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Grandparents and visits?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

We live on one side on the US, and our families and my step daughter lives on the other side of the US.

My SD lives with her mother.  They go and visit my mother on occasions, ie birthdays, holiday, softball games.  My mom really doesn't call too much.  I pretty much ask the questions and my mom asks me to call and ask if she can come or if they can come over.  My mom would call, but she is the shy type, so I pretty much just take care of it. I have a pretty "normal" family, other than my Grandmother with Dementia now lives with them.  That really keeps my parents busier than they use to be.  So are not as involved as they once were.

On the other hand, my husbands family is not what you would call "normal".  It took me a long time to trust them.  Not that I trust them all now.  His dad was the craziest of the bunch, but after being in a coma for months, he has really changed his life around.  I do trust him now, but I have been around him enough when he lived with us while learning how to put shoes on and take care of himself again. 

Now, my SD's mom does not trust them.  She grew up about the same way that I did.  My husband feels like they have tried to be involved in her life, but voicemail after voicemail with no return call gets old.  He does ask her to call back, but asking is all he can do.  They are wanting to be involved, but I couldn't say that I would just do it if the roles were switched honestly.  It is really bothering my husband that his grandparents are getting so old and they are asking to see her.  I would prob do the same thing if the roles were reversed, so I can't help him.  I know it is wrong, but what do you do? 

Now the 90th bday party is very soon, and they want her to atleast attend that.  I can't get her mom to answer mine or his calls.  He did text her about it, but she doesn't text back.  What do you do.  Now for this, I would prob let mine go if someone I did trust was with them.  But for this occassion, I would prob say for 2 hrs max, and I'll be back to get them.  See the problem is for my husband is his dad lives right down the road from her, so he sees no reason she can't go.  He gets mad at me for not liking his family, so I can't tell him that I agree with her.  That is just a fight that I am not going to have b/c of his ex.  We have enough without this one.  So what do you do?  Ultimately, it is her decision b/c he is not there.  But his grandparents haven't seen her in so many years, but his dad lived with us for a few years and she does love him. Yeah, I just don't know what I could do.  Any suggestions?

post #2 of 8

You and your husband might feel that the mom should trust the grandparents, or that your SD would be comfortable going off with them for a few hours. Clearly the mom doesn't agree. The best thing your husband or his parents can do is try and open a conversation with her, where they're asking her opinion, asking what she would be comfortable with. And be willing to start there. Let the mom take the lead. She might be cutting the grandparents out completely, and I don't know what you should do then, but it's entirely possible the mom wouldn't mind her daughter knowing the grandparents, she just needs for the visits to happen in a way that feel safe to her. Asking to meet at a coffee shop or playground is a lot less threatening than asking to take her somewhere. make sure the grandparents know not to make any manipulative or passive aggressive comments to your SD, that will only hurt her.


My ex's parents have taken me to court over 'grandparents rights' and I can tell you from experience that being pushy about it did them NO good. I know you haven't mentioned court, but it tells you right there the attitude I was dealing with. If I had been approached with respect and asked "We'd like to see the kids, is there a way that can happen? Would you be comfortable if we all met somewhere?" etc, it could have started a relationship based on respect and trust... but instead they repeatedly sent cards addressed to the kids saying "We will pick you up at so-and-so" without checking with me or acknowledging that I even existed... I felt bullied and harassed. There were times that I took the kids out for the day because they'd insisted they would show up and home didn't feel safe. In the end, the court order that we got gave them the exact level of access I was comfortable with, and I have no plans of ever giving them more... they destroyed any chance that I'd every trust them.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Mummoth, I completely agree with you.  Like I said, I think I'd do the same in her position.  The problem is her not answering calls from them, or us for that matter, to ask about going to the park, or something public at all.  So the 90th BDay party is a stretch.  I know she feels like she doesn't owe them anything, b/c they haven't been apart of their lives or done anything for her.  The only time she goes to my mom's is when I tell her my SD has presents over there.  My mom buys so much for her.  She was the first grandchild.  She def takes her by there. 

As far as his family, they struggle to keep the lights on much less buying anything extra.  I completely don't blame her for having the feelings of not owing them anything.  This question is more to help my husband.  He is lost b/c the mom is avoiding him about it all.  He talked to his daughter and she said she'd like to go, but sometimes she says what we want to hear b/c she wants to be that perfect angel all the time...  So we don't know if she feels differently cause her mom wont talk. 

post #4 of 8

Seriously? Dad needs to get off his butt and start dealing with his child's mother. It is ridiculous that he expects you to take care of all of these issues. 'Cayuse I have to tell you - if *my* kids' stepmom was doing all that you are? I'd tell her where to get off and tell my ex to get on the stick. Oh wait.... I think I have.


Really - you need to step back and make him step up to the plate. Yes, the child may suffer some for it, but that is on your husband.


ETA: If she won't answer texts, he can call her. Or snail mail her. Or... have his daughter see his parents on his time. Mom really should not have to give up her time for his (or your) family.

post #5 of 8
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

Seriously? Dad needs to get off his butt and start dealing with his child's mother. It is ridiculous that he expects you to take care of all of these issues. 'Cayuse I have to tell you - if *my* kids' stepmom was doing all that you are? I'd tell her where to get off and tell my ex to get on the stick. Oh wait.... I think I have.


I had to laugh




post #6 of 8

I'm glad you got a laugh, WorkingMom... I'd laugh, too, if it weren't for the fact that it has done no good. Our daughter and her Dad are not currently on speaking terms (for many reasons), and I have tried to talk to him about it. He won't talk to me at all, and has his wife respond. Well... I wasn't married to her, and I sure as all heck didn't create a child with her.


Sorry, OP - didn't mean to hijack.

post #7 of 8

I'm with mtiger on this one.


And why in the world does it truly matter that she come to his 90th birthday party? If her father isn't coming, then why should she? I think you are asking a lot of your SD's mom to let her go with your mother to an event where she doesn't really know anyone. It would be awkward for your SD and it is obviously not something her mom is willing to agree on. And I can't blame her. You don't even like your dh's family, so what is the problem? Let it go and don't try to make her go. I am pretty sure her mom won't allow it but you shouldn't be pressing this issue IMO.

post #8 of 8

Why can't Dad take her to visit his parents/grandparents on his time? Why couldn't the 90th bday party be planned for a time when she'll be with Dad?

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