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Granddaughter doesn't know us

(12 Posts)
Denae1 Tue 16-Mar-21 06:38:32

So I am wondering how to get our granddaughter to know us, play with us, not make strange with us etc.
It has become very awkward at family gatherings when the 'maternal' Nana is there as our granddaughter just goes right up to her, hugs her, wants to play with her, recognizes her and wants her to do everything with her and my husband and I are then left heartbroken and watch all of this. My son and his wife finally see this now after last weekend's birthday where our granddaughter turned 2. My son hasn't taken the time to bring her or his wife up here to visit. In 2 years she has been her 3 times. We hear all sorts of excuses, she can't sit in the car for 1 hour, she screams her head off in a carseat, it is her an-time so we can't come, or we are just way to busy with work. As a result my hub and I have to do all the driving there and back. They haven't made the effort to do the same for us. My daughterinlaw is very hard to get to know. I am watched like a hawk when I am near my granddaughter, but her mother does what she wants with the little one. The baby lived with her Nan and Mom for a whole month during renovations and I guess trips back and forth to Nan;s house went on regularly without my knowledge. So the dilemma is that my hub and I barely know our granddaughter, the last time she was here was 9 months ago, we feel like we are being left out because we don't live in a million dollar house or have fancy new furniture, materialism, our adult daughter who live with us is on the Autistic high functioning spectrum and it can get rough at times, but is my son embarrassed of our house, his upbringing, us, his sister because he hasn't visited us here? Embarrassed to have his wife come here? This is breaking us down big time and we struggle to know what to do, what to say, how to deal with this unhappy situation. Grandparenting was not supposed to be so hard that we have to 'beg' for us to see and visit our precious grand baby sad sad. and my son and his wife don't seem to care. He says this isn't a competition.

JaneJudge Tue 16-Mar-21 07:52:02

Could you not visit them?

Grandmabatty Tue 16-Mar-21 07:56:26

There's a lot to unpick here however your final statement says it all. Being a grandparent isn't a competition and you are making it one and one where you can't win with your demands. You sound incredibly jealous of the relationship your grandchild has with her other grandparents. Would you want her not to be loved by them? And why should you know when your daughter in law visits her parents? So you can complain that the visits aren't equal? The reality is you live further away from your son and his family and your dil will be closer to her mother than to you. You risk pushing them further away by making this a competition. Dont think I'm unsympathetic. I have experienced competitive grandparenting with my son in law's father and seen dgs encouraged to run to him first etc. But I buttoned my lip as it would be unfair to make an issue out of it. Stop making it a competition and keep visiting. I'm assuming you don't live in uk as family visits would have not happened anyway and therefore of course the wee one wouldn't know you as well.

BlueBelle Tue 16-Mar-21 08:17:04

I m afraid you have to bite the bullet on this one as quite often (not always) daughters do veer towards their own families I have to admit it happened with me growing up my paternal Nan saw me for a couple of hours every week(she had another 7 grandkids) my maternal Nan looked after me daily, and I adored her, I was her only grandchild As a child I didn’t really think much about my paternal Nan although we all lived in the same town.

With my own children again I was living nearer to my own family and the other Nan had loads of grandchildren whereas my family only had my children Well what goes round comes round and my son moved to the other side of the world and is just round the corner from my daughter in laws family so I see barely anything of those grandkids I did have to fight of jealous feelings at first but that’s what you have to do fight them off and get on with what you have or it will eat you up

I did have an incident long ago (but stays firmly stuck in my head) when I visited my son and met my then 8 month old grandson for the first time, one day my son had to go to work 20 mins before my daughter in law was home from work and asked me if I minded looking after him, of course I said I d love to Within minutes of him leaving, Mother in law let her self in and scooped him up in her arms and said I thought I d come and look after him he doesn’t really know you... honest I could have scratched her eyes out she took completely over until her daughter in law arrived back
After she’d gone my daughter in law couldn’t apologise enough. I ve never forgotten it but I haven’t dwelt on it or it would make me a nasty person too

Granbabies5 Tue 16-Mar-21 08:44:13

I totally agree with your answer BlueBelle. I think quite often
(but not always as you rightly point out) paternal grandparents have to accept the fact that daughters in law will naturally turn to their own mothers for support. I have had the same feelings as you, and sometimes it can be hurtful, but you just have to bite the bullet or as you rightly say it can eat you up!
I try to focus instead on being grateful to have extra time to ourselves as we grow older, and treasure the time we get to spend with the grand kids.

