Gransnet forums

Grandparenting

Growing Up - Nana having a hard time!

(46 Posts)
mjwh Sun 03-Nov-19 15:18:15

I have a 16 year old GD, and grandsons 12 and 8. I love them like crazy and have spent every possible moment with them since they were born. But they are growing up so fast! For any of you with teen granddaughters you understand my angst at watching them grow up and away! Please don’t lecture about how normal it all is. I know all of that. I just want to be reassured that there are other grandmothers out there who have experienced similar feelings. I feel sad at the loss of closeness to my granddaughter who for the first 12 years of her life, couldn’t spend ENOUGH time at Nana’s! That all ended several years ago when she became a teen. I know she loves me, but it’s as though I’m now invisible! I can’t even describe how utterly accurate that describes it! Funny/not funny! Both she and my 12 year old grandson live an hour away, so just far enough that I cant be part of their everyday lives. The weekends are now busy for both of them with ball and cheerleading and friends. All normal. I get it. The 8 year old grandson lives close by and still loves to come over and spend the night and play and I’m hanging on to it as long as it lasts! I’d love to hear from others with similar situations but I do not want advice on how to fill my time. I work full time, my husband and I keep busy with projects around our home AND I do spend every minute possible with my 8 year old GS. A full, blessed life. Just wanting to hear from others with separation anxiety like me!

mjwh Sun 03-Nov-19 15:19:51

mjwh

I have a 16 year old GD, and grandsons 12 and 8. I love them like crazy and have spent every possible moment with them since they were born. But they are growing up so fast! For any of you with teen granddaughters you understand my angst at watching them grow up and away! Please don’t lecture about how normal it all is. I know all of that. I just want to be reassured that there are other grandmothers out there who have experienced similar feelings. I feel sad at the loss of closeness to my granddaughter who for the first 12 years of her life, couldn’t spend ENOUGH time at Nana’s! That all ended several years ago when she became a teen. I know she loves me, but it’s as though I’m now invisible! I can’t even describe how utterly accurate that describes it! Funny/not funny! Both she and my 12 year old grandson live an hour away, so just far enough that I cant be part of their everyday lives. The weekends are now busy for both of them with ball and cheerleading and friends. All normal. I get it. The 8 year old grandson lives close by and still loves to come over and spend the night and play and I’m hanging on to it as long as it lasts! I’d love to hear from others with similar situations but I do not want advice on how to fill my time. I work full time, my husband and I keep busy with projects around our home AND I do spend every minute possible with my 8 year old GS. A full, blessed life. Just wanting to hear from others with separation anxiety like me!

notanan2 Sun 03-Nov-19 15:44:02

flowers they push away so they can come back to you but on their own terms flowers

wildswan16 Sun 03-Nov-19 15:46:59

Your missing having the grandchildren as "children" - cuddly and playful. Now you have to watch them become young adults (just as your own children did). Enjoy their journey into adulthood and be proud of their struggles and achievements.

It is good you have a busy and active life, and just like a parent missing their "baby" as they grow into toddlers, then missing the "toddler" as it goes to school, then missing the "schoolchild" as it goes off to college or university - we just have to accept the journey.

But I totally understand how it feels !

GillS Sun 03-Nov-19 16:06:10

I know exactly what you mean. My grandchildren have all reached the stage in life where they are so busy that they have almost no time for their own parents, let alone grandparents! At least mum and dad, who run the taxi service so often needed by their children, get to catch up with their news when ferrying them around.

As for my relationship with them, well after years of childminding I do feel they care about me, and are happy to see me, very occasionally! I admit, we probably don’t have any shared interests at the moment, but I hope to live long enough for them to find the common ground that will bond us closely again!

lemongrove Sun 03-Nov-19 16:14:21

I understand how you feel, but glad you recognise the scenario as normal.You have played your part for the time being for the older DGC and still have the young DGS.
We have to just accept it as life moving on in the natural way.

BlueBelle Sun 03-Nov-19 16:59:29

It’s as it is, I rarely see any of mine now even the ones that are nearby (unless they want something) but I m not heartbroken in the least I ve always known it’s the way it should be I d be more worried if a 16 year old was hanging around me
I left my Nan, who I adored, for pastures new at 18 but when she was old and less able i had by that time returned to my home town, and I went to her everyday to care for her
No point in being broken hearted and be very careful you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, with the 8 year old. let him breathe

GrandmaMoira Sun 03-Nov-19 17:06:11

I have early teen GDs who are beginning to get to that stage. They still stay at mine a lot due to custody arrangements with their DF who is my DS. However they spend most of their time in the bathroom or on their phones or games systems. Whilst it is all perfectly normal, it is a bit of a culture shock. I don't remember noticing this so much with my DC but maybe because I was young and working.

Asatess63 Sun 03-Nov-19 17:18:17

My children are 17, 19 and 29. My mum and stepdad live an hour away and have always been active in my children’s lives. But there is a sort of inevitable ‘moving away’ mid teens. But now my eldest is married and has a 4 month old baby and mum and stepdad have once again become very involved. My 19 year old has passed his test and drives to see them. As far as weekend activities, my parents always took the opportunity to watch the kids in plays/football matches etc. My FIL rings the kids every Sunday night and asks about their week. And he remembers what they’re up to, so asks ‘how did the match go’ ‘ how was your exam on Monday’. When my daughter did her GCSEs last year, mum had a copy of her timetable and text before every exam to say good luck and after each exam to ask how it went. I saw my Nana very little between the ages of 18 and 21 as I was away. But I saw her as a source of stability and wisdom as I got older, and miss her now, although she has been dead over 20 years.

