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I'm step mother and we just had a grandbaby

(52 Posts)
Bdfnotk Mon 08-Apr-19 03:30:03

So my partner and I have been together for 23 years but are technically not married. His ex wife is remarried. My oldest step son just had their first baby today and we're all super excited and happy to have mom and baby doing well. We're truly blessed!! My daughter in law has both of her parents still, who have been divorced for 25 years and neither ever remarried. My issue is, where do I fit in in the order of the chain of command so to speak. I get treated by the 'mothers' as if I don't count for things. I was told today that this is not my grandson, I couldn't hold the baby today. Our son And dtr-in-law were clearly uncomfortable and I didn't make an issue of it at all in front of them. I feel left out, and I just wonder where my place is. Do I continue to be the step parent and now Nanny that I've always been? Or do I just see the kids when the 'mothers' aren't around?

DIL17 Mon 08-Apr-19 05:02:09

My husbands parents are divorced and both remarried. Their partners like you aren’t our children’s grandparents and our children just call them by their first names.

They do however, get treated in the same way as their grandparents we just didn’t want them to have that title so to speak as they have their grandparents here and didn’t want anyone to feel replaced.

They both also have their own grandchildren and they call my husbands parents by their first name also.

As for chain of command, quite frankly I found that comment awful! It’s a child’s life and when it comes to saying something it depends on your relationship with the parents. If you feel you can say something then do, if not then don’t.

CanadianGran Mon 08-Apr-19 07:02:29

Of course you will have a relationship with this new baby if you nurture it. Even if you are not related by blood, relationships are built by the love and attention we put into them.

There may be some jostling of affection at the beginning but your husband is grandpa so why wouldn’t you both be a special part of this child’s life. Make a unique name for yourself, like nana B to distinguish yourself from the ‘blood related’ grandmothers.

BradfordLass72 Mon 08-Apr-19 07:19:04

Ouch, that must have hurt but give it time.

If the new mother has always rejected you before, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

If she hasn't, then this is probably hormones speaking and her sense of 'blood is thicker'.

Most girls will put their own mothers first and rightly or wrongly, dynastically, her Mom is closer to the child than you.

I hope time will even things out for you and, if you are patient and don't criticise, you'll find you are drawn into the circle, especially if some family members already feel uncomfortable about the way you've just been treated.
Hope for the best eh? And keep a smile on your face, it's always the best way when trying to smooth over a difficult situation.

maryeliza54 Mon 08-Apr-19 07:37:18

Really the whole thing hinges on your pre-existing relationship with the stepson and wife ( as a pp said). When things settle down surely you’ll visit anyway without other relatives being there and be able to have your cuddle? What really matters is maintaining a good relationship with the parents in the long run so you can have a good relationship with their child. When there’s family dos, just leave them to it fighting over the baby and getting it upset and crying. You be the one who clears away and helps - much more use.

ninathenana Mon 08-Apr-19 07:39:14

DIL I agree "chain of command" is a bad turn of phrase.
I hope that is not how the OP really sees it.

maryeliza54 Mon 08-Apr-19 07:49:34

Oh come on, it was probably just a clumsy turn of phrase - I think she meant something like ‘pecking order’ and she was certainly made to feel she was way down that. Don’t add to her problems at the moment - give her some advice to help

aggie Mon 08-Apr-19 08:05:19

Who stopped you holding the baby ? The new mum or her mum? You say the DIL was uncomfortable , so perhaps you will be able to hold the baby when there isn't a fuss

sodapop Mon 08-Apr-19 08:40:40

Yes I wondered who stopped you holding the baby too bdfnotk it was quite a harsh comment to say you were not a grandparent, is there some history here ?
I would relax a little and see how things pan out for a while, if you continue to feel excluded then have a quiet word with your stepson and his wife when you are alone with them.

Nanabilly Mon 08-Apr-19 08:52:09

The baby will decide what you are called once it starts babbling or talking so just be patient until then and treat the baby as you would your own blood grandchild. Hopefully you will not spend a lot of time among the witches who said nasty things . Put it to the back of your mind but I hope they are sitting today and thinking over their nasty words and feeling bad about it.

annodomini Mon 08-Apr-19 09:21:41

Two of my GSs have a step GM. They call me Granny A, mum's mum is GRanny E and the step GM is Granny M. There has never been a problem about this.

gillybob Mon 08-Apr-19 09:38:40

I think this is terribly sad for all concerned . In my opinion ( for what it’s worth) A baby can never be loved too much by too many people so why would the “ natural” grandparents ( it appears to be the grandmothers?) deny their grandchild the love of another person? Jealousy ? Selfishness? The baby is not a possession! I can understand your DIL feeling uncomfortable Bdfnotk but perhaps it was up to her to step in and make her feeling clear over these over possessive “witches” .

dragonfly46 Mon 08-Apr-19 09:48:04

I totally agree gillybob. The more people who love the children the better. We all have our place and we are all different. We can all bring different things to the party as it were. My DG have 3 grannies and 2 grandads - we only all get together at birthdays but the DG show no favourites.

crazyH Mon 08-Apr-19 10:00:25

Ditto Annodomini - To my sons' toddlers I am Nanny and my ex-husband's wife is called Nanna. At first I was a bit miffed, but got used to it. The other grandmother is 'grandma'. I have got used to being hurt ......
However, my older grandchildren by my daughter call her by her name .....

