Grandparents Denied Access to their Grandchildren

Grandparents Denied Access

Grandparents Denied Access

to their Grandchildren

Recent Posts

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

It’s that time of year when all across our nation, mothers are celebrated, honored and loved. Except for those who aren’t… For me, Mother’s Day is the most difficult holiday, for obvious reasons. The other holidays spent without my family are no fun either, but […]

Easter

Easter

Every year when I was a child, my mother took me shopping for a new Easter outfit and, every year, I remember her saying that she hoped that Easter Sunday would be a warm day. In keeping with her optimism, she selected a light dress […]

Self-Forgiveness

Self-Forgiveness

It would be wonderful if my adult child would take a more forgiving view of my sins as his mother. I hope one day he gains insight, learns compassion and grows in understanding about the importance of forgiveness.I recently pondered this conundrum when I suddenly […]

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes Whereon our Savior’s birth is celebrated, The bird of dawning singeth all night long. And then, they say, no spirit dare abroad, The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike, No fairy takes nor witch hath power […]

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Every year at this time, I receive correspondences from estranged parents and grandparents who express sadness about missing their adult children and grandchildren at Thanksgiving. One estranged grandmother wrote that she found herself resenting all the ‘happy, happy people and their happy families.” Her perception […]

Falling Down

Falling Down

Do you ever have days when it seems like every step you take forward is followed by two or more steps backward? After doing my best to keep moving forward with enthusiasm, a sense of purpose and loving kindness for myself and others, I am faced with […]

Lessons My Dog Taught Me About Play

Lessons My Dog Taught Me About Play

When was the last time you rode a bike, drew a picture, played cards with friends, swung on a swing, giggled, juggled, bought a yo-yo, walked barefoot on the beach, roasted marshmallows, skipped down the street, wore a silly hat to the grocery store…. ? […]

Mother’s Day Hangover

Mother’s Day Hangover

Boy oh boy, what a pain in the neck Mother’s Day is for me. After a restless night’s sleep, I woke up with a pit in my stomach and a pain in my heart. Sudden remembering: Mother’s Day. Again. Everywhere I looked, I saw men […]

Mother’s Day Comes ‘Round Again

Mother’s Day Comes ‘Round Again

Mother’s Day. Not exactly my favorite holiday. I spend most of the time wondering if I’ll hear from my son – will he text, call even? Most years now, I receive a nod in the form of a brief text, which is fine, but a […]

Doing My Best

Doing My Best

The longer this strange and terrible estrangement goes on, the more blind corners and hairpin turns I come up against. I think I’m doing ok, then I receive a video or see a picture and I feel like I’m skidding off the road into a […]


Most Popular Post

My Story

My Story

The day my son got married, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. From all appearances, it was a lovely, lavish wedding, but there was an undercurrent that I couldn’t identify. At the reception, my family and I were directed to a corner table, under an EXIT sign and I soon became aware of a certain aloofness on the part of my son’s new wife and her family. I knew then that my new daughter-in-law would prove to be a challenge.

I worked hard to be a non-interfering, supportive and loving mother-in-law. I deferred to my daughter-in-law on all matters concerning her and her children. I learned, early on, that it would be smart to keep my mouth shut. I got it: They are her children, not mine.

Unfortunately, she led a campaign of criticism against me. She peppered my son with distortions and vitriol. I was often accused of saying things I didn’t say and doing things I didn’t do. My son, understandably, felt trapped in the middle and wanted his wife to be happy, so he went along with her. As time went on, I did all I could to stay alive in the nerve-wracking game I found myself forced to play. But the rules kept changing and in the end, I lost.

Early on, following the birth of their first son, I was abruptly shut out of their lives. Due to a misunderstanding, which, under normal circumstances would have been solved by a simple conversation, I was told that in order to see my grandchildren, I had to sign a contract. This contract defined the terms of visitation. I was allowed every third Christmas with them and if I said anything that they didn’t like, they would disallow visits with the baby and future children they might have. It was shocking, unreasonable and based on misperceptions and lies. But, ultimately and under duress, I signed it because I was told that if I didn’t, I’d never see my grandchildren again. After about ten months, (during which I was only allowed short, supervised visits with the baby in case I was planning on kidnapping him!), we came to an understanding and there was relative calm for awhile.

Then, several years and three more children later, they suddenly cut me out of their lives AGAIN. One day, with no previous communication or warning, I received a phone call from a man who introduced himself as my son’s “family therapist.” This therapist stated that my son and daughter-in-law wanted me out of their lives. He told me that my son didn’t want to talk to me about it, that he didn’t love me and that his marriage was less stressful without my presence and my ‘drama.’ There was no explanation, no incident was cited. I had rendered absolutely no abuse upon their children, had only loved and cherished them, yet I was blocked from them and from any family connection.

My ‘story’ is heartbreaking. However, I’m less interested in listing all the offenses and injustices at the hands of my son and daughter-in-law, than I am in sharing my process of healing and recovery.

I have grieved, cried and howled at the moon at the inequities of the events that have resulted in being alienated from my grandchildren. They are growing up without knowing me, their paternal grandmother, which sears my heart. But, I have come to understand that, try as I may, I can’t fix it.

I can only ‘fix’ myself.