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Step-grandparent

(24 Posts)
StepE Mon 18-Feb-19 21:53:27

Hi all, my partner is 54, I'm 53. He's going to be a grandfather end March/early April. I'm quite apprehensive as we've only been in a relationship for 15 months. How will having a grandchild change the dynamic of our relationship? I'm feeling quite strange - I can't give my partner our own child even though I have strong feelings I'd like to but realistically speaking we're too old. I adore kids but I'm finding my partner looking at every small child when we're out and it hurts I can't give him a child of our own. The grandchild will also be living in another State and I'm pretty sure he'll want to be there often but time apart on a regular basis will be hard for me. I feel so selfish and down about my feelings. The son and his fiance are a gorgeous couple but I can't help feeling scared too. Any advice? My own kids are still late teens so I really don't feel comfortable being a step-grandparent yet! I know the baby will have plenty of love including from me and I know that's all that matters. Some advice please.

MissAdventure Mon 18-Feb-19 21:58:53

So really, you're a bit jealous that there will be another person for your partner to love?
I'm sure it's natural, but I think you'll love him even more when you see him being a lovely grandparent.

Jomarie Mon 18-Feb-19 23:04:06

It really doesn't need to change anything - just carry on as you are - after all you are the Step-grandparent - ie once removed - you have teenage children - enough said - stop agonising and just go with flow - not a problem - smile, spend some money on suitable gifts and smile again - keep smiling - . No advice to the parents just reiterate how wonderful it all is and then leave!!!! Easy peasy....... Also massage the Grandad physically and emotionally - again, easy peasy. Everyone happy wink

stella1949 Tue 19-Feb-19 00:44:41

I'm sure you'll love the baby too . Babies have a way of making us all feel wonderful ! No need for you to be apart from your partner when he goes to see them - can't you go together ?

I know what it's like to be in your situation - I married my husband when we were in our late 50's. He doesn't have any biological grandchildren now, but my kids have had babies since we got married and they are as much "his" grandchildren as if they were his blood relatives. He adores them and they certainly don't cause any problems for us at all.

Since they live in another state, you'll soon be Skyping and Face-timing like the rest of us "grannies". You'll be fine.

Specs Tue 19-Feb-19 05:04:17

Hi StepE you’re in a relatively new relationship in the grand scheme of life. And with all this new love and mega adjustments swirling around comes a whirlwind of emotions and insecurities. A new baby in the family steals the limelight and takes the focus off this amazing new love you have. Also you have two teenagers who create their own set of issues as they adjust to their changing world. It’s easy to think that if you ‘give him our own child’ it cements you all together and secures his love for you. That’s a fantasy. It’s quite okay to have all these conflicting feeling and to feel down. We all do. Make this a learning curve for the both of you. Share your insecurities with him and let him help you adjust through your uncertainties and vulnerabilities. He sounds like a nice sort of chap. This could be a new bond that you build together. It’s certainly a new challenge for the two of you. Good luck with the future lovely lady.😊

littleflo Tue 19-Feb-19 08:09:29

I believe that, identifying and acknowledging that you have a problem, is the first step in solving it.

There will be many things to test you in this new relationship and dealing with step-children is quite a big one. I would ask yourself whether you are happy for your partner to go alone to visit the baby, or would you want to go with him. This is a minefield and it is as well to sound out both him and his children on this.

I would urge your partner never to describe you as Grandma. Use your own name with the baby and sign any cards from Grandad and E. It really put my back up when my mum went on and on about the children referring to her husband as Grandad. She did not marry him until in her 50s so he was not in any way our Step-Father.

I wish you well and hope that you will be happy.

Greenfinch Tue 19-Feb-19 08:22:56

Good post littleflo

Specs Tue 19-Feb-19 08:35:22

Regarding what your name will be l have a little experience here: 2 step daughters both completely different and with different attitudes. My very lovely OH (we’re happily unmarried and will remain so, his first wife died a long time ago and was deeply missed) . First set of GC were very young when I came along and we took them on holidays etc, I suggested they call me Auntie X. It was never taken on board . We get on ok but it wouldn’t take much fo a rift to develop. That’s just how it is. 2nd step daughter has baby and asks me what l would like to be called. We discussed options and agreed on Nanna as I’m not the blood grandma. I looked after the baby 2 days a week and over the years that child has grown up and we are incredibly close . I miss her terribly when she doesn’t visit so much - she’s older with new and exciting things in her life. Every situation is different but names are important, they can’t be forced in step parent relationships- they come from the heart.

