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The other grandmother

(52 Posts)
nanny1 Tue 16-Aug-11 15:32:25

My grandson says he is a boy with no grand dads only grandmas, which is true because they both passed away recently :-(

However, we both love him dearly and are very proud of him.

Thankfully we both get on fairly well too.

How do you get on with the "other" grandparents?

absentgrana Tue 16-Aug-11 16:06:54

I like my son-in-law's parents very much and I know that they adore the children, even the eldest one from my daughter's first marriage. They – daughter, husband, grandchildren and his family – all live in New Zealand so I don't see any of them very often. (Fingers still crossed for a residency visa.) The children are all very affectionate and I love chatting to them on the phone, but there is a bit of me that envies their other grandmother – not in a nasty selfish way, just in a longing and wistful one.

harrigran Wed 17-Aug-11 18:58:35

I like my DIL's parents but feel sorry that they only see the DGC a few times a year. I am lucky that I am the relatively close Gran and get to see them every week.

HildaW Wed 17-Aug-11 19:01:44

Nanny.....I am the only Grandma....the other one died suddenly and very dramatically, until I do the same my SIL is always going to have a problem with me. Sounds a bit dramatic and hes a nice enough bloke but hes got it in the back of his mind that I am experiencing all those things his Mum never will. Hes yet another example of the one and only son being Smothered rather than being allowed to grow up and make his own life. Hey ho.

HildaW Wed 17-Aug-11 19:18:26

Just read that back ...I've worded it very baldly and badly....... I fully understand his loss but it makes life awkward for my darling daughter. The lady concerned knew she had little time left but had left strict instructions that no one else would be told. So instead of those who needed to know being emotionally and practically prepared it was a huge shock to all. Any way, I am just so grateful whenever I see them and hope that time will heal the huge pain that was left behind.

jackyann Wed 17-Aug-11 22:47:00

Oh HildaW, that is difficult.
I know that when dying (or when in labour!) are the times one's own needs should be paramount.... but it was a shame that no-one encouraged her to make things easier for those left behind.
I had a wonderful friend whose own mother died young. Her MiL said, when the first child was expected "I shall never be able to replace her, but I'll be the best 2nd-best I can".

Mt DS married a girl he had known since birth, when she was 7 the family moved opposite us, so we had known them for years; and a lovely sensible & caring family they are (not sure what they'd say about us!)

Joan Wed 17-Aug-11 23:26:59

My son is about to buy a house with his fiancee - they'll marry as soon as they can face the big Chinese wedding her side will expect. I might never meet her Mum. Her Dad is OK with a white lad for his daughter, but her Mum is NOT. My DiL (to be) may end up being disowned - for a while at least. I do hope it is all OK when the grandchildren arrive - I cannot imagine race issues cutting someone off from their grandchildren. Anyway, I want them to have a chance to be bilingual

At least she knows that we love her - she is beautiful, kind, intelligent, great to us, and full of life - what's not to love?

If I do meet her Mum at the wedding I'll pretend there has never been a problem.

Annika Thu 18-Aug-11 13:33:15

I love the "other grandmother" she is not only my son's mother-in-law but my best mate. The sad thing is she is dying , her life is a struggle, but every Thursday afternoon I go round to her and sometimes we cry but most of the time we find something to laugh at.
It is surprising how brave people like her manage to carry on she is so brave , she is the most wonderful person I have ever known, she is not only a loving and caring nanna , mother, mother-in-law and wife but she is there for me if I ever need her that is why I love her so much . sad

Weefatgranny Thu 18-Aug-11 15:01:02

My grandson's other grandmother adores him, almost as much as I do! She is, however, as mad as a box of frogs and not in a good way.

The eldest of my three sons is married to a grand girl whose mother is one of my closest friends, even though we do live thousands of miles away from each other. We would make fantastic co-Grannies, but it is looking increasingly like our children may be unable to conceive .....

