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Grandparenting

Competitive other grandma

(84 Posts)
Briget Tue 06-Feb-24 04:25:12

I have a 12 month old granddaughter. This weekend we have gone away with son, wife , baby and the other nana and partner. The other Nana is very competitive and makes me feel not good enough even though I have a lovely relationship with our sons child.
I only get a short time compared to her.
I hate feeling like this. She throws money with expensive gifts and holidays etc. I feel like I get crumbs. I dare not say anything to anyone but to be honest she's hard work. Any suggestions please?

vegansrock Tue 06-Feb-24 04:53:11

Don’t go away with them!

Briget Tue 06-Feb-24 05:10:39

Yes I realize that now. Thought I would do the right thing by going but not again.

Grandmabatty Tue 06-Feb-24 06:02:59

Ignore it. Don't compete or try to. Build your own relationship with your grandchild. It's not worth the hassle, honestly

Madgran77 Tue 06-Feb-24 06:54:52

Gifts and holidays given to child:
" Oh how lovely I'm sure ** will enjoy that!" plus serene smile!

And find your own particular little relationship with your grandchild that they can remember....for me many moons ago it was "half an apple and half an orandw" shared with my Nana. Thee days it might be a special game, a lovely colouring book, fun baking, different fun little toys produced, face painting crayons, a particular park to visit....something they love now and other things as they grow and change 💐

Allsorts Tue 06-Feb-24 07:04:11

Don’t compete just be yourself. Loving and interested.

dragonfly46 Tue 06-Feb-24 07:14:31

Don’t compete. My DGD spends much more time with the other gran than she does me but I have just spent the weekend with her and she was so excited to see me. The more people that love her the better in my opinion.

karmalady Tue 06-Feb-24 07:18:49

a special hobby that you can share and teach to dgd as she gets older. If you don`t have a creative hobby, then learn one so that you are ready when she is older, that something very special to share with her. A shared interest is something that cannot be bought.

Sleepovers at your house, a good time for her to see you engrossed in your hobby, coming to your side to watch you then bit by bit you teach her. something she will remember her whole life

Grannynannywanny Tue 06-Feb-24 08:20:37

Briget
I have a lovely relationship with our sons child.

That already puts you ahead of many I’ve seen posting on GN over the years. Don’t turn it into a competition with the other grandparents. That road leads to unhappiness . Your son and Dil invited you to share a happy family time away and will pick up on your resentment no matter how well you think it’s hidden.

You mention your granddaughter as your son’s child. She is also your daughter in law’s child and if she picks up on how you feel around her mother then you could find yourself missing out on family get togethers.

M0nica Tue 06-Feb-24 09:05:16

Do your own thing. A relationship with anyone, let alone a grand daughter, is based on who you are, not what you have or give.

One of my fondest memories of bonding with my DGS was on a country walk in woodland. The then 3 year old started to build what he described as a 'village from sticks'. I just stood beside him and took his instructions for the sticks he required and then found them and when he had finished he stood up took my hand and we walked on.

That sort of experience doesn't require money or education or toys or cars.

Redhead56 Tue 06-Feb-24 10:08:58

Don’t be intimidated by the other gran don’t compare yourself. Just be YOU a loving gran and enjoy the relationship you have with your GC.

Purplepixie Tue 06-Feb-24 10:15:19

Just don’t go away with them together again. You just being yourself will be worth it in the end. I had that with my son and his wife. Her mother could be a pain in the butt when we all met up. She had to be the centre of attention. No problem. Let her get on with it. It happens when you are the mam of the son.

pascal30 Tue 06-Feb-24 10:22:39

Ask yourself.. would I actually like to be like the other Nan. If not then just relish your own uniqueness.. your grandaughter certainly will if you remain kind and relaxed..

NotSpaghetti Tue 06-Feb-24 10:22:49

The other grandmother is only competitive if you let it be a competition.

We don't see some of my grandchildren nearly as much as the other grandparents do, and some we see more, but we have our own lovely relationship with each of them.

These are our precious relationships which are unlike any others and develop gradually...
I feel quite strongly that you need to first be secure in your relationship with your daughter-in-law/son's partner. She is the key to the beginnings of your relationship with your grandchild. If mum is confident that you appreciate all she does, she will come to you and you will support each other. After all, you both love the same people!

I would never opt to go away with the other grandparents.
One other grandmother I'm actually very fond of - but only see at birthday parties and if there's an emergency. No need to compete.

Be quietly confident that you have a different and unique relationship with your grandchild - it isn't borne of gifts... The special thing about my grandmother was our special doll's tea parties (chunky glass tea set kept at Grannies home), making things out of nothing for the doll's house and reading. She read to me and spent hours listening to me read.
I my mind we are still sitting curled up together with a book. ❤️
I really loved her.

Thinking of you. flowers

Doodle Tue 06-Feb-24 10:26:29

Give time and love. All children like presents but money is only a thing.
We are a lot better off than our DGCs other grandma. We buy gifts for our grandchildren because we can and like to treat them but it’s never been a competition because it isn’t about buying love. I have never felt that our relationship with our grandchildren was any more important than theirs with their other grandmas.
Ours DGc are grown up now. We have a very loving relationship with them all as do their other grandmas.
The relationship isn’t based on the money we spent but the time we gave to them in playing with them. Entering into their games with them. Thinking up silly but fun things to do. Building tents in the living room with all the cushions. Making ships from cardboard boxes. Blowing bubbles in the park. That’s what makes a relationship not how much you can buy for them.

