify: you are not asking to do less, or more, in terms of child care. You would like to be treated differently by adults.

I suggest you start a calm, open conversation with your daughter, telling her that you love your granddaughter but detect a sense of dissatisfaction in her. Ask him where this is coming from and tell him how this dynamic makes you feel, and the way he frames things.

From the way you describe your experience, your daughter seems somewhat authoritative (and lucky to have so much help). But while she may have been a stay-at-home working mom with very little help raising children, it appears she has a job outside the home.

Although most parenting experiences are actually universal, she will not see her situations as analogous. New parents never do.

You very wisely say that you don’t want to engage in a competitive dynamic with the other set of grandparents.

Don’t ask for “equal time” or even equal attention with other grandparents and long-standing relatives who live nearby. Don’t let your daughter manipulate you (this is not good for either of you).

Ask your daughter to be aware of her tone and your feelings.

dear Amy: My family just received another thank you “form” from a newlywed couple whose wedding we attended.

We gave a very generous gift of several hundred dollars and enjoyed celebrating with them.

However, the envelope was marked only for my husband and not even with the effort of a “Mr.” -just his name.

A different bride-to-be also thanked me for a bridal shower gift in a group Instagram post.

Amy, what’s up? I understand that things are different for this new generation, but is it too much to ask for a personalized thank you?

— Exasperated Gift Giver

exasperated: These “formal” thank you notes provide print language and leave spaces for the grateful sender to fill in the details: “Dear _______, Thank you very much for ________. I ____ you so much. Sincerely/Love _____”

Or there are no fill-in-the-blanks at all: just vaguely worded greeting card thank you strips, using fancy fonts to fill in the space where the real gratitude should lie.

Some of these forms have the personality of a utility bill; receiving them may seem like a smooth and elegant insult.

(I’d rather be tagged in a group Instagram thank you post than receive one of these.)

Having said that, you can’t criticize someone for leaving “Mr.” outside of her husband’s name (and yes, her name should have been included).

Is it better to be thanked this way, rather than not thanked at all?

dear Amy: “woman on the fence” was matched online with a guy she had previously met in person. Your suggestion was nice, but why doesn’t she just tell him to do it and tell the guy that she’s interested in seeing him?

Upset: I accept your point, but the two had met in a professional capacity; my idea of ​​approaching him warmly was to open the door and give him the option of going through it.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson Distributed by Tribune Content Agency


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