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Grandparenting

Help! I’m new at this!

(65 Posts)
Newnan1 Thu 21-Oct-21 09:43:34

Hi, I’m hoping for some advice - I am a new GP & I would love to see more of my GC. I am a paternal GP & stupidly hadn’t thought that this would make a difference! I have been feeling a little sidelined, but after reading posts on this site & thinking rationally, I can understand how that would happen & that it isn’t personal. What I am really struggling with is how to word things when I message to see if I can visit. I am a terrible people pleaser & this is my constant downfall, I also don’t want people to feel pressure, so I usually say ‘if you need me I am free today!’ What I really mean is ‘can I come & visit’
How can I be more direct without making people feel like they have to say yes?!

Lucca Thu 21-Oct-21 09:45:39

It all depends on how much you are already seeing GC.

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 21-Oct-21 09:54:21

Personally I would prefer to wait until I was invited. Saying you are free ‘today’ really puts someone on the spot. Just letting them ask you round rather than inviting yourself, however it’s worded, is my advice. As a paternal GP you’re always likely to take second place as you know, assuming the maternal GPs live as close as you do.

Esspee Thu 21-Oct-21 09:55:52

“I would love to see you all. When is it convenient for me to come?”

Simple, to the point and not pushy.
How old is your grandchild?

Newnan1 Thu 21-Oct-21 10:18:28

My GC is 6 weeks old - so I really am very new at this!
So far I have seen her about once a week, for a couple of hours
I just feel that if I don’t put myself out there, then they may think that I’m not bothered or interested. I also thought that if I don’t contact them, then they might think ‘well she doesn’t bother with us, she can’t care!’

Bibbity Thu 21-Oct-21 10:19:22

How often are you seeing them at the moment? And how often did you see them before the baby?

Bibbity Thu 21-Oct-21 10:20:18

Sorry we cross posted.
Once a week is more than enough!
Is there a reason you want more? I wouldn't as for more I would wait to be invited more than that.

Hetty58 Thu 21-Oct-21 10:23:50

Newnan1, don't be 'more direct'. I think it's just bad manners to ask to visit. It's requesting an invitation.

Instead, I'd invite them or try to arrange to meet up. That way, you're not creating extra work for the tired new parents. They might come back asking you to visit - and that's fine.

Zoejory Thu 21-Oct-21 10:26:43

Once a week for a couple of hours sounds fine to me. I don't think I saw mine that often. Maternal or paternal.

They will still be getting used to parenthood so just wait a while.

Newnan1 Thu 21-Oct-21 10:31:51

I’m really appreciating everyone’s advice - thank you 😊 it’s really helpful to have someone else’s respective on things. I suppose I just don’t want my GC to not have a good relationship with me (selfish I know!)
Maybe I have unrealistic expectations
I think that I made this a problem for myself! My world revolved around my children & now I’m having to get used to being on my own more.
Who knew it was such a minefield!

DillytheGardener Thu 21-Oct-21 10:35:33

I think once a week at that stage is plenty. They will be in a whirl wind of figuring out parenting at this stage. I’d leave them to it and perhaps offer to pay for the odd takeaway to keep their energy up and save dishes. My mother used to bring dh and I fish & chips once a week when my first son was born, it was SO appreciated.

March Thu 21-Oct-21 10:50:12

Once a week I would say is absolutely fine.
There will still be midwives coming in and Health visitors, not to mention other family and friends.
Plus your DIL is still recovering.

Congratulations btw! I think you'll be fine grin

V3ra Thu 21-Oct-21 11:02:58

When you do go, ask if there's any shopping they need you to bring with you, take a cake, while you're there ask if there are any little jobs you can do to help. Even simple things like emptying the bins can be a big help.
And always remember it's not just your precious granddaughter you're visiting, ask how mum and dad are as well!
Congratulations to all of you 💕

Kim19 Thu 21-Oct-21 11:03:29

Once a week sounds amazing to me. It's difficult but try hard not to overstay your visit. Of course you're not 'unwanted' but they're evolving into their own new family and that takes some doing too. Enjoy. GC are wonderful but at their level, not yours.

