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Grandparenting

Second Best

(45 Posts)
Nannyto Sat 30-Mar-24 17:02:27

I look after my grandson one day a week which I absolutely love. Apart from this one day - any other babysitting is done by maternal grandparents. They just drop by anytime and are always asked to look after dear GS if my son and DIL need to do anything. I’m not comfortable with just dropping round and am hardly ever invited.

I feel so sad that I am “second best”. I know most of you will tell me I’m being unreasonable thinking this way but I don’t seem to be able to shake this sadness. I’m trying to live my one life and look after myself but I’m finding it hard. Anyone else feel like this?

JaneJudge Sat 30-Mar-24 17:07:53

I can understand why you feel the way you do but as a daughter in law and the daughter of a daughter in law, I loved my Dad's parents as much as I loved my Mum's parents and my own children loved their Dad's Mum as much as they love my Mum.

You aren't second best. You are joint first place with a different relationship (or obligation) flowers

Smileless2012 Sat 30-Mar-24 17:14:14

There's nothing unreasonable about how you feel Nannyto. I don't know why, but the paternal GP's often feel they're second best when it comes to looking after GC.

Maybe you could invite them round for a meal or a nice tea, or suggest all going out somewhere together.

You really are fortunate to have him one day a week so enjoy the time you do have.

BlueBelle Sat 30-Mar-24 17:25:34

I think it’s pretty natural I remember when I had my babies it’s my mum I would ask to look after them although I loved my mum in law but it just seemed natural to turn to my mum and my mum in law never suggested anything different (she did have quite a few grandkids unlike my parents but that wasn’t the reason)
My daughters called on me and my son moved far away near his in laws
I think it’s fairly normal girls usually want their mums
You have him one day a week so enjoy that day and try not to feel off key about the in laws

crazyH Sat 30-Mar-24 17:27:52

I have 6 GC. The two oldest are 22 and 21. The youngest are 7, 7, 5, 5. I looked after the 2 oldest from the age of 2 basically, sharing with the other grand parents
Due to the fact I am much older now, I have no responsibility for the 4 younger ones , except for the odd baby sitting . The other younger GPs have much more involvement, but I can honestly say, the little ones show no more or less love and affection to any of us. As a matter of fact, we were all there together and they were hugging and jumping all over me as much, although they had to be reminded that I had a bad right knee 😂
Nannyto you are not second best. Like me, it’s a different relationship, that’s all flowers

Macadia Sat 30-Mar-24 17:35:20

DIL likes her parents' company and son likes his wife. GS has care from extended family. Sorry for your sadness. Put it on the shelf when it's done pestering you and invite gratitude over instead.

Skydancer Sat 30-Mar-24 17:36:37

I loved all my grandparents even though my mum's parents lived nearer and I saw them much more often. I am sure you are equally loved but, as others have said, the wife's parents usually take the greater role. It is no reflection on you.

Oreo Sat 30-Mar-24 17:44:48

As said, the wife’s parents usually get first dibs on things, if the married couple are fair, they will try and make sure the husband’s parents are included as much as possible, but this doesn’t always seem to happen.
You have him for one day a week tho, so enjoy that.As you get older you won’t wish for too much babysitting anyway.

mabon1 Sat 30-Mar-24 17:51:02

Get over it, many grandparents would give their eye teeth to have for one whole day a week.

cornergran Sat 30-Mar-24 18:03:24

Your feelings are understandable, nannyto. We have a similar situation with one of ours, it can hurt at times if we let it. Best not to dwell. Enjoy the time you have together. Sometimes being less involved means the time you have together is even more special to the child. Our children saw much more of their maternal grandparents, geography was a barrier back then, but they loved them all equally and were actually more excited to see the distant grandparent.

GrannyIvy Sat 30-Mar-24 18:42:02

I understand how you feel completely. Enjoy the time you have with your little GS. My SiL’s mother told me on our first meeting 20 years ago she didn’t share her son. My daughter has been completely taken into their family they always comes first and super at everything. It hurts but my daughter is happy. I keep quiet and accept but it hurts. In the past I tried to talk about being included more but I was apparently being unreasonable so I keep quiet and enjoy what time I do get with them.

Grams2five Sat 30-Mar-24 19:07:04

I think far too often in these situations we get caught up in wanting it to be “fair” and by fair we really mean equal. And as we often told our kids growing up - lifes not fair. And it’s certainly not equal. 😝. You have your grandson a whole day every week, you love him
And you seem to be a trusted loved adult to be allowed such. So stop worrying about what “other grandma does “
It’s irrelevant. Your relationship isn’t second best because it’s not a competition and it’s not the same
Relationship. You can be just as loved and STILL have a different relationship. Not second best just different. You provide regular childcare , they provide in the moment when needed childcare. You’re setting yourself up to fail here so reframe it in your head.