Buffybee Mon 08-Apr-19 10:19:10

When my daughter and son in Law had their boy, his Step mother when visiting with his Father, approached me and told me that she was not sure what she should be called by the child, as her husband was Grandad.
Without a seconds thought, I told her Grandma of course, if that is what she wanted.
She's is a lovely lady and our Grandson is lucky to have her.

HannahLoisLuke Mon 08-Apr-19 10:40:21

You may not be a blood grandma but you're a BONUS grandma!
Just relax, and in time you'll find your place in the pecking order, not a great phrase but explains the setup.
Good Luck and enjoy your grandchild.

ayokunmi1 Mon 08-Apr-19 10:43:56

What an amazing soul you are

TerryM Mon 08-Apr-19 10:44:57

My husband isn't my son's father. Son always uses his Christian name when talking to or about him. However when son talking to his baby we are nanny and poppy.
Her parents have different names
My son's father is long dead but also hadn't been in his life for decades
The only discussion prior to grandchild was whether we would use an Asian title ( they have the best way...mothers mother has a name fathers mother has a name just love it) however we ummm were already nanny and poppy to son's dog lol so we stayed with that

NotSpaghetti Mon 08-Apr-19 10:49:52

What a LOVELY thought HannahLoisLuke!

Yes, Bdfnotk I think you will find things settle down and all will be on an even keel soon.
Assuming you don't live too far away, maybe you could make a couple of "home cooked" meals to help the family out as they adapt, and just drop them in one day.
Just showing you care about them (as you do) will build the bonds between you.

jaylucy Mon 08-Apr-19 10:51:06

In these days of broken marriages and multiple partners, married or un married, I guess it shouldn't be unusual to see a post like this!
About the DiL not allowing you to hold the baby - might be hospital policy for no one but the parents or staff to hold newborns as it was when my son was born or maybe the new mum doesn't want her baby to be passed around like a parcel as often happens - that may well be her choice that she is allowed to have.
As for the future, just make your home warm and welcoming, try not to take offence if any offers to help are rebuffed and hopefully things should sort themselves out over time and never, ever see your self as a second class grandparent, wedding ring or not - you could well be the best thing going for this new mum, just be patient !

GoldenAge Mon 08-Apr-19 10:54:10

My biological grandchildren call my hubby who is my second husband and has been in their lives since they were born, grandad. My step-daughter’s child whose life I have been in since she was born, calls me grandma and her two biological grandmas by their first names! Honestly I don’t think it matters as long as the relationship is there but if you feel left out you should speak up because now is the time to set the scene for the future.

gillybob Mon 08-Apr-19 10:56:25

I got the impression that it was the "blood grandmas" not allowing the OP to hold the baby not the DiL jaylucy .The son and DiL were described as "clearly uncomfortable". Its a pity they didn't speak up.

icanhandthemback Mon 08-Apr-19 11:01:45

My official title is Nanny plus my first name by all my step Grandchildren although in reality they just call me Nanny unless they want to differentiate. In each case, I have asked (before the baby is born) the parents how they want me addressed because I didn't want to step on anybody's toes. When their blood Nanny is around, I take a step backwards to ensure that I am not stepping on her toes and try to make sure her feelings aren't hurt. If I am honest, I don't do it for her, I do it to make sure that children aren't caught up in a push me, pull me situation.

NotSpaghetti Mon 08-Apr-19 11:02:12

Please don't worry about names.
My husband and I are both called by our own names by all our children and all our grandchildren.
Likewise we call our grown up children and grandchildren by their names.
We like it that way - but names are not the important thing - it's the relationships that really count.

maryhoffman37 Mon 08-Apr-19 11:09:22

How very hurtful and mean of "the mothers"! They sound pretty insecure, in my opinion. Try to visit when they aren't there, or have them visit you. You don't say if you have any biological children of your own. But either way, you will be a significant part of this child's life. We have two examples in our own family: my father-in-law's second wife, now widow, is still very much a part of our family and my children - her stepgrandchildren - see her as such. Not so much a grandmother as the age gap between her and her husband was so great but more of an extra aunt. One of my sons-in-law has a mother and a stepfather. He isn't called granddad by my grandchildren but by an afectionate pet name, based on his own.