Gransnet forums


Granny in the corner

(155 Posts)
MawtheMerrier Tue 17-Jan-23 12:06:20

This is not a TAAT - but prompted by a thread about Christmas and reminded me of the “granny in the corner” experience.
I know many of you are incredibly active and play a pivotal part on the lives of your AC and DGC so I may be guilty of generalising.
But doesn’t there come a point where we cross over from providing all sorts of support to being “granny in the corner”.
However kind, inclusive welcoming our AC are, there’s a shift.
Sometimes I feel I am being unreasonable and want it “every which way” - to be needed, to be felt capable of taking over in an emergency, of going the extra mile in being there but then I find myself thinking Hang on, I’m 75, I haven’t got the energy or fitness I had and also, I have a life of my own, friends and activities which I can’t just drop at a moments notice to babysit (except in an emergency)
On re-reading that it does indeed sound very unreasonable!
But from being central to our family life when they were babies and young, I feel myself drifting outwards to that “corner” ! Being widowed doesn’t help because I have to form a social life of my own and perhaps (?) I am getting more set in my ways. I have friends who seem to “live through” their AC and GC , good luck to them, but IMO that way sadness lies because the little ones grow into big ones and while they may love and tolerate Granny, we are not central to their lives.
Sorry to go on, and if you have been, thanks for reading!

Namsnanny Tue 17-Jan-23 15:05:19

You never will Witzend.
To be an embittered old hag, one has to start early and apprentice as a young entitled b** (sorry for the b word, but I couldn't think of a better one on the hop).

AGAA4 Tue 17-Jan-23 15:27:41

I don't think "granny in the corner" is meant literally. It means for some of us we no longer are as active in our ACs and GCs lives. Doesn't mean we have stepped back from life.

Oreo Tue 17-Jan-23 15:32:57

of course it's not meant literally, tho would be funny if it was!
every sitting room in the land with a granny in one corner.

kircubbin2000 Tue 17-Jan-23 15:38:27

I noticed it very much this Christmas when I was given lifts, didn't have to cook or tidy up and wasn't expected to pick up visitors at the airport. Positives I think. I did feel left out of some of the chat, some of which took place in another room, some where because of the noise I couldn't hear.

Dottydots Tue 17-Jan-23 18:34:31

I've never been a granny in a corner, a granny on the stairs or a granny in the toilet My sons never had children, which at my age, 80, still saddens me.

halfpint1 Tue 17-Jan-23 18:36:16

My young

halfpint1 Tue 17-Jan-23 18:37:31

My youngest grandchild aged 5
Wears me out, I'm putting myself in the corner

Jaxjacky Tue 17-Jan-23 18:52:54

I hope never to enter that corner, I’ve never had full time care of our grandchildren as I was working, now retired I’m on call for urgent pickups and the children stay here overnight if my daughter asks. I host family meals at least ten times a year including Christmas, which we both love.
My Mum, until felled by dementia, was the same

Redhead56 Tue 17-Jan-23 19:29:24

I am not in the corner yet but I know exactly what you mean though. Visiting my grans was a weekly event then they were on their own again both widows it seemed sad. Our son and daughter did see their grans both widows as much as they could even as young adults which was nice.
We get called upon to help now and then with our very young GC and we visit every week.
I think you must feel it more when you lose your partner or live a distance away from family. I think we will have to then make the best of our time with friends and hobbies so as not to feel like granny or granddad in the corner.

pinkprincess Tue 17-Jan-23 19:51:06

I have 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. When my GC were little I was still working but my DH and I did a lot of childcare when we were available.
Now things have changed,DGC are all grown up and I am a widow, on the wrong side of 70 and not in the best of health but still active but not enough to cope with child minding two lovely but very boisterous GGSns.I see them when not at school but past the stage when I can have them without help!
I miss my GC when they were the baby and young child stage but they visit me often and we have days out together.The oldest lives abroad now so I see her even less but miss her company
This is just another thing that comes with getting older.

nexus63 Tue 17-Jan-23 20:00:44

i don't feel like the granny in the corner, (59) i see my son and family every few weeks, i seldom babysit as my son works nightshift 4 days on 4 days off, they prefer to do family things and nights in. i have been very ill over the last five years and i have tried not to lean on them, i don't have friends and i have been widowed twice and spending 95% of my time on my own suits me. i don't and won't ever live my life through them. i have a beautiful 3 year old gc with non verbal autism and an adopted 14 year old and i love them both to bits. i can see them and facetime them but they are not my whole life.

nadateturbe Tue 17-Jan-23 20:31:49

I've always been GITC. I hardly know my gc. The only ones who live close loved their maternal GM. Not interested in me. I'm used to it.

CanadianGran Tue 17-Jan-23 21:28:52

To me, being a 'granny in the corner' means not interacting with the family when there is an event going on. I can see as you get older that you lose touch with your grandchildren's lives. One might have a hearing issue, or find a family gathering too stimulating after living on your own. Where a family gathering happens around you, instead of you being a part of it.

I know it will happen one day, but I'm not there yet. I did see it happening to my MIL when she was in her later 80's, she would sit in her spot, taking it all in, but not really participating. Then being happy to go back to her quiet apartment.

