Gransnet forums


Being a grandma compared to being a mother

(96 Posts)
40sgranny Fri 28-Jul-23 13:53:49

I’m in my early 40s and my youngest child is still a toddler. I also gave 2 beautiful grandchildren who I adore and feel so blessed to have. I love seeing them, chatting on FaceTime and when they’re older will really look forward to developing that relationship, taking them on day trips and perhaps having them overnight. However although I’ve loved being a mother and caring for my own little children, I don’t have the exact same maternal urge/feelings with the grandchildren. I do love them very much and of course would care for them if needed and do very much feel a strong bond, it is very different though. E.g. I’m quite happy just to know they are ok and happy when I see them, I don’t really want to babysit, change nappies etc but have never minded doing this day to day care of my own children.
Maybe it’s because I’ve got my own very little one still but do any other grandparents feel like this?

HeavenLeigh Sun 06-Aug-23 13:31:57

I love my grandchildren and would do anything to help if I possibly could, but my children will always be my number one, after all I’m their mum, I always cringe when I hear grandmothers going on about I would do this, and complain about how the daughter in laws are not doing this not doing that, I can’t help but say they are not your children , you have had yours, stand back a bit and offer advice only when asked.🤣

Blondiescot Sun 06-Aug-23 13:58:39

I agree, HeavenLeigh. When my GS was born, I always said, 'I am happy to offer advice or help when asked, but I will never tell you what to do', and I like to think I've stuck to that. Through circumstances we would never have wished for, we found ourselves becoming the main carers in our GS's life for pretty much two years, but even then, I always reminded myself that my son was GS's father and at the end of the day, his wishes came first.

Noname Sun 06-Aug-23 14:00:12

Yes, this is me! I brought my children up alone and love them to bits as I do my grandchildren but I’m so pleased they don’t live near enough for me to babysit! 🤣 When I said the same to a friend, she was shocked! (She is a very hands on granny but each to their own I say!)

JdotJ Sun 06-Aug-23 14:05:29

My DS and DDiL have just visited for one week with our 9month grandson, the reason being they had 2 weddings to attend near to us so used our house as a base and stayed overnight at each wedding, leave GGS with us.
It was an absolute joy looking after him, really easy baby but my goodness, I'm absolutely shattered. They all went back home 3 days ago and I'm still recovering.
My older GC are 7 (twins) and I feel so much more unfit than I did when they were babies despite weighing less now and being generally more active than I was back then.

NannaLyn Sun 06-Aug-23 14:09:11

Dear 40sGranny.
I must confess I haven't fully read all the replies but I was wondering whether your DGC' s mum is your daughter or your dsughter in law? I am considerably older than you and I have noticed over the years that mums of daughters seem to have stronger feelings/ more involvement with their grandchildren than mothers of sons.
I have 2 grandchildren - my only daughter's - and was always the one to volunteer to help out even though we lived 200 miles away. The in-laws lived about 6 miles away and gave no support. However, it was a different matter when their daughter had children. They couldn't do enough for her!
I love my daughter dearly and I feel the same about my grandchildren even though they are now 22 and 18!

HeavenLeigh Sun 06-Aug-23 14:13:46

That’s right Blondiescot

Welshy Sun 06-Aug-23 14:17:19

I love & love having my grandson too BUT the only reason I don't enjoy him fully is because I am always on edge. What if he falls or hurts himself badly in some way (God forbid) It's a big responsibility even stressful. It was different bringing up my own plus I was a lot younger then.

shamene Sun 06-Aug-23 14:21:42

It’s the most beautiful loving relationship!
When my first granddaughter was born I discovered a Love ❤️ I hadn’t experienced before and same happened when the other two came along..
I never thought I could love anyone as much as I loved my only child, my daughter
I hope n pray we are united very soon IA

Gundy Sun 06-Aug-23 15:18:32

There’s nothing like the thrill and excitement of being a first time Mom and the anticipation of first grandchild. Those are milestone moments.

Everything else in between is Life.

Harris27 Sun 06-Aug-23 15:29:06

They’re my grandchildren and I love them but I don’t have motherly feelings for them at all. I’m their nana not their mother and it works fine for me. Been there done that got the t shirt!

Frogs Sun 06-Aug-23 15:55:38

I’m an older granny at 76 with four grandchildren between the ages of 2 to 9 but I feel like you 40sGranny, although I love them its not the same strong bond that had with my own children even though I see the GC regularly and look after them a lot.
I just thought maybe it was because I am older and don’t have as much energy as younger grannies.
I hear other people say they enjoy their grandchildren more than they enjoyed their own children.

