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Positive experiences of being a grandparent

(47 Posts)
Noregrets Fri 13-Dec-19 19:00:31

I just wanted to start a thread for those of us with difficult grandparenting situations. One to share less complicated relationships with our other grandchildren, not to exclude anyone who isn't as fortunate, but to help all of us to feel better about ourselves.

My oldest daughter has just the one child, now an adult. He suffered with extreme anxiety when first at university and we were all very worried about him for a long period. He persevered despite his mental health difficulties, and graduated with a great degree. Now he is working at a high level in the civil service, in Westminster.

I didn't need to do more than be a Granny who offered only occasional care when he was a child. But at times during his mental health struggles, he ended up staying with me, for complex reasons.

His bond with his Mum is deep and secure, but he does have a secure bond with me too. I offered for him to stop calling me Granny if he felt it a bit babyish, but he chose to carry on doing so.

Have other grandparents here got some positive stories to tell? It's good to share things worth celebrating, as well as supporting each other with more difficult situations I think?

Chewbacca Fri 13-Dec-19 19:36:57

I have 2 GC. GD aged 7 and a GS aged 3. I have them from early morning until they're collected in the evening 2 days a week, plus ad hoc babysitting at weekends and some "granny sleep overs". I'm absolutely fine with that! grin

It's been a complete and total joy teaching GD to bake, cook, knit and the pleasure of gardening. GS is still little but he's just had his first baking lesson this week too.

One of the biggest pleasures is reading to them and showing them the joy of reading. Currently, we're doing E Nesbitt's 5 Children and It.
I know full well that I'm very fortunate to have such a close relationship with my GC and that my DS and DIL have complete trust in me that the children are safe, loved and cared for whilst in my care.

KatyK Fri 13-Dec-19 19:51:04

We have one granddaughter. I confess to being a bit miffed when I was told I was to be a grandmother. I considered myself too young at 50. But oh what a joy it's been. From the age of 3 weeks, she has had sleepovers here. We have read, baked, had lovely days out, cuddled, chatted. She is 19 now and very beautiful, talented and kind. She is at university but when she is home she comes to see us regularly without having to be told to. We are lucky and I feel for grandparents who don't see their grandchildren.

Humbertbear Fri 13-Dec-19 19:59:15

I have loved spending quality time with my grandchildren. I taught them all to sew and cook. But best of all has been the joy of sharing books with me, instilling in them a love of reading. I love it when they ask me to buy them a particular book. A very special time for us is Friday evenings when they light the Sabbath candles and say the blessings I have taught them. Can’t beat it! The highlight of the week.

Madgran77 Fri 13-Dec-19 20:05:04

I have two grandchildren aged 6 and 7. They are delightful company and I pick them up from school on one afternoon a week, plus have them one full day a week in the school holidays/halfterms. We have lots of fun together; cuddles; cooking; art; chatting; reading; playing games; visiting parks/museums and so on. It has been hard to maintain this involvement but so so worth it.

Madgran77 Fri 13-Dec-19 20:05:30

PS Nice thread Noregrets

GagaJo Fri 13-Dec-19 20:11:16

My grandson is the joy and pinnacle of my life. He was an accident, in difficult circumstances, so he and my daughter live with me. Which is NOT good. But what makes up for everything is seeing him daily.

I'm moving soon so I'll only see him bi-monthly, IF I'm lucky. But I'll have had a solid 1 3/4 years of seeing him daily and hopefully will again, at some point.

Perfect love.

larry5 Fri 13-Dec-19 20:15:28

I have one grandson of 2 and a half who is absolutely gorgeous (I might be biases.) My two son's who are in their 40s do not have any children so I was not sure if I would have any grandchildren so when my daughter, who is much younger, had my grandson I was waiting to welcome him with open arms.

I have him two days a week and it is lovely to have the time to watch him as he grows and develops as there was never enough time when my children were little to just sit and be with them. It is so lovely when he comes to see granny and papa as he rushes in to give us cuddles.

Granniesunite Fri 13-Dec-19 20:34:09

I have three grandchildren. One is at the moment not around us physically but still very much in our thoughts and hearts.

