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Competitive Grandparenting

(83 Posts)
alchemilla Tue 11-May-21 19:08:12

What is it with grandmas who want to be the first to cuddle and kiss a newborn over other grandmas? And get offended if they are the second to visit? Have they got so little in their lives? Or is this just a manufactured Mumsnet/Gransnet thing reflecting very few people? If I have DGC I'll wait to be invited and offer help. I don't see why I should be first in the queue.

M0nica Tue 11-May-21 19:29:00

No competitive grandmothering in this family. The other grandma was there for the birth, she is DDil's mother, and we went up once the birth had happened. DDil's mother lives a few miles away, we live 200 miles away.

We have both crafted entirely different styles of grandparenting that suit us and our circumstances. Our families are so close we stay with the other grandmother when we visit and she comes to stay with us and both of us speak of the other as 'family' and share all family occasions.

I always feel very sorry for those people whose only interest in life is their grandchildren. I feel in many ways they are cruising for a bruising, family break-up, grandchildren growing up and so many other events can lead to the collapse of what is an inherently fragile relationship and they are then left utterly devastated with nothing in her lives.

Grandchildren should be part of our lives, not all of our lives.

Grandmabatty Tue 11-May-21 19:35:01

I've been on the receiving end of competitive grandparenting at Christmas and birthday. My son couldn't get near his nephew because of his grandad (other side)taking him away, lifting him up and generally being a nuisance. It was so noticeable that grandad's mother in law gave him a row. I've been aware of it since grandson was born and I ignore it. It's a bit pathetic really.

jacqrose Tue 11-May-21 20:01:54

"M0nica" Grandchildren should be part of our lives, not all of our lives. That's the most sensible thing I've read on GN.

Beswitched Tue 11-May-21 20:53:39

It depends on the situation really. Sometimes one set óf grandparents are very obviously favoured over another in a way that's hurtful. You can't criticise those grandparents for feeling slighted or upset

Hithere Tue 11-May-21 21:03:32

Yes, this one common issue that creates a lot of conflict

Lucca Tue 11-May-21 21:47:52

I have 2 GC on other side of the world whose maternal grandparents are 20minutes away, and I’m so glad they ha e those grandparents. Ridiculous all this jealousy etc. Sorry but it makes me cross when GN posters whinge at only seeing their grandchild once a fortnight or something. I’d love that !!

harrigran Wed 12-May-21 08:25:49

With our first GC we went to see mother and baby 36 hours after C section, when we arrived an aunt and her partner were already there. They had heard the news and jumped on a train, DS was mad that they had jumped the gun but it didn't really matter who got there first.

Madgran77 Wed 12-May-21 09:00:32

Jealousy and competitiveness when both sets of grandparents are respected, engaged with and are able to enjoy family time, is silly and pointless

Upset and hurt when one set of grandparents are ignored, sidelined, taken for granted, whilst the other set of grandparents are not, is not the same thing.

B9exchange Wed 12-May-21 09:17:38

My one dread has been to have been thought of as an interfering granny, or indeed MiL. I will always wait to be asked over, wait to be offered a chance to hold the new baby, and try desperately not to give advice unless asked for it. Different relationship with DD, she tells me she wants me to leap in and remind GD of penalties for misdemeanors!

We get on well with parents of DDiLs, DD is divorced, but we still send cards to SiL's very elderly father.

Beswitched Wed 12-May-21 09:46:34

There's a big difference between a grandparent watching everything with beady eyes and kicking up a stink or sulking every time granny A is asked to babysit instead of her or bake the birthday cake, and a grandparent feeling quietly sad that they aren't as involved in their grandchild's life as the other grandparents for whatever reason.

timetogo2016 Wed 12-May-21 09:53:34

Why should any Grandma be competative.
What a waste of energy,it`s a baby for heavens sake not a thing to pass around like a toy.
I wouldn`t have a clue if i was the first g/ma to hold my g/c or the other g/ma,who cares !.

nanna8 Wed 12-May-21 10:31:52

I’ve never heard of this. I must have had a sheltered life. We have quite a lot of grandchildren ,having 4 daughters, but none of the other sets of grandparents have been in the least bit competitive. Why would you ?

