Gransnet forums


Feeling surplus to requirements AIBU

(92 Posts)
Armoria Tue 11-Aug-20 19:53:51

Oh dear I'm feeling pretty surplus to requirements and all over a cake. My eldest GD (my daughter's daughter) turns 18 in a few weeks and subject to CV19 rules on gatherings her family are planning a garden party/bbq.

I've been very involved throughout her growing up from child minding her for 2 days a week from the age of 3 months through to doing the school run a few days a week, taking her on holiday and generally helping daughter with her and her younger sister whenever needed. SIL is away fairly often on business and D works so I've always filled the gap in childcare.

One of my hobbies is cake making and decorating and it's been a privilege to have made a cake for her christening and all of her birthdays. Any kind of design she's wanted I've done, ballerina on a stage, fairy castle, Hannah Montana guitar, watermelon (yes that was a thing a few years ago) pair of tap shoes, replica of her favourite leotard etc. Ive always done these at my own expense too. So yesterday when I was chatting on the phone to D I happened to say about GD and no doubt she will want the usual birthday cake only to be told that GDs friend is making it. Then D said it was because they didn't know what were were doing. We are currently away in our motorhome and have been for 4 weeks and I'd sent a text last Friday confirming we'd be home this coming friday. That's a good 3 weeks before the party so they did know what we were doing!

I mumbled something about of course we would be coming back in time as how could we miss such a milestone birthday and I'd already said when we left we'd be away about a month or so.

I really am quite upset that I won't be making her 18th birthday cake. It's not like it's just any old birthday its a significant one. I suppose that sounds pathetic but if GD or D had just phoned or texted to say the friend had offered and would I mind then yes it would still be a bit disappointing but at least they'd have considered how I might feel and been good mannered enough to ask or whatever. I'm also upset, given how involved I am helping out whenever they need me to, that they could even think we would miss her 18th!

D is quite a prickly person at times and while she seems to have endless patience for her service users (she works in the mental health sector) she often gets huffy with me or loses patience if I complain about anything. I know if I tell her I'm upset that I won't be making the cake I will get the eye roll and it will be turned back on me as my fault for going away, for being childish and made to feel bad. Husband says stop caring so much and doing things for them but I'm not made that way. I should just swallow it down and move on but I can't get the feeling of being surplus now out of my head. GD has asked my husband to help teach her to drive and when he phones my D she always answers yet I can ring a couple of times and she will not pick up or phone back if she's busy but she's soon on the phone if she needs help with something.

I know as children get older their friends are more important than their parents or grandparents but I still feel like I've had a slap in the face. Sorry just needed to vent

midgey Tue 11-Aug-20 19:57:13

Oh dear, it’s sad but it’s life! I think you just have to accept that life changes and suck it up!

Bibbity Tue 11-Aug-20 19:59:55

I can definitely see why you are upset.
This was your ‘job’ for 18 years!! And now in the finale stretch it’s been dropped with no warning.
I am sorry they weren’t more considerate.
Even if they did choose the friend I think it would’ve been a kindness to at least let you know in advance.

Grandmabatty Tue 11-Aug-20 20:00:38

Why not make her a special birthday cake but a smaller one and share it at your house? I can understand why you are upset, but it isn't worth losing a relationship with your dd and dgd over.

Leaannbo Tue 11-Aug-20 20:49:51


I can definitely see why you are upset.
This was your ‘job’ for 18 years!! And now in the finale stretch it’s been dropped with no warning.
I am sorry they weren’t more considerate.
Even if they did choose the friend I think it would’ve been a kindness to at least let you know in advance.

They did let OP know in advance. They gave her 3 weeks notice. How much notice are they required to give?

Leaannbo Tue 11-Aug-20 20:51:18

Sorry OP but things change and it's normal. Terribly sorry your feelings were hurt

Pantglas2 Tue 11-Aug-20 21:09:06

This is going to be the first in a long line of withdrawing on your granddaughter’s part and you will do well to deal with it in a graceful manner.

You’ve been very fortunate to have played such a huge part in her life but loosening those ties was always going to happen and you need to be careful that you don’t lose her completely by making a huge fuss over this.

mumofmadboys Tue 11-Aug-20 21:20:17

I can really understand your feelings but please say nothing. Just let it go and continue to enjoy your relationship with your DD and GD. Maybe a friend offered and your GD didnt like to say no.

lemongrove Tue 11-Aug-20 21:28:39

It’s what happens when our DGC become older ( also Grandma’s house becomes less of an attraction)? and is entirely normal.
I do understand how you feel Armoria we can’t help our feelings, can we? Let it go, it may be the last of your special cakes for your DGD or she may ask you to make her one in the future ( make one only if you want to).There will be other occasions to come for special cakes in the future anyway.
Am sure she has loved your cakes for all those years.
We are not just valued for our cake making skills ( we hope) enjoy taking a back seat and doing less?

Elrel Tue 11-Aug-20 21:34:51

Can you talk to GD, tell her how much you’d like to make a cake, not the actual 18th cake. Tell her it can be any design she would like.
I’m sure it would get eaten. Don’t forget to warmly congratulate GD’s fiend on their skill!