MayBee70 Tue 17-Jan-23 22:29:00

I was only thinking of this yesterday. When I was still working part time I used to pick up one of my grandsons after school. One of them used to get croup occasionally and I would get a phone call late at night and I would have to drive over and stay with the other child while they went to hospital. I would never drink anything ( not that I drink much) just in case. And I’d still have to crawl into work the next day. Because of the pandemic I was never called on to look after m younger child’s children so I’m needed less and less these days. It saddens me a bit to think that my younger grandchildren will only have a memory of me as someone really old. I get far too tired to look after the younger ones too much these days and couldn’t cope with them sleeping over because they wake up at about 6!

biglouis Tue 17-Jan-23 22:38:58

I have no children and have never done any childcare for anyone in the family. I dont drive and they live in another city. I dont think I will ever be in a corner as long as I am able to run a business.

MawtheMerrier Tue 17-Jan-23 22:41:38


To me, being a 'granny in the corner' means not interacting with the family when there is an event going on. I can see as you get older that you lose touch with your grandchildren's lives. One might have a hearing issue, or find a family gathering too stimulating after living on your own. Where a family gathering happens around you, instead of you being a part of it.

I know it will happen one day, but I'm not there yet. I did see it happening to my MIL when she was in her later 80's, she would sit in her spot, taking it all in, but not really participating. Then being happy to go back to her quiet apartment.

Sorry Canadian Gran that does not describe anybody on this thread! We’re not in our dotage yet!

mokryna Wed 18-Jan-23 00:45:30

I live quite near to all my GC, except for the one studying in London, but there is school and they have their hobbies so I don’t see them much as I would like. I am hardly called on to help out these days.
I feel a bit jealous of the other two grannies of my two daughters’ children. Both have houses by the sea with boats and one even has a ski place, therefore they do see them during the school holidays.
Luckily there are the religious services, christening, first communion, confirmation, so for the next few years we will met up all together to celebrate. I don’t feel so much a granny in the corner as a granny wheeled out for the show, although I am perfectly able to walk.

LauraNorderr Wed 18-Jan-23 01:25:04

To be quite honest, I’m enjoying the transition from busy centre to quiet corner. Glass of wine in hand, feet up, observing and enjoying without pressure.

Juliet27 Wed 18-Jan-23 02:09:10

I think CanadianGran was only describing how she imagines the term ‘granny in the corner’ not accusing any of us actually being that way yet.

Sara1954 Wed 18-Jan-23 06:40:23

I agree, I don’t think my children see me any differently than when I was fifty!
At sixty eight we still both work, regularly look after grandchildren, host birthdays and Christmas’s for the whole family, are constantly asked our advice and opinions about the children, and everything else.
Our children are very spaced out, so our grandchildren span 20 years, and I do feel a shift with the oldest two, they don’t live near us, and I don’t think we’ll see them often now.
I don’t want to be pushed into a corner, but would appreciate a little bit less responsibility for everything.
One of my daughters said at Christmas, that we would have to go on hosting Christmas, because we had all the necessary stuff you need, take it, I replied, it’s yours.
Needless to say, it’s still all here!

Cabbie21 Wed 18-Jan-23 09:02:33

At 77 and with DH in hospital I can see I am turning gradually into needing a bit of support rather than providing it, though thankfully I am very independent. Yesterday my 15 yearold grandson came for some French tuition and we had a great time together, doing French in a fun way, then he did a couple of chores for me and we had a chat. His sister, now just 18, who has always been closest to me has not even texted me this past week- too grown up now I suppose. So Granny in the corner it is, as far as she is concerned.

Septimia Wed 18-Jan-23 09:10:58

I'm sure we'd all prefer not to be forgotten by our grandchildren and, just because they've outgrown our looking after them, it doesn't mean that we're irrelevant.

Looking back at my own grandparents - one died before I was born and the others had all died by the time I was 11 - they actually did very little in the way of looking after me and I can't remember them ever taking me anywhere as we do our GD. But they were kind to me and I remember them with love and affection. Can we ask any more of our grandchildren?

Franbern Wed 18-Jan-23 09:12:22

Dottydots Why be saddened? I assume the decision NOT to a have children has been made deliberately by your sons - good on them. Sure you did not have them, just to give your parents g.children. Just thoroughly enjoy your adult children.

I am more than happy to take less and less part in the lives of my g.children as I get older. As long as my Adult Children all keep in close touch with me, and visit me as often as they can I am more than happy. No matter how old they get, I still get so worried about them if theyare having any problems (finaqncial, socal, etc).

Did need to help out with one particular g.child when she was small, she is now at Uni.

I have re-built my own social life as I have gone into my eighties and am thoroughly ejoying it. I like hearing about my g.children, and am concerned if any of them are having a hard time - but (thank goodness) not my resbonsibility.

When I am with any of my family, I do expect them to look after me - Ensure I have a suitable comfortable seat, bring me cups of tea, etc. Think I have earned this.

JackyB Wed 18-Jan-23 09:23:49

From watching my mother grow older, I think the transition occurs when the family come round and you no longer make the tea for them but they make it and do the washing up.

As long as they still come round, though, it's nice to be with them.

Redhead56 Wed 18-Jan-23 09:29:21

Cabbie21 your GD might not be able to cope emotionally with the family situation at the moment.
My son told me when his gran was very ill he couldn’t face her and was sorry but he was finding it difficult to deal with.
You have a supportive family and they probably don’t see you as a granny in the corner at all 💐