When my daughter Gabbi first came to me and told me she and Grant were separating, I have to say I wasn’t surprised.
Something had been off between them for almost eight months and Gabbi had made a few comments that had me wondering if they were heading down this path.
They’d been together for 12 years and have two gorgeous children — my grandkids Emily and Conner — but I could see that all the things that caused my own divorce were affecting them too.
Money was tight, bills were high and with Gabbi only working part-time so she could look after Conner who isn’t at school yet, things were tough.
It’s been a few months now and watching Gabbi and the kids go through this has been harder than I thought.
It’s different to my own divorce where, although I felt lost and distraught for a long time, I had some semblance of control. I can’t help Gabbi like I could help myself.
She cries when we talk on the phone at night, she’s so exhausted all the time, and with Grant out of the house she’s struggling with money more than ever.
Grant helps her as best he can and is doing his part to support the kids, but it’s still difficult to make ends meet.
He’s separated himself from the rest of the family too. It seems like he wants to break up with all of us and although I can’t blame him, it is strange to suddenly not have him in my life anymore.
I want to help Gabbi, but I’m at a loss for what to do. Aside from the usual displays of support, it feels like there’s not much I can do to help her get back into her old frame of mind.
She’s usually such a happy and easy-going person, but for months she has been stressed, tired, irritated, and upset every time I’ve seen her.
It’s having an impact on the kids too and I can see they’re not as playful as they used to be.
I remember feeling all those things when I was going through my divorce, but the kids were older than and I didn’t have the exact same stresses problems that Gabbi does.
I was working full-time and my ex-husband and I had paid off the majority of our mortgage at the that point. Things weren’t as tight as they are for Gabbi.
I imagine many other people my age have gone through similar things with their children and I’m wondering how they dealt with it.
Should I be doing more? Am I missing something here? No parent wants to see their child hurt and I’ve never seen Gabbi as upset as she has been lately.
I knew it would be tough for her, but to be honest I thought she would have improved a little by now and regained some of her old strength and sense of humour.
What more can I do to help her? If anyone has any advice I’d love to hear it.