Gransnet forums


New here - wanting advice please

(102 Posts)
NikNox Tue 30-Dec-14 17:18:26

Hi all,

I have recently become a nanny to the most darling baby boy. I'm the paternal nanny, and my grandson is 11 weeks old. He's totally yummy and I have to admit that I wasn't expecting to love him so completely, just as I love my children. My son and his partner live with her mum, literally just down the road. I always knew that they would be spending babys first year with her mother, and that's fine as I get on with her and her mum really well, but - I am starting to feel left out and untrusted, and it's really hurting me.

Over the last six weeks or so, mum and dad have been out a few times, and maternal nanny has babysat. I see the sense in that as it's less disruptive to babys routine and I wouldn't expect to have him overnight yet. But, maternal nan has also taken him to town for the afternoon, and I'm not "allowed". My son isn't even allowed to bring his son round to me for some "mum, son and grandson" time. I do get to see my grandson a couple of times a week, and my sons partner is very relaxed with me and lets me feed him and change him etc. However, I always have to ask to see him, and my requests are often met with time restrictions, or refused as they're always doing something with maternal nan and her side of the family. Of course I appreciate that, but it seems very one sided and as if their side of the family is more important. At Christmas they had lunch with her mum, slotted us in for an hour in the afternoon and then spent the evening and Boxing Day with maternal nan's family and friends. For New Year they're spending NYE with maternal nan's family and friends, and are spending New Years Day with them too. I've asked to see them on NYE but have only been told "maybe, for half an hour". Apparently my sons partner spending all this time with maternal nan's family and friends at Christmas and New Year is "traditional", and even though I've pointed out that now baby is here new traditions need to be formed to involve both sides of the family, I don't hold out much hope.

About a month ago, I saw on Facebook that maternal nan had taken our grandson to Costa to give mum and dad a break, so I text my son asking if perhaps I could have my grandson for an hour the following week. He asked me to ask his partner, so I did, and was told "no" because she only trusts her mother with the baby. She said that she'd only just got used to leaving him and that it was too soon for her to think about leaving him with anyone else. I accepted that but said I hoped I'd be able to have him, just for an hour or so, in the New Year. Anyway, last week I text her to ask if I could take my grandson for a walk in his pram, and was again told "no". I was told, again, that only maternal nan is trusted with him. I've spoken to my son and have told him that it hurts me that I'm not trusted to even take my grandson out for a walk. He said he'd be more than happy for me to, but that his partner makes the decisions.

I'm thinking of asking again in a couple of weeks, but should !? Oh, they did suggest, when I complained about not seeing them regularly, that they would come round on Thursdays (which is also my day off) and one Sunday a month, which is great but has kind of gone by the wayside. Christmas has of course got in the way, but they haven't been round on a Sunday for 5 weeks now and when I asked if they'd like to come to lunch this Sunday I was told no and that they're busy, with her family, and are busy next Sunday too. I did point out that it was their suggestion of one Sunday a month, but was told they didn't mean every four weeks! I was also told that as plans had been made with her family they couldn't be broken. So, it does seem that plans with her family are set in stone, whereas plans with me or my family can just be put on the back burner!

I don't want things to get awkward, and I certainly don't want to fall out with my sons partner, but I do feel that unless these issues are nipped in the bud that they won't change.


Thank you.

janeainsworth Tue 30-Dec-14 17:32:25

1. They live with your son's partner's mother, so of course it is different. Remember too that she is the one coping with the mountains of washing that a young family generates, and the broken nights too, as well as being trusted with the baby.
2. He's only 11 weeks old - early days. Your son and his partner are still adjusting to being parents. Don't make it even more difficult for them by being needy and demanding - you're running the risk of becoming a problem rather than a solution.
Step back, and let them come to you.

soontobe Tue 30-Dec-14 17:42:01

I only half agree with janeainsworth. Up to the adjusting to be parents bit.
I think there are indeed some red flags here.
I think you are right to want some plans that are not routinely broken. And I think that you are also right that there is indeed a bit of a danger that you could get sidelined.

On the other side of it.
If the issue is indeed that she doesnt "trust you" with your gs, then invite her to come and show you, repeatedly if necessary, what she would like. I know that may be a bit over the top, but she may indeed need some reassurance that he is being looked after as mum wants.

