I haven’t seen my grandchildren for over a year and it hurts so much

DEAR DEIDRE: I HAVEN’T seen my grandchildren for over a year and it hurts so much, like someone has punched me in the stomach.

My daughter-in-law and I fell out last January because I wanted to pop around with some cakes for the kids and she said it wasn’t convenient. 

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I’m 71 and lost my temper, swearing at her because everything always has to be on her terms. We could only ever see the children when it suited her, when she needed emergency childcare or babysitting.

Now she insists that, until I apologise to her, I can’t see my three granddaughters, who are nine, seven and five. 

She refuses even to speak to me now.

My husband says I have to forget about my grandchildren. But how can I do that? I thought my son would have stood up to his wife on this. I thought we had brought him up to do the right thing.

DEIDRE SAYS: Your daughter-in-law sounds like she wants to control the agenda. But as you have recognised yourself, a grandmother can’t simply forget about their grandchildren.

You need to work out what matters most to you – playing an active part in your grandchildren’s lives and apologising, or being cut out?

You know you shouldn’t have sworn at her, so could you apologise? The key thing is to stay involved with your grandchildren. 

For support and advice, you can contact grandparentsapart.co.uk. 

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