Eviebeanz Thu 21-Oct-21 11:07:07

Hi there I'm also a PGP. I haven't found that it has made a difference so far.
depending on how close you live to them you could make the offer of helping out with washing (sheets, towels etc. ie your son could drop it off to you and you could do it. He could collect it from you. That was something my DIL found very helpful as she had Csections both times.
If you say "I'm free today" that could imply that you're not free at other times.
It's very early days. You could say "anything you need just give us a shout". Congratulations by the way.

VioletSky Thu 21-Oct-21 11:20:27

I think once a week is fine too, all the sleep overs and days together happen when they are much much older than 6 weeks.

Invite them to yours and they may say come here because its easier with a new baby... But once a week is fine for now.

Also don't forget (I am not saying you are) that they exist and the parents matter too. Offer to do a bit of shopping, or bake them something proffer to wash up and put the hoover around... This would get you lots of brownie points from me when I was anew mum and I'd have probably asked you to hold baby so I could nap.... Maybe not until 3 months or so though, it's hard for new mums to let go of the babies sometimes and they just want someone to create situations where they don't have to

Newnan1 Thu 21-Oct-21 11:45:59

Thank you all - this chat is giving me some much needed perspective
I should consider myself lucky instead of comparing the time I get to the time others get

JenniferEccles Thu 21-Oct-21 11:46:14

First of all congratulations Newnan1 ! How exciting for you!
A new baby in the family is such a joyous occasion isn’t it?

Not a lot to add to all the good advice already given except to stress that as far as seeing more of your granddaughter goes, I would tred very warily.
The baby is only six weeks old, the parents are probably trying to get into some sort of routine, so your visits may alter as the baby’s sleep pattern changes.

I’m all for offering to help when you are there but I’m also very aware that some women wouldn’t like anyone (even mother in law) doing chores in the house.

Others love it, so it’s a question of feeling your way, being guided by what you know about daughter in law.

I would also second offering to take shopping round, or a takeaway.

Finally I think the golden rule is to never out-stay your welcome!

VioletSky Thu 21-Oct-21 13:13:13

I think you will be fine newnan I know it's hard, I'd cuddle babies 24/7 if I could lol

LOUISA1523 Thu 21-Oct-21 13:47:15

Bibbity

Sorry we cross posted.
Once a week is more than enough!
Is there a reason you want more? I wouldn't as for more I would wait to be invited more than that.

Is that how often you see your GC? Maybe thats ok for you.. if so then great... but lots of others see their GC far more than that....I see my 3 about 4 to 5 times a week....once a week would not be enough for me .....that works for our family...OP will work out whats right for her

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 21-Oct-21 14:03:12

Isn’t it rather what’s right for the parents Louisa? I would have found a GP constantly wanting to visit and have a cuddle a thorough nuisance! GPs have had their babies, now it’s the parents’ time.

Chardy Thu 21-Oct-21 14:14:08

Offer to help your DDiL, taking baby out in pram while she has a sleep, taking round a casserole, ironing, 'what can I do to support you 3?'
Have fun. Enjoy bring a paternal gran. It's a great job

Bibbity Thu 21-Oct-21 14:14:57

I have no Grandchildren. My eldest is 7. So I feel that as the Post newborn phase is so recent I can assist.

If your family is happy with seeing you so often. Great.

But the odds are that as they have not reached out more. That once a week is more than enough.

More than that would have irritated me a lot.

MamaCaz Thu 21-Oct-21 14:32:07

The only advice that I would offer you, also speaking as a paternal grandparent, is to make any time you spend with the new parents as pleasant as you can for the parents too, not just all about your seeing the baby.
The more they enjoy your company, the more likely you are to see more of them long-term.

Try to 'feel' your way as to what, if anything, would be particularly appreciated by them at this early stage, whether it's practical help such as a bit of cleaning or the odd homemade meal delivered to their door for them to warm up, or sitting with baby for a short time while they have a lie-down.

If it seems that they prefer the current pattern of visits, then try your best to accept it 'happily', and make the most of it.
Any unwanted pressure could so easily have the opposite result from the one you want.

Good luck, and I hope that things work out well for you all smile

Audi10 Thu 21-Oct-21 14:42:31

Congratulations to you, how often were you seeing the parents before baby came along? I would just be respectful and not expect to be there when I wanted to be, I totally agree with bibitty post,