HildaW Tue 30-Dec-14 17:42:02

This may sound a bit abrupt, especially as your opening post was so comprehensive and I can really feel how emotional you are about all this, but being a Grandparent is really all about slotting into a job that you have no control over. Us Grandparents, no matter how open and involved our relationship is with our children, have little control over what sort of a Grandparent we will be 'allowed' to be. There is no agreed job description, no set hours and to some extent we just have to be grateful for what we are given. Its all about being in for the long haul, often about keeping calm and careful. Never see it as a power play or as there being a them and us set up - that way madness lies. Just let the parent know you are there, let them know you care and that you will be there as and when.
Sorry if this is not quite the easy answer you want but in my (not very vast) experience its best to just be there when needed and let a natural role develop. Good luck and remember this is for life so do not be in too much of a rush.

tanith Tue 30-Dec-14 17:51:17

All that HildaW said , there are no red flags where new parents, grandparents and grandchildren are concerned , they are the parents and annoying and sad as it is for you have to fit in with their wishes and accept what they say or risk it getting worse... she will relax in time and you just have to wait it out and bite your tongue

Anya Tue 30-Dec-14 17:54:04

Agree with Hilda and Jane it's early days and they are first time parents. Let them know you're available, keep communications open (especially with her mother) and don't rock the boat.

Mishap Tue 30-Dec-14 18:02:24

Bide your time - stand back - don't ever appear needy.

It is tough I know, but you cannot make your son's partner do what you want, and persisting and insisting will annoy her and risk a rift.

The natural tendency of girls to gravitate towards their own mums in this situation is exacerbated in your scenario by the fact that they actually live with her.

11 weeks is very small and I did not look after any of my DGC at that stage - your turn will come, and the more patient you can be now the better it will be.

I know it is really hard - we just want to hug them and care for them, as we love them as if they were our own - but they are not and we have to stand back.

Good luck. Patience will reap its own reward.

Let off steam here where is is safe and can do no harm to future relations.

soontobe Tue 30-Dec-14 18:06:27

I agree that 11 weeks is early.
I also feel bound to point out that I dont currently have grandchildren.

But. Would some of you say that the op could be passive, to the point that she is sidelined altogether?
The mum appears to me that she is laying down hard and fast plans.

Mishap Tue 30-Dec-14 18:17:11

I guess she does not need to be passive; she can pop in and out, ring up. offer help, take round a gift - but it does seem that the more she presses, the more they dig their heels in and that could escalate.

I think it is not wise to be asking to have the babe to care for - I know I would have found it very hard to leave any of mine with anyone else other than their Dad when they were 11 weeks. It was a very long time after that when I started leaving any of them with others. The other gran is getting to do this because she is actually in the house and part of the baby's routines.

When this little chap gets older and starts wearing her mum right out, she will be glad of all the help she can get and the OP needs to be still friends with her to be in the running.

I do feel for her.

Mishap Tue 30-Dec-14 18:18:32

PS There have been moments over the years when I have felt my nose put out of joint as regards the GC, but not a word passed my lips! I have reaped the rewards.

loopylou Tue 30-Dec-14 18:21:19

As MIL I very much stood back and waited. We live 129 miles away and my DS's in laws live in Italy, so none of us can just drop in.
The in-laws were here for the birth and stayed a week after, we went up for a few hours when DGS was 10 days old ( taking a meal for everyone with us).
I then went up for a few days when DS returned to work, after 4weeks paternity/annual leave but very much to do the background work like shopping, cleaning, washing etc.
I don't see DGS as much as I'd like because of distance but we Skype regularly.
I guess I might feel differently if they lived closer? Am very conscious that the in-laws mustn't feel left out, they do come over 2 or 3 times a year, and so far everything seems to work.
Very much let myself be led by DS and DIL tchsmile

NikNox Tue 30-Dec-14 18:22:12

Thanks everyone. I don't mind abruptness or constructive criticism ��

I'm not going to push things as I am aware that too much could push them away, and I don't want that, ever! I adore my son and his partner and get on very well with maternal nan. I suppose I'm just worried that the preference for special occasions with her family will become the norm, and I have gently explained (after they made a comment about how many relatives they had to see in Christmas week) that now they have a baby they have to split themselves every which way, just as we had to when they were babies, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears!

Before Christmas, she arranged to take baby to a local garden centre with her mum and mums friends to see Santa - it was a book in advance thing - and I wasn't invited. I wasn't too upset about that as a colleague of mines husband was santa at a local farm shop and she told me that if we went over with baby he would see us for free. I contacted mum to suggest it, and she said no because she was already seeing Santa with her mum. I explained that I would really like to take her and baby to see Santa but she still said no because the only day that would have been suitable would have been a day on which her mum was working, and she said she didn't want to go without her mum because it wasn't fair on her to miss out! I could have pointed out that her mum had already seen Santa with baby and I hadn't, but I didn't say anything and just let it go - but that really did hurt my feelings.

When I do visit, she just sits back and lets me take care of baby, from feeding through to bum changes, and she is clearly relaxed as she sits on her phone and doesn't take too much notice (apart from telling me to wind him ��), so it just makes it harder to understand why or how she doesn't trust me. I know its early days, and I will continue to take a back seat, but it's all new to all of us, me included, and when mine were little we made sure the nans were treated equally.

