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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?

Chardy Thu 23-Sep-21 20:49:13

That's lovely news, Bree.
In my opinion, it's better for the grandchildren if the grandparents' "skills" complement one another.

trisher Wed 22-Sep-21 11:09:35

As someone who never had a grandad in their GCs lives I am a bit concerned that people feel there has to be a divide in this. I've done fun stuff with all my DCs and DGCs. I can't pick them up and swing them round or run that fast anymore but I'm great at hide and seek and I'll be a pirate any time (although I do get taken prisoner which means I get a nice sit down!)

Sweetsnbooksnradio4 Wed 22-Sep-21 09:49:33

I agree - it’s team work! I do do fun stuff with our girls but am often more responsible for getting everyone fed etc.
We have lots of cuddles though and I generally do bedtime reading etc. when they sleep over. We’re both shattered when they go home!

westendgirl Wed 22-Sep-21 09:10:54

Do have a relaxed lovely time with your grandchildren ,Bree16.
They grow so quickly, join sports clubs, make lots of friends at school and become more and more independent. Mine are now 28 and 26 and I sometimes ask them do you remember when we did this or that . They often say no , when was that ? I think the role of Gran changes as they grow .Enjoy it .

Tess59 Wed 22-Sep-21 03:32:28

Your grandchildren are so young, Bree 16, and a loving, nurturing grandmother will surely be an important part of their lives. Lots of cuddles, reading, drawing, baking, gardening as well as trips to the park, library, pool and town and sleepovers! Enjoy.

Peff68 Tue 21-Sep-21 23:12:32

My husband looks after our GD every Wednesday, which I am very jealous of as I have to go to work! But they have an amazing bond and spend most of their time in garden learning about bugs birds plants etc.

But when I came in this week I got ‘grandma take me to William’ (horse in field by our garden) which was adorable as that’s becoming our thing, and feeding the fish too. There’s always a couple of things that can become YOUR thing to do with them. Go for walk learn about nature etc. Watch favourite film, reading books, cuddles and telling them about when their parents were little.

Enjoy them now they’re near to you 😊

MayBee70 Tue 21-Sep-21 20:25:39

I’m the only grandmother to both my sons and my daughters children but they all find me boring. DH is their step grandad but they all adore him. What saddens me is that I’m the one that thinks out in great detail things that they will enjoy but they never really understand the planning that goes into it. I think the only one that really understands how much I care about him is the oldest grandson who I spent a lot more time looking after when he was younger. I thought I was quite a fun mother so I don’t understand why it hasn’t translated to being a fun granny sad.

hicaz46 Tue 21-Sep-21 20:16:55

You'll come into your own as they get older. I'm not a natural at fun things or even participating on a childish level with children, but I loved reading to them, talking about nature when out walking, and quieter activities. Just be yourself they will want you for restful, quiet and hopefully cuddly times.

Chewbacca Tue 21-Sep-21 19:54:28

Bree16 Everyone brings something unique to a relationship and the one that you forge with your GC cannot be compared to anyone else's. Just be yourself; there will inevitably be times that your quiet, calming personality will be exactly what a child will want and need. So between you and your husband, you make perfectly balanced GPs.

MamaCaz Tue 21-Sep-21 19:10:51

It can be the strangest things that grandchildren remember.

My oldest two are only 8 and 10 now.
Even though they live nearby, we didn't see them in person for over a year because of covid. They were so pleased to finally see us again, and apparently the things that they had missed the most were - wait for it - the smell of our house, and my cuddly woolly jumpers grin.

OP, just be yourself. I doubt if the different type of fun that they have with Grandad will diminish how they feel about you, as long as they feel that you like/love them. smile

DiscoDancer1975 Tue 21-Sep-21 18:49:51


Congratulations DiscoDancer.... how exciting! flowers

Thank you Sparklefizz

Hetty58 Tue 21-Sep-21 18:47:43

Bree16, we all have our roles. My husband was the fun dad and the kids just flocked to him when he appeared. They'd come back to me when tired or hungry - as I was the quiet, practical one, working away in the background, predicting their needs and doing the routine, domestic stuff.

When he was terminally ill, he said he was glad it was him, as without me he wouldn't be able to cope. He died young and they were left with the boring, reliable, practical one. My grandchildren come to me for the same reasons, to cuddle, read a book or have a snack.

Imagine a world full of fun, energetic people - utter chaos!

Lupin Tue 21-Sep-21 18:44:37

I'd say be true to yourself. Let them have fun with their grand dad and if you enjoy cooking then make delicious cakes they like, and other things. As you say they will know if you try to be something you are not. Enjoy them enjoying themselves.
It's the love that counts.

trisher Tue 21-Sep-21 18:24:03

I think. children appreciate that different people bring different things into their life. My mother was in her late 80s when my GD was born. A bit past doing the fun stuff and running about, but they formed a close bond, playing cards and talking. She also realised my mum was a safe place to deposit things when she was very young because unlike mummy,granny and the other adults she wouldn't get up and leave the item she had been trusted with. Sometimes children like to be active and sometimes they like to talk and be listened to. The fun may look more impressive but the quiet talking and interacting is just as important.

Juliet27 Tue 21-Sep-21 18:04:41


Ps he didn’t have a granddad and his dad died so I had to be the daft one

That’s sad 😪 but well done you.

Awesomegranny Tue 21-Sep-21 16:46:41

Try making cakes with them, messy stuff like painting. But really just be you and don’t begrudge GD fun, you could always join in

Lulu16 Tue 21-Sep-21 16:28:07

My grannies both died when I was about eight so I missed out on having them around.
It is amazing what children like about grandparents, they will see you both as different individuals. It is often the quiet moments that are the most precious!

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.

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.

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.

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 😊

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.

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.

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 .

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.