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Need some advice PLEASE
sunflower1943 posted:
I take care of my grandson who is almost 2 years old - my son and his wife live down the street - I only babysit Mons and Thurs - that's all I can handle as I am 66 years old.

The problem is his wife - he was going to get a divorce from her but think he may not or is weakening - everyone in the family does not like his wife - I'm not going to go into detail but she has always been bad news - has no friends - divorced the first husband but anyway my son is very smart but yet in this regard he is not.

My biggest worry is that as evil as his wife is - I'm afraid she may destroy the relationship he has had all these years with me and my husband - his father - he and his father have had a working relationship for years - his last birthday was a disaster and I'm not going to go through that again next year -

It is my birthday tomorrow - and I feel myself almost falling apart if he does not recognize my birthday or anything - my friend tells me I should ask what day this is but am not sure what to do.

I probably sound sensitive and know I am - am I being too sensitive to feel that I need to have a little respect especially on my birthday - you know birthdays were almost a big thing when I grew up as a child in my own family - it is the anniversary of our existence.

If I'm not remembered even in a small way tomorrow I will be crushed big time. I am almost bracing myself for the worst already. My daughter as always sent me a card and gift and am grateful for that. It is not I want gifts - I just want a remembrance whether it is Happy Birthday or a card or whatever

Am I asking for too much - as you can see I do do a lot for them with babysitting etc but if I make a big argument I could lose seeing my grandson which I am aware of.

But what about "me" and my sensitivity? Do I need to get more of a thick skin or is there reason to be upset.

What do the experts think? I would appreciate a response please. I'll do the right thing if you can tell me the way I should react.

Thank you for listening.
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
You're right; birthdays are special. Unfortunately, life sometimes presents challenges where we can no longer expect what we might have wished. This goes for birthdays, too.

It appears that your son is going through a very difficult time and, I would think, if you were to make an issue of his not recognizing your birthday, if that happens, it will only add fuel to the fire. I think this time, you have to think of the consequences and what the return would be for you. You said that you have your grandson and you want to remain close to him. If you make an issue of any lack of recognition of your birthday by your son, this relationship could be placed in jeopardy. You've already said that your daughter-in-law has issues with family members and that your son is in a tenuous marital relationship. I don't think you want to do anything that would jeopardize your position in his family.

Whatever happens, I know that you will be the good mother you are and remain understanding. I'm sure his mind is full of many concerns and, unless he has always made a point of recognizing your birthday, it may not be uppermost in his mind. Now is the time to be a little more considerate of him and I know that means more personal sacrifice for you.

Your daughter has already shown her appreciation for you and has recognized your birthday and, for that, you can be thankful. I'm sure your husband, too, is thankful that you are his wife and will show it.

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