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Grandma or not

(36 Posts)
Newatthis Mon 06-Jan-20 12:53:50

So, this is the situation. I have one GC whom I adore and I am the only grandma as SIL's much loved mum passed away before she was born. He and his siblings are still grieving and miss her every day. Recently their father has found a new 'lady' and the family are extremely upset, especially as the new lady has a reputation for being a golddigger with numerous ex husbands all of who she has benefited financially greatly (but spent it just as fast apparently). It would seem her plans with regard to gold-digging are the same with their father, She behaves like a 16 year old (sitting on his knee, kissing and pawing in public etc.), so not only are they very upset but also they are very worried as his head has been well and truly turned. Now, never having met this woman I do not consider it any of my business and as they all live in another country, I just feel a little sad for them. My issue is, this lady has been on the scene for just a few weeks and she sent a Christmas card to MY GC signed off 'with love from nanna and Grandpa" so now I am involved and feel very annoyed as I am my CC ONLY grandma. The problem is, she lives not far from my GC and I do not want to be the absent, oversees granny. Any advice?

crazyH Mon 06-Jan-20 13:05:27

It really annoys me ....really !!! These women enter into families and take on the title of 'grandma'. My Ex's new wife is called Nana by 4 of my 6 grandchildren. But my daughter's children call her by her first name. They are teenagers and the others are toddlers, so in a way, I can understand.

Grammaretto Mon 06-Jan-20 13:06:40

Newatthis We none of us have any rights over our DGC, I am sorry to say, and I am very glad that I know and like all my other co-GP.

It will feel like a shock but if she makes him happy, isn't that more important than any loyalty to the deceased?

Your relationship with your DGC is not going to change much but if you feel bitter and angry , those feelings may project themselves.
It may never come to anything...

Chestnut Mon 06-Jan-20 13:40:47

Not much you can do unless you feel able to talk to your SIL but I assume he knows about this. What does he think and does he want to get involved by mentioning it to his father? You can't do anything yourself as you are too far removed and not close to these people. I think you'll just have to put up with it and work on having a close, loving relationship with your GC. You don't mention your GC's age but I'm sure this won't affect his/her relationship with you long term especially if the intruder exits the scene.

Septimia Mon 06-Jan-20 14:11:46

My DGD has a stepfather, and a stepmother (never referred to as that), both called by their first names. The stepparents' parents automatically opted to be called by their first names. Neither set seems to have wanted to usurp the position of grandparents.

Nevertheless, our DiL's parents - and their family - treat DGD as family.

Maybe your SiL should just refer to his father's lady friend by her first name, regardless of what she calls herself, so that your GC has a clearer understanding of the situation. In all other respects there's probably not a lot he can do about his father's relationship.

Doodle Mon 06-Jan-20 14:14:02

DH felt a bit the same when other nan had a new man in her life who became another grandpa. The other man has long gone now and is not mentioned. At the end of the day all that matters is that you are your grandson’s grandma. Let your grandsons parents sort it out if they think it’s a problem. Otherwise let it go.

Hetty58 Mon 06-Jan-20 14:17:12

My grandson has five 'grannies' due to divorce and remarriage in his dad's family. I don't mind at all - as I know I'm his favourite!

jenpax Mon 06-Jan-20 14:21:18

I quite understand how you feel, but you will always have a special place in the family as the original grandma.
The step grandma hopefully will be an extra kind person that your grandson can spend time with. The issue of whether or not she is a “gold digger” is not really yours to worry about.

MissAdventure Mon 06-Jan-20 16:21:36

I would think it's up to your grandchild's parents to say if they are unhappy about the new woman referring to herself as nanna.

I wouldn't allow it, personally, but everyone is different.

sodapop Mon 06-Jan-20 16:52:23

I agree with others, let the family sort this one out. You have your special place Newatthis so don't let resentful feelings spoil things. Using the lady's forename as in "Nannablank" would be a good compromise.

endlessstrife Mon 06-Jan-20 16:56:56

Just be happy your GC has so many people who love her. I really would just accept it, as to try and change it may cause friction. Don’t concern yourself with this new lady. It is up to your SIL’s family to sort her, if anyone is going to. Just be the source of good reason and common sense when you’re needed.

Newatthis Mon 06-Jan-20 20:00:10

I think it might be different if she was the step-gran but they are not married or even living together as she has only been on the scene a few weeks. She also sent cards to the other grandchildren (on SIL's side) who are mainly all teenagers, young adults and they have been very upset by it as they can remember their 'real' grandma.

MarySunshine Tue 07-Jan-20 07:58:33

When I was in my 20's my Mum got with a man who tried to impose himself on our family very quickly. He would turn up to family events and was the cause of many family arguements because we snubbed him. He 'worked' on the younger children because children are easier to bend and accept. My Mum was besotted with this man and couldnt understand why we detested her 'new love'.
As a family we stood united against this man, and from what you say Newatthis, the rest of your family are united in their dislike of the gold digger. Your SILs father is probably feeling lonely and flattered that a 'lady' is making him feel young again. I hope the rest of the family can make him see sense before it ends in a family rift.
And believe me, all this pushing herself to be 'nanna' will have the opposite effect than what she hopes.. None can take away the Nan that you already are, so please try and not let this upset you. It is very unlikely the relationship will last for long!

