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Maternal vs Paternal Granny

(55 Posts)
mrsmopp Wed 09-Jul-14 00:33:38

Does the paternal granny take second place to the maternal granny? Ideally they should both be equally involved with the children, but it often happens that the paternal granny is sidelined in favour of the children's mother's side.
I know of several instances where this is the case and grannies are rivals for time spent with the children. It can be very upsetting for those involved, especially for the paternal granny who is often left out. A sad state of affairs but the children's mum is naturally going to favour her own mother when it comes to babysitting etc.
I'm not saying it's right but I do see it happening regularly.

MiceElf Wed 09-Jul-14 06:35:09

Did this happen in your family when your children were small, Mrs Mopp?

I would have thought that rivalry between grandmothers does not set a good example to their children or grandchildren.

Greenfinch Wed 09-Jul-14 07:08:58

My daughter's children I see 5 times a week or more; my son's I see once a month for a couple of hours. They both live within 10 miles of us. y DiL sees her mother every day. My SiL sees his about 3 times a year and she only lives about50 miles away. There's absolutely no rivalry between grandparents. it just how things are.

Aka Wed 09-Jul-14 07:35:37

It depends on the personality of the 'child'. My son is very conscientious about visiting us, keeping in touch, including us, but that's the way he is - very family orientated. He wouldn't allow any estrangement of our grandchildren, ever.

We see a lot of my daughter's children too, but because she needs us, for child minding, school runs, etc. as her husband works shifts and she teaches full time.

Lona Wed 09-Jul-14 07:49:11

I think some of this is down to circumstances, how much grandparents can help, and distance.
I'm not competitive, I just help where I can, but in the past I have been pushed down the list a bit.
Now I'm the nearest nana to the littlest gd and she's mine grin

Aka Wed 09-Jul-14 07:50:43

and she's mine grin love it!

Grannyknot Wed 09-Jul-14 07:51:07

I always welcomed all the help I could get with raising children. If my son's MIL gets to see more of the soon-come new baby than I do, I think I will simply feel grateful for the young couple that they're getting all the help they need and take my turn when it comes. No rivalry and I shan't be keeping score.

I agree with Aka in that it depends on a host of things. When my children were small, my mother was a single woman with 3 children and I was the only one who lived near her, whereas my MIL had 6 children, 2 still at home and was in a relationship with a demanding man. So my kids (and I) spent a lot more time with my mother when they were small than what we did with my MIL. I also hung around with my mom a lot because I married a golfer! So it worked well for all concerned. I can't imagine what it would have been like trying to balance spending equal time with each grandma.

Lona Wed 09-Jul-14 08:10:59

I forgot to say that I'm the paternal nana to my littlest gd, her materrnal grandparents both work, I'm retired so more available.

grannyactivist Wed 09-Jul-14 08:37:14

My daughter, who used to live nearby, has now moved and is equidistant to both sets of parents. This week my eldest grandson is with his other granny and, because he is poorly, the youngest arrived here for 'emergency care' last night and will stay until the end of the week. During the summer childcare is more or less evenly matched between me and the paternal granny. My daughter is happy for both sets of grandparents to be as involved as we want to be and there is no rivalry between us. smile In fact my eldest grandson has so many grandparents he actually has one for every day of the week and my daughter falls over backwards to ensure that we all feel included in his life in some way.

janerowena Wed 09-Jul-14 15:37:40

Not in this family. My mother has four girls, she was a pretty dreadful mother and even worse grandmother. She flatly refused to help in any way. She said she had done her bit (we would beg to differ). We were lucky, we have several marriages between us, but in every one we have had lovely mother-in-laws.

Now, my daughter lives less than ten minutes away from her MiL by car, I am three hours away, and I am so pleased that she has a wonderful MiL. She has the children a couple of days a week if needed, coming to their house, and they visit her every Saturday. The children often stay the night, too. She has looked after my daughter when she was ill, which meant that I didn't have to go haring down the motorway. I send her chocolates at Christmas, because I am so thankful that she makes my daughter's life easier. (2 part-time jobs, 2 small children and 4 years through a law degree)

MiniMouse Thu 10-Jul-14 10:13:21

How sad that this has versus in the title sad

As others have said, often it's just circumstance that makes it appear that the paternal MiL is more involved, plus it's just the natural way things are with DiL's turning to their own parents.

