New mother refuses to let her grandma hold the baby

Published 9:21 am Friday, April 12, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: My oldest daughter, “Kate,” is 22. Her baby is now 6 months old. She is the first grandchild and great-grandchild. Kate refuses to allow my mom to hold her baby. My mom has held the baby a couple of times, but my daughter immediately swooped in and took the baby from her. During the last family gathering, Kate wouldn’t let me hold the baby either, because she said I might let my mom hold the baby. 

It hurts my heart to watch Mom treated this way. I know my mom. We haven’t always been close, and sometimes Mom says the wrong things, but she is a good person and would never hurt the baby. Because I let Kate know my feelings, she is now refusing to come to any family gathering where Mom might be present, and she won’t talk to me, either. 

I’m struggling and emotional over this. Mom has done some very kind things for my daughter. She owns a timeshare and let Kate use it for graduation and her honeymoon. I feel Kate is using the baby as a weapon. Is there anything I can do? If not, how do I try to move on? – THWARTED IN UTAH

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DEAR THWARTED: Kate may – or may not – be using her child as a weapon to punish you and your mother for some perceived slight. She may also legitimately be worried that her grandmother might accidentally drop the little one. You stated that you and your mother weren’t close for a period of time. If you and your mother weren’t close, it would follow that your daughter wouldn’t be all that close to her grandmother. 

Of course, a solution to this problem won’t be possible until you understand what has caused it, and that won’t happen until your daughter is willing to give you some straight answers. Start there. If she refuses, you will have to live your life and hope that as your grandchild grows up, the dynamic will change.


DEAR ABBY: When a daughter is getting married, how do divorced parents sit, walk down the aisle and conduct themselves? – ALMOST THERE IN NEW YORK


DEAR ALMOST THERE: First and foremost, the divorced parents should act like adults and bury their hostilities (if there are any) on their daughter’s special day. Tact and diplomacy should be paramount. Depending upon the circumstances, the “person of choice” should accompany the bride down the aisle. If there is a stepfather, some brides ask each gentleman to walk halfway down the aisle with her. 

If the parents are cordial, Emily Post says they can share the first row. If they aren’t (and I am shortening this), the mother sits in the front row with her relatives behind her. The father and his relatives are seated behind his ex-wife’s family. (If the bride is estranged from her mother, the father and his family occupy the first rows.)


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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