Iam64 Tue 07-Jan-20 08:49:44

It's rare for children to have what used to be the norm, that is two sets of grandparents. Some of our grandchildren have four grannies. Better than having no grannies. Family life has changed and we have to go with that.

LilyJ Tue 07-Jan-20 10:09:14

Quite a worry for you all, but quite inevitable too that the father will indeed move on..albeit sometimes, with someone that the family don’t feel drawn to.
Take heart though, you are “Grandma”, there’s only one Grandma and this lady realises this and has chosen another name to be known by..Nanna. Perhaps give her some credit for not “taking” your preferred name!
In this day and age, children may well have more than a few grandparents, nice if we get on with the others, shame if we don’t, but that is life.
Just carry on being You and enjoying your gc.

sweetcakes Tue 07-Jan-20 10:13:02

I bet these women read the obituary column in the news paper to find their next husband!! Modern day black widow but without the death!!

moobox Tue 07-Jan-20 10:13:06

Although I call mine step grandchildren and grandchildren to other people, I wouldn't be referred to as such by the under 10s. My husband was with me when both my actual grandchildren were born and is naturally therefore grandad. My grandson prefers him to me actually.

Nannyme Tue 07-Jan-20 10:14:16

Newatthis I know exactly how you feel, all over Christmas I had my ex’s new wife’s role as the GCs Nanny, as in Nanny and I did this etc etc. It shouldn’t hurt but it does and we can’t do a thing about it. In time they will know who is who. Chin up.

Lancslass1 Tue 07-Jan-20 10:46:18

My husband was a widower when I married him and my step daughter asked me what I would like her two little girls )who were too young to know their real grandmother ) to call me.
I said by my first name .
( I have to say that at my age I love being called by my Christian name.
Makes me feel younger)

moggie57 Tue 07-Jan-20 11:18:09

make it clear .go visit them and send a card with your picture on it saying love from grandma.,and say i'm your grandma .that would annoy me d mil calls my d her daughter and the grandma calls my d her grandaughter even gets her a christmas card with gd on it...when mil lived near by i told her that makes me your daughter which i am truly not. her answer was well she's my daughter now... least to say there was an argument .really says me well on her birth certidfficate i am her mother not you.i can see why but made me upset anyway.. as for his new wife with her silly little girl ways .he soon get fed up of it ,and people will laugh at him. have you had a word with your dad?

Oopsminty Tue 07-Jan-20 11:21:24

Don't worry about it

Just calmly carry on with your relationship with your grandchildren and don't allow yourself to get upset about her behaviour

BazingaGranny Tue 07-Jan-20 11:27:17

Dear Newatthis, it takes a village to raise a child, we are told. I must say that I feel very torn and quite hurt by some of the comments here about step-grandmothers. Jealousy doesn’t become blood relations at all - although I can see that in your specific instance, your family may have some cause to be concerned.

In our case, we have been married for 15 years, and my husband was a widower with teenage children when we met.

I am called Nana Bazinga by my step grandchildren, aged 1-10, this name was the choice of their mothers. I was happy to be called Bazinga, much nicer, I feel!

But I’m afraid that one of their ‘real’ (blood) grandmothers and her family, have been very unpleasant and dismissive of me.

I also know that I have been called a gold digger by one ’real’ grandmother, although in fact it’s my money that has paid for quite a few holidays, toys and furniture, etc, for my step children and their children.

I do hope that your fears don’t come to fruition.

rosenoir Tue 07-Jan-20 11:36:53

You cannot change the situation so you will have to change your attitude towards it or you could end up bitter and resentful.

Having another "grandparent" in the family will not change your grandchilds feelings towards you and the rest of it, no offence, is nothing to do with you.

EcoGranny Tue 07-Jan-20 11:41:38

Oh dear, families are so complicated aren't they? I read somewhere that you can't control other people , only yourself; I think that's true. Being hurt and bitter is not a good look, although I identify with that from my own current situation.I would suggest trying to be the bigger person and carry on as normal being cheerful and supportive. I had a step-father; he came into my life when I was in my early 20s. My father died when I was 16 years old. S-F made my mother happy and was there for all of us. My children called him Grampy John and they all loved each other unreservedly. He enhanced out lives beyond measure until he died some years ago. Stay strong, be patient, be yourself and see how the situation rolls. Ultimately our families owe us very little and being bitter can alienate rather than strengthen. That's not to say I don't hear your pain. Good luck .

Jillybird Tue 07-Jan-20 11:48:47

I have various children around who are not my own biologically. I would prefer to be called Nanny as that is what my own grandchildren call me, so calling me by my first name seems odd for them to hear. I think NannyX is just an honorary title and seriously object to one of them calling me by my first name. If anything I could accept Auntie as that would at least be polite. Unfortunately I don't think there's anything you can do about your "grannie"... commiserations. Let's hope she takes off before she fleeces yet another man... How CAN they be so stupid???!!!