She’s not part of the family!

A letter writer is flying out her son to see his grandmother, but she doesn’t want him to bring his wife.

Our elder is not impressed with this attitude.

Dear EWC

My mother is 85 years old and not well. She hasn’t seen my sons in five years. I’m planning to fly them one at a time to have some one-on-one quality time with their grandmother. This may be the last time they see her. My youngest son wants to bring his wife with him when he goes. I’ve asked him not to do this. I feel he should use this time to focus on his grandma. My daughter-in-law is not close with my mother. What is the right thing to do, and why won’t he go without her. When I ask him he just says she’s a part of the family too.

Folk replies

You are doing a truly wonderful thing for your mother as well as for your sons. By arranging these visits, you are giving them all the precious gift of time together. You obviously care deeply about family. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be doing this. But your son is right: your daughter-in-law is a member of your family too.

I understand that you want mom to be able to have quality time with each of your sons and that you are afraid that this won’t happen if your daughter-in-law is present. But I don’t think that this is true. Although your son may not admit it, he may need his wife along for emotional support. He may find the prospect of visiting his grandma difficult, knowing full well that this will probably be the last time he will ever see her. If your son will be happier and more comfortable having his wife with him, it will make the visit more pleasant for both him and your mother.

My advice to you is not to fight your son on this issue. Instead, tell him that after thinking it over, you agree that his wife’s accompanying him is a good idea. The important thing, after all, is that your son sees his grandmother before it is too late. It may be a good thing that your daughter-in-law is not very close to your mother; if she were, she would be more affected by the emotion of the visit and thus less able to be there for your son to lean on. Also, as a woman, she may be able to help your mom with things that your son may not be comfortable helping her with.

You have already let your son know that you feel that his spending one-on-one time with his grandmother is important. And he has heard you. Now, you have got to trust him. Just because his wife will be with him does not mean that he and your mom will not be able to have time alone together. It just means that his wife will be there for him if and when he needs her.

I hope this helps. Please write back and let me know how things work out. I will be thinking of you.

Letter #: 424990
Category: Family

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