When me and your son first decided to go our separate ways it was all so much up in the air and a lot was said in the heat of it all, but one thing in particular that you said as you were crying quietly down the phone to me one night, will always stay in my mind.
You told me that you were scared because you thought that because I’d split up with your son, I wouldn’t let you see Charlie and Elsie as much, if at all.
You thought that because his and my relationship had broken down and he wasn’t wanting to see them both himself, that I would do what you’d heard so many people do and that is to limit how much time you get to spend with them.
Maybe even alienate you completely.
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“It upset me so much that you felt even the smallest bit of fear about it.” Source: The Student Nurse mummy
I remember feeling so confused in that moment
It took my breath away a little with the sadness of it all.
I didn’t understand why you could ever think that.
It wasn’t your fault and as far as I was aware you hadn’t lost your ability to be an amazing Nanna to them overnight just because mine and your son’s relationship status changed.
It upset me so much that you felt even the smallest bit of fear about it, but actually after looking into it and living through some personal experiences I can sadly see why that fear was there in the first place.
That sort of fear shouldn’t even be a thing but it stems from the reality of many parents around the world who sadly feel the need to use family alienation in order to exert their ownership of the child/children caught in the middle.
It is something I will never understand or be on board with and quite frankly to me, seems like a very subtle, yet damaging form of child abuse.
I wanted to write this letter and take this opportunity right now Jackie, to let you know that as Charlie and Elsie’s mama, my one job in this world is to keep them safe from harm and make sure they grow up feeling loved and secure in the knowledge that they will never be alone in this world.
To me, stopping you from seeing them just because their daddy, your son, didn’t want to have a relationship with them himself would have been removing a whole lot of love and security from their lives, leaving nothing but hurt and confusion.
“I will continue to let them spend the long weekends with you that they love so much.” Source: The Student Nurse mummy
To me, if I did that then I would have failed as their mama
I want you to know that my door will always be open for you to come and see them, and the kettle will always be on for us to have a catch up, too!
I will invite you to every sports day, class assembly, school play and weekend football game, and promise to never, ever choose bitterness over love and deny you that.
I will call you every time they do something amazing in school and inundate you with photos and videos of all the moments I’ve captured when you weren’t around.
We can chat for as long as you want about how they’re growing up so quickly and how lucky we all are to get to see our little people become the incredible bigger people they’re becoming.
I will continue to let them spend the long weekends with you that they love so much, and will listen with a smile when they come home and tell me about all the amazing memories they’ve made with you. (You’re much more fun than me!)
The photo of your dad and Charlie as a baby will stay on my mantelpiece exactly where it’s always been because the fact he had a Grandpa who loved him so much hasn’t changed, whether it’s his Grandpa on their dad’s side or mine.
The family photos under my bed of you as a child and the extended family on your side will continue to come out whenever they feel like looking at them and laughing at their Great Auntie Pat’s cool tracksuit back in the day.
I will continue to FaceTime you every other day so that you can all have a catch up and they can tell you about everything they’ve been up to during lockdown.
If you ever want to call them unannounced just to tell them you love and miss them then I will always answer the phone and pass them straight over because I know they love and miss you, too.
I will make sure they write you out a card and help them choose you a little something special for every birthday, Christmas and Mother’s Day until they’re old enough to do it themselves.
“You’re their Nanna and that won’t ever change, not through anything.” Source: The Student Nurse mummy
I’ll always write one out from me, too!
I just need you to know that I will always be the biggest supporter of the amazing relationship they have with you and will never talk you down or make out you’re any less important than the family on my side.
You’re their Nanna and that won’t ever change, not through anything.
For as long as you are the fun, super-loving and kind Nanna that you always have been then I will always be the first in line to tell them both how lucky they are to have you in their lives.
So please if you’re going to worry about anything, don’t let it be that there may ever come a time where I don’t let you be as big a part of their lives as you’ve always been.
They love you, and I love you very much, too!
Besides, I could never go too long without one of your sausage meat plaits! Let’s be realistic here!
All my love,
Your ex-almost-daughter-in-law and the mamma to your grandbabies
This article was published here and has been republished with permission.
“So please if you’re going to worry about anything. They love you, and I love you very much too!” Source: The Student Nurse mummy