My other two I see a almost daily, after school and after nursery.

We sing we dance we read stories, play games, go walking and jump in muddy puddles much to their parents “pretend” annoyance. It’s great fun.

I absolutely love the wee faces telling me all about their day and the hard work they do in school/nursery. What their friends did and said.

I love being granny and the hugs and kisses are fantastic . I really do feel blessed.

And thank you Noregrets for the opportunity to count my blessings.

Noregrets Fri 13-Dec-19 21:00:13

Oh, it's lovely to read these posts. I have cared for my three youngest grandchildren for huge amounts of time since they were born. Night feeds turned into regular sleepovers, picking up from nursery turned into picking up from school. Summer holidays have been wonderful. Rock pooling on beaches, rides on steam trains and messing about on rivers on inflatable sharks, crocodiles and donuts!

sodapop Fri 13-Dec-19 21:43:08

So many memories of those lovely times Noregrets my grandchildren are 30, 26 and 21 now, all turned into happy responsible adults. I'm so proud of them.

Apricity Sat 14-Dec-19 07:14:08

For me the two words are joy and love. Two of my seven grandchildren live on the other side of the world so, very sadly, I don't have the same relationship with them as I do with my local ones. But, it seems to me, that grandchildren are life affirming itself and I have loved watching them grow and their individual personalities developing. So many of the things you are just too busy to notice when your own children are growing up but you have the gift of time to watch and observe in your grandchildren. Treasured moments.

I feel so lucky and blessed to have my little ones but they don't stay little. In the blink of an eye they are growing, some already taller than me, bodies are changing, voices are breaking and we are entering a whole new phase. But they are still happy to talk to and hug their granny, in private and in public, and I am content with that. ?

Noregrets Sat 14-Dec-19 09:41:29

Apricity, that's a beautiful post, and spot on ?

chrissyh Sat 14-Dec-19 09:47:25

I have 3 grandchildren, a DGS who lives abroad and 2 DGDs whom we pick up from school once a week and have all day during school holidays. Yesterday they were off as their school was closed for voting and I took them to the local panto. It was wonderful seeing their faces and hearing them laugh. This summer DH & I took them for a 3-night break in a caravan. We took loads of board games, all belonged to my AC, so they were new to them. We had a wonderful time and they asked if we could do it again next year. The time I spend with them makes me feel young again.

Juicylucy Sat 14-Dec-19 09:54:48

I have 3 granddaughters youngest 10 eldest 14. 2 of them have lived in Australia for 8 years and have just relocated back to the UK so they could grow up around the family. It is wonderful to now be able to pick them up from school have sleepovers etc etc. Even tho I went to Oz 5 times the simple things are doable now they live down the road.

Coconut Sat 14-Dec-19 09:57:09

I’ve 5 GC aged 10 to 18, and have been actively involved in all their lives with babysitting, school holiday childcare etc and have loved every single minute. Even have a bit of “empty nest syndrome” all over again now some are teenagers, but they still come and see me which is lovely. My eldest 2 girls, we now do long weekends away together, last year was Paris, this year Venice, so I have 2 lovely travelling companions now. Have also taken the 3 boys away on different types of breaks ie. Airbnb in a house with a pool as they enjoy a different type of break. But I’ve made such lovely memories with them all, and every year have photo books made as Xmas gifts to remind them of all our adventures, Go Ape etc I do feel truly blessed with them all.

Nanna58 Sat 14-Dec-19 10:32:17

I have looked after my only DGC since he was one. His parents work long hours, my daughter is a detective, and so her hours also erratic. So I have spent three days a week , about 10 hours each day with him . Playgroups, cooking at sure start classes, Boppin tots and Monkey Music- I’ve had the best time of my life. Now take him to and from Nursery and when he starts school next Sept I will be so proud that I have been able to help raise such a lovely little boy. Q

Rosina Sat 14-Dec-19 10:53:38

Oh, so many lovely things have come in to my life since the first grandchild was born. The chances to look after babies and really enjoy it, without being nervous or rushed, the sheer joy of seeing their little faces when they arrive, lit up with happiness and excitement and expecting to be loved, the general fun and games with children that lift the heart, the hilarious and hysterically funny things they say and do...and as I am typing this I realise that none of this can be bought - they are gifts of life and good fortune. Summing up - my darlings have taught me that the best things in life aren't things!

