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Grandkids don’t seem to like me + hubs isn’t into grandparenting

(56 Posts)
Simplelife Mon 10-Jun-19 02:31:31

Hi, first post. Hubs and I have 5 grandkids, 3 with his 2 daughters and twins with my son. I’ve got 2 issues: 1) My beautiful 3 year old grandsons, in the past year, have gone off me. I see them a few times a week usually in the roll of helping my busy DIL by taking them to daycare so she can get to work when my son is working shift work. This is killing me because I adore them. (The other 3 are no problem, always hanging off my legs and excited to see me). The twins run to all the other grandparents super excited but run away from me at times. I’ve been in tears so many times I’m wondering if this rejection is good for me. Am I spending too much time helping dil instead of being the fun nanny? Are they associating me with having to go to daycare, etc? 2) Second issue is painful. Hubs is just not that in to grandparenting. He loves all the kids and they all adore him but he acts annoyed if I want us to spend time with the grandkids. I want us to be doting grandparents and he just doesn’t want that. This is a big one for me and has me very torn. Sometimes I feel single. We are together more than 20 years and are not married. Advice?

BradfordLass72 Mon 10-Jun-19 04:18:33

1. Ask your daughter to speak to the children and see if they can tell her why they have suddenly gone off you.

2. Don't force, coerce or make your DH feel guilty if he doesn't want to be a hands-on grand-dad, he has that right.
It will only breed resentment and the children will pick up on this. Pleasure must always be genuine.

Humbertbear Mon 10-Jun-19 07:21:05

The children are only three years old and are probably trying to wind you up. Making a fuss about this will only prolong the situation. Perhaps you should stop trying so hard?
My husband is very laid back as a grand father and never seems to make much effort with the GC but they all adore him. They naturally accept that we have different styles and, in all honesty, I sometimes think they prefer his quieter style.

BlueBelle Mon 10-Jun-19 07:35:41

Making far too much of this maybe the other grandparents don’t see them every day and you are part of their ‘going to school lives‘ Perhaps hustling and bustling and getting them off to school if they’re tired or not ready in time makes it a bit stressful Kids are fickle little things at 3 it can be something as simple as that gran always gives them sweets There is no adult logic in a three yr olds mind they are not thinking ‘ we like this one better than that one’ it’s all spontaneous Don’t get into competition with the other grandparents for heavens sake

As for your husband it’s entirely up to him how much he does or doesn’t do with them He obviously loves them and he them that is fine
He acts annoyed if I want to spend time with them are you sure you’re not overdoing the granny bit and wanting to spend too much time with them
I want us to be doting grandparents again I think you are projecting your needs onto everyone else
You do come across as over doing it all, you have five grandkids but you also have a husband and a life outside grandchildren.... neglect that at your peril

crystaltipps Mon 10-Jun-19 08:02:47

Maybe you are trying too hard to be a hands on granny and doing too much. Agree two three year olds can be trying to run rings round you as you are the one organising them, get them out the door, shoes on, stop them running off etc. Plenty of opportunity for them to play up. If that’s what’s happening tell your dil you can’t take them to school, as they are ignoring you and you are worried for their safety. Take a leaf out of your DHs book, enjoy the children in small doses.

Harris27 Mon 10-Jun-19 08:03:29

I'm a grandma of four grankuds and it is difficult. I think I now have a balance see them when i can as I'm in still full time employment. Only 59 where the other granparents are retired. Don't do a lot id childcare be cause of work and working myself in childcare! But when I do see them it's ok but they peeper hubby who is more laid back than me. I just accept it now.

M0nica Mon 10-Jun-19 08:55:52

Children do that sort of thing, it means nothing. I see my grandchildren less than you do. For about a year, around the same age as your grandson, my grandson would do a body swerve round me to throw himself at his grandfather. He got over it. He is now 8 and clearly loves both of us equally.