I see more of my DD's family, even though she's further away than DS. Mainly because she's more organised and we can arrange things!!

My DiL's mother childminds once a week, so has a closer relationship with my DS's children. I'm grateful that she is able to do that to help them out.

I think it's natural to feel a little pushed out/left out, but weighing everything up, as long as the DGCs are loved and cared for, does it really matter?

Nonnie Thu 10-Jul-14 11:00:46

I don't think its the grandparents who compete I think it is down to the mother of the children. Some wives just can't cope with another woman being in their husband's lives and use the children to deprive their MiL and cause trouble.

It is so easy for those who are not in this situation and it must be hard for them to understand how it feels but when you have done everything to be kind and thoughtful and then get this undeserved treatment it is very hard.

ninathenana Thu 10-Jul-14 13:47:45

I'd be more than happy to share with the paternal grandparents wink DH and I do childcare at least 4 days a week which involves nursery and school runs, SALT appointments etc. Unfortunately the other GPs are in Germany. I do make a point of not contacting DD when they are over so that they can spend as much time as possible with DGC.

rubylady Thu 10-Jul-14 20:10:10

I agree Nonnie. My DG have no other GP at all apart from me. Their paternal GP are both deceased and my ex husband hasn't had anything to do with his DD for about 13 years now so I am a lone GP.

Nevertheless, they have ostracised me from their family, by my DD really because I dared to comment that they had not included me anywhere in their upcoming wedding, regardless of all the help, advice and financial input I have given. I needn't have done since she was working and should be able to stand on her own two feet a bit more now, but no, I paid for virtually all the nursery goods.

I normally back down and apologise to keep the peace and to be able to see my DGC but I'm sticking to my guns this time. I have been really hurt.

So no competition at all in my life with DGP's. Just a very self centred and ungrateful DD.

rubylady Thu 10-Jul-14 20:12:27

One advantage, however, to her lack of communication is that my DS (who usually gets put in the background) and I have grown closer recently because my DD is not getting my attention all the time, as usual. smile

Kiora Fri 11-Jul-14 13:51:26

I think it's perfectly natural that my 2 DiL's turn to their own family first. It does hurt a bit. One is much worse than the other but that's down to her personality. My 2 sons would never allow their wives to stop me seeing the children. On the other hand my own daughter tried very hard to get close to her MiL. She wanted and expected the same kind of relationship that she had experienced between myself and her granny(my MiL) but it was not to be. I think her lack of support and criticism played a small part in the marriage breakdown. Families, who'd have em? We would ! so we muddle through as best we can. I try really hard not to take things for granted because of my experience around family estrangement because of my daughters controlling ex partner. It's easy to think it 'could never happen in my family' (my family & friends described us as *the waltons*) but believe me it can happen to any family and the pain is truly terrible.

ineedsensibleanswersplease Fri 11-Jul-14 14:10:58

I think that during the first few years of having a baby, new mothers can tend to get isolated from their friends who are at different life stages to them. Added to that all of my friends (hopefully most women) consider their mums as more of a friend and confidant as they grow older. So I think in cases where gc see maternal gm more regularly it has just as much to do with the daughter needing the mother/daughter friendship as it is about seeing gc.

dorsetpennt Fri 11-Jul-14 16:57:06

I bought this matter up last year. I just thought that the mother was more likely to ask her mother first for most things, advice , child care etc. I know there are always exceptions. Just that the daughter would feel more comfortable asking her own mother before her mother-in-law, even if they all get on like a house on fire. Also a paternal mother-in-law would perhaps be more reticent in these matters then she would with her own daughter. At the moment I'm a MIL with a wonderful relationship with my DIL and she does ask me for advice and help. Hopefully my daughter will one day settle down and have children [not holding my breath here] and I will see from another perspective.

tanith Fri 11-Jul-14 17:09:09

It also depends on circumstance, my son lives abroad and he and his lovely partner presented us with our 8th Grandchild a year ago. They met where they live now which is where all her family are and I'm very happy that it seems all her family are involved in the upbringing of this grand little boy. They keep all the family here in the UK up to date with FB messages and photos of all the important happenings in the little ones life and there is an open invite for us to visit as often as we can.

