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A question of roll.

(22 Posts)
grandadR Thu 22-May-14 23:53:21

How many grandads out there find that they are the primary carer with their GC in the grandparent roll - ie everything from school runs, feeding, bedtime, bottom wiping, etc, as well as the adventures, exercise, and supplies of gold coins?
I am sure there are many single Gdd's as well as fathers who act as mummies to their charges, but I wonder how far gender roll sharing and swapping has got, particularly with us older ones.
I would describe self in that category - my wife runs the washing machine as well as major medical stuff, and lots of support and advice, but I do most of the rest.
My experience throws up many unique issues, particularly with self confidence, as we have no gender history in the field to fall back on.
I would love to hear from other grandads what they actually do, their roll with their GC.

grannyactivist Thu 22-May-14 23:57:40

My husband is a very hands on grandfather. He is just as happy to nappy change and feed as to take grandsons on a bike ride or put up a tent for overnight stays. He was the same with our own children too, for several years he was the primary care giver.

POGS Fri 23-May-14 00:37:21

Our house is 50/50

We don't think about who does what or who doesn't. It is purely a much mash of coming together, getting on with it and doing the best for our daughter and grandchild.

When you have lived a life of caring and sharing you just do what you can, do your best and hope for the best.

If my dear hubby thought that I was the washing machine, the ironer, the duster I would kick him in to touch.

I have never been able to compete financially with hubbies input, I bless the fact dear hubby accepts there is more to life and caring than finances. Surely love, devotion and wanting to do your best for your family doesn't belong to any gender! It is simply something that feels the right thing to do and sharing the ups and downs is par for the course.

ninathenana Fri 23-May-14 08:10:45

DH was very happy to bath,change and feed his children and has been more than happy to do the same for his GC. As POGS says, who ever is free at the time.
He does the fun things to, gardening, fishing, footie.

Nelliemoser Fri 23-May-14 08:33:40

My DH was happy to change nappies etc with our children. He has not tried with DGS. if we had more "hands on" time he might.

On my first chance of hands on "unsupervised" with DGS I put his nappy on back to front. DD had one very soggy baby for a late night feed.

Not to mention the classic of neither nan or granddad being able to collapse the push chair.

lefthanded Fri 23-May-14 08:38:56

"Not to mention the classic of neither nan or granddad being able to collapse the push chair."

Worthy of a whole new thread! smile

suebailey1 Fri 23-May-14 08:41:00

Over the years the division of labour in our house has been based on whose best placed to do it in time, place or skill. However as we have got older DH has taken on more housework he's retired so has the time and he says he enjoys it but despite all efforts he cannot cook- hopeless horrible meals so that's all me. When it comes to our beloved grandson he will and has done anything and everything for him but as he grows older DH loves to play sport with him and help him with learning his guitar and keyboard. I get first dibs on all cuddles.

Penstemmon Fri 23-May-14 08:42:16

OH was hands on with our DDs but less so with DGC in terms of food , nappies etc. But he plays, reads does the school run etc!*

Penstemmon Fri 23-May-14 08:42:29

OH was hands on with our DDs but less so with DGC in terms of food , nappies etc. But he plays, reads does the school run etc!*

glammanana Fri 23-May-14 10:18:25

mr.glamma and I have shared the care of DCs and DGCs over the years and he is very hands on with the younger DGCs now more than ever,he collects youngest from football and takes him swimming whilst coming in handy when DGD needs transport to one of her many weekly clubs he is friends with a lot of her friends parents as they all meet up when collecting the girls from their activities,he has always been very hands on even when our DCs where small and we shared the child care & running of the house,he could have been a role model for Mrs Doubtfire in a former life.grin
grandadR you sound as though you are doing well with your little one she is a very lucky little girl indeed.