SueEH Sun 06-Aug-23 16:34:10

I would feel the same as you. Thankfully I don’t have any grandchildren yet and I’m just not fond of small children. I wanted and love my own but that’s it. Although I very definitely told my daughters that if they got pregnant at a very young age I would not be stepping in to raise another baby. Obviously I want my children to be happy and if that involves babies then I’ll love them but equally I’m not planning on being defined by being a grandma.

ExaltedWombat Sun 06-Aug-23 17:51:21

Of COURSE you have a stronger attachment to your own children! Wouldn't it be strange if you didn't?

Sara1954 Sun 06-Aug-23 18:55:17

I’ve spent several years with three of my grandchildren living here, so the relationship is different. It’s closer, but it’s also less special, they aren’t exited to see us like our other grandchildren, because they are always here.
And while we hold off telling the non resident children off, we do tell the resident children off if necessary.
I also think that if I had been given three random children to live with us, after several years, I would love them just as much. Not necessarily about blood relationships.

Visgir1 Sun 06-Aug-23 19:27:15

I think Grandparents are such an very important part of children's lives.
I loved my Maternal Grandmother so very much she was an amazing woman heartbroken when she died, by then had my x2 children.
Both sides my Grandad too, ready loved them but my paternal Grandmother was a bit cold fish. I was Grandchild no 13 and femail she didn't have much interest in her granddaughters.

My children too completely heartbroken when my fabulous mum died and my darling dad. They never met my FiL he passed away before they were born and my MiL was a geographically distant Grandmother they only saw her once or twice a year.

My 3 Grandchildren I try and spend as much time as I can with them x2 live just over an hour away but my GS we look after every Wednesday, it's fun exhausting but so rewarding to see him develop. We seem to have more time to do things with them, more than our own children. It's a different love, they are your babies, babies.
But they get handed back and we can relax.

Saggi Sun 06-Aug-23 21:05:31

I feel exactly the same for my 2 kids and my 2 grandkids…. exactly …they’re blood ! How can you not. I’ve done so much for the next generation as well …nappies…babysitting….fetching and taking to schools /doctors/dentists all while parents worked. I would do it again for the next generation except I won’t be here, as my oldest grandson is just 16. Any one of them could have my kidney! And with grandkids it’s even better as you can hand them back!😂

varian Sun 06-Aug-23 21:16:56

I think your experience of becoming a granny is quite unusual 40sgranny

You are a very young granny with a small child of your own.

Most of us become Grannies when we are older and our own children are all grown up.

For me, becoming a granny was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. All my grandchildren were born when
I was in my late fifties and early sixties and although I was at that time very career oriented, and worked full time well into my seventies, I absolutely loved being a granny and cherish the time spent with my grandchildren as they grew up.

0ddOne Mon 07-Aug-23 17:29:39

I loved having children, and home educated both of them until illness dictated otherwise when they were 14 and 15. Unlike many other mothers I met, who couldn't wait for holidays to be over so the kids could go back to school, I was the opposite! That got me many an odd look. I feel the same way about my GC now. When the two girls were young, I and my partner regularly had them to stay with us for extended periods, right from birth, so we developed a very strong bond with them. I've always said that I would be more than happy to take them in if it were ever needed. I have the youngest girl (12) staying with me at the moment, and love having her here. My GS is only a year old and we didn't have the same involvement with him as a baby, due mainly to the fact that we're both in ill health and couldn't look after a baby. But as he's getting older, he's now starting to stay over for a few days here and there. He's coming tomorrow, in fact. I have found that I have far more patience as a nan, then I ever did as a mum, but that may be an age thing....

EverybodyHatesMaureen Sat 30-Sep-23 11:25:44

I’m a much funner and cooler Gran than I was a mum. I have 3 DC and I did everything when they were kids, I was like a blue arsed fly for 18 years and barely had time to wee.

I now have 5GC and whilst I normally look after 3 max, I don’t care if we make a mess baking or they have too many sweets etc. I’ll clean up later when they’re gone! I don’t have the stress of homework, of makin packed lunches, juggling illnesses. If I’m ill I cancel the childcare - I don’t have to do the school run whilst puking. I have th relationship with my GC that I always wanted to have with my DC - the high energy Fun Person who isn’t already 20 minutes behind anything I start.

Lookingupatthestars Sat 30-Sep-23 20:03:32

I agree to a point, I love my grandchildren and my step grandchild, and I always said I would look after them 1 day per week but since COVID happened my DIL is not good mentally, she's also been relying on Alcohol, so now I'm basically forces to look after them 3 or 4 days per week so they can work or she can have her kids with supervision and in the mean time I'm wrecked, had to give up a full time job and now work evenings til 9pm after kid sitting all day from 6am, I love them but I never wanted kids in my 50s and in fact we agreed not to have any of our own for this reason.