Problem with My Daughter-in-Law

A woman seeks advice about how to get past the fact that her daughter-in-law terrible embarrassed her.

What Would Debbie Do?

My Daughter-in-Law Embarrassed Me

Dear Debbie,

My son and daughter-in-law had their first baby in October, and when I went to touch the child my daughter-in-law said I needed to wash my hands first. The way that she said it, combined with the fact that her parents were in the room, really hurt my feelings. It made me feel like I was dirty, and to this day I haven’t held my grandbaby.

My son seems to be mad at me and I don’t know what to do. I went to their house to deliver food I had made myself, and I still wasn’t asked if I would like to hold her. My daughter-in-law called me after I had phoned my son on his birthday, and she ripped me a new one for something extremely petty that I had said. They haven’t had anything to do with me or my husband since. My daughter recently came to visit me for three weeks and disclosed the reason behind the shunning: They didn’t want me holding the baby because I had two sores on the side of my mouth at the time, due to stress.

What do you think I should do? I don’t mind apologizing but I need to know what I did to upset them so. I have tried calling at least four or five times, and they never answer my calls. Please help!

–Verna

Dear Verna,

I think you’re taking this way too personally. While I would imagine your daughter-in-law was less than gracious when she asked you to wash your hands, I think if you recall just how obsessed you can become about a first time baby, and its health, you will see that she did not mean to offend you — she was just protecting her new baby.

Since then, however, it seems like you’re the one who is running with this. Not holding the baby to this day seems a bit extreme, don’t you think? I feel it’s best if you get over her comment, get involved with your new grandbaby, and put this behind you. It’s not only silly, but it’s hurting you and your relationship with your son. Take the high-road … that’s what I would do.


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