PurpleStar Tue 16-Mar-21 09:34:03

I do feel for you.My Grandchildren from my DD spend more time with their fathers parents.They do all the childcare while my daughter works,take them on little holidays etc.I thought I'd be jealous,but I'm not.All I see is 2 beautiful little children surrounded by the love of all of us Grandparents.Myself and DH live 400 miles away(due to my DD moving away after a very tough breakup)which means a ferry or short flight is needed and Covid has ruined that! Also I've learnt that some children really do not travel well,and its alot of stress on them and the parents to do a long drive.I would compromise and do all the driving (when allowed) to see my grandchildren.Life is different when they are so small but as they grow up you will develop your own relationship with them.Try not to feel resentment,but find ways for this to work.
And Bluebell! How selfish and totally self centred of the other Grandmother!

Grammaretto Tue 16-Mar-21 09:40:54

Oh dear! It isn't a competition but knowing that doesn't stop those painful moments when you realise it isn't your baby!

3 DiLs gave me practice in coming 2nd but when DD became a mum, I am still not the go-to DGP. Because I am older, it's the other DGP's first time, my house isn't as suitable etc etc.

I have found my place now, I think, and I do know and love my DGC and they know me. I talk to them on WhatsApp. When I see them (rarely) I read to them and play with them
Lower your expectations immediately!

Shropshirelass Tue 16-Mar-21 09:44:42

I have never met my three grandchildren, in fact I never knew about their existence as I very rarely hear from my daughter, she decided to get on with her life to the exclusion of everyone when the bank of Mom closed! It was very hard when I found out through a friend but I now accept that this is how it is. I have tried to make contact but it is not happening. I am sad for the GC but think they would be too confused after all this time. If they knock on my door in years to come they will be welcomed with opened arms but I just have to wait.

trisher Tue 16-Mar-21 09:49:36

I don't think your DS thinks there is anything wrong with you or your house. A child under 2 puts real pressure on the couple and things like travel and visits just prove impossible. It's sad that the other GPs are so near and involved, but don't take the opportunity to give you time with your GD, when you visit. But try not to be too upset, being a grandparent is a long marathon it's not a sprint. Try just to stay in touch and maybe visit them if you are able. As she grows and gets older being distant may be an advantage, you can invite them for visits and suggest she spends time in the holidays with you. Send her little presents and letters. As she gets older she will be able to talk to you on the phone and even facetime you. Just stay the loving person you are, don't let the jealousy and resentment take over.

Lolo81 Tue 16-Mar-21 10:20:57

Denae, it’s only natural to feel a bit of jealousy, but echoing what other have said - try not to let it eat you up.

I find it curious you say it’s hard to get to know your DIL, has she been married to your son for a short period of time? Generally I’d expect the relationship before children to mirror post children.
I personally struggled with my IL’s expectations after I had my children. They had zero interest in me or my DH until our children arrived - we would see them maybe 3/4 times a year with the odd phone call thrown in and it shocked me that they expected unfettered access to my life when I had a child. All of a sudden there was a huge push to be part of our lives, which I found very odd - these people were practically strangers to me and expected me to want to leave my baby with them!! Had they been closer to my DH maybe it would have been different.
I’m not saying that’s the case for you at all, but it might be worth having a think about? How often did you see/speak to your son and DIL before the arrival of GD?

Try and appreciate the time you get and maybe work on emotional closeness with your son/DIL to improve the quality of that relationship which might make you feel less excluded?

Bibbity Tue 16-Mar-21 10:34:05

Where are you both living?

Callistemon Tue 16-Mar-21 10:36:58

Should anyone be visiting just at the moment with the Covid restrictions?

I hope you can build a relationship with your DGD when all this is over but we all have to be patient in the meantime.