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Overbearing other grandmother

(79 Posts)
NordschleifeQueen Tue 21-Aug-18 00:02:10

This is my first post.

My son and GF are expecting their first child (our first GC in January) this was a big shock as they had been through a really rocky patch around the time she must have just been pregnant. Her mother sent me a hurtful message about my son, I didn't respond. When they told us about the baby, they told her parents first, my son was suddenly a wonderful person again.

Her mother has become overbearing already and it seems she has been desperate to be a grandmother. She seems to be buying everything she can lay her hands on. We were informed that they were buying the pram, we were also informed that we could buy the cot. I would have liked them to use the beautiful cot we have lovingly kept since having our children but without even being seen the GF has rejected it, So we are to purchase a cot, having just discovered how much her parents have spent on the pram I am struggling to see how we can make an equal contribution.

I know it's not all about the money but I am slightly fearful about how things are going to pan out due to her mother being a bit overbearing and having way too much time on her hands.

Diktat Tue 21-Aug-18 00:05:23

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

stella1949 Tue 21-Aug-18 00:23:48

You are finding out the facts of being a grandparent - the girl is having the baby and her parents will be favoured in many or all things. As the parents of the baby's father you will always come second - that's been my experience anyway. So you may as well get used to it.

If you've been asked to buy a cot, that doesn't mean you have to buy something equal in cost to what the others are buying. The best idea is to ask the new parents what they would like, and buy that. Giving them an old cot isn't going to be acceptable - young parents like to get something new and safe, not second hand things like we used "back in the day".

If you want to avoid being competetive with these other grandparents, then don't compete. Stop finding fault, keep your distance, and concentrate on the coming child, not on your own feelings. If the other grandmother is overbearing, stay away and you won't have to experience that. Take a step back and roll with the flow - as the secondary grandparents you have a minor role in the situation so you may as well get used to it. Good luck !

Maggiemaybe Tue 21-Aug-18 00:38:08

I’m sure it’ll all pan out, NordschleifeQueen. Congratulations on the baby news! It’s not about who buys what, as you know, and there’s no need to compete on any level with your in laws. Of course you’re all excited about the new grandchild and it’s so easy to get carried away and dash out to buy stuff that isn’t needed (a lovely gliding crib in my case, off to the charity shop after half an hour’s use blush). Your DS and DIL will have their own ideas about the cot, and so they should, and there may well have been safety issues with the one you’ve saved - it would have been kinder if they’d looked at it, but hey, it’s not worth getting upset about, just go with the flow.

Welcome to Gransnet, by the way!

NordschleifeQueen Tue 21-Aug-18 00:40:54

Jeez what a bunch of awful people you are. That's the first and last time I will use this forum. I'm not being competitive and not sure why we are secondary grandparents. You seem to forget I am a mother and I always made sure that neither my parents nor my husband's parents were favoured.

You nasty people.

cornergran Tue 21-Aug-18 01:00:38

Congratulations to you all nordschleifeQueen. Exciting times ahead.

Try to put your (understandable) reaction to the hurtful message about your son to one side. It’s in the past. No point hanging on to it.

You definitely don’t have to compete with the other Granny financially or any other way. We’re also paternal grandparents. Bought the cot for one and contributed to a cot for the other (the one they wanted was outside of our budget). The first bought their cot and gave us the bill, the second asked us along for the choosing process. Either way was fine by us, their baby and their choice. It’s understandable when grandparents to be want to buy things for the baby, best to be led by the parents to be though. I did buy some small items, just a few. Nothing expensive though, just things I liked and believed the parents to be would also like. I suspect they humoured me smile. It will be fine, just relax.

Sometimes it’s best to focus in the relationship with the baby’s parents, don’t get sucked into competition or overlook the feelings of your son and his partner. I hope the pram was their choice.p and they like/need/want the other things that are being purchased.

Try not to worry about the other family. It’s natural your sons partner will turn to her own Mum, don’t let it worry you. We find our grandchildren have enough love for all their grandparents. I’m sure yours will too.

cornergran Tue 21-Aug-18 01:02:48

I don’t think think all the posts have been harsh. There would always be a mix of views. Maybe give us another try?

