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Paternal grandmother, and the only one

(15 Posts)
Daisyanswerdo Sun 03-Jan-16 17:55:37

I am the only grandmother of my son's children. I would very much like to compare notes with other grandmothers in this situation.

OlderNoWiser Sun 03-Jan-16 18:12:28

Hi Daisy, I am in a similar situation as my grandchildren's other grandmother is suffering from dementia and is not interested in them or, sadly, not capable of remembering much about them from one day to the next.

How old are your grandchildren? Mine are 6 and 4 with another due in May. I do consider myself very lucky to be in receipt of their complete love and attention. Despite the fact that it is tiring at times I would not want to see any less of them.

Deedaa Sun 03-Jan-16 22:07:33

High Daisy Because my SiL is 10 years older than DD and was the youngest of 13 children his parent were much older and died before GS1 was born. GS1 is now 9 and GS2 is 3 and I have looked after then 5 days a week for a large part of their lives.

GS3 has other grandparents, but they live in Hungary so he sees his Granny only rarely although they do Skype regularly. As his mother hasn't gone back to work yet I'm not needed for full time care but he visits often.

Candelle Sun 03-Jan-16 22:21:03

Hello Daisy

One DSIL's parents have died, so that family's childcare is down to us. The other SIL has a mother who does very little, so just about all childcare is down to us, too. We are told she is unwell however she seems able to go on frequent, fairly strenuous holidays and seems to be able to rouse herself when she wants to! Quite annoying.

We do feel a little hard done by at times but think that we are the lucky ones by having wonderful contact with our GC whom we adore - and they (I think!), us.

Lillie Mon 04-Jan-16 06:51:28

Candelle you made me laugh. My MiL is/always has been our DC's only grandparent. For 30 years she has been "unwell," but despite this, has been able to travel the world! You're right, it is very annoying, especially when she doesn't lift a finger for her GCs and has never once looked after them or shown any interest.
Daisy, I don't think you need to make up for the absence of the three other grandparents by wearing yourself out, but it is important to take an interest in everything the family does and share their pleasures and achievements. A little support goes a long way, and in our experience we felt very alone and bewildered without any encouragement from the only remaining GP. (I so wish the existing GP could have swapped places with my adorable, generous mother who died before our children were born). That's a horrible thing to say I know, but I think the one remaining GP should have a duty to, in some way, help carry the family forward.

Annegranny2 Mon 04-Jan-16 10:57:43

Candelle, this is so true of the "unwell" who live to be ancient and my lovely mother died at 52 and was loving and generous. I experienced 2 very different grandmothers and grandfathers too, who were not as hands on as we are today and so many grandparents do far too much for their offspring. My Dad took off with a friends wife after my mother died and they have been on holiday (almost) ever since. Men seem to get away with doing nothing and not ever cooking a Christmas big gripe...and in my family men are hopeless at everything but when it comes to sport can depart for weeks on end and seem to think they have no family duties to perform. I think this is a big one and its up to us to find a balance in our own lives and not do too much. Its very tempting as we love our grandchildren but after all we are not the parents and in the end they have the final say. I have learned all this with sometimes bitter experience but it has made me stronger to sometimes say NO.

Leyshir Mon 04-Jan-16 12:11:48

When my eldest son met his partner I always had a feeling she didn't like me. My son and I used to be so close but all that changed. I have 3 grandchildren aged 9, 7 and 5 they live many miles away down south which means a train journey and overnight stay so not so easy to pop in to see them. They have another grandma much closer. Recently my son and I have become estranged due to his completely uncaring attitude towards me. No phone calls or Christmas card for me this year. So unless I receive an invitation I won't be able to see my grandchildren in the near future although I will still send cards, pressies and money for them. Sorry for hijacking your thread maybe I should have posted this somewhere else.

Rhonab Mon 04-Jan-16 12:22:11

While I am not the only Gran, I am the only one who babysits ... the other lives a bit further away, but only about an hour. She is not deemed fit to look after the wee one due to being a bit on the batty side apparently, not that I've noticed this myself the few times we've met. She says she's glad we are on hand to do the babysitting, specially when DGD was a tiny baby.
My husband is the only grandad and couldn't be prouder, even though she is actually a step!!!
The wee one is 2 now and an absolute joy to us. It's lovely having such a close relationship with her and seeing her develop.

