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Timeshare with the other grandparents

(28 Posts)
aquafish Sun 12-Feb-17 23:06:24

We've just spent a lovely weekend with all four grandparents looking after 18 month old GD while my DD and SIL have a weekend away. Perfect in all but one thing, I am left feeling very envious of the close relationship the other grandparents have with my DGD. To put it into context, the others GPs are European living abroad yet get regular quality contact as SIL chooses to visit very frequently for at least 1 week at a time. Our visits are less frequent and only brief. Everyone gets on very well, my relationship with DD is very close but she seems to have to spend most of her free time in Europe. DGD was very clingy to the other GP and left me wondering how I can develop that sort of bond as we love her dearly. It isn't jealousy exactly,perhaps envy that they have had chance to become so close despite living abroad. How can I develop a close bond with my DGD in these early years of her life?

Hellsbella Sun 12-Feb-17 23:45:53

Oh dear. So much love going out you only reasonably expect the same amount coming in. I don't know for sure but I'm in the position of the Other GP - kids spend a whole week with me every five weeks because of DS's work pattern, but see their other (much richer spoilier) GPs once a week or fortnight. They do share a lot of time on Skype, and DGs talk about them and what they did together to me, but when they're poorly or parents aren't available, it's me they want.
Sorry if that sounds smug. It's not meant to, but it's coarse proximity, what they're used to. They're only little and prob don't understand quality/quantity. I'm sure that when yours get older they will cherish the relationship they have with you and appreciate it with maturity. It does seem unfair!

Norah Sun 12-Feb-17 23:57:57

It seems so unfair. Your GD doesn't know the difference. At 18 months they gravitate to familiar. When GC are older they know GP love them. The 4 GPs went on the trip, what a lovely weekend. Treasure what you have and don't worry about what the other GPs have.

aquafish Mon 13-Feb-17 13:26:47

Thanks a lot for your kind words of understanding, Norah and Hellsbella. After a rough and mostly sleepless night fretting over my beautiful GD, your replies were very welcome this morning. I do know I have a lot of be very grateful for, loving family and good friendship with the OGP. Im just hoping my DD & SIL will try to rebalance things a bit and let DGD grow closer to us over the next year. I will grab any chance to babysit with open arms! Fingers crossed! smile

Deedaa Mon 13-Feb-17 16:18:14

You may well come into your own when your DGD is older. Perhaps you will find something you are both interested in and she will enjoy spending time with you to share it.

They may have to come over here for something and be very glad to have you around. She's very young at the moment. You've got years to build a relationship.

Grannyben Mon 13-Feb-17 16:26:14

My 2 year old grandson has just announced "I don't like grandma". He was very tired and, later in the week, we will snuggle into bed together when he sleeps over. I know he loves me really

Izabella Mon 13-Feb-17 16:59:11

Wow. All going on holiday together? I have to wait for an allocation. Once per year so far!!

Hellsbella Mon 13-Feb-17 22:17:12

Laughing at Grannyben! If I have to HAVE A WORD with my grand-daughter (she's 2), it's straight in with "I want to go home! Want MyMummyMyDaddy!" I answer "Your Mummy and Daddy would tell you exactly the same thing as I did!" Her father assures me that if they have to have a disciplinary word, it's "Want my Gam-ma!"

Starlady Tue 14-Feb-17 00:42:16

How beautiful that all 4 gps could watch gd together for a whole weekend and get on fine! Not the usual, I'm sure, even among the nicest of people!

Sorry you're feeling a little left out even so. But as baby gets older you can skype, etc. even if you don't live that far. Plus once she starts school, dd won't be able to take her off to Europe that often. Maybe you'll see her more then. As pps have said, things are bound to get better as she gets older and knows more about who's who.

aquafish Tue 14-Feb-17 10:10:56

Thanks so much folks, your encouraging words of wisdom have really lifted me and I'm feeling much more positive now! You're right Starlady, it IS unusual to get on so well with the OGPs and even be invited to stay over at theirs every summer too - without any children! Helps because I speak their language too. As for DGD, I can imagine her doing exactly what Grannyben describes - hahaha! I have to remember how fickle little ones are! Thanks again smile

Granarchist Tue 14-Feb-17 13:42:26

Grannyben my friend looks after her 3 yr old DGD one day a week. This week she had " I don't think you should look after me any more Grandma because you don't let me do what I want" !!!!! oh how we laughed!

Cold Wed 15-Feb-17 17:58:17

Is there anyway that you can increase contact with dgc by visiting your dd and SIL for weekends etc?

aquafish Wed 15-Feb-17 22:31:07

Hi Cold. That's a good suggestion and as it happens were doing just that for DDs birthday next weekend. It's just that we only get 1 or 2 nights at the most and can see how much easier it is for the OGPs to bond after a week or 2's visit at time. Such is life, my DD assures me that if they lived abroad it would be us who got the longer stays! Im happy for things to stay as they are & hopeful for building bonds in the future! Thanks a lot.

Flossieturner Thu 16-Feb-17 10:09:05

I think a child who has many people to love is a wonderful thing. Interaction with different people and having different relationships will help them develop well.

I have 8 grandchildren, some I am very close to, others not so much. With some of the other grandparents we have more of a bond with shared grandchildren than the other GPS, with others they are closer.

I have three children and like and respect all of their In-laws. My youngest 2 grandchildren are really close to their other grandad. He is a god in their eyes. We love to hear stories of what they have done together and feel that they are so lucky to have this lovely man in their life.

As the children get older, you will find them changing and sometimes shared interests and changed circumstances will bring you closer. Some of my Grandchildren go out with either my husband or myself. We are both retired now and it is great to,get a phone call sayimg, "Nan or Grandad do you fancy doing........" You will find that patience and love will bring their own reward.