Granarchist Sun 03-Nov-19 17:20:21

My mother in law was absolutely brilliant with the children when they were little but became more and more difficult as they became young adults with their own ideas and the relationship foundered. My mother on the other hand decided to become part of their new lives - travelling all over the country to watch them in sporting events, bringing picnics to everything! Ferrying them to their competitions etc etc. Even though she lived over 100 miles away she was amazing. My youngest DD gave the eulogy at her funeral and said that the support she gave them and their friends was something she would never forget. I am now trying to emulate that although my DGC are still little. We have to move with them.

Tedber Sun 03-Nov-19 18:25:39

mjwh. Is this any different from when your own children grew and fled? How did you cope then? I hear what you say about not wanting any advice but yes, I think we all feel like this at times so no lectures, no advice, it is just (as Elton John says) the circle of life! And (often) the circle comes back to rejoin. What you are feeling is very normal.

Doodle Sun 03-Nov-19 20:21:01

Oh yes me too. However, we do try and take them somewhere during the school holidays. Mine still like playing cards so we do that when we get together now.

crazyH Sun 03-Nov-19 20:31:06

I know the feeling mjwh. Yesterday I had my 16 year old gd and my daughter over for tea. In all, I might have had about 1 hour's conversation. The rest, they spent on their phones. Mind you, they only live about 10 mins and I see them often. I have a 17 year old gs as well and 4 toddling GC.
But the fact remains, the teenagers have nothing in common with us I suppose. They love us. Yes, like you, I practically brought them up from the time they were babies. Where has the time gone ?

NotTooOld Sun 03-Nov-19 22:55:25

I sympathise! Once they hit 12 they get their own lives and apparently forget about we oldies who love them. Only natural, but it does hurt.

mjwh Mon 04-Nov-19 11:09:32

Thank you, everyone, for the encouraging words. TEDBER, you asked if this is not comparable to my children growing up. The answer is “yes” and”no”. As a parent, you realize they’re growing up fast, but you are so busy and exhausted raising them, you don’t have much time to stop and think about it! And you are younger and have much of life still ahead. But as a grandparent, you see things with a different perspective. Because as we ( in most cases) are not raising our GC, its all fun and happy times! We love them with an intensity different from how we loved their parent, and we know we are getting older too. But I feel better knowing it’s not just me, feeling a void where the GC have been all these years! I will continue to love them with all my heart, and I will be their most ardent fan in all the activities they are involved in as they become adults, and forever after that! Best regards to you all!

mjwh Mon 04-Nov-19 12:00:21

Oh, and to BlueBelle, I appreciate the advice for me to let younger GS breathe. I had to laugh just a little; he lives on a farm and is learning about cows and fences and already helps his dad some. He’s in scouts, takes guitar lessons, is in a robotics club. I think he’s breathing plenty! But I understand where you’re coming from. Many times these days do I privately have a little tear in my eye, but all they see is Nana beaming with pride, laughing and enjoying it all. I’m sure you can all relate!

Hithere Mon 04-Nov-19 12:39:49

It is like a second empty nest, isn't it?

mjwh Mon 04-Nov-19 13:17:45

Hithere,
Yes, very!

Crazygran Mon 04-Nov-19 15:31:08

My 2 Granddaughters mean everything to me .
As they are my sons girls I worried that I wouldn’t be involved as much but I know they love me as much as their Nanna .
As I know they will soon not need me as muchnI spend as much time with them as poss. , they are 9 and 5.
I truly think the bond has been made and they will go and come back again as girls do .Just be there for them .

Farawaynanny Mon 04-Nov-19 15:35:19

I feel your pain, but spare a thought for those of us that have grandchildren on the other side of the world. Despite visiting every couple of years I’m a stranger to them and their other Nanna is the one who has a close relationship with them. I can only tell you that, in order to cope with this, I have had to accept that this is the way it is and will never change.
Enjoy what time you can with yours in the knowledge that, given a few years they will hopefully realise what they are missing and re establish a close but adult relationship with you.

sue01 Mon 04-Nov-19 15:40:45

Our Grand daughter passed her driving test recently - we were thrilled to bits when she asked if she could drive herself over to see us.... and stay over.

So lovely to see her occasionally on her own !

Shazmo24 Mon 04-Nov-19 15:44:16

My GD is 11 & GS (her brother) is 9.
We've just had a few days away with them in a static caravan & next year we will take them camping like we do every year although I suddenly thought that it may be for the last time as she will turn 13 in the Feb 2021 & GS 10 in the Oct of 2020 and they may not want to do that anymore.
I guess it's something we all have to accept that will happen at some point or another

Kathy1959 Mon 04-Nov-19 15:46:59

I had a wonderful relationship with my granny, and I still talk about her today and remember her as if she died yesterday, not 40 years ago! I do remember going into my teens, and finding her a little annoying, but just for a few short years. Once I learnt to drive, I used to pick her up, and take her places. I was 20 when she died, and I can honestly say no one has come close, only my husband and children. You hang in there, it sounds like you’re healthy, still working, a few years to get past the “ teen “ bit, and she’ll be back😊

jaylucy Mon 04-Nov-19 15:47:07

Don't panic! The GD in particular is probably treating her parents in the same way (I know I did) and later on will be more than happy with spending time with you again later on if you can be patient for a bit.
You will be able to look forward to her driving you and taking you to lunch and shopping etc I have no doubt in a few years.

kaimegan Mon 04-Nov-19 15:59:44

Be grateful for whatever time you have with them. Due to sons wife I have not seen my grandchildren since 2012.