Nannagarra Wed 12-May-21 11:21:56

I eagerly anticipated being a grandma and wanted to be called Nanna as my MiL had been. The other grandma already had this title but insisted on sharing it with me so we are now Nanna A and Nanna C, much to my delight. Equality and lack of competitiveness have underlined our grand parenting I hope. We both live close to the DGC; maybe (?) she sees more of them than I do as she’s the maternal grandma. Hey ho. She’s elegant and well presented whereas I’m more likely to be found on the carpet or on the lawn covered in grass cuttings indulging in high jinks with the DGC. My aim is to be fun which is impossible if you’re jealous. We’re different people ‘bringing different things to the party’ but equally valued.
👍 for MOnica’s very wise words.

NotSpaghetti Wed 12-May-21 11:28:05

I do not want to be the grandparent that my son's in-laws are.
No point in being competitive.

Floradora9 Wed 12-May-21 13:31:04

I only wish my DGC had a chance to see their other grandparents . Both are many miles away in other countries not cheap to visit and they have no real connection with the children . One day I heard the other granny say " please do not let the boys forget us " . Zoom is fine to keep a connection but there is nothing like a day of being cuddled and spoilt by your granny doing a bit of baking etc.. I had no grandparents who were interested in me but I thank the Lord for spinster aunts.

Jeannie59 Fri 14-May-21 11:09:25

Some of us are in the position, that the other GP live closer to our families and they can get to see them more often
If we let envy or jealousy get in the way, it would spoil it, when we do get to see them
My youngest gd's live in Australia and I may not, "like other''s get to see them for quite a while yet!!!

CrazyGrandma2 Fri 14-May-21 11:11:12

No competitive grand parenting here. As Monica so wisely said, "Grandchildren should be part of our lives, not all of our lives."

We are fortunate that both AC and their families live close. Always lovely to see them come and then lovely to enjoy the peace and quiet once they have gone. The GC also have good, special relationships with their other grandparents. More than enough love to go round.

I know we are lucky and I feel sympathy for all those of you who, for whatever reasons, can't be part of your GCs lives.

maryrose54 Fri 14-May-21 11:19:10

We see our 2 dgc often, and look after them after school twice a week. Their other grandparents live in the same town, but sadly the other granny is carer for her husband who has dementia. I know she would wish to be more involved if she could, and I feel lucky that we can be.

H1954 Fri 14-May-21 11:20:41

There's Grand mother love and Grand Smother love........the latter is overwhelming, unwelcome and basically dreadful to observe!
Life isn't a competition so quite why adults use children and tools to manipulate situations, events and other people is beyond me.
I love my grandkids unconditionally but so do their other grandparents and I respect that my GC visit their other grandparents, go on trips with them etc. It's all part of having an enriched, inclusive upbringing.

leeds22 Fri 14-May-21 11:21:54

We have a couple of competitive GMs in our families. They both live much closer to their daughters than us and we just leave them to get on with it. It does get a bit annoying when we are at one son's, who we see about 3 times in a normal year and mil turns up and takes over with the GCs, but life's too short for petty rivalry and we regard it has her problem, not ours.

Theoddbird Fri 14-May-21 11:24:56

I often see posts on here from grandmothers complaining that the other grandparent sees grandchildren more often. I just say be thankful for what you have and stop moaning.

Teddy123 Fri 14-May-21 11:25:52

It really is a puzzle! In my experience the guilty party has been the DILs mother who lives 5 minutes away from the GC. I was relieved that my DIL would have plenty of support. There was no need for her antics when I was around. I wanted to giggle when she insisted on changing every dirty nappy.
The very last thing I fancied doing 🤦

Aepgirl Fri 14-May-21 11:27:55

The important thing is the health and well-being of the baby and the mother. It shouldn’t be a ‘race’ or a ‘competition’.

Yammy Fri 14-May-21 11:29:01

Never bothered to compete with the other set just can't see the point. Both get visits and we get invited.
I think there was an element I picked up on years ago. DD, MIL choose her outfit I mine without consulting.
When a friend saw the photos she had tears running down her cheeks and said"Battle lines drawn", one mother was in khaki the other in what looked like camouflage. All set for El Alamein.