NfkDumpling Tue 30-Dec-14 18:24:38

Hi Nix
I can understand how you feel - but it's probably inevitable as they are all living together and the other grandmother is bound to be part of the baby support system and the balance of grandparent time is rarely even.

Are they definitely only living there for a year?

I agree with Jane. Don't push too hard. Once a week is quite good if you can manage it. (I think I'm doing well with once a month with my local GD!). Can you suggest joining other nan on a baby walk? Get her on side? She may appreciate a break too as the novelty wears off!

You may miss out on getting baby time but it's next year when he's older that he'll be relating more to you. The other nan will be the everyday taken-for-granted nan who tells him off more. You'll be the special novelty nan who does exciting things. At least that's how it works for me.

Nonu Tue 30-Dec-14 18:26:51

Just bide your time , it will come right in the end, trust me !!

soontobe Tue 30-Dec-14 18:28:13

Is a maternal nan ever equal to a paternal one?

Do you think it may be a case of that she is trusting you when you are in her house/with her, but not if you were "on your own" with him?
He is only 11 weeks. I am not sure that I let my own mum do too much with my babies at that age!
In a few months time, she may have progressed. Hopefully.

Ana Tue 30-Dec-14 18:29:56

An 11 week old baby would have absolutely no interest in seeing Santa, so I wouldn't worry about that! I can understand that you felt left out though.

As others have said, just be careful you don't come across as pressurising the new mum. It's just a fact of life that usually the maternal grandmother is first in the pecking order.

Mishap Tue 30-Dec-14 18:35:03

I think that you are very lucky indeed to be trusted with the babe's care while you are in the house - that is fantastic and you can build on that as time goes by. It all sounds very positive to me - try not to make this an issue as it is possible to get a bit touchy about things if they get into your head and won't let go.

I really do think that you are very privileged to be looking after the babe even if it is only when in their home. Be happy with that for now!

Soutra Tue 30-Dec-14 18:47:00

I do think the best thing you can do is bide your time, remain supportive and helpful if asked. Of course a new mum will feel closer to her own mother especially as they are lving with her. You are feeling left out but this is not a business arrangement with "visiting rights", as a GP you have NO rights whatsoever. This is their baby and a very new one at that- of course your DIL doesn't want to leave him yet but be patient. The worst thing of all would be seen to be demanding some sort of equality with the other granny.

suzied Tue 30-Dec-14 18:48:44

Yes don't worry, you always have to remember it's not your baby, and I reiterate others comments that it's early days. I am lucky to have 4 GC , 2 from DS and 2 from DD, I am available for both and don't feel I have priority/ 2nd place in either family. I am regularly booked up for babysitting etc for both, and feel I am close to both sets of children. As they get older it gets easier to do things with individual DGC.

janeainsworth Tue 30-Dec-14 18:50:57

soontobe grandmothers are all different. It's completely pointless to compare maternal and paternal GPs.

Niknox I forgot to say welcome to Gransnet smile.

Nonu Tue 30-Dec-14 18:52:19

I repeat my post of 18.26.
Be patient.
((hugs)) to you.

absent Tue 30-Dec-14 19:56:01

NikNox It is pretty usual for new mothers to function as if no one in the whole world has ever had a baby before and no one else in the whole world has the slightest idea how to look after him or her. There is also often an underlying fear that something awful will happen to the baby if he or she is in someone else's care – not that the someone else will harm the child but simply because she (mum) isn't looking after him or her. All of us who felt that way have changed with time; so will your daughter-in-law.

soontobe Tue 30-Dec-14 20:15:46

But the op in this situation is having the problem precisely because she is the paternal grandparent.

NikNox Tue 30-Dec-14 20:19:12

Thank you everyone. I admit I've had to give myself a bit of a talking to and do realise and understand that she's a new mum and thinks that how I (and her mum) raised babies was out of the Stone Age! I also remember feeling the same. I did ask her mum, the first time she babysat when GS was 7 weeks old and his parents went out, if I could join her but she said she was taking him to her friends for the evening. I had hoped she might invite me to spend the evening with her on the other occasions she's babysat, but ......

I think I'll leave it a couple of weeks and then ask if I can take him for a short walk, maybe half an hour, because that's not too long for her to feel uncomfortable and could pave the way to longer spells. Or should I just leave it?

Sugarpufffairy Tue 30-Dec-14 20:21:33

Grandmothers who are the mothers of daughter and it is the daughter who has had the baby dont automatically have prior rights. I have a daughter with lots of children with two different partners and she has favoured the fathers' side both times. No 1 father's mother made off with her children and has made a right mess of her eldest son. Dont know how the elder daughter is. Currently with partner 2 and favouring his mother so now complaining that none of us phone her. She always spent Christmas day with the partners' mothers this year Christmas 15 of my being a grandmother got sick of it and doing and saying nothing and that is also a fault.
I got tired of waiting!