Flossieturner Thu 16-Feb-17 10:14:04

The added bonus now is that the Grandchildren pay for us and drive us around, rather than the other way round😃

dragonfly46 Thu 16-Feb-17 10:45:01

I just think you should focus on your grandchildren and not on yourselves. We are in the same position as our granddaughter is much closer to my DIL's family than ours but I just think the more people that love her the better and as she grows older we will form a better relationship with her. Children sense who loves them and respond accordingly.

Funnygran Thu 16-Feb-17 10:52:16

Difficult sometimes with the two sets of grandparents. My SIL's parents live abroad and come to stay for about 10 days at a time. They always go out and buy clothes and toys when they are over and I sometimes feel we are the ones that don't dish out the treats. But as DD points out, we are the ones that pay for swimming, ice creams in the park and cinema visits when we are looking after them. As others have said I think you have to value the relationship that you personally have with your grandchildren. They chat to us and tell us about things going on in their lives so I can't ask for more really.

grandMattie Thu 16-Feb-17 13:44:33

I feel exactly the same as the OP - and I wouldn't go on holiday with other GPs even if they asked me to... Other Granny seems to think it is a competition; she tells me how often they see the GDs [at least once a week], how often they stay there [at least once a fortnight], how much they do for the GDs... It is exhausting! They live a little over 2 hours away, we live 5+ hours away. like the OP we see the girls only three or four times a year when DD needs a babysitter. I feel very resentful, but would never let DD know.
GDs are 6 and 4 and I try to send them postcards regularly and have a "secret" stash of stuff for them when we/they visit.
DM used to tell me almost daily what a waste of space my DCs were, but I cant' criticise or even suggest things to DD. It is hard being an in-law/grandparent.

Yorkshiregel Thu 16-Feb-17 13:52:02

If I was in that position I would avoid comparing who sees who and when. It doesn't help at all. What I would do would be to make sure we spent quality time together whenever we could and hope that would do the trick. I don't want the other GPs comparing what we do with what they do anyway. We are all different. Grandchildren will not remember things that happened when they were small and any treats will be forgotten soon after.

Concentrate on a loving relationship, even if you are not living close you can do that. Our Grandchild was in Australia for a couple of years but he doesn't remember any of it.

sarahellenwhitney Thu 16-Feb-17 14:15:30

Don't worry. Your grandchild will not always be a baby and as she grows and develops her own personality you may be surprised what a confident adult she becomes and to her you are her other grandparent who she will equally love and want to be with.

majorcagirl Thu 16-Feb-17 14:36:46

We have three grandchildren 28yrs. with learning problems, girl of 22yrs and boy of 18yrs. When they were VERY young we used to take them to Majorca for a week without mum and holiday, the 18yr. old who was about 6 at the time was told off by grandad for running along the pavement when he was told to walk. for punishment he had to hold grandad's hand the rest of the way home. although he'd had a splendid week, staying up late, lots of different foods this obviously stuck in his mind. When we got to the airport and our daughter asked how his holiday was he said " it was the worse week of my life!" didn't stop him going for another four years though.

lizzypopbottle Thu 16-Feb-17 17:37:02

Hi aquafish, I'm in the position of the other grandparents. My daughter lives in Bristol and I'm in the NE about 50 miles south of the Scottish border. I visit as often as I can, every six weeks or so and stay at least a week. They come here a couple of times a year and stay for a similar length of time. My son-in-law's parents live about 40 mins drive away. They visit fairly frequently for a few hours. I'm there all day every day when I stay and my focus is my 2 year old grandson. We play together all day. I change his nappy, put him down for his nap, take him out to shop or walk to the post box, give him his breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know his routines and it's inevitable that he knows me as a 'significant other'. Can you spend more time with your granddaughter so she can get to know you really well?

FlorenceFlower Thu 16-Feb-17 18:30:22

Gosh, difficult - it's easy to feel left out, but I think that others have said what I think, that we must think first of the children.

I tend to see my grand daughters once a week, whereas their other grandmother sees them for a week at a time every six weeks or so.

I do get little pangs, when they are all enjoying themselves in a hotel but ..... MiL cried when I see the girls most weeks.

There is loads of love to go round, and it can be difficult, but best to love, share and help where you can and also keep busy and involved in other areas of your life. None of us need to become desperate hangers on!


luluaugust Thu 16-Feb-17 19:17:11

This lucky babe is surrounded with love but with love these feelings are inevitable a first grandchild brings them all out, we get our heads round our sons and daughters going off but a small person changes everything but we have no control as we did in the past and make ourselves unhappy about things we can't change. You don't say if your DD is nearby and working or not. If she is nearby perhaps you could arrange to see her during the day or offer to have GD to visit whilst mum catches up with chores. It sounds like the other gran is just making the most of her opportunities you must try as best you can to do the same.

Longdistancegrnny Fri 17-Feb-17 11:03:01

My DGD is nearly 3 and lives in Australia, about 20 mins drive from her Nanna (SIL's mother). However when we visit or they come over to the UK we are with them for 3 - 4 weeks, and bath her, feed her, put her to bed, take her out etc so know her very well so when we Skype we are familiar with her friends and routines and can chat appropriately. Her Nanna looks after her for a day once a fortnight, occasionally babysits and they socialise together as a family every week or two. So all in all it seems to me that I get the better deal! However we all get on very well and I am very grateful that she is on hand to,help and support my daughter in a way that I am unable to do from the other side of the world. DGD seems to dole her favours out equally when Nanna and I (Grandma) are with her together, so perhaps it is something the OP will find happens when her DGD is a bit older. I agree that the more love there is for a child the better....