Liz46 Tue 19-Feb-19 08:37:29

We see more of my grandchildren than we do of my husband's as his GC live on the other side of the country. He has put in a lot of effort with my GC and has built up a good relationship with them. They call him by his first name and his GC call me by my first name.

When there was a family funeral, my daughter trusted my husband to look after her two children (they were both still babies) for several hours while the rest of us went to the funeral. I think that showed huge trust.

BradfordLass72 Tue 19-Feb-19 08:39:53

I'm a step-grandma and I asked the child's mother what she would like her son to call me. I made no rules about it and respected their decision. It was their choice, not mine.

As it happened, my dgs came up with a totally unique and charming name and I love it.

StepE I don't think you'll have much difficulty as you seem to have a loving heart but don't be jealous of your partner (if you are, I'm not quite sure.) He's obviously gotten to know your children and you like his - so what would be the difficulty with this new baby?

It's hard overcoming 'broodiness', a fight so many have (I would have loved more children) but you have to accept that your time for that is over and you've done a darned good job bringing your own children into the world and raising them - now your role is changing but it's every bit as important. You have so much to give!

If your partner is happy for you to visit alongside him, by all means do so - babies are so wonderful and you wouldn't want to miss a moment.

BTW, I personally dislike the 'step' bit. I know it's necessary in some cases but I refer to my dgs as just that 'my grandson' - no one other than family needs to know anything else.
I hope you find great joy in your new role flowers

sodapop Tue 19-Feb-19 09:54:06

Don't over think this StepE you will be a blended family like many others before long. A lot of us were grandparents in our 40s so age is irrelevant. Enjoy your new family and relax. Flo is right about the Grandma name, all my steps and their children call me by my forename or Nanny + forename. I have one family child who calls me Nanny2 as he has several. Congratulations to all the family.

Gaggi3 Tue 19-Feb-19 09:56:33

My dear step-father was the only granddad my children knew, as they were born after my father died. My brothers' and sisters' older children (11 of them) called him Uncle Bill. We all loved him.

Coconut Tue 19-Feb-19 09:59:24

Getting into a new relationship at this age, you just have to learn to accept these scenarios. As you are happy with this man and you like his family already, just relax and let things happen naturally. You will be in training for your own grandchildren ! Be open with everyone, don’t hide your feelings, voice your concerns and hopefully everything will work out just fine with calm deliberations.

Theoddbird Tue 19-Feb-19 10:13:07

I think you might not feel 100% secure in your relationship otherwise you would be celebrating this new member of the family. Oh and at 53 don't you think that is a little bit too old to become a parent again. You have had your children....watch them grow...one day they will be parents. Celebrate what you have and enjoy.

Beejo Tue 19-Feb-19 10:41:42

Try not to over think this. Life always moves on whether we want it to, or not.
Just go with the flow.
You may find after a while that it's you who is encouraging your partner to make the effort to visit his grandchild and that spending time with the baby helps your broodiness.
Goodness knows, I know how hard it is when the "grand...." title rears its head for the first time. It's part of having to accept how old we are, and it's no fun at all. But grandchildren, whether step or not, are a joy. Though one word of warning - they also bring home loud and clear that we are not as young as we were when we had our own babies!

MooM00 Tue 19-Feb-19 10:50:31

StepE Don't you feel so lucky to have a 2nd chance of love with a new partner later in life and the excitement that it will bring. It is to be exspected things will be different this time around. I met my 2nd husband later in life and was to old to have children of our own. I have my own Daughter and 2 Grandchildren and my husband has One Son and 4 Grandchildren. We are both called Grandma and Grandad to them all. My husband used to say in early days when I was trying to get used to our new relationship and some things were a bit difficult, either get on the bus or get off, you can't have one foot on and one foot off. I'm glad I stayed on the bus. What a lovely ride I am having.

stella1949 Tue 19-Feb-19 11:03:27

Regarding the name they call you, I'd be guided by the parents. When my grandchildren were born, we asked the parents what my husband should be called - both my children said that he should be Grandad . The children call him Grandad R, and my ex husband is Grandad P. To the children, they just feel lucky to have more grandparents than other kids.