Theexwife Tue 06-Feb-24 11:14:38

If you could afford expensive gifts and holidays you would probably do the same, it doesn’t mean she is trying to compete with you just because she is able to do that.

Children often spend more time with the maternal grandmother, it is up to your son to make sure you have time with the child.

Dont make this into a competition and cause unpleasantness between grandparents, you will not come out the winner.

Nansnet Tue 06-Feb-24 11:21:26

I could've written that very same post myself not so long ago. Whilst I never wanted to see it as competing, the other GM certainly made it feel that way, and I don't mind confessing that I had a few upsetting moments.

Fast forward to now, and after deciding to let the other GM get on with being 'World's Best GM', I'm far happier, more content, and have a great relationship with my two little GDs (and also with my DiL, who, incidentally, is far more comfortable in our company than she is with her own parents!).

Now, when we have to be in the company of the other GPs, I just sit back and let them get on with demonstrating what being a hands-on grandparent is all about. They exhaust themselves by racing around after them, pandering to every whim, making sure they're eating, bathing them, putting to bed ... of course, they're far more capable of doing all of this than anyone else, and they NEVER have any problems with the grand children misbehavinghmm, just like their own children were always perfect and never misbehaved! They always take great delight in telling everyone this. Yeah, right!wink

In fact, I think other GM has now got the message that I won't rise to it, she doesn't impress me, I'm not willing to compete, and she can run herself ragged for all I care. I actually think she's now getting a bit miffed that she does most of the 'work' when we're all together, but that's what she wanted! Yet, GDs still come to me with their books, toys, asking me to play with them, etc.

We may not do the same things with our GDs, or spend the same money, or take to the same places, but our GDs still love coming to us, they love getting messy in the kitchen, and having the paints out (where as other GM likes to keep a tidy house!). And, they always give me big hugs, saying, 'I love you Nannie' ... without any prompting from anyone!

So, I know it's difficult, but do try to ignore the other GM, and just let her get on with what she wants to do. Just smile and nod in the right places. You'll develop your own special things with your GC, and they'll love you just for being you!

NotSpaghetti Tue 06-Feb-24 11:38:39

You are right of course exwife that it is up to your son to make sure you have time with the child - but... it is also Briget's responsibility to build a good relationship with her grandchildren mother.

Relationships with the mum, mutual respect and support are surely the key.

SingcoTime Tue 06-Feb-24 15:03:42

When I see people who are competitive with relationships like this I actually feel sorry for them. It wreaks of insecurity. To have reached the stage in life where you are simultaneously a grandparent and still so insecure is a sad thing. Ignore it and take pity.

Briget Tue 06-Feb-24 18:18:07

Thankyou for you reply. It definitely brings out feelings I never knew existed.

vif424 Thu 08-Feb-24 11:13:58

It's not a contest or a race. It's a lifelong commitment. Everyone brings a slice of pie to the party, and you have an invaluable piece of the pie that others don't have. Trust in what you bring and trust that your grandchildren love you and love spending time with you. So long as everyone's bringing the love and the positivity, that's all they need.

SeaWoozle Thu 08-Feb-24 11:16:47

So sorry to hear. Have been there myself. Not as a grandparent but as a parent with an overbearing/over generous/too many presents grandmother! It's really tough but just be you. Your offspring will thank you in times to come and so will your grandchild(ren). Kids know when people are being genuine. Mine certainly do now and over the years, sadly, due to the "other" grandparents constant bragging about finances and what they can do with them etc they just see their inheritance! Which of course isn't a good thing either, but that's a product of their big headedness and insecurity!
It ground my gears when they were younger - I'd tell my children they could have a particular you for their birthday as it was more expensive & therefore more of a present than every day thing and grandmother would just go ahead and buy it.

I remember a time in particular when I took my daughter to her her grandparents and the first words she said to grandma? Not hello but.....

"What have you got me.?"

Just keep being the amazing grandma you are.

LuckyFour Thu 08-Feb-24 11:20:21

I recently spent a few days with my family and, when out walking, my grandson (13) and I happened to be walking along side each other. He was telling me about his school and friends etc. and I was listening and contributing as necessary. He said 'I love talking to you grandma'. That was the best compliment and I cherish it.
I would say be there and most of all be a good listener, don't judge or offer advice or opinions unless asked. Have a gentle loving relationship with your grandchildren and you won't go wrong.

Koalama Thu 08-Feb-24 11:27:10

I've had this with one of my grandchildren, I handled it like i used to friends or acquaintances in the past, that were compitive by nature, I find it mildly funny/sad tbf, but I just let them get on with it, whatever they threw at said grandchild or family, I'd smile and say 'how lovely' I concentrated on my relationship with said grandchild, and continue to have a lovely relationship with them too.

NannyC1 Thu 08-Feb-24 11:27:53

My SIL mother throws money left right and centre at our GD loads of big money presents, money in envelope at birthdays and Christmas, has to be the 1st to give the presents etc,but has Never taken her anywhere ever. I do not,have never and cannot compete with that. I take her to the cinema, the theatre and out for the day always have and while I'm able always will. In saying that she never really had a close relationship with her son or took him out etc. My daughter and her friends where always out for the day whenever we could. Different strokes for different folks.