"Spoiling" new baby arrival

My OH had our second child 2 weeks ago (bouncing boy) and having pulled a back muscle 2 weeks before the arrival (leaving her bed bound) and a cesarean I wanted all to be happy and harmonious for her return home.

Cue my fathers intervention.....

He was top of the list to come and visit his new grandson but was "busy" supervising building work on the Saturday we invited him. As it took him days to respond we had already invited a close friend for the Sunday.

OH rang him on Monday to ask when he was coming to see his grandson, but he had more building work on but might get chance "if the weather was poor so no work could take place"

It was left that he would call us when he was free.

So we hear nothing for 6 days so OH invites her 3 closest friends and I invite my cousin who was in the UK for 2 days to visit on the Sunday.

So Sunday at 1pm he turns up unannounced (without a gift or card I should add). OH asked him why he hadn't called before hand as we had visitors (plus we actually wanted him to have special time with his grandson). He says that he "had a bit of spare time" and had told my cousin he was coming and that if it wasn't convenient he would go. OH asks why he is communicating through my cousin, he mentions inconvenience again and just walks off jumps in his car and goes. Not heard anything since.

He already took it upon himself to tell my aunty when the planned cesarean was, despite me telling him to tell no-one, thus spoiling my chance to tell her. The reason was that she asked what was going on.

I guess I'm more disappointed than surprised. He's never really shown an interest in my 2 year old as has only seen him maybe 10 times. I think a £10 note in an envelope from time to time helps to clear his conscience.

Back to the title, OH has been in tears about this at a time which should be so happy for us. I'm just sad about the whole situation especially when OH's parents are just amazing with the help and support they have given.

He will jet off for a 5 month holiday next month which is the only time he doesn't cause us grief, but I think after a long history of similar "performances" it's could be a step too far this time
I am a Chartered Financial Planner

A
nything posted on this forum is for discussion purposes only. It should not be considered financial advice as different people have different needs.
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Comments

  • TBH, whilst your children are no doubt wonderful and beautiful and special to you, not everybody feels the same way about babies. I've had two that I adored totally, but wouldn't move mountains to visit or spend time with somebody else's. Babies feed, poo and cry, toddlers feed, poo, wee, cry and whinge. When they're about 4, I begin feeling more enthusiastic about children.

    Perhaps your father feels similarly? Was he a full on nappy changing, it's all about the babies type of Dad - or did he get on with working and do very little?

    It does sound like he has tried, but doesn't really know what he is supposed to do.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.
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  • PinkLipgloss
    PinkLipgloss Posts: 1,451 Forumite
    No one can spoil the arrival of your little one UNLESS you allow them to.

    Focus on enjoying this special time.
    "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" (Douglas Adams)
  • If he is behaving as he has always behaved, you are setting completely unrealistic expectations that will always be unfufilled and you will always be disappointed.
    Time to work on changing your expectations.
    I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once
  • JC9297
    JC9297 Posts: 817 Forumite
    Sorry I can't see how your dad calling in to visit unannounced is spoiling the arrival of your son, yes a bit irritating he didn't call beforehand but not that big a deal.

    Also all the issuing of invitations and you being upset that he "spoiled" your chance to tell your auntie about the c-section, it makes it sound like you think your son's birth is the most important thing in the world to everyone, rather than just you and your wife. I think for your dad it is just one of many things that are happening in his life.

    I understand that hormones may make your wife more tearful, but do not really understand why she is in tears that a man who has not made his first grandchild the centre of his world is no different with the second.

    Just be grateful that you have one set of grandparents that are very involved, many new parents, for many reasons, don't have any family on hand to help them. You need to accept that the relationship your family has with your dad is different to that of your wife's parents.

    I suspect if your dad(you don't mention your mum) tried to be as involved as her parents (particularly her mum) your wife would be moaning about interfering. There are regular threads on here from women complaining about her partner's parents attitudes/opinions regarding raising children, whereas their own can do no wrong.
  • fluffnutter
    fluffnutter Posts: 23,179 Forumite
    Unfortunately, your parents are the people they are and no amount of wishing them different helps. I'd keep including him as much as possible - it's important to at least provide an opportunity for him to have a good relationship with his grandchildren - but you can't force him. He has to develop a relationship in his own time.

    Lots of men (sorry for using gender stereotypes) don't really enjoy babies and toddlers that much. Your older child is only two which is still very young. Perhaps your dad will become more involved as the kids get older and he can do more things with them. Does he have a hobby he enjoys (e.g. fishing)? When the boys are a bit older, you never know, they might start enjoying days out with Grandad.

    I also think that your wife's probably shattered, and recovering from her c-section. Emotions are very raw in the first few weeks after giving birth. I expect she'll feel more relaxed about it all in a month or so.
    "Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell" - Edward Abbey.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,557 Forumite
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    claretmatt wrote: »
    He's never really shown an interest in my 2 year old as has only seen him maybe 10 times. I think a £10 note in an envelope from time to time helps to clear his conscience.

    Back to the title, OH has been in tears about this at a time which should be so happy for us. I'm just sad about the whole situation especially when OH's parents are just amazing with the help and support they have given.

    He will jet off for a 5 month holiday next month which is the only time he doesn't cause us grief, but I think after a long history of similar "performances" it's could be a step too far this time

    Congratulations on the baby. Please don't let someone else's reaction in any way upset you.

    With the brief references you make to him, I think you were being unrealistic in expecting him to make an effort to see his new grandchild. Adjust your expectations in the light of past experiences. If he does nothing but cause you grief, think seriously about distancing yourselves from him.

    Your children are lucky enough to have one set of caring grandparents so enjoy that relationship.
  • tea_lover
    tea_lover Posts: 8,261 Forumite
    I don't really get how's he spoiling anything. Ok, he doesn't seem that interested but surely you were expecting that? Maybe he's just not a 'baby' person.
  • Thanks for everyone's input - I guess I hoped that things would be different and that seeing his flesh and blood would mean more to him than plastering. I know now and will let him lead his life how he chooses

    I did put spoiled in quotation marks as it hasn't really spoiled anything. Just a turn of phrase.

    There is more (as always) to my relationship with my father which if I put down might reaffirm my feelings towards this.
    I am a Chartered Financial Planner

    A
    nything posted on this forum is for discussion purposes only. It should not be considered financial advice as different people have different needs.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,557 Forumite
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    claretmatt wrote: »
    Thanks for everyone's input - I guess I hoped that things would be different and that seeing his flesh and blood would mean more to him than plastering. I know now and will let him lead his life how he chooses

    It's very hard when someone so closely related to you doesn't behave as you would expect/hope them to.

    Concentrate on the joys in your life - he's the one who is missing out.
  • peachyprice
    peachyprice Posts: 22,346 Forumite
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    Some people are really just not that into babies and emotional new mothers.

    It doesn't sound like he's behaving any differently than usual so I can't quite understand why you're both so upset by him, I would have expected no different.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
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