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Irrational Resentment


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I am about to show you what a very bad person I can be.

My Mother-in-law emailed me today to ask me when Carolyn's birthday is. She will be a year old next month.

It made me SO ANGRY. I have my share of "Mother-in-law issues" anyway... and this just seemed to be one more example of her just not THINKING...

And I realized as I was thinking about why I was *So ANGRY* that I'm really struggling with not feeling resentful that she gets to be the Gramma... and my Mom does not.

My Mom would have been the cool Gramma. My Mom would have, as my Daddy just said, spent thousands of dollars just to go see Carolyn and any other grandchildren I may bring into the world anytime she wanted just because she needed a 'grandbaby fix.' She'd have been the one to talk to them about anything--even things that Gramma's aren't 'supposed' to talk about. She would have taught them to laugh at life and to be strong. She'd have taught Carolyn to know that women are strong and can do so much and should have the opportunity to make choices. And she's not here.

Now... I know my MIL will have many things to offer Carolyn as well... But I get so frustrated as it is about how thoughtless she can be towards my husband (her son). I think she will be a very sweet Gramma when she is around Carolyn, and I know Carolyn will care for her a lot.

But it's hard to not just feel resentful. It just seems unfair. They should BOTH be able to be Gramma....

Especially since MY MOM would have been the COOL Grandma.

Ok. I'll go back to trying not to be catty now.

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Boy we could trade MIL stories until the cows come home. You didn't say how you answered the e-mail, and I am dying to know.

You just have to wonder about someone that doesn't remember the birth date of their grandchild don't you? Unfortunately, I can tell you from experience this won't be the last time she pushes your buttons.

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Hey Val.....I remember......and I am cool 8) !!!!

Love to you and Carolyn,


PS: It really ISN'T fair, I know.....and I am so SORRY!!!!!! Through you, Val, I am certain Sweet Carolyn will come to know the true essence of her dear Grandma (((((Val and Carolyn))))

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I feel so sad for you. It is so hard not to feel resentful. I sometimes resent the fact that my grandchildren will not remember my husband.

Go easy on your MIL though, she may be getting a little forgetful, and, at least she did phone and ask for the exact date, so that she wouldn't forget Carolyn's birthday altogether!

It would be wonderful if you could write a special story about your Mom for your little girl. You can read it to her when she is old enough and then she will know just how cool her grandma was and how much she loved her.


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Oh Val, I sure remember those feelings. For the 2 years following my moms death it seemed like everyone I saw I thought didn't deserve to be here more than my mom did. My daughter was 2 and my mom always talked about taking her on her first roller coaster ride and all the other Kool things. Well when I took Nikki on her first roller coaster(and I don't like them) I told her her Gramma Linda wanted to be the one to take her. I think I mourn more for the loss my daughter has had than my own and i wish so bad she could remember her but she only knows what I tell her, So...I always keep pictures out and we go to the cemetery and I always tell her stories of her Gramma. My heart aches for you and I am so sorry you and your prescious daughter have had to lose so much. You are not a bad person, You are human and allowed to be angry.

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Oh Val, thank you for opening up a subject that I thought I was alone in. I realy did think I was just evil.

My MIL lives with us and she has dementia, incontinence and mobility issues. I am proud of us for taking care of her, but she complains about "I wish I could do that" when I am bent over or walking. Her Drs. say that alot of her problem is mental. She has apparently been a lover of pity all of her life (the total opposite if my family and how I was raised). Sometimes I want to just scream "Then do it!!" Here my mom is laid up in a nursing home, fighting for her life and MIL can do it if she tries and won't. MIL fakes tremors for attention and it drives me batty. I literally have to walk away from her. It is very hard to see my mom struggling for life and not complaining, yet MIL has a better quality of life than she has in years and does not appreciate it.

I feel for you Val. We have to lift the boys up to kiss mom in bed and she said the other day "I just want to play with the boys again." Kills my soul, so I know how you feel.

Either we are both caddy or just plain human!!! Thanks again for your post. XOXOXOXO to you.

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I think the most heartbreaking thing about losing my Dad for me is that he will not be hear to watch my children grow. He was such an important part of their lives, and it seems so unfair that he can't be here for them. I know that this was one of the hardest things for my Dad to accept. It broke his heart.


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If you are a "bad person" for dissing your MIL then you are going to be at the back of a very long line!