BlueBelle Tue 21-Aug-18 03:05:30

Welcome Nords I was pretty shocked at Diktats post too, I was reading it thinking where did that come from it was really sounding vindictive and personally insulting What a welcome! please be assured most people on here won’t be that harsh
First of all congratulations on the new baby, I would just go along with the pleasure of having a first little grandchild and forget about the ‘other side’ I would buy them the cot they want, definitely include your daughter in law in the choice Don’t feel too hurt about the family cot it might have been more acceptable to offer if it was your own daughter but understandable that a daughter in law having no history with it wants a new one
You may feel sidelined at times in the future as girls for the most part ( not all) do gravitate to their own family or mums over babies and pregnancies, looking back I certainly didn’t spend much time thinking about my in laws I just wanted my Mum it was slightly different as they had other grandkids it was Mum and dads first and the in laws lived away I did include them but perhaps not as much as I should have ideally
Please don’t let pushy in laws or this forum cause you stress just love and enjoy the little one in whichever way you can

Waterbaby Tue 21-Aug-18 05:57:50

You have my total sympathy Nordschleife Queen, I am in exactly the same situation as you, with my son's mother in law being wealthy and overbearing. She even bought the pram and me the cot! Always spending money and throwing her weight around. My relationship with my son has totally broken down thanks to my daughter in law and her mother. I live in hope that one day my son will realise he has got it so wrong . In the meantime I send the occasional message to my son and gifts to my older grand daughter and the little one I haven't even seen. It breaks my heart.
It is not petty or unreasonable of you to expect to be treated fairly and with respect as a grandma (given that your son's partner obviously will be closer to her mother). Children need as many grandparents as they can get!
I thought I had a lovely relationship with my daughter in law until the baby arrived and then I was pushed aside and criticised whatever I tried to do.
My ex-husband is trying to help but to no avail. I think I may eventually need to go to Court to gain access to my beautiful grand daughters.
I am blessed with the very best daughter, friends and ex-in-laws anyone could wish for - that keeps me going. She is wonderful - I just hope she will make me a grandma again one day!
Ignore the nasty people and enjoy the little one as much as you can.
All the best!
PS - my first post too!

mumofmadboys Tue 21-Aug-18 06:07:04

I agree Diktat's post was very unkind and unnecessary . I'm sorry this was your introduction to GN. Most folk are kind. Do persevere. I only have sons and as yet no GC. I think it is probably true that mums favour their own mums but that is life. Hope all goes well.

seacliff Tue 21-Aug-18 06:20:12

Welcome Nord's, I have no g/c yet, I'm also a Mum of boys. I hope you are still here. Sorry you had such a horrible rude start to Gransnet. We are honestly not all like that. I hope you stay. Congrats on the new grandchild, how wonderful for you all. Relax about who buys what, just express your happiness to them both.

Billybob4491 Tue 21-Aug-18 06:52:20

Stella, your first paragraph has been my experience to. Nord, congratulations on the new grandchild, hope all goes well.

Marydoll Tue 21-Aug-18 07:00:47

NordschleifeQueen, Congratulations.
I'm sorry you had such a rude reply to your first post. We are not all like that. There are some lovely people on GN, please do not judge us all by that harsh response to your OP.

Alypoole Tue 21-Aug-18 07:23:47

Hear, hear Marydoll. Please don’t give up on us. I sympathise with you and understand how you must feel. Congratulations and I hope things feel better

FlexibleFriend Tue 21-Aug-18 07:27:21

Don't even try to compete.
Who told you that you are buying the cot, my response would have been it would be nice to be asked if I'd like to. Generally it is assumed the woman's parents do get first dibs on any news etc regarding grandchildren, it's just a fact plain and simple, not worth stressing over.

agnurse Tue 21-Aug-18 07:58:31

It's often very difficult for families to make things "exactly equal". For us, for example, it would be impossible. My parents live 4 hours drive away and Hubby's parents live overseas. We see my parents a few times a year and Hubby's parents every few years.

As far as the cot, it may well not be safe. While it's obviously got history attached to it, generally cots made prior to about 1985 or so aren't safe. The bars are too wide and a baby could get his or her head stuck. If it's a drop side cot those are even more dangerous. Obviously you raised your children with it, and everybody was okay, but sadly not every baby was so lucky. As we learn better we do better.

You might suggest that they find a cot they like and then you will finance it. This is what my parents did when my sister had a baby. You can set a budget to let them know what you can afford.

At the end of the day, how much money you spend shouldn't really matter. The baby won't notice if it's a £100 or £1000 cot! It's just a place to sleep.

Might you have some lovely baby clothes or toys from when your children were little? (Just make sure you inspect any toys for mold or broken pieces first.) Those would be special for the baby. Or, if you're crafty, you could make an embroidered baby quilt or a birth record. I have done this for some nieces and nephews and they are not hard to make.

agnurse Tue 21-Aug-18 08:01:36


Unless your son and his partner aren't together, I would strongly recommend you NOT go down the court route. That's a wonderful way to ensure that you will NEVER see those children again.

This is your son's partner. His first loyalty needs to be to her.

If at some point they do separate, your best bet would be to see the children on his time.

janeainsworth Tue 21-Aug-18 08:06:29

I’m another who was rather shocked by diktat’s response. All I can say is that I’ve never seen them on GN before & such unkindness is not at all typical.