As for your problem with your husband. Is he feeling he is having to take a backseat to the grandchildren, their needs wants etc come before him? There is a happy balance between being a supportive and loving grandparent and a supportive and loving partner. perhaps you have got the balance wrong.

knickas63 Mon 10-Jun-19 09:03:54

One of my grandsons and my grandaughter went through this stage - lasted a few months. I hated it! And it is upsetting, but they did get over it. About the same age as well. I did try and up the fun bit - not sure if that helped or whether it was just a phase. Both times it did happen after I gave them a (very rare) telling off! As for your hubby? Mine is very similar. He finds the grandkids very trying! He does love them, but doesn't really enjoy speding time with them. I just tell him to man up and deal with it. He often buggers off to his shed! Make sure you have quality time as a couple, and it isn't all about the kids and grandkids. it can wear you down!

luluaugust Mon 10-Jun-19 09:56:12

It maybe to do with them being twins, my two eldest grandsons are very close in age and acted like a team egging each other on and trying to run rings round the adults. I wouldn't worry too much they may be picking up on your reaction and playing on that.

I wonder if your OH has ever been that involved with his own children. Don't know how old you are but there is a generational elementI think. My late 70's DH is good with the grandchildren now they are bigger but was not so happy with them when they were small and all over the place. You can't really act out being a loving grandparent, he is just being himself.

Gaylord Mon 10-Jun-19 10:05:32

I feel it’s more about your needs. You seem to want to be loved by all. Children pick up on this. Just relax. I know you are thrilled to have grandchildren but they are not your entire world. Husbands often feel left out. Plan more time as a couple

Venus Mon 10-Jun-19 10:12:56

I have four grandchildren and they all went through that period of rejection, especially the two year old. Now that they are older, they love to see me. It's a phase that they go through. Don't get upset about it. My husband loved them but he did find them a bit full on. Perhaps if your husband saw them with you in short bursts, it might help. You can't push these things. It will all come good, given time. Just be a little patient.

Patticake123 Mon 10-Jun-19 10:16:43

My eldest granddaughter was just like this, and I understand you’re hurt, however, I do think it is just a phase and all will be well. I recall my granddaughter saying ‘I don’t love you anymore ‘ and then listing a list of people she did love. It hurt but rising above it I replied’ Oh, that’s a shame because I love you very much indeed ‘. As far as your partner goes,maybe he feels as if his retirement is being taken over by the grandchildren? Could you talk to him and reach a compromise? Maybe several times a week could be reduced and you two could plan specific days that are child free.

Ngaio1 Mon 10-Jun-19 10:17:59

Just a thought - perhaps they heard you say "hubs"! Very offputting.

jaylucy Mon 10-Jun-19 10:31:44

Maybe just because they see you more often than the other grandparents is the reason that they don't make so much of a fuss of them and being only 3 it's not that they don't like you, it's just that you are not getting the reaction you seem to expect.
I'm sorry, but you, and many others that post on here seem to have a romantic vision of how it should be to be a grandparent, MiL, MotB and so on, when in reality it isn't like that!
As long as they are not running away from you, screaming, when you walk in the door, you should be quite happy and enjoy the time you spend with them. Your other half obviously enjoys spending time with the GC, just not all of the time - it doesn't mean that he's not a "doting grandparent" - you don't have to be spending every spare minute with them to love them, and spending time doing other things can only enhance the time spent with them. Just think of the stories that you could tell!

4allweknow Mon 10-Jun-19 10:36:57

Think you have found the reason. Your DGs are viewing you as an authoritarian figure. (Not implying you stand over the children with a stick by the way.) You obviously have to maintain order when you are helping out your family. The other GPs who have no such role and are not seen so often will be viewed as people to have fun with. Fine line between helping out and being flavour of the month. Perhaps you need to review just how much of a lead role you have.

Kerenhappuch Mon 10-Jun-19 10:41:24

I'm the 'fun granny', as there is a sea between me and my grandchildren, who live within walking distance of Other Granny. Believe me, their greetings when I occasionally see them is no substitute for being part of their everyday lives!

