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Step-Grandparenting; Granny-competition?

(14 Posts)
GrammaYvonne Fri 31-Jul-15 07:36:52

Hello. In this age of non traditional and changing families it is not surprising that our new grandchildren have 7 grandparents, both sets of parents having split and remarried/re-partnered, except one. This is great for the children, but I am not sure how we, the grandparents, are all going to get on. There is no acrimony, we do all rub along ok to date. These are the first grandchildren for this side of the family, although the four on the mother's side are all "well-experienced"!
My concern (which my husband pooh-poohs and obviously I don't want to go on about it and spoil his incredible pride and happiness) is because they are not "my" grandchildren but his, and I have never raised children of my own. I had a lot to do with my nieces and nephews, but that was 40 years ago! I bought a book on baby care, and I guess I can't be more afraid of all this as the new parents. Secondly that with so many grandparents, things might become stressed and competitive.
The twins arrived 3 days ago, and captured the hearts of the entire family immediately.
Anyone else been in this position? confused

vampirequeen Fri 31-Jul-15 08:05:11

I'm a step-grandma and DH is a step-grandfather. The children call us by our Christian names and it's never been a problem. We dote on the DGC just as much as the biological grandparents do. I don't think it's blood that makes a family but love. Children who have loving step-parents and step-grandparents are surrounded by love and that's all that matters.

vampirequeen Fri 31-Jul-15 08:06:25

Ooops just read post. I didn't mean that children without step parents/step grandparents aren't loved.

ginny Fri 31-Jul-15 09:00:39

Just enjoy the children. They will sort out the relationships as they go along. There is no completion if you don't make it one and don't join in if you feel there is one.

trisher Fri 31-Jul-15 09:43:30

Not a step-grandparent, but don't think any experience really helps with the things that happen with babies these days. Yes if you've had your own you are probably more in touch with the dreadful no-sleep days, but things have changed! And for my own grandchildren I had to be introduced to baby-led weaning, went to a "Messy" session with a 9month old (are you sure she's old enough?) and wondered at the shaped terry nappies (velcro no pins) and the excellence of disposables. You will probably be welcomed as someone who doesn't keep saying "When mine were little we always....". Enjoy and love them. Ignore any competition, life is too short and babies grow too fast.

Luckygirl Fri 31-Jul-15 09:44:32

How lovely that you have these two to dote upon, especially as you have not had children of your own. Seems like a real bonus to me! - enjoy! The relationships will all shake down over time.

Coolgran65 Fri 31-Jul-15 09:47:06

DH and I are both grandparents and step grandparents. All of the dgc are treated and loved the same. We are called the same by all of the dgc ....granny and Granda, plus Christian name.

Marmight Fri 31-Jul-15 10:00:36

I am Granny to 8 and step grandmother to 2. They are both in their teens, one at university. They call me by my Christian name as they do their step-Mum, my DD. I really don't consider them to be my grandsons as they already have a perfectly good set of gp's and they certainly don't look upon me as their grandparent. They are just SiL's children and we get along fine. I don't see them very often but I give them birthday/Christmas presents, take them out and occasionally treat them. We all get along fine. Perhaps if circumstances were different, they were younger, had no gp's, then I would of course have taken on the Granny role.

GrammaYvonne Fri 31-Jul-15 10:33:34

Many thanks for the confidence building; yes I can certainly see an advantage in not having the experience to be a know all, Trisha. And it's kind of nice for the kids to be teaching us things as we've guided them through house buying and all that stuff as they did it for the first time. I can also start from the position of "I haven't changed a nappy in 40 years, show me how"
I just have to be a little bit careful not to tread on anyone's toes, I think. The babies will certainly have plenty of love, and I am happy to take a back seat and step in if called for when the others are busy.
Thanks for the advice

TerriBull Fri 31-Jul-15 10:43:54

I have two grandchildren and 3 step grandchildren. The eldest of the three being only three years younger than my younger son. I have been around the step grandchildren from the time they were born so I have always been a fixture in their lives and we see them frequently. Both their grandmothers are alive and not wishing to usurp their position they have always called me by my first name, although jokingly they sometimes refer to me as "step grandmama". I am lucky I have always had a good relationship with them.

Greyduster Fri 31-Jul-15 11:16:05

We are in exactly the same position as Marmight. My DS's has two stepsons who were in their early teens when he met their mother, and are now 17 and 20. We don't see them all that often but get along really well with them when we do. They call us by our first names and always seem happy to visit us. That is as much as I can, and should, ask from the relationship - I would never regard myself as a grandparent to them. I met their maternal grandmother at the wedding, but sadly, she was in the late stages of dementia. We don't know anything about their other grandparents and don't see any need to.

Coolgran65 Fri 31-Jul-15 11:55:40

Further to my previous post, our various stepgrandchildren treat us as granny and Granda possibly in particular because we were married before they were born. Also the blood paternal grandmother took off when her children were still in primary school and my DH raised his boys himself. The older steps (8 and 5) know I am not their daddy's mother but still think of me as granny. They know that their daddy does have another mummy and questions have been and will be answered appropriately and as honestly possible within reason. When the older asks something I feel is not my place then I suggest she talks with mummy and daddy.
It is a part of modern life and they take it in their stride.

Misslayed Sat 01-Aug-15 14:25:35

I never had my own children, but my first husband had two (adopted ) children from his first marriage. My step son's two daughters have always called me Grandma, as that's the way their Dad wanted it, and I was honoured. I see them regularly and really feel as if they are my grandchildren. After being widowed I have remarried another widower. His first Grandson was born a couple of years after we met. His Mum referred to me as Nana for a while, which didn't sit well with me, as it had never been a Grandparent name in my family, but I started to refer to myself as Nana Lilla (a childhood nickname also used by my nieces and nephews), and now he's talking he just refers to me as Lilla, which suits everyone! I can recommend finding a 'special' name for step grandchildren to call you, it recognises the unique relationship you have, and the children just accept it. My SIL has always been called 'Gad' by all her grandchildren and great grandchildren - and all their friends! PS Don't tell anyone, but my eldest (step) grand daughter once told me "You are the BEST Grandma", because I let them play outside in the pouring rain! It's only water.

GrammaYvonne Mon 03-Aug-15 16:31:35

Thank you Misslayed, particularly. I think that is where I am, my husband's grown up children all accept me as Dad's wife as opposed to a step mother, seem to want the steppies to be involved as grandparents. The children themselves I have no concerns about, little ones accept what is around them as part of the furniture; the parents will also be fine. It is the other grandparents I am more worried about.

Thanks all

PS the baby book arrived, and it would appear that babies are still made the way my nieces and nephews were 40 years ago, still need the same places cleaned, supported etc! Products and gadgets have changed a bit but I am sure I will get the hang of disposable nappies.