CaroleAnne Sat 14-Dec-19 10:57:33

I have three grandchildren who live in Newcastle Australia. Although we do not see them very often we have a very close bond with them. We were there last christmas and enjoyed being with them. Every time we go it feels as if we have never been away. The older two correspond on what's app.

Lupin Sat 14-Dec-19 10:58:43

I have 3 grandsons, 9,10, and 11, from 2 very dear daughters. I very much enjoy my daughters. They have grown into delightful women - hard working, kind and loyal and have become lovely mums to three boys between them. The boys are now aged 9, 10, and 11. They don't live near me so I see them for extended periods about 3 or 4 times a year. It used to be more but I haven't been able to travel freely for a while.
The boys are such fun. I was helping out in school holidays and when one of my daughters had to go abroad for work. I have loved it and have a relationship with each of them despite the physical distance. I feel very moved by how much they seem to look forward to seeing me as I do them. We have enjoyed imaginative games together. I make cakes with the youngest - he and his Dad have to eat gluten free.
I have been thinking of writing down memories of each of them from babyhood -moments of joy and angst - not to embarrass - but as a keepsake.

Craftycat Sat 14-Dec-19 11:12:27

I have 6 grandchildren- the older 3 are now at the teenage or nearly stage & I miss not seeing them so much but understand they are now independent people. I saw a lot of them when they were younger & it was a joy- they often stayed over & we cooked, baked, played silly games & I loved reading to them.
I also have 3 younger ones who I can still do all this with but they are growing up fast & it is only a matter of time before they no longer need to stay either.
I will have so many happy memories though & they have the memories if all the fun we had together plus they can all cook. The eldest has found this is a great way to impress his girlfriends!

Brigidsdaughter Sat 14-Dec-19 12:13:55

LupinDo the memories! I'd forgotten but now I remember I have odd bits in a box to do something like this. On my 'lust' ha ha. I also plan to do a photo album of my family in Ireland. Married late, so did my mother, so he has only brief meetings to remember.
Oops, going off thread

Mcrc Sat 14-Dec-19 12:21:45

Our son and ex daughter in law had a baby while he was finishing his degree. We were,umm, quite surprised. Like some of the others here I felt I was too young! Christopher is nine now and his sister is seven. We've had them 30 days at a time when our don deployed overseas when had had custody. The joy and connection we developed with them has been wonderful. It makes me so happy when they remember our vacations and the things we do. I absolutely love bathtime! I was sad when I had to leave Christopher alone!

Urmstongran Sat 14-Dec-19 12:32:22

Sometimes it’s just being there for the small moments in life that bring happiness.

Yesterday tea time our little granddaughter who will be 3y soon was excited to tell us ‘grandma I’m going in a big girl bed now with a Peppa pillow’.

I saw her for an hour this morning and her mummy was so pleased - she went straight off to sleep, in her new pyjamas and didn’t wander out of bed once!


Starlady Sat 14-Dec-19 13:02:04

What a delightful thread, Noregrets!

I have 3 DGC, 2 girls and a boy. The girls are schoolage, and the boy is a toddler. I watch the little doll one day a week and pick up the older two from school that day also. Often, I have them a few days during holidays, as well. It's such a joy to be w/ them and to see them all together. The older two are very loving to their little brother and happily play w/ him when they come back to my house after school. How I love to see their smiling faces and hear their laughter! And, of course, I love the little hugs and kisses though I get more from the little guy these days, LOL! Some days, my heart just bursts with love!

Great post, Apricity!

GagJo, sorry that living w/ DD isn't working out so well, but if it's any comfort, I think that's quite common. Glad you found a place to move out to. And very glad you've had so much time w/ GS!

Urmstongran - delightfu story! Glad little GD enjoyed her new pyjamas and bed and slept well in them!