Gransnet forums


Will i lose contact with my grandchildren ?

(57 Posts)
Ellie Anne Tue 29-Aug-17 22:06:28

I know I'm overreacting but am quite upset and worried. I've looked after my grandchildren two days a week since they were born. This now involves staying over as we live a bit away. But we have always felt second best to d in laws parents who also live a bit away but are definitely the favourites. They are a good bit younger than us and are both working. Now they are moving close to son and d in law and will be on hand to help,out. I'm worried I'll be left out and lose contact with my only grandchildren. I'm not terribly close to my son but am feeling awful about all this. I don't have a good relationship with husband so can't talk it over with him.

Hellomonty Tue 29-Aug-17 23:18:59

I'm sure that you have a wonderful relationship with your grandchildren and that can't just be erased, and neither will anyone want to. It is understandable that your daughter in law is closer to her parents than people who are not her parents. This does not mean that she wants to detach your grandchildren from you.

If they are moving closer it is probably because they live their child and grandchildren, just as much as you love your son and grandchildren. It doesn't mean playing favourites.

Jealously can be a very corrosive emotion though. If you are not careful you could be the cause of the very thing you want to avoid.

Madgran77 Wed 30-Aug-17 07:30:22

I would assume that your present arrangement will continue! The other GP are working so presumably cant help with that bit. They can help at other times. If it does begin to feel that things are slipping away why not offer some other care ideas ...give the parents a cold free night away/day out, offer a day trip out for yge children etc. Do try not to be jealous of every time the other GPs have them ...or fearful! It wont help.

Ellie Anne Wed 30-Aug-17 07:36:26

Sorry did not mean it to sound as if I was jealous. I really like the other gran though I don't have a lot of contact as we live too far away. And I know that the mothers parents often have more input. It's a mother and daughter thing and d il is very close to her parents while my son is a bit distant. Thanks for your input

Anya Wed 30-Aug-17 08:00:36

You can become the special granny that they don't see as often but when they do it's a Very Special Day.

Not having to put up with the day to day bits of childcare such as school runs and childminding during school holidays you can really go to town when they do visits and make it a memorable visit.

Serkeen Wed 30-Aug-17 08:36:18

Oh Ellie Anne I feel for you sweety. but you need to understand that it is not that DIL parents are favoured it is just that Mums parents are usually the ones first called upon for some reason.

If I were you I would have a little chat with your daughter in law and actually ask, now that your parents are moving closer, will you still need me to take care of the children two days a week. Communication is the key in this situation and I feel that you are valued more than you think you are and a chat with your DIL or even your son will clarify things for you.

How lucky are they that you baby sit two days a week, my DIL asked this of me and I had to say no because I still work so I know my DIL would swap you for me any day smile

It is sad that you can not speak to your husband about this, but it is something that you can resolve yourself.

MawBroon Wed 30-Aug-17 10:44:22

I thought you were committed to picking up from school, serkeen hope will that fit in with your work commitments?
You must have an extremely tolerant employer to have been able to spend all those months in hospital with your husband too.

Musicelf Wed 30-Aug-17 11:25:12

Ellie Anne - I am close to my daughter, but for several years they lived around the corner from SIL's parents, who saw the children every day. It was very hard at first, and the jealousy was difficult to keep at bay, but I just made sure that when we did see the children, they felt loved and special, and they would look forward to their visits to us and ours to them. It took time, but I know we have a special place in their lives.

Although my SIL is not close to his parents, he and my DD make sure that now they've moved a distance away, they don't lose their contact either. I think it's all down to my DD - and I think it's probable that your DIL will do the same for you. Cherish all the time you have with your grandchildren - I assure you they will still love their time with you.

Coconut Wed 30-Aug-17 11:39:37

Chat to DIL and gently voice your worry about feeling left out. Hopefully she will empathise and do all she can to include you.

LadyPenelope Wed 30-Aug-17 12:26:39

It doesn’t seem likely from what you have said that you will lose contact with your grandchildren as you appear to have a strong relationship. However I would tread very carefully and keep the lines of communication open. I don’t think you mentioned how old the children are (because after a certain age they would be able to contact you themselves) but doubtless you are aware that under UK law, grandparents have no rights of contact at all. Without wishing to be a doom-monger, this allows the parents to use all kinds of bullying and blackmail, against which the grandparents, often elderly and in imperfect health, have little defence. I would add that while most parents are decent and would never dream of doing such a thing, others are not, and families are often hotbeds of repressed jealousy. I run a support group for non-contact grandparents in Worcestershire, and have come into contact with a lot of this, which I suspect is a huge hidden problem. A few months ago a national online petition was started with the aim of obtaining a Parliamentary debate on this subject, but unfortunately it was cancelled because of the snap General Election. It is hoped that it will be restarted when the time is right.

Craftycat Wed 30-Aug-17 12:27:18

I know just how you are feeling. My DS & DiL lived a 5 min walk away when DGS was born- when he was just 1 they moved back to her home town where her parents live- 40 min drive from us. I was bereft as I had been able to look after him a lot.
12 years & 2 more GC later & we have a really special bond & the DC love coming here to stay a LOT! I was always available to have the DC overnight & in school holidays & still am. DS & DiL split up & we have still managed to keep the bond going despite them now living only a walk away from other GPs.
Let the distance be a positive point so they have to stay overnight when they come & just have loads of fun with them. We always try to do different things- experiments, crafting, cooking etc. & they love coming here.
My own GPs when I was young lived almost next door & 2-3 hours away but by the sea. I had great relationships with both- different but both good.
You can do it & the winners will be the GC!