Kamiso Tue 11-Aug-20 21:45:41

AKA Sussexborn:

Something we all have to deal with at some point I guess. We are an important part of their lives and then gradually they become more independent in much the same way our children have, hopefully, done.

Try to let it go and move on. If your daughter is likely to get huffy it's not worth rocking the boat over. I don't think people who never bake realise how time consuming these cakes can be but hopefully you enjoyed the challenge!

LadyBella Tue 11-Aug-20 22:00:49

It sounds as if you are close to your GD and you always will be I'm sure. I agree with the poster who suggested making her a smaller cake at your own house. That is a lovely idea.

B9exchange Tue 11-Aug-20 22:10:40

Lovely Freudian typo Elrel I like the idea that the rival cakemaker is a fiend! ! grin

Just as we lose importance in our children's lives as they grow up, so the same is true for grandchildren, a sad fact of life. We have to find something to fill the gaps.

bluebird243 Tue 11-Aug-20 22:23:57

Life changes and it's a strange time for everyone anyway. Maybe it would be good for your GD's friend to make the cake and something they can enjoy planning, maybe GD would like a change.

We aren't in control of GC's lives when they are older in the same way as when we looked after them when they were small. It's all about letting go, let them do their own thing without getting upset about it.

Just adapt, let go. No one's stopping you from making another one and sharing it another time/place.

I know how you feel as I've been brushed aside myself by a GS I was extremely close to...but it's best to ignore it, accept it and don't get too upset. Not worth having words about. Glad you vented on here.

CocoPops Tue 11-Aug-20 22:33:33

How about contributing something else to the party? A pavlova for example.

Summerlove Tue 11-Aug-20 23:14:41

I understand why you might feel put out, but surely what is most important is that she gets the cake she loves?

I’m sorry you are hurt

NotSpaghetti Tue 11-Aug-20 23:25:51

Yes, please don't make a second cake -it will certainly not go well!!!

BlueSky Wed 12-Aug-20 09:26:30

As others have said things change, even before Covid! We used to be involved in DGC birthday parties only to be replaced by friends, which is understandable. Go with the flow as they say!

timetogo2016 Wed 12-Aug-20 09:31:17

My thoughts exactly Grandmabatty.
I bet Gd would love it too.

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 12-Aug-20 09:52:51

Your Grand Daughters friend is making the cake, I think it’s sweet that someone she is friends with is doing it, please don’t overthink it.
Unless she is having a second party at your house, don’t make a second cake, that just comes across as trying to prove that you can do better.
She knows you do lovely cakes, but she wants a change.
As for the rest of your post , she has grown up, and is now a woman, I’m sure she loves you just the same but she has grown up and isn’t a little girl anymore, make sure you are always her loving Grandma that she loves to visit, not surly and jealous.
God, I was married when I was 18 (well 18 and three quarters) and certainly wouldn’t have wanted family squabbles about a cake.
But who did I want to make all my children’s cakes and pastries? My Mum (didn’t have a Granny) she will come back to you, don’t worry.

Luckygirl Wed 12-Aug-20 10:09:48

We have to accept change as we get older; bite the bullet and smile.

Think about it like this - she has a friend who wants to do this for her and that means that she has good friends to be by her side in this new phase of her life.

Take a deep breath and keep smiling!

inishowen Wed 12-Aug-20 10:13:59

Maybe when they see the friend's cake they will wish you'd done yours! I remember my son's first birthday. I'd been having cookery lessons and proudly made his birthday cake. Then mum arrived with one of her cakes. She had assumed I wouldn't be making one. She should have asked but really it didn't matter. From then on I left cake making to her.

Puzzler61 Wed 12-Aug-20 10:19:39

Armoria I can feel your hurt through your sentences and I want to give you a big Hug. ?
I don’t have grandchildren but I would feel the same as you.

Are we over-sensitive? Possibly. But isn’t that what makes us kind and caring humans? and you seem like an excellent grandma.
As others advise, try to get over it - be there to celebrate your GD’s 18th Birthday and have a good time with your family. ?

DollyP Wed 12-Aug-20 10:19:50

I also don't think a second cake is a good plan - getting into a competition with your GD 's friend doesn't look good. However why not ring GD, ask what type of cake friend is making and if it is ok if you make some little cakes that are different from birthday cake( choc brownies, muffins, merengues, rice crispie cakes etc etc). Generally , I find, people like cake at parties and there is rarely any left over. Try not to be hurt - it does sound thoughtless but not ,I think, designed to be hurtful.

Sparklefizz Wed 12-Aug-20 10:21:22


Why not make her a special birthday cake but a smaller one and share it at your house? I can understand why you are upset, but it isn't worth losing a relationship with your dd and dgd over.

Definitely don't make any sort of cake! It will look like you're in competition and determined to have your own way.

As others say, you feel disappointed but these are things that happen as a young person breaks away into adulthood. Keep up your good relationship with her, that's the main thing.