DaisyD Thu 18-Aug-11 15:52:14

I would get on very well with the other granny - if we spoke the same language! My son lives in France with his two little boys and his French wife and the French "Mammi" gets to see them quite a lot. I don't speak very good French and they are very particular about pronunciation! and grammar! well, you can't blame them I suppose. I must admit that I do feel pangs of jealousy at times, especially as I can't visit them very often, but that's life isn't it.

gracesmum Thu 18-Aug-11 16:20:54

I am very fond of SIL's parents but have to admit to feeling defensive or competitive - I suppose it's in my nature. The other Granny has 2 other grandchildren (this is our first) and just copes wonderfully with every aspect of grandmotherhood, while I am a bundle of insecurities, loving him to bits but terrified that I will somehow be inadequate as a granny. D is also very fond of her in-laws and I do sometimes feel she makes more allowances for them than for us!
I find myself feeling edgy if it seems as if they spend more time with him than we do but have to recognise that I see him once a week at present so I can't complain and don't know what I am moaning about.

gracesmum Thu 18-Aug-11 16:31:14

But think how lucky these boys are to have the oppoprtunity to grow up bilingual! I assume they speak English with you and think your French counterparts should be more accepting of your brave efforrts to speak French. What is their English like? As a recently retired French teacher I know we English have a reputation for not being good at languages, but we still come the French!!

nanapug Thu 18-Aug-11 19:09:33

Oh dear, think I am in the minority sad

absentgrana Thu 18-Aug-11 19:45:12

Hello gracesmum My daughter was called Grace, but hated the name with a passion and has legally changed it, but that's by the way. Hey ho! You are the granny you are and, by definition, that's not inadequate. Its not a competition. Of course, your daughter makes allowances for her in-laws – she knows and loves you and doesn't have to make allowances. Just relish the joy of grannydom – there are no rules. There isn't a right way. And, by the way again, you're not moaning. smile

Jangran Sat 20-Aug-11 13:59:14

All of my grandchildren live nearer to the "other" grandparents than we do, and therefore see a great deal more of them. I found that quite difficult to begin with, since I thought that they would be the "real" grandparents, whilst we would be just the ones that had duty visits from time to time. I really felt quite jealous, and had to keep reminding myself never to let it show.

However, the situation did not quite work out like that. My first grandson decided that he really loved me, and he has never changed that position. Even seeing me about once a month, his arms were outstretched for me as soon as he set eyes on me. When the "other" and I are both there now, grandson 1 spends most of his time with me. I think I am better at playing with him than she is.

My granddaughter, on the other hand, decided that she didn't like anyone except her mummy to begin with. She would allow no-one else to hold her, not even her father! As she grew older, however, she and I developed what my daughter calls a bond, and although we don't see each other as often, she seems to regard time spent with me as more of a treat than time spent with the other grandmother.

My second grandson decided, and seems to have stuck to it, that only his own mummy and daddy count at all, although he is capable of some lovely affectionate gestures. I can get close to him when we are together, but I always need to start from the beginning again when we visit. I get the impression that the "other" grandparents experience similar treatment.

My third and last grandson - he loves everybody, but especially his granddads. And he loves my husband best of all. So he is nice to me, but soon demands "granddad, now!". It's lovely!

Moral - it all depends on the individual child, and distance is not the point.

Baggy Sat 20-Aug-11 15:11:27

Pleased for you, jangran! My only GS (so far) is moving to live a little bit nearer soon (250 miles instead of 450!) so I will get to see him a bit more often, especially as his other gran has said I can stay at her house when I visit. smile

nadoli Wed 31-Aug-11 14:06:54

As a first time Grandma to a lovely 15 month old grandaughter,(my first grandchild) I feel that my sons partner tends to put myself and my husband on "the back burner"
We look after our grandaughter one day a week to enable her mummy to go to work, her other grandma looks after her 2 days a week and see`s her every day including week-ends as she only lives 5 mins away, we on the other hand live an hours drive away. They very rarely come to visit us unless they need to be in this area for some reason.
My son is not aware how i feel about this situation and i would not like to cause upset by mentioning how i feel about the situation.
My "daughter-in- law" barely speaks in our company be it in our home or theirs.
I feel so upset about this and do not know how to deal with it without causing ill feeling.
What should I do?