TrishTopcat Mon 04-Jan-16 13:14:14

Does anyone have the opposite issue - both adult children from step families, so multiple sets of grandparents for each parent? Is this a benefit or a problem?

Jumbly01 Mon 04-Jan-16 14:19:26

I'm the only grandma for both DD's children. One SIL's dear mum died before they married and the other delightful lady died just after DD and SIL's wedding. Both wonderful ladies who would have so loved being grand mothers. We talk about them so that the children are always aware of their being and lovely points. All grand children now live several hours away but we visit as often as possible and enjoy being as much a part of their lives as possible.

Annegranny2 Mon 04-Jan-16 16:14:21

I think its a good time of the year to have these sort of discussions as a lot goes on at Christmas and it is an emotional time. I have just bought a book on Mothers and Sons as the relationship definately changes when they get a partner!!
We can only do our best and remember to enjoy our lives too.

Wendysue Mon 04-Jan-16 16:30:18

For various reasons, I'm the only GM who is consistently active in my DGC's lives, as babysitter when needed and so forth. Sometimes, I admit, it gets to be "too much," as my DD (their mother) turns to me whenever she wants a sitter and some days, I have to say no. However, for the most part, I see it as a blessing cuz of the amount of time I get to enjoy with my grands and the way I'm getting to know them and vice versa. Like PPs, I know I am very lucky.

As far as the opposite issue, Trish, I've actually experienced it the other way, at times, LOL, when the PGPs chose to be more involved. And I would say that's a mixed bag, too. It means there's another set of GPs or another GM to watch the kids sometimes, and that has it's obviously value! Also, IMO, it's wonderful for the kids to get to know and enjoy their other GPs and see that other people actively love them. "You can't have too much love," as the saying goes.

But it can be a problem, too, cuz, due to some things that have been said, I sense they're a bit jealous of DH and me and our relationship with the kids or what they think that relationship is like. And they try to "compete" by getting them the biggest, most expensive gifts and so forth though this may just be the way they are.

It's more of a problem for the parents, however, than for DH or me since the other GPs aren't as reliable (don't always keep the plans) or as respectful of parental wishes as I am. And one of them is prone to trying to instill the kids with their own views without being sure if those are the parents' views or not. Usually, that hasn't been an issue, but once or twice, there was a clash (which may be why they've backed off- far off).

grannyactivist Mon 04-Jan-16 17:27:19

Trish Topcat one of my grandsons has eight grandparents and five great-grandparents! One for every day of the week (plus a spare who has no involvement). He has me and my husband, we're the most hands-on grandparents; his late father's parents are divorced, so he only sees his granny; his step-dad's parents are divorced and both remarried, so that's another two sets of grandparents. Additionally he has two sets of great-grandparents and a great-grandfather. Fortunately children just seem to take families in their stride and accept as normal whatever their own family situation is.

Greenockgran Mon 04-Jan-16 22:52:59

My grandaughter has another set of grandparents who often give her all she wants. If I spend £100 they will spend £200.
We all get along as adults, no sneaky dislikes, but when my grandaughter comes to me she knows she has rules. What goes on with the other grandparents matters not to me.
There are normally 4 grandparents in a family (sorry if that is non PC to some) and I would hate to be in competition or perceive to be. After all, my grandaughter likes us all and to me that is all that matters.

Daisyanswerdo Tue 05-Jan-16 10:26:59

Thank you all for those careful and perceptive replies to my post. I'm sorry to have been a bit slow in responding (anniversary of daughter's death).

Reading all your posts, I realised what I should have thought of before: that everyone is different. I experienced some problems over Christmas that left me feeling bewildered and needing advice. I'm divorced, so there is no one to share this with day to day.

Overall, I get on well with the family in question, am welcomed to their house, and the children and I communicate easily. That's what's important, and besides I don't and can't know the background to my DS and DDiL's everyday exchanges.

I am a chronic worrier. Just writing my post and reading your replies has put things into perspective, so I don't now feel the need to be more specific.

Thank you all.