Gransnet forums

Grandparenting

Super Fun Grandad v Boring Granny

(68 Posts)
Bree16 Mon 20-Sep-21 17:02:11

My son, his partner and their two children have moved to our area, which we are really chuffed about.
Or grandsons are 4 & 18 months.

I’m not quite sure how I am going to ‘fit in’ and be a wanted part of the kiddies lives.
Grandad, my husband, is 100% brilliant with children, ALL children - it’s one of the first things that attracted me to him all those years ago. He is fun & silly and chases them around making them laugh, etc. etc. Consequently they naturally seek him out at all times and because I’m just boring granny they are not that interested in me.
I’ve seen my friends as grandmothers and they are just like me, so I don’t think I am abnormal, it’s just that grandad is much more fun & on a childish level with them.
I need to find a way that I can be included but still be me - I can’t pretend to be on a par with my husband because it wouldn’t be natural & I’m pretty sure the boys would sniff it out from a mile away.
Any suggestions?

Chicklette Tue 21-Sep-21 12:07:24

I often feel the same, but I know my GC love me. If they need anything they come to Nana. I always say they like Grandad best and my DDs say it’s not true, but he IS more fun than me. I’m just myself when I’m with them, I read, bake, chat etc with them, and I feel they’re all secure with me and do love me. I’m the one who did nappy changes, bath times, meals etc. Just let things go as they need to and the children will love you for your lovely self.

Greyduster Tue 21-Sep-21 12:29:43

I look at it more this way, Grandad is there to do stupid daredevil things in the name of fun, and I am there to pick up the pieces, mend the scrapes, mop up the blood, wring out wet clothes and remind him of his age! I am the (strictly neutral) shoulder to cry on when he’s fallen out with his parents; the one he emails pieces of school work to when he’s had good marks; the one whose kitchen he knows he can make a hell of a mess in and no-one is going to shout at him. We all have our part to play, our moments in the sun. Revel in them; they grow up too soon.

ExaltedWombat Tue 21-Sep-21 12:31:57

Jealous of your husband? How sweet!

Don't worry. The kids will visit your household, not the pair of you individually. They won't score you against each other.

Kamiso Tue 21-Sep-21 12:33:39

When GS was about 4 he fell and hurt himself. He ran straight past the fun grandparents and into my arms!

I used to play the games on ceebeebies with them when they were little. Also happy families. The now 14 year old asked to play it recently! I also bought some very basic and cheap games from Lidl/Aldi recently that went down very well with the 3 year old. Matching colours and numbers etc.
,

montymops Tue 21-Sep-21 12:35:47

I have just the same ...if I go to see them by myself the first question is where’s Gabba? But just like someone else said - when they are hurt, hungry, want a story, want a drink, want a quiet chat, they come to me. I always take a few activities with me - colouring books, stories, sticker books, games , jigsaws, stuff that is easily transported - just to fill in times when they need something new to interest them - just children being children - love them and don’t worry-

Graygirl Tue 21-Sep-21 12:40:20

Don't worry they will soon work out what you are each good for. Just don't make it competitive they will twig and play you against each other .

usuallyright Tue 21-Sep-21 12:45:50

Just be a support for your husband, as and when he will need support.

pandapatch Tue 21-Sep-21 13:39:41

Same here. When we ring the doorbell we hear loud excited shrieks of "Grandad" (ours are 3 and 6 months). But my grandson comes to me for food & cuddles and calls for me if he wakes in the night. We enjoy cooking together and "arty" stuff like playdough and painting. The baby just has the most gorgeous smile for anyone who talks to him!

highlanddreams Tue 21-Sep-21 13:57:58

I used to love go in to my grandparents I love them both so much and I spent more time with my grandad & felt closer to him, but purely because my gran was so busy with the household tasks as they were much more labour intensive& time consuming back then.I liked playing outdoor games with my grandad & gardening and going for walks with him & along with my gran,we used to play card games, dominoes & board games,do jigsaws etc. If I had alone time with my gran we used to do simple craft pictures on paper plates using things we'd cut out from old magazines & tart them up with glue & glitter, draw on a chalkboard, do some .simple bakes like jam tarts which were & still are my favourites I'd be allowed to roll out the pastry, cut them out and fill with jam or help whisk things with a rotary whisk while standing on a chair at the kitchen table,or whisk up angel delight for tea etc. There's all sorts of things you can do with your grandkids, together as a couple or as individuals. Grannies are never boring!

albertina Tue 21-Sep-21 13:59:04

Be yourself. You sound like the sort of Grandmother who the children will gravitate to when they want to be quiet.

Old fashioned plasticine is a nice quiet way to engage the 4 year old. Just sitting and making coils you can turn into snails or snakes etc

JackyB Tue 21-Sep-21 14:09:37

At my mother's funeral my DS3 gave a very moving eulogy (written by DS1, who couldn't be there). Although the boys admired and respected my DF very much, this speech showed how much they had come to appreciate their Nanna who quietly stood in the background and provided food and comfort. Everyone was in tears and he could hardly speak at the end.

Like most posters have said, as a Gran, you find that the DGC all run to their grandfather first, but granny will get cuddles and have fun, too, but in a different way.

Make the most of what you can do with them whole you're still fit enough. You don't want them remembering you with your arms constantly in the washing up bowl, fiddling about in the kitchen or sweeping floors. Leave that until they've gone!

