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Day 494

I shouldn't have agreed to this....advice needed....

I made plans with EldestDaughter (35 years) to spend two weeks with her and her daughter (3 years) during the last two weeks of August in a house that I'm renting in northern France.

However, after the contentious week I just spent with them, I'm having second thoughts. All throughout the week I was nervous and upset by their arguing, even though the 3 year old is just acting like a 3 year old.

I want to tell EldesDaughter that I don't want to spend 2 weeks watching them have fights, especially it's because it's she who starts most of them with her impatience and anxiety. She expects the kids to do everything on her schedule, and gets upset if the kid doesn't nap on time or eat what she puts in front of her.

It's not something I want to do for two weeks, and I invited other members of the family to join us, and I'm sure they don't want to see this either.

Should I sent her a message saying that she has to get herself help, because I don't want to spend my vacation with them fighting (and me trying to get them to stop?)

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Show Comments (6)

  • Bettedavis Bettedavis
    5 weeks ago

    Yes or your vacation will be ruined sort it now ....

  • Otter Otter
    5 weeks ago

    I wish I could offer some advice on how to approach your daughter on this, but I'm such a non-confrontational person. However, it does sound like maybe the reason your daughter snaps so easily is because she is lost in her stress. As someone who also gets irrational when stressed - I never liked it when someone asked if they could help me. This is mostly because I felt like I should be able to handle it on my own, and being offered help felt like that person didn't believe in me, which made me more angry - it's silly, but it was how my irrational-stress-brain makes me think. Maybe your daughter is similar? Maybe she gets angry when offered help because she's frustrated with herself and thinks she should be able to handle it all on her own?

    The only thing I can suggest is, instead of offering help, maybe ask your daughter if your granddaughter can come spend a day or two with you? Maybe a sleepover? If you make it sound like you just want to spend some quality time with your granddaughter, and not as an offer to "help", she may accept it more easily. That day or two would give her time to catch up on things - whether she needs to clean her house or just go for a walk in the park by herself to clear her head and have some "her" time. Even if you're too busy to take your granddaughter for an entire day, just taking her for an afternoon could be a blessing. Your daughter may not be able to spend any time taking care of herself if she's always worried about your granddaughter, and sacrificing ALL personal care can lead to a very nasty case of taking it out on your granddaughter without realizing it.

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  • Otter Otter
    5 weeks ago

    Another thing, she could be getting frustrated about granddaughter not following her schedule because it throws her own schedule off. If granddaughter doesn't nap at a certain time, daughter doesn't have the time she was possibly hoping for to do a load of laundry or use the time to do something she is passionate about. If granddaughter doesn't eat at a certain time, it could mean daughter now has to pack a snack for later because they will be out of the house where a meal can't be easily made. Most of my family have their little kiddos on schedules to help plan their day out - when to schedule doctor's appointments, when to take a shower or cook (easier if kiddo is napping), when to plan outings... if the child's schedule falls off track, sometimes the day can get hectic. Not always the case, but sometimes.

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  • miranda_b miranda_b
    5 weeks ago

    You can’t tell someone how to parent their child, as frustrating as it is to watch. I think having a larger group on the trip would provide buffers for each other, but if no one is going to enjoy themselves it’s a waste of time and money to go. Your granddaughter is too young to form memories of the trip so you’re not depriving her of the experience if you disinvites them.
    I’m with Otter... find a way to spend some time with your granddaughter without her mother. Your daughter will probably benefit from some time off from parenting as well. My kids frequently travel with my parents and it is a wonderful bonding experience for them, they will have great memories of their grandparents, and I get a break from being Mom all the time.

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  • RavDiablo RavDiablo
    5 weeks ago

    This is all good advice, but here's the problem: my daughter lives far away, so I only get to see her for a week or two. I actually do take granddaughter out for a few hours when I'm there, but picking her up or dropping her off is nerve wracking. Her mother is an excellent influence on her, and I've contacted her about the issue. But we have 4 1/2 months to sort this out.....

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  • George Smith George Smith
    5 weeks ago

    Oh dear, Rav, what a problem! What does her mother suggest? I think it's a good idea to have others around... and if you are doing the shopping and cooking and entertaining your daughter won't need to fret so much so it will definitely help her and she might get on better with your granddaughter. Not much of a holiday for you, for sure, but it will be for your daughter... ooh la la! What about suggesting she comes just for a week instead of two? I wonder if you could get away with that in a friendly sort of way?

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