Gransnet forums

Grandparenting

Feeling left out

(60 Posts)
Oldernewgranny Sun 26-Jan-20 11:26:03

I’ve just joined Gransnet and feeling a little better already having read a few forums. But I’m feeling a little left out being the paternal grandparent. My grandson is 9 months old and my son has only brought him to visit once in that time. I try to visit him at least once a week but feel that he doesn’t know me like his other nanny (who I think the world of and there is no rivalry). My son often sends me photos that include baby and his other nanny and their Instagram page is full of photos of my DIL’s family. We spend an awful lot of money on toys, clothing and nappies etc which we enjoy doing but would love to see baby more. Our two families all get along but I’m not sure how to go forward and stop feeling upset.

Calendargirl Sun 26-Jan-20 11:48:36

It’s often the way that the daughter’s family are just more involved, as DD’s tend to cleave to their own mum more after having a baby. Apart from this, you sound to have a good relationship with all sides of the family. Try not to let anything spoil that, and just make the most of what you have. You may find as baby gets older, you will be more involved.

lavenderzen Sun 26-Jan-20 11:55:49

Hello Oldernewgranny Don't get upset and worry too much, it is early days and I suspect the new little family has a lot on at the moment. Keep up your visits and as things progress the little one will be brought to see you I am sure.

MawB Sun 26-Jan-20 11:55:55

If you are visiting once a week that is considerably more often than any Grans! It may not be as often as the other grandparents but at 9 months he is not going to recognise you any more or less.
Despite what you say I am hearing undercurrents of rivalry or jealousy and all I would say is Don't start thinking that way you are the only person who will suffer.
Forget Instagram or FB and enjoy the contact that you have.
Congratulations on your lovely grandson just the same age as my youngest D’s first baby who I see perhaps once or twice a month. Her in-laws go every week, taking a meal with them and I am fine with that. Quality over quantity!

MawB Sun 26-Jan-20 11:57:04

I meant “more than” many grans, not * any grans* blush

Dottygran59 Sun 26-Jan-20 12:15:35

Oh I could have written that post 8 years ago when my eldest dgd was born. Maternal GM lost interest sadly, particularly when her little brother was born and was a handful. Certainly the overnight stays stopped. I, on the other hand, have remained consistent throughout and my DIL and I have become closer. Still busy working full time so only have them to stay overnight every 3 weeks but we all really look forward to it. I pop over once a week to help with homework and always take a small bar of chocolate. We adore each other and the most important thing, I think, is the consistency. We’ve never let them down.

Give it time. Didn’t let the parents see your frustration. Always be there if you can in an emergency and above all, be fun! Quality over quantity. You’ll see

Jane10 Sun 26-Jan-20 12:33:53

Listen to those wise Grans! Don't start thinking about feeling left out. You see that child once a week. Other Grans would dream about that much contact.
I see less of my DGSs but that's because they're at school now. When we do see them or have them to stay its a two way treat.

tanith Sun 26-Jan-20 13:14:11

I’ve grandchildren who live abroad near to their other Grandparents who of course see them all the time and babysit etc I’m lucky to see them once or twice each year. At first I wondered how I would cope but I’m always happy to see pics of the children often with the other granny who is lovely. Things will improve I’m sure and please be glad that the baby has lots of people who love him around.

Doodle Sun 26-Jan-20 13:21:59

As everyone else has said. Maternal grandmothers usually get to spend more theme with their young children that paternal ones which is not surprising. Daughters tend to want to spend more time with their mums than their mother in laws. If you are seeing your grandson once a week, that is quite a lot. Don’t worry about FB or Instagram it all means nothing.
Keep your good relationship with all the extended family going.

SuzieQ178 Sun 26-Jan-20 14:31:30

When my first GS came along (now 21!) I was working full time and the other maternal GPs were already retired. DILs mother was all over him and did childcare when DIL returned to work. But I made a vow to myself that I would not enter into a competition. DH and I would have him overnight to give DS and DIL a break if they asked and within 9 months our second GS (from my other son) came along and we would have the pair of them overnight - hard work as they got more mobile! But I stuck to my vow and have never tried to compete for affection. All the GS (4 in total) know where to come for sound advice. They call me the ‘oracle’ because they say I know everything - I can assure you I don’t! Same applies with the DILs. I chose to keep a step behind but be there if required. It paid off and we all have a really close relationship. As others have said, quality over quantity every time is what matters.

Oldernewgranny Sun 26-Jan-20 14:49:16

Many thanks for all of your thoughts, much appreciated and how wise you all are. You’ve all made me feel much better as I realise how right you are. MawB is right when she suggests that I’m feeling a little jealous of my DIL’s mum (not rivalry though) because she sees baby almost daily. I’m going to appreciate the time I have with him and be the funny and wise nanny that I planned to be before he was born.
Any more comments would be most appreciated, thanks again.

Norah Sun 26-Jan-20 16:51:13

Stop spending "an awful lot of money on toys, clothing and nappies etc" as that could be the problem to you.

Chestnut Sun 26-Jan-20 17:05:03

I agree that once a week is good compared to some. If he recognises you and smiles (and doesn't look as though he's never seen you before!) then you are in his heart and his mind. As time goes by his love for you will grow and he will run to you and fling his arms around you! I'm sure you will get many opportunities to babysit, especially when he's a year or older. Have fun!