Sheila11 Tue 21-Sep-21 14:17:28

Hi Bree16.
I was like that for years, but because his other Grandparents have a huge house, small holding, indoor swimming pool, tractors and animals etc.
However, my grandson has just started secondary school. We have the most amazing chats! He says it’s always a bit hectic at his other grandparents and he enjoys having calm chats about ‘important things’ with me. A quiet smile to myself as he said it.
We all have our part to play and your turn will come I’m sure.

Iwtwab12bow Tue 21-Sep-21 14:42:16

Don't worry, they are both very young, all children react to silly ,mad behaviour. Grandpa's are supposed to be mad,l bet he wasn't when your own children were young. We were too worried that we'd get it wrong, too bothered about work/ money worries, now you can relax ,enjoy your grandchildren. You don't have to be the wild ,mad one, far too exhausting. When they are a bit older find a niche. What do you do best ? Sing ? Dance ? Read amazing stories? Cook ? I'm the one who makes the best chips/ the best roast potatoes, l make cakes,desserts and serve poppadoms and jelly for breakfast. The way to a man's heart... etc. Good luck find your own talent. They'll love and remember you that way.

icanhandthemback Tue 21-Sep-21 14:51:22

Just let the children lead the way. They will have quiet moments and you will come into your own. Try not to overthink it; you have a different sort of experience to offer.

westendgirl Tue 21-Sep-21 14:53:41

I have two grandsons, both grown up now, but when they were young we did lots of things together ;playing pirates, discovery walks and picnics in the parks. During school holidays we went to museums,enrolled on classes there, and then did theatre trips including the ballet and the opera.We did reading together, painting and baking . I don't think it matters whether they are boys or girls. You can have lots of
fun with your grandchildren by doing what suits you and by making your time together an adventure. Look to see what is on locally. I must admit we had loads to chose from as I live in west London but we still did quiet things too.

Dottygran59 Tue 21-Sep-21 15:00:22

I empathise - all by DGC - 5 girls and a boy LOVE granddad, he's so fun and boisterous. They all, however, love Granny's cooking and fun mealtimes together. They also love overnight stays with bathtime and story time and cuddles, all Granny's remit. I don't join in their fun, well, not all the time, just don't have that much energy to be honest, but we talk such a lot and they love us equally, just for different reasons!

Dottygran59 Tue 21-Sep-21 15:01:49

Also to add, my DD tells me that it's Granny that sets the traditions, Easter egg hunts, boxing day fun, picnics in the park, and they will, I am sure, love us and remember us equally when we are gone and they have grandchildren themselves

MoreThanGrand Tue 21-Sep-21 15:03:08

Bree16, though it's human nature, comparing yourself to the other grandparents (even if it's your partner!) is useless. You'll have your own relationship with your grandchildren, and as others have pointed out, being the quiet granny will not make you less loved! It might be worth spending some time thinking through what you want out of being a grandmother: how you want to be remembered, what you want to do to support your children and grandchildren, what in your life you want to share with your grands. Then figure out what that looks like and how to achieve it! Having a clear vision will help avoid comparisons, because you'll see how important your own role is.

westendgirl Tue 21-Sep-21 15:06:14

Well said Dottygran. I should have said that there was just me ,but you are quite right that your grandchildren love you for different reasons. Just enjoy them while they are young. They grow so quickly and develop other interests and friendship groups .

JaneR185 Tue 21-Sep-21 15:24:14

Don't think of it as a competition but as a team effort. We all have strengths. Our gc, boys and girls, loved running and jumping on Grandad's knee (ouch) and playing ball games with him. I read and made up stories for them, giving them major roles, played schools and baked scones. My grandson's often turned out better than mine as he remembered not to twist the cutter. We continue to have fun with them even though they're young adults now.

Yammy Tue 21-Sep-21 15:37:00

It's the same in our house grandad is the tiger or the dragon with someone on his back. Even though I was an Infant teacher I cannot get down and roll around with them.
I read books and play games and when they were little would play finger games with them. Sit with the older one with an easy Lego kit make whatever it is and get him to tell a story about it and draw a picture of it.
Or ask him to draw a map of where you are going to visit in your garden and take a pencil or the dreaded felt tip with you and get him to draw what you see. If it's was a warm day take a bucket of water and a clean paint brush outside and he can paint vanishing pictures. My GD still remembers that and the good night stories with silly voices. Everything does not have to be rough and tumble.

Bree16 Tue 21-Sep-21 15:38:10

Thanks to everyone once again for all the lovely, kind, empathetic and encouraging messages - I will take them all on board & carve out my own unique way of grandparenting.
Funnily enough my own three sons are extremely close to me & I hadn’t really taken into account how much they gravitate towards me now that they are older. I shall bear that in mind with the babies and just do things my way.
Thanks again for all your lovely help 😊

pooohbear2811 Tue 21-Sep-21 15:58:26

why not try doing some baking with them, be that a packet mix of chocolate crispies to start with as they are quite young.
Or some arts and crafts? most kids like some quieter time. Just be prepared for a mess.

coastalgran Tue 21-Sep-21 16:02:01

stop making it a competition with your grandchildren as the prize and just be yourself. So what if at times the children find you less interesting or a bit less fun, just be boring old granny and let them find out that life is sometimes dull and that it isn't all filled with trips to cinemas, zoos, parks, eating out etc.

nipsmum Tue 21-Sep-21 16:16:46

Be yourself. You can do the cuddling and tending skinned knees. You can make them nice things to eat. Don't worry about the playing there is so much more you can teach them as they grow.