Tweedle24 Tue 19-Feb-19 13:08:30

Ask your partner and the expectant parents how they think you should be addressed. My ex-husband was known as 'Grandad' and my second husband as 'Grandpa'. We had been together a lot longer, though.

Missiseff Tue 19-Feb-19 13:32:43

Not ready to be a Grandparent? I'm 56 became a step-grandmother at 44 and was mortified that the step daughter-in-law just started calling me Grandma! I objected, several times, but my feelings clearly didn't matter. My husband was next to useless in backing me up. Thirteen years later I still hate it & now there's 3 of them calling me Grandma Thankfully the 2nd step daughter-in-law asked me my preferred title so I chose Nanna. We have looked after two of them once a week since they were small babies and I love them to bits! I even miss them inbetween our designated day! So don't fret, enjoy it, other people's are a lot more fun than our own because we don't have the same stresses than we had. Your husband won't love you any less just because he's getting a blood grandchild.

MountainAsh Tue 19-Feb-19 13:46:53

StepE I never had children. When the chance came it was too late. I met my now husband when we were both in our early fifties. We had each gone through messy divorces.
I was worried how His two daughters would accept me. Immediately the younger girl called me Mum. The older daughter didn’t come onto the scene till five years later.
When the beautiful Grandbabies came along. I was worried and frightened that I would be excluded. My world turned upside down. I needn’t have worried. The first baby was put into my arms with the words ‘Baby, Meet your Nanny/Grandma your first baby sitter.’ I sat there bawling my eyes out and couldn’t speak. After that, I discussed with the parents, what they expected of me and what I could and could not do. I kept the communication lines wide open. I am delighted to say that I am ecstatically happy with my beloved step family and of course my DH. I now have four Well loved and gorgeous Grandchildren and feel very fulfilled.
StepE please keep your heart and mind open. A wonderful future could be right in front of you.

ElaineRI55 Tue 19-Feb-19 14:04:47

My experience is very similar to MountainAsh. Met my DH in our late forties. His 2 DDs lived with us ( one still does) and my 3 were already away. I've now got 8 grandchildren aged 1 to 15. My DH said he had never intended remarrying - especially someone with kids- but he adores all the DC and DGC as they do him. Try to relax and enjoy the expanding family. Discuss with your husband how often you expect to see them and whether you'll be babysitting. Don't prevent him going on his own if your work/travel circumstances make that easier ( but agree what's reasonable / feasible). I'm sure the new baby will be a blessing to you all.

EllanVannin Tue 19-Feb-19 14:17:58

I'm a step-grandparent and was with my stepdaughter when her first child was born 48 years ago, then she went on to have 4 more who've all recognised me as nan.
My D and step-daughter will be going out for lunch tomorrow and would you believe that my step-daughter is 70 this year ? Well be discussing that, though I know she doesn't like a big fuss.
However, there's never been any jealousy between my own D's and their half brother and sister and I've always shown the same feelings towards my step-grandchildren as my own. I've just looked upon it as an extension of the same family.
Babies are babies whoever they belong to.

Riverwalk Tue 19-Feb-19 15:00:22

Babies are babies whoever they belong to.

Do you really believe that - what about babies unfortunate enough to be born to an ISIS bride? (As per your thoughts on another thread)

Starlady Sat 04-May-19 02:23:46

StepE, I think your anxieties are normal. It's natural to be nervous about a new situation, especially when you're new on the scene as it is.

Please remember, though, that dh is getting a gc - NOT a new child of his own. It has nothing to do with whether you can give him a child or not. He probably wouldn't want to start all over again raising kids, anyhow. That's not what this is about or shouldn't be, as he won't be raising his gc.

I know you're worried about dh being away "on a regular basis" to visit gc. It may not be that often though, as the parents may be too busy to entertain or want to have other visitors, too. And maybe you'll be invited, also? Would you go? Regardless, I'm sure, after a while, you'll both fall into a routine that you're comfortable with.

Imo, you just need to go with the flow. Don't push to have more of a role in baby's life than the parents would like, but don't let them or dh push you to have more of a role than you're comfortable with. Also, I agree about the name. Unless they come up with something you really detest, let the parents decide what you'll be called, even if it's your first name. In fact, what they call you may give you a clue as to how they see your role.