As a grandmother my MIL is way back of the field, she can't forget my daughter's birthday because it's the day after hers but she has taught me a very valuable lesson.........how not to grandparent.

Grit your teeth, you can get through this and you'll keep your Mom's memory alive and well for Carolyn.


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Val, I truely understand how you feel, but I, on the other hand, have a great MIL. She doesn't get into our business and likes to see the boys as much as possible. But, my problem is that Nicolas, he's 7 yr. old, wants my mom back really bad right now. He has been crying a lot about wanting Grandma Net back; sometimes even in front of my MIL. My mom was the one to play in the dirt with them or have water gun fights with. She is more "refined" for lack of a better word. She likes to color with them and read to them, or do puzzles. This worked out really well when mom was well, they got the best of both worlds! Now, the boys miss the more physical activities with mom. Yes, they get to do these things with their grandpas, but it was special with mom. "Grandmas just don't do those things." That's what Nicolas says.

Now to make matters worse, Nicolas has been thinking a lot about death, and is scared he or my husband and I are going to die soon. He said he would miss us to much like he does Grandma and he hates how it makes him feel. He wants to see her, touch her, and I can't think of a way to help him through this in words so I just sit and hold him and let him talk and cry. I hurt SO much more for his lose than my own.

I was told once that Nicolas has an old soul and that he has the emotions of an adult but he has trouble understanding them because of his age. How can I help him when sometimes I think he knows more than me.

I guess I'll just pray on it for all of us.

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Brian's mother is difficult at best....He was an only child........

If you guys see me getting to be a bitter old woman, please please please slap me.

Brian was the best and the favorite and the beyond all imagination cool grandpa w/ the cool car and the patience to sit and play Barbie UNO for hours.............and with more legos than any of the kids ever thought of having. He let them touch his baseball cards and honk the horn on the '56. He played checkers for hours with Gabby and understood about the difference in Barbies and Bratz. He liked the 'Rainbow' my little pony and knew the names of the tele tubbies. On top of that he taught them the ranking of poker hands on the draw poker slot machine in the basement. He taught them about which grit of sandpaper to use when they helped him refinish the lovely Gershner Boxes he left for his daughters and he would let them eat ice cream for dinner. He let them help feed 'his' critters and taught them how to be gentle with old dogs and old people. He loved that I had grandSONS and enjoyed sharing his antique Lincoln Log Sets w/ them. He never said 'don't touch' or sit still, or shhh. The only thing that drove him nuts was when they drug their hands along the wall as they came down the staircase. He spent a lot of time wiping the wall down or touching up the paint and pretending to be cranky about it.

NO one can take his place with the grands. Who else would play catch and throw the ball higher and farther than any other grandpa while having to throw w/ his prosthetic hook???? Who else would sleep on the couch so that all of 'us girls' could have a slumber party in our big bed?

Geez, I miss him, and I really really get your feelings of resentment.

I think that the folks who are less than cool really wish they could be like your mom...........

Lots of love


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Hey Val,

Catty is not the word I would use for your feelings... it is sadness. Sadness that your MIL can't appreciate the gift she has been given to be here to watch Caroline grow... Sadness that your Mom, would have CHERISHED any time she had with Caroline. Why does life seem to work out that way sometimes? Makes no damn sense does it?

I for one, plan on being the cool Grams.... I don't want to miss a second of that little boys life. I thank God daily that he lives so close to me and that I can see him daily if I choose too (and most days I DO!!) I will have the priviledge of taking care of him on Fridays while my daughter works and I can't wait to share his life with him, and my life experiences... oh the fun we shall have. I feel sorry for anyone who can't appreciate the gift they have been given in grandchildren - it is truly their loss!! Are you catty???? no way my friend, simply honest!!! Love, Sharon

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Wow...and here i thought i was the only one who got catty about that particular subject. My MIL is the sympathy-seeking kind of person, and her views on alot of things in life are the complete opposite of mine and Mom's, too. I get irritated so often thinking of Sabrina going through the years of growing up without my mom to balance the other grandmother's words and actions. And i worry.

((Val)) Just love her, and your love with carry your mom's love right to her! (And...lol...my MIL couldn't even remember it was Sabrina...called her Samantha for almost a year, then just switched to Angel :roll: )

With all my love to you and that precious baby girl!

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