Ask Amy: ‘Mama bear’ might want to hibernate
– Mama Bear
Dear Mama Bear: Your husband’s parents were being judgmental and unkind – but, that’s on them!
Their harsh judgment has likely caused their granddaughter to be wary of them. Again – that’s a consequence of their choice.
I appreciate the fact that this has become something of a running joke for your daughter, because that’s where I believe this incident belongs. (For instance, if she receives a fat envelope in the mail: “Ooh – come to mama! I smell tattoo money!”)
What I don’t understand is why it is your husband’s job to confront his parents over behavior that doesn’t seem to surprise him in the least.
This incident happened several years ago. Your daughter is an adult. If she wants to try to affect some kind of resolution (for herself), she could contact them: “That birthday when you refused to send me a gift because you thought I might spend it on a tattoo – that really hurt! I felt like I’d fallen several pegs in your affection for me, and I worry that we’ve never really recovered.”
My advice for you is to – yes – do your best to accept their limitations as people and as grandparents.
If you accept them as flawed people who simply aren’t very good at being accepting and loving grandparents, then you won’t have to confront or forgive them.
And always – treat them the way you wish they treated others.
Dear Amy: My wife and I are struggling to make summertime plans with and for our kids. Quite simply, we don’t know if a COVID variant may emerge and derail all our best-laid plans.