Of course cost of flights prevents more than a couple of visits a year and I was included in all the family occasions when I was there, the maternal grandma so obviously(to me) took a step back when I was there allowing more time for me to get to know the little one but she happily joined me in proudly pushing the pram around when out and about. I am glad my son has all their support when he can't have mine/ours.

sparkygran Fri 11-Jul-14 18:58:48

Am feeling truly blessed that DD who lives very close by with husband and grandchildren and we see them frequently and have DGd every Monday after school and now during the holidays also DS and DiL who live other side of town and keep us fully involved with DGd2 I know it`s not the same for everyone and flowers to you all

hildajenniJ Fri 11-Jul-14 19:27:21

I used to see my DGC every day as my DD lived close by (9 miles) and does not drive. Her DH was in the RN and spent months at a time away at sea. I was chief taxi driver taking the little ones to Nursery school. Her MiL lived about the same distance away and visited them once a week on average. Since they moved to Scotland, things have changed somewhat. My SiL mum is able to visit more often than me which pleases me as the GC are getting to know her really well now, and are more comfortable with her.

Humbertbear Sat 12-Jul-14 15:46:36

I'm sure we see more of our grand children than we might have done because my son has been at home for 8 years as the main carer. He does ring the maternal grand parents for help but I know we get more calls than we would do if DiL was at home. We have become very good friends with the other grand parents and see them once a week - our children are finding it difficult to cope with us ganging up on them.

TwiceAsNice Sat 12-Jul-14 20:24:09

It's not always down to how near you live either. I live 150 miles away from DD her mother in law lives 10 mins walk or 2 mins away in the car. However MIL is 91 (although very fit) and since she was widowed when grandchildren were babies has a very full social life with many friends and sees her grandchildren for short visits but is not in a position to do much hands on stuff, she finds them exhausting. I see them for weekends or longer at a time and have always babysat and look after them to a greater degree but am 30 years younger than MIL and still work almost full time.

My daughter and I have always been close even more so since I divorced her very difficult controlling father and as she had twins she needed a great deal of help. MIL is much older because my daughter married a man 16 years older than herself. I have no problem with that, I like him but it explains the age difference between us a bit.

seasider Sun 13-Jul-14 08:20:53

My son's ex and DGS live near by but my DS now lives 60 miles away. He is a great dad who does the round trip twice a week to see his son. His ex controls all contact and is totally inflexible. Recently we all went away to a caravan with other DGC but she was insistent DGS was back on Sunday though we were staying until Monday ( bank holiday). DS will not stand up to her as he is scared she will withhold contact. I bite my tongue and remain friendly and offer to babysit and meet up with her and DGS in the holidays because whatever happens she is the mother of my DGS. I had not seen her for a while and the last time I dropped DGS off she was quite keen to make arrangements to meet up. I was worried because we were held up in traffic and half an hour past his specified return time ( I did ring her). If DS had been late back she would not have been amused!

susieb755 Sun 13-Jul-14 17:24:06

I would hope not , but it depends on the MiL ! My daughter lives 30 miles away and her MiL lives around the corner from her, and yet has gone to their new house only once since they ,moved in last April !

It was DGD 3rd Birthday party two weeks ago , and I and DD posted photos on FB - ( she was at said party and didn't take any..) she went through all our photos, didn't 'like' any with DGD in, but chose to like, tag and share my photo of her daughters little girl - without event mentioning it was at DGDs party ! No wonder my DD has given up on her ..

My DGS lives in Berlin but I message and skype them all the time