Nannyto Sat 30-Mar-24 19:46:39

Thank you so much for all of your comments. I know I’m very lucky to have him for a whole day and I know we have a lovely relationship. I know I am being silly but it just hurts - I put everything in to our day together I take him to all sorts of fun places but it just feels like I’m being needy if I ask to go round any other time and have some time with them all or have him while they’re busy etc whereas DILs family are welcomed with open arms and thought the world of - I guess I’m just feeling a little left out and it’s comforting knowing I’m not the only one to feel this way. I’ve never felt like this before but for the last nearly 3 years I’ve felt like this has really affected me and I just wish I could get over myself - thanks again for your comments they’ve helped put some things into perspective

Mamasperspective Sat 30-Mar-24 20:55:31

Generally speaking (not always) DIL is the main caregiver for the children and DIL will want to spend time with her own parents. Mums and daughters will often have very close relationships, it makes sense that her parents will see a lot more of the grandchildren as a natural consequence of DIL wanting to spend time with her mum. She won't have any reservations around her mum watching the kids as that is the most trusted woman in her life who has been around for her entire life. Also, as a mother of young children myself, it's MUCH easier to tell your own mother when she's overstepping and know it won't cause offended or conflict. DILs and her mothers relationship will always be different to yours and DILs relationship, that's normal. Yes this is your sons child too but he didn't carry and birth your grandson the way DIL did, the bond is not quite the same and, if the situation is as I mentioned, she will do the lions share of childcare and therefore will generally make decisions as far as kids are concerned. She gives you opportunity to babysit for a day a week which is great, she obviously has trust in you. Your issue is that you are comparing yourself to the maternal grandmother but there is no comparison to be had, you have different relationships. Stop comparing. Be thankful for the time you get, enjoy it and make it fun for your grandson while respecting boundaries so that trust from DIL stays in tact. Tell DIL (as a passing comment) that you love your days with grandson and you would be available to babysit more if ever she needed a babysitter outside of your normal days and leave it at that.

Shelflife Sat 30-Mar-24 21:28:31

I am a maternal GM and had my GC one day a week. I loved that contact but if I am honest it was enough for me ! and I was much younger then! Please don't feel sidelined you have you GS on day a week that is wonderful. Daughters do think of their own mother's first - that is not a rebuff to the paternal GM it is simply how it is. Enjoy your GM duty , your GS will always remember his time with you . My eldest GC is now 21 and often says " Grandma do you remember when ......" You are not second best !

welbeck Sat 30-Mar-24 23:21:59

i suppose if you had not been in the habit of just dropping in on your son before he had a child, it's unlikely to suddenly seem natural to do so now.

welbeck Sat 30-Mar-24 23:23:09

and so much the more so in regard to your DIL.

LOUISA1523 Sun 31-Mar-24 10:17:28

I see far more of my DDs girls than mt sons DD ....like you I see once a week...the others I see around 4 times a week....I don't think my youngest DD loves me any less for only seeing me once a week .....I'm sure your GC loves you just as much as his other granny

Sssd Sun 31-Mar-24 11:49:17

I have boys. Im preparing to always be 2nd best.

Madgran77 Mon 01-Apr-24 06:25:52

Nannyto

Thank you so much for all of your comments. I know I’m very lucky to have him for a whole day and I know we have a lovely relationship. I know I am being silly but it just hurts - I put everything in to our day together I take him to all sorts of fun places but it just feels like I’m being needy if I ask to go round any other time and have some time with them all or have him while they’re busy etc whereas DILs family are welcomed with open arms and thought the world of - I guess I’m just feeling a little left out and it’s comforting knowing I’m not the only one to feel this way. I’ve never felt like this before but for the last nearly 3 years I’ve felt like this has really affected me and I just wish I could get over myself - thanks again for your comments they’ve helped put some things into perspective

Its hard isn't it when one feels only welcome when "useful" as a babysitter. The best and only way to cope is to enjoy the special days together whilst they last and build a particular relationship base with your grandchild. That bodes well for that relationship to evolve when they grow up as something for you two , different from with others but precious to your grandchild. 💐

HomeAgain123 Mon 01-Apr-24 09:18:50

I feel exactly the same my gd lives overseas she’s nearly 2 .. I have to book a time slot to see her I instigate I’m lucky once every 3 weeks as alway ‘ busy’ found out dil mum sees her 2/3 weeks on FaceTime … just to busy for me 😢

dragonfly46 Mon 01-Apr-24 09:33:36

Minding your DGC one day a week is lovely but I would miss time with the family as a whole especially time with my son so I get where the OP is coming from.

Gingster Mon 01-Apr-24 09:47:24

My DS and DIL live near to her mum. We live 1hr and a half away, so logistically the GC see more of other nanna, who was widowed very young so is in her own. The DGD ‘s have a very special bond with her and see her every day, also staying over night with her. . I have other local GC who I’ve always been very close to, so I have no jealous feeling towards other nanna. We all meet up every couple of months and she’s such a lovely lady, who we get on well with. I certainly don’t begrudge her having a closer bond with the gd’s.

Just appreciate the time you have with dgs and as the others have said, invite them over from time to time.

Madgran77 Mon 01-Apr-24 17:16:18

dragonfly46

Minding your DGC one day a week is lovely but I would miss time with the family as a whole especially time with my son so I get where the OP is coming from.

So do I. The Family time is missed; babysitting is lovely but they are 2 different things

Madgran77 Mon 01-Apr-24 17:17:15

invite them over from time to time

And hopefully they wont be too busy to come