Dear Ask Ashlee,
I’m a mother of three. My oldest daughter is 11 years old, and her father just recently passed. He and I did not have the best relationship, but he was there for his daughter as best as I believe he could be. After the funeral, [my daughter’s grandmother] reached out and asked to have a more active role in my daughter’s life, and yes of course I am hesitant because this woman wanted nothing to do with my child when her son was alive. She has always been rude to me and treated me unkind and I don’t want my child interacting with someone who doesn’t respect her mother. Some of my close friends think I am being childish and harboring old feelings, but I think I am just protecting my child.
So, here’s the thing, as parents we want to believe we are doing what we believe is best for our children, even when that sometimes looks like we are triggered and we are putting our needs, wants and feelings before the needs, wants and feelings of our children. Your daughter is 11 years old, and I promise you she has her own feelings about the situation. I would first suggest you speak with her, because this affects her more than it will affect you in the long run. As far as the relationship between you and her grandmother is concerned, I would absolutely lead with caution, but also with grace. She has just lost her child and that is life altering within itself; her attempt to do better could be the support you’ll both need to help your daughter find her way in this world without her father. I hope this helps.
Love & Light,