elderflower1 Wed 31-Aug-11 14:37:51

nadoli I do feel for you. Enjoy your one day a week with your grandaughter, a lot of grandmas don't even get this amount of time.. Why don't you invite DIL to go shopping with you and grandaughter maybe to buy something for gd. Might break the silence a little. We have a similar relationship with SIL, hardly ever speaks at our house or theirs and can be quite cutting with his MIL jokes. However we make an effort to include him in all conversations, always consult him about things we want to do with gd when at ours and have grown a thick skin. Good relationship with daughter and gd though.

JessM Wed 31-Aug-11 14:59:59

MIL jokes!!! lacking in the social skills department, evidently.
I wish that i could be mates with the other granny but we have absolutely nothing in common except the obvious. There have been times when i would have really appreciated if things were different. People who get on well with other grandparents and can be friends with them are really lucky, especially in difficult times.
Oh dear Joan that's sad.
My friend's son married someone from the middle east. The relatives back home were not allowed to know that she was living with him. But at least her mother was on-side. Their wedding was so gorgeous that they were featured in a bride magazine. Funny - I had imagined that her mother would be a middle eastern matron but in the photo's was revealed to look like an Italian model in her mid 40s. Shows how we can imagine the wrong picture... smile

nadoli Wed 31-Aug-11 17:24:12

Elderflower1-I have always included DIL and have gone shopping for baby with her.Went to buy Pram with her & and other Gran was completely ignored by both of them!!!
Does not even make us a drink when we arrive and we provide all the meals when we are there.
Is it me?

Gally Wed 31-Aug-11 18:55:16

We have 3 sets of 'outlaws'. The 2 (4) in the UK are lovely - I don't suppose in another life we would have chosen them (or they us) as friends but when we do meet up about 3/4 times a year we have a lovely time in each others' company. However, the lot in Oz are a different thing altogether - in fact I could write a book on them. It's bad enough when your daughter marries someone on the other side of the world and leaves her nearest and dearest for the love of her life, but to acquire a set of in-laws who have no understanding of her feelings at being stranded in a strange country with absolutely no friends or relatives within 5000 miles, in unforgiveable. She has now been there for nearly 10 years and I salute her for her endurance and her ability to be constantly pleasant to a mother-in-law who last year called her a 'selfish' for no apparent reason. We can only surmise that she is jealous of G. MIL comes over as totally spoilt and inconsiderate of anyone but herself. She patently adores her son who she was unable to bring up without help from her own mother and aunts.(he was adopted). I won't go on - it would take hours but the first Christmas G had in Oz when she was just married - SIL was given a set of expensive clothes and a return ticket to Brisbane for just himself (to visit his parents who were living there) and G was given an evening bag which MIL had used once at a wedding and didn't want to keep (it had a big stain on it). Phew I feel better for sharing that....angry

GoldenGran Wed 31-Aug-11 19:04:31

Oh gally it must be hard for you knowing that your daughter is so far away with an unkind MIL. If someone hurts our children we feel it, especially as I know you are probably be a great MIL yourself. Have a hug,asmile and a[brew}

Gally Wed 31-Aug-11 20:19:49

Thank you GG - a problem shared is a problem halved !!! I just have to keep on smiling smile

harrigran Wed 31-Aug-11 21:55:38

Gally how can people be so horrid ? You would think MIL would bend over backwards to try and help your DD when she is so far from home.

Faye Wed 31-Aug-11 22:59:45

How awful for you, nadoli. Reading Jangran's post shows that you don't have to see your grandchild every day to be close. I pity you having your DIL though, does your son notice that his wife's behaviour is very rude and disfunctional... confused
Gally it must have been hard for your daughter, one good thing though is her Mil doesn't live on her doorstep. I guess if I was your daughter I would say to her MIL not to bother to visit..ever!!!! angry