The Union Democrat
Restrictions on seeing newborns causes family rift
DEAR ANNIE: On July 12, 2022, my son and his wife gave birth to identical twin boys. A week prior, my son said nobody could come to the hospital due to COVID-19. The day the boys were born, my son mentioned that his wife’s parents were there at the hospital with them. I didn’t say anything.
A week after they arrived home, I was on the phone and told him that my daughter and I would be coming up to see the babies. He said, “We’re not having anyone come for at least a month.” I said, “Why can her parents be there and we can’t?” Her parents had been staying there since the birth. He said it was because they quarantined the week before the boys were born. I asked why he didn’t tell me to do the same. He knows how excited I have been since we found out they were having twins because I am a twin. I was so hurt and mad. I told him that I couldn’t believe he thought this was OK and how wrong and hurtful it was! I hung up on him and haven’t talked to him since.
My son and I have always had a good relationship, and I’ve always gotten along with his wife. I recently learned that his wife blocked all my family and friends who followed her on Instagram. I’m not on social media at all. It hurts every day. This is not in his character to be like this. — GUTTED GRANDMA
DEAR GUTTED: I’m sorry that what should be an exciting and joyous time for you as a whole family and a new grandparent has been stressful and confusing. To give your son and daughter-in-law the benefit of the doubt, it’s possible that amidst preparing to bring not one but two babies into the world, they got too caught up to realize how their actions came across to your side of the family. That said, it’s completely fair that you and your daughter felt hurt and left out while the bride’s side of the family was welcomed to this occasion with open arms.
Now that the newness of being parents has settled in and a routine has likely been established, it’s time to reconnect with your son and his family. Enough time has passed and space has been given since the birth that you should be allowed to come see the kids. Reach out to your son and ask when you and your daughter can come for a visit. Assure him that whatever health parameters they have in place still, if any, will be followed. These babies are so loved already and deserve to know both sides of their family.
When the time is right, your visit would also be a good time to speak one-onone with your daughter-inlaw about her social media behavior. Maybe something happened online that you’re not aware of, but either way, it’s odd that she would so blatantly ostracize your family and friends if there weren’t a reason.
DEAR ANNIE: I have never written to you, but the daughter who wrote in as “Concerned for Mom,” whose mom is a homebody and doesn’t engage much in social time now during retirement, could’ve described me. I had a very active career, which I loved and worked at until I was 64. I love being retired and participated in many classes for many years. I lost interest in a few for various reasons, started staying home more and even turned down lunches with girlfriends, too.
I realized I liked staying home, enjoying my home and spending time with my very sweet husband. I am not depressed and am very content at this stage of my life. I also enjoy going to the grocery store, watching my favorite shows on TV, reading, trying new recipes and walking every day. I am 79 and very happy with my life. — LOVING LIFE
DEAR LOVING LIFE: Thank you for your perspective. It’s certainly possible “Concerned” just isn’t used to seeing her mother less active and on-the-go like she was pre-retirement. Though it’s new territory for both mother and daughter, it’s an exciting and liberating start of a new chapter. I hope “Concerned”’s mother is enjoying it as much as you are.