I’m a paternal GM too, and
1. The relationship is different from that with the maternal GM but not inferior and is due to personality more than anything else. Don’t let unnecessary rivalry spoil things before your DGC has even arrived.
2. I never buy things for any GDCs without consulting their parents first, except small things like books or puzzle books that I know they would like. I think it’s more helpful to give money to the family and they can spend it as they think fit, rather than foisting stuff on them that they don’t like or is inappropriate in some way.

I hope you manage to put the unpleasant message from the other GM about your son firmly in the past where it belongs.
For all you know, she may be deeply regretting ever having sent it.
The person who will most lose out if you fall out with the GF and her mother is your grandchild, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want that.

gillybob Tue 21-Aug-18 08:13:10

Hi Nordscheifequeen (blimey that’s a hard one to type) Like JaneA says...... I too am a paternal grandma of 3 wonderful grandchildren and the relationship they have with me is very different to the one they have with their maternal grandma. We have zero in common and VERY different lifestyles but somehow it all just fits together.

Don’t be put off by weird post which is certainly not typical of Gransnet. smile

Ps Enjoy your grandchild that’s the main thing !

sodapop Tue 21-Aug-18 08:47:24

Welcome Nordschiefqueen sorry your first post was met with such a harsh response from Diktat.
Congratulations on the new grandchild, try to relax about all this, don't be competitive just support your family and enjoy the new baby.
Agnurse had a good idea about funding the cot, I think your old one will probably not meet current safety standards.
Good luck.

Violetfloss Tue 21-Aug-18 08:49:21

Prams are expensive or at least they can be, you don't have to buy anything that is equilivlent in price.
If her parents offered to buy the pram, surely that's nice?

The rocky patch is in the past, its gone, over. It can't of been that bad if they made a baby!
If I can give you my experience, its upto you if you take it...

I had no relationship with my MIL, like at all, if anything it was obvious she didn't like me. I knew.
Did I want to spend time with her without my partner? No.
Did that get better after I had the baby? Nope.

IME, this is the perfect time to build some bridges.
Whatever has gone on in the past, its done. This is a new start.
Get to know your sons partner, there is nothing you can do about the relationship, she's close to her mom, she IS going to want her mom, there's nothing you can do about that & if you try hold resentment about it, it will hurt you! Try and build a relationship with her and see if you can be her friend. That will work in everyones favour as time goes on.

I was also very close to my paternal nan. So it doesn't always mean the maternal nan is the 'closest'

Moocow Tue 21-Aug-18 08:52:51

Hi nord please do not be put off by the nasty posts. As others have said the majority of posters here even if they want to show another poster another side or viewpoint in order to help will not post insu h a harsh in fact no nasty manner. I expect their experiences of such situations has made them lash out here sadly. If not i can see no ned for their rudenes. As others have said, i would step back don't feel you have to compete otherwise you will not be able to enjoy the future relationships that can develop when your grandchild arrives. If they are materialistic they need to learn that you are not any less loving than they are just because they spend more. From what you. say the other grandmother-to-be sounds like someone to have little to do with in terms of competing just don't join in. If her dauhter is the same then I don't know but hopefully your son will make sure she understands it's not about who cares more spends more. I too wondered if the cot would be ok to use now. How old is it? There are things to do with paint used many years ago etc.

Maggiemaybe Tue 21-Aug-18 15:35:33

I don't think there were nasty posts. Just the one, which has now been removed (and possibly its author with it). It's very unfortunate that someone's first venture into the wonderful world of Gransnet was met with such a barrage of abuse. I do hope NordschleifeQueen is still lurking, reading the many supportive and helpful posts and considering coming back.

I am a paternal and a maternal grandmother, lucky enough to be treated well by both sides, and to have lovely co-grandparents, who we get on really well with. From my knowledge of my friends' relationships with the in-laws, I'd say this was the norm. Happily.

ninathenana Tue 21-Aug-18 16:48:37

It's great that you want to buy for the baby as most GM's would. You shouldn't feel put out by not being able to buy the pram though. Just concentrate on loving the beautiful baby.
My DD's MiL didn't offer to contribute anything. As far as I know they didn't even buy a pack of nappies !
DD and husband were short of cash when first DGS was born. DH and I bought the cot and the pram, and we have kept a roof over DC heads on more than one occasion. Out-laws seem more than happy for us to do so sad

Diktat Tue 21-Aug-18 18:19:27

The gift doesn’t have to be of equal value. You buy what you can afford. Old cots are notorious for their lack of modern day safety standards. Would you really want your dgc sleeping in an unsafe cot?

If you keep competing with the maternal grandma, you’ll lose.