Greenfinch Fri 23-May-14 10:42:47

granddadR we are in a similar position to you and I guess your problems are more about upbringing than who does the chores .We have found ourselves in difficult situations when there are different views on discipline etc with the real Mummy(I gather from another thread that there is a Mummy) and I have often had to stand back and say nothing hard as that may be. The important thing is not to be seen as a better parent than the real one so that the latter does not get resentful. You are still the granddad who provides the fun and the treats and even though the mother is in the background she is the mother and hopefully will one day be able to become the primary carer. Meanwhile don't worry and enjoy the experience. Your input can only benefit the little one. Just be

grandadR Fri 23-May-14 10:56:58

Well, thank you Glamma, but I must say that I am the one who feels lucky, and honored. I have come to realize that for me, caring for littles is the most important and rewarding activity going - I am now semi-retired with a state pension, so, as they say, now is the time...

grandadR Fri 23-May-14 11:19:16

Greenfinch, Yes. Mummy is the primary carer, but GGD is with me around 1/3 of time, depending on mm's work schedule. Our parenting styles are very different, and think both of us are learning to respect the other (I was her step Gdd, so not too much parent stuff to get in the way), and I think the mix does benefit GGD. GGD was with us for a 6 week stretch, and I worked very hard and it got very comfortable and OK for GDD, but I could see that resentment kick in, so the "return" got a bit messy. But no, I have always kept it very clear that mm is the primary.

POGS Fri 23-May-14 11:20:15


Just keep getting the cuddles and kisses and and go with the flow.

You sound like you are doing a cracking job. wine

grandadR Fri 23-May-14 23:10:24

Interesting that as far as I can tell, all answers in "ask a grandad" come from you wonderful grannies (ok some topics had a few) speaking on behalf of your OH. I searched on "grandad" (and the version with 3 D's) and all I got we're hunting and shooting sites. Are men averse to social networking and computers, are we so unconfident in such matters that we cannot, are too frightened to say anything about it (probably me), or do we just not see it as a major concern of ours?

shysal Sat 24-May-14 07:17:21

grandadR, you are to be admired for taking on caring duties for your grandchild, but not because you are a man. Gender shouldn't come into the equation. Anyone who thinks it is more difficult for a man would be wrong in my opinion. There are grandparents everywhere without whom some families would struggle, they all deserve recognition.
Please continue to chat on here, where you will find support, information and humour, a great mix regardless of your role. Enjoy the precious time with your family. sunshine

HollyDaze Sat 24-May-14 11:18:43


I hope the lack of male responses doesn't put you off posting - I quite like hearing a male perspective on subjects.

I didn't post on this thread as it did seem to be asking grandfathers the question but as others have posted, I will add: my husband didn't take a hands-on approach with our granddaughters at all.

dorsetpennt Sat 24-May-14 11:52:46

Sorry to be a pedant, but I got quite confused with the title of this thread a 'a question of roll' I had visions of bread rolls everywhere. You did mean role didn't you?

Ceesnan Sat 24-May-14 15:57:55

But surely you realised what the thread was about as soon as you started reading the posts? You can't have been the first to notice the misspelling, but others have managed to not draw attention to it. Does it REALLY matter?

grandadR Sat 24-May-14 17:51:55

LOL, yes, role.

nonnanna Sat 24-May-14 21:15:21

Hands on here! Both of us do school runs, school pick ups, dinners, lunches, teas, baths, nappies, toileting, sleep overs, camping trips, bike rides, washing (Grandad did put all of the little ones washing on 90 degree cycle once and miraculously everything survived) school assemblies and pretty much anything else one can think of. We have seven GC between us and are so lucky that they all live locally and we can help with childcare.

grandadR Sat 24-May-14 21:31:56

Shysal, yes all deserve recognition and support, and gender should not be an issue. But we all come with different baggage, and different life templates, and much of this is based on gender. Much support from gransnet I already feel I have, and information is invaluable. I cannot however say that men have been rearing children for thousands of years, and so I am perfectly built for the role, therefore can just do what comes naturally - I have never for instance felt life moving inside me, or had the bond that comes with that. No, it is not necessarily harder for a man, but both genders start from somewhat different places.
Please accept that this is just my own uninformed viewpoint. This may not be the place to talk in such fashion, but it is important to me so I will continue searching.