Make the best of what you've got. If you're not enjoying your 'duties', renegotiate them. You can't be 'fun granny' or a doting grandparent when you're having to chivvy them along to get ready and get out of the house.

As for your DH, well, he either feels like doting on them, or he doesn't - not much you can do about how he feels.

My PiL lived near us when the children were growing up, so my children saw more of my MiL than of my own mother. She had a very special relationship with my older son as he grew up - in fact, she knew of his plans to get engaged before I did. If you're a good friend to your grandchildren, that will last a lot longer than being 'fun granny'.

jmsburnham Mon 10-Jun-19 10:48:21

Perhaps it is your partner they don't like and then you by association. Perhaps they have picked up that he does not want them around - get your daughter to find out the problem and explain to him that they are your grandchildren and you will decide how much time you will spend with them. Do not take any notice of what he says - you tell him how often you will see your grandchildren and if he doesn't like it, he knows what to do. Your own children/grandchildren are much more important than some selfish old man.

grannytotwins Mon 10-Jun-19 11:05:17

This seems par for the course in grandparenting. Our twin GC went through phases on not liking me especially at the age of three. Partly because I had to to a lot of childcare which blurred the lines. Now at seven one adores me and the other does love me, but he isn’t as demonstrative as his sister. Don’t get too upset. They’ll get over it soon enough.

jenpax Mon 10-Jun-19 11:30:25

The children’s behaviour sounds very normal to me too, I can understand why you find it upsetting but I remember my own children telling me they hated me and that I was the meanest mummy in the world when they were thwarted! I knew they didn’t mean it! Try not to let your upset show and down play the drama.
I feel you are being a little unfair on your partner here, not everyone is a doting grandparent and some people just don’t enjoy the full on stuff of very young children! He is the grandfather not a parent so it’s absolutely his prerogative; I would suggest discussing how much time he is willing to spend and also negotiating some time on your own with the DGC as it’s more your bag than his. I also agree that you need to do things as a couple that are not family related, after all he has probably been looking forward to this stage in his life and new things it brings

EllanVannin Mon 10-Jun-19 11:43:03

I'd just accept it, especially from 3 year olds. Then again, we're all different but I can switch on and off accordingly, it's far less stressful.

My late husband became a child himself again when the GC were little, they loved him. I didn't feel less loved because of this.

Jaycee5 Mon 10-Jun-19 11:57:24

Do they seem to like daycare. You are the person that takes them out of their home, away from their Mum and toys to somewhere that may still seem very strange to them. Even if they like it when they are there, they may be enjoying themselves when you drag them away from it (as they may see it) and take them off.
I hated nursery school as a child and I think that I was 4 when I started. 3 is quite young to adapt to a new situation. I think that is far more likely than they just don't like you personally.

Tillybelle Mon 10-Jun-19 12:29:14

Totally agree with BradfordLass72. Can't add much more - sorry! But I do send strong commiserations. One Christmas one DGS aged 3 spent the whole time being beastly to me, even blew his nose on my skirt! I was so upset as I didn't see him for months after. I didn't say anything to his parents though. Then next time I saw him he was beaming with delight at seeing me and was the one who was most upset when I left!!
So maybe the message is that if you ride the storm they will get over it and you will become best friends!
I wouldn't try to force your other half to be what he isn't in respect of DGC, he can't help it. Maybe you can divide your time between grandchildren and him?
Wishing you well and please try not to get upset. I think time will sort this out.

Tillybelle Mon 10-Jun-19 12:33:34

jenpax. Me too! I remember being "hated" for sending one to clean her teeth! It passed and now they are all adults with their own children they appreciate me better. However, I do think the 30-40 age group today have very little idea what the 60-80+ age group are living through or what it is like to be disabled and old. Another thread maybe?

Simplelife Mon 10-Jun-19 12:59:58

Thanks, all, for your wise advice.

Parklife1 Mon 10-Jun-19 13:10:55

I’m not sure mine like me, but they are older and we don’t see them that often because of distance.