Rosie59 Wed 30-Aug-17 13:01:01

I can imagine how you are feeling Ellie Anne - grandchildren create overwhelming feelings in us all. I am a worrier but as I grow older one thing I have learned is that many of the worries I had didn't become the bad situations I envisaged. Presumably you are still keeping your 2 days, if so try to continue as normal and see how everything pans out. You will have built up good relationships with your grandchildren over the years and nothing will spoil that (draw confidence from this) - and as many others have said seeing you will be a treat. Hang on in there ... it won't be as bad as you think.

Starlady Wed 30-Aug-17 13:43:21

Ellie I get you're being worried. But I presume you watch your gc during the week so dil can work a couple of days or get more chores/errands done. If that's the case, then since her parents work, I don't see why anything would change.

But I also presume the kids are very little (i.e. under school age). So soon enough things will change anyway. I strongly doubt that ds and dil would want to pull the children away from people they have a warm, loving relationship with though. So, no matter what happens, I'm sure you'll still remain an important part of your gc's lives.

luluaugust Wed 30-Aug-17 13:44:21

I agree with Craftycat take what advantage you can being the GP further away. Two lots of our DGC who live fairly near by have been away with the other GPs this summer and we have seen very little of them.

Fishpieplease Wed 30-Aug-17 14:43:10


Ellie Anne Wed 30-Aug-17 15:02:27

They are 9 and 4 . Thank you for all your comments. Yes I look after them so dil can work.
I don't feel quite so bad now. I've been having what I think are anxiety attacks lately for no reason that I know of which is possibly why I was reacting this way.

VIOLETTE Wed 30-Aug-17 15:15:27

Don;t think you will lose touch .....after my ex husband left and my daughter was 6, it was necessary financially for me to move 300 miles away from where we, and the in law's, lived .......sadly ex h refused to have anything to do with her (saying he had a new family now !) but x m i l was a Godsend ...I was working full time, and school hols involved a weekend trip down to Essex in order that their gc could spend the holidays with the family , her aunties and uncles and maybe even see her father ....she loved going there, and for me it was such a help...I never had a problem with the ex, only the ex husband !

Instead of worrying and making yourself miserable and unhappy, why not just mention in a friendly way, that you hope your GC's will still see as much of you now that the other Gran will be moving nearer, and leave it at that ! Time will tell ....rather than causing a rift that could become a problem ! Good luck !

Fishpieplease Wed 30-Aug-17 15:20:28

I'm so sorry I posted on the wrong thread. I was saying what I might have on a cap.

Norah Wed 30-Aug-17 15:48:22

They are moving house closer, you are not moving house farther away, correct? You are still going to look after the children? It will all be good if you keep the envy away. When I feel envy creep to me we go to nearby Green Man and have a shandy, touchstone our value and leave worry there.

Madgran77 Wed 30-Aug-17 16:15:28

Norah what does "touchstone our value" mean?

Diddy1 Wed 30-Aug-17 16:24:04

Ellie Anne, dont worry too much, you will be a very special gran, just keep doing what you do now, your DIL will not want to lose you, neither will the GC. I am sure your DIL parents will be so pleased you can still do as you have always done. Keep on enjoying the time with your lovely Grandchildren.

M0nica Wed 30-Aug-17 17:09:39

We have always lived 200 miles away from our DGC, while the other grandmother lives very close by. She provided all the much needed support during our DGCs early years. We were just too far away.

What we have done is develop a very close and happy relationship with the other grandmother. We visit regularly, roughly every six weeks, and we do things the other grandmother can't, we are crafters and doers, so I have helped DGD learn to sew and both DGD and DGS to knit. DH has done quite bit of DIY (DS is not gifted on that front)

Now what we do may not be anything you can do but if you think about it I am sure you can find ways that you can offer your DGC a different experience to their other grandparents and when they get a bit older they may well be able to come and stay with you in the holidays.

But please do not be defensive or subliminally hostile to your DDiL's parents, that way lies unhappiness.

grandMattie Wed 30-Aug-17 17:49:15

Interesting! Trust the GCs - they will indicate when they are older if they want to see you or not. Keep in touch, send post card, parcels, Skype as often as you can, etc. The DGCs will make the calls.
My problem is that DD favours ILs as they live closer. The DGDs see us once every 3-4 months for only a few days. They hardly ever Skype or phone- DD is a busy vicar so it is very difficult to catch her...
Be grateful for what you see of the GCs and hope that the connection you have made with them in their early life will remain...
Sorry, I'm not more helpful but if you_stay- in touch by one means or another, then they will remember you.

Eglantine19 Wed 30-Aug-17 18:06:24

As I've said on another thread previously, because I was adopted I had four sets of grandparents. I loved them all because they loved me. But the only granny I felt a bit uneasy with was the one who wanted me to love her most and was a bit jealous of the time I spent with the others. I couldn't talk to her naturally about the things I had been doing and felt I had to keep some things from her. Just enjoy your grandchildren without expectation or demands and they will enjoy being with you.

Serkeen Wed 30-Aug-17 19:51:22

mawbrown I am self employed, yes still committed to picking up granddaughter from school but it is just til she gets a permanent place, thank you for your interest and your concern