BlueBelle Sun 26-Jan-20 17:09:19

It’s always going to happen older my son moved to NZ married had two children who live round the corner from their other Nan and granddad I ve only seen then about six or seven times in the 22 years they ve been there (very expensive for a family of four to come home much and hard for me on a pension)
It is what it is, you can’t change it without upset and turmoil I think we do have to accept some things without breaking our hearts

March Sun 26-Jan-20 17:33:11

Your DIL is visiting her mum and obviously takes her son. DILs mum is seeing HER daughter, not just her grandson.

Farmor15 Sun 26-Jan-20 17:46:03

Our first grandchild (son’s child) was born in another country and we visited first when she was a month old. Saw her again a few times over the next year, and meanwhile 2nd was on the way. I was asked to come and help when 2nd due as maternal grandmother had health issues but by then had strong relationship with GC. I was definitely not first choice for granddaughter and it was hard to see her going to everyone else - I was last resort if no-one else was available. Despite spending a lot of time with her, even sleeping with her over a few weeks, as parents were occupied with new baby, we didn’t seem to have much of a relationship.

However, over the next few years, we’ve got much closer and when they visited last summer, almost the first thing she said when she came into the house and saw a packet of Rice Krispies was “make crispy buns”, which we did of course!

My point is that it may take time to build a relationship with grandchild, but if you see him as often as once a week, it will develop. Also, children are different. Another of my grandchildren is extremely friendly with anyone, whereas first is much more reserved.

I’d also echo Norah’s post about spending money on nappies etc., unless you’ve been asked. Parents often prefer to choose clothes and toys themselves.

GrannyLaine Sun 26-Jan-20 18:13:53

Oh its complicated isn't it? Someone once told me that maternal Granny will almost always be number one Granny and I thought "Interesting, I'll bear that in mind." I have 3 daughters and a son, so far 8 DGC, all nearby. I have a really good relationship with my DIL but its different to the relationship I have with my daughters. My DIL will frequently post stuff on FB about her Mum, rarely about our family but I can tell you that when the chips are down, she turns to us for advice, help and support. And that is absolutely fine. Work at the relationship you want and it will all fall into place.

curvygran950 Sun 26-Jan-20 18:36:53

Jane10 I am one of those dreamers! My goodness I'd feel grateful to see my DGD once every few months, let alone every week. She lives in Australia and I feel lucky that I've seen her twice in the 2 years of her little life.
Please, older, make the most of the visits and cherish every moment. Things will soon settle down I'm sure.

Starlady Mon 27-Jan-20 00:14:04

IMO, you've gotten a lot of good advice here, Older, and I'm glad you appreciate it. Just want to say that, no doubt, when DS sends you pix of GS, he's trying to keep you in the loop, share the joy of GS w/ you, and the fact that MGM (maternal grandmother) is w/ them is just incidental. I agree w/ those who say don't look at their Intagram page. But if you "must" to see DS and GS, then please bear in mind that you'll probably see DIL's family, too. That's something you may just have to accept, even if it's hard. As for DS only bringing GS to you once, have you actually invited them over?

Granted, it's possible that, for now, it's easier for them to stay at home and have others come and visit them and baby there. Also, yes, the weekly visits are a great sign. Clearly, you and DH are valued GPs even if they see DIL's parents more often. And, apparently, the relationships are good all around. So please count your blessings. And enjoy!

grannyactivist Mon 27-Jan-20 00:28:15

I tend to think that if the relationship with a son or daughter has primary place then the grandchildren 'slot in' quite nicely and both sets of grandparents will feel comfortable with the amount of contact.

Hithere Mon 27-Jan-20 00:46:29

Please do not think this as a grandma competition.

A weekly visit is very good. Baby is only 11 months old. You have a lifetime left.

Work on a relationship with your son and DIL and the closeness will come naturally.

The amount of money that you spend on your gc does not mean anything - more money does not mean you will get the relationship you wish to get.

MarySunshine Mon 27-Jan-20 07:00:34

I could have written your message word for word three years ago Older!
Please dont let such thoughts spoil what you have. Your G/S will grow up to a different kind of relationship with you than his relationship with his other family.
I have a wonderful personal relationship with my little G/S now, which has built slowly. When I see him, about once a fortnight, I always try to do or take him somewhere to have fun. We have days out together, picnics in the forest, jumping in muddy puddles, childrens attractions etc. It is this which I focus on, rather than the other side of the family, where he stays three days every week ..
Quality time over quantity time ..

M0nica Mon 27-Jan-20 08:23:43

I live 200 miles away from my DGC, so see only them ever six weeks or so and it hasn't stopped us having a close and loving relationship with them. The other grandmother lives only a few miles from them and has given them invaluable help, in the early years she was with them almost daily. We have both developed our relationship with the children in our separate ways.

Personally, as a paternal grandparent, we have never been treated less favourable than the maternal grandparent. I had never even come across this concept until I joined GN.

Lucca Mon 27-Jan-20 08:40:32

You see him once a week? You really need to realise how lucky you are - not invent things to worry about!(mine are in Australia) I feel the mention of “buying” things is strange🤔

Gingergirl Mon 27-Jan-20 10:48:04

I feel for you and can relate to what you say. I do think having sons means you draw the short straw sometimes in that way. You could maybe gently mention to your son that you’d love them to pop in a bit more often and I would be careful how much you spend on them...it can be too much. However, being a grandparent is for life and our relationship with our grandchildren is bound to wax and wane over that time for a range of reasons. Look forward to the future, take the opportunities when you can -and know how fortunate you are to be in touch once a week even.