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Step grandparenting

(46 Posts)
Semiruralgirl Thu 11-Jul-19 11:24:20

I’m a step parent/grandparent (I have 3 more or less grown up grandchildren of my own). My husband (Grandpa) and I have been together nearly 20 years, married for 7. My husband has 3 sons, 2 with children - 4 grandchildren in all. My problem is that when we have the families are staying or see a lot of them, everything is ‘Grandpa this and Grandpa that’ (it’s the daughters in law mainly). It’s Grandpa’s garden (even though it’s a house we bought together) or Grandpa’s cake etc. Admittedly my husband is very hands on, but I do contribute and as I have a mobility problem, I’m limited in what I can do. One even referred to our wedding as ‘whein Martin got married’ and I had to remind her that it was my wedding too! I’m sure it’s not meant unkindly, but it does make me feel a bit isolated and stressed and to be honest a bit fed up. It makes me feel like a spare part! My husband during these times doesn’t notice, and he gets very involved with the families. Is there anyone in the same position?

Grannyknot Thu 11-Jul-19 12:10:17

Semiruralgirl I'm not in the same situation as far as step-grandchildren go but I do sometimes play "second fiddle" to stuff that is perceived as belonging to my husband especially when his sisters are visiting (he has 5 sisters). Then it is "John's house" and "John's car" and so on. I notice it but it doesn't really bother me. Every now and again I will say "By the way it's my house/car/study but I let John use it". And then we all laugh.

Try and not make a thing out of it would be my advice.


sodapop Thu 11-Jul-19 12:17:55

I have step grandchildren too and its a fine line to tread. I don't get too involved unless asked and they all call me by first name or Nanny sodapop.
I agree with grannyknot don't make a big thing out of this, relax and enjoy their visits.

EllanVannin Thu 11-Jul-19 12:19:52

You'll just have to stick with it and ignore the feeling of being a " spare part ". I'm a step-grandmother but have never felt left out and since the death of my husband when I expected things to drop off, they didn't and to this day I'm still recognised as " nan " by all of them. There are 5 adult GC and all their offsprings, two of whom I was present at their births.
We were all together a couple of weeks ago which was lovely.

Counting my own adult GC as well as the step-GC, there are 10 and about 15 GGC.

Fennel Thu 11-Jul-19 12:25:35

semiruralgirl I'm in that position too, though my husband (2nd) has only one grand daughter and she's an adult now.
But I used to feel a bit miffed when it was all "Grandad this and Grandad that" as you say.
I think there are a few reasons, especially if the child's biological Gran is still around.
In our case it was part of the split loyalties and jealousies that happen in re-constituted families. Very upsetting at times, but the main thing is your relationship with your husband. IMO keeping that strong, and being loyal to eachother is the most important thing.

Floradora9 Thu 11-Jul-19 13:31:18

My DH does this he refers to the house as his house the car as his car etc..

NanaandGrampy Thu 11-Jul-19 13:37:17

I don't think its something to worry about semirural . Everything is mine if you ask our grandchildren and there are no 'steps' involved lol

Its Nana's house and Nana's car - poor old Grampy doesn't get a look in . In fact he asked the smallest one who else lives in Nana's house , the little one thought for a minute and replied ' Sam!'.

Sam is our dog !!

ElaineI Thu 11-Jul-19 13:45:30

I wouldn't worry about this. We have no steps and our DGC and DDs tend to say "Granny's this" and "Papa's that" even though things are ours. It's very long winded to say 'Granny and Papa's this and that" in fact it is usually said when the DGC are doing something they shouldn't like climbing on the table (baby) and kicking the ball at the bedding plants (toddler and 5 year old).

NotSpaghetti Fri 12-Jul-19 08:28:25

Yes, NanaandGrampy is right.
Even now, when my parents are long since departed, my adult children refer to Granny's house rather than Granny and Grandpa's. Absolutely nothing is meant by it and we have no stepchildren in our family.

Witchypoo Fri 12-Jul-19 08:34:20

When husband of forty years died all step children, grandchildren and great grandchildren just vanished. We bought up the children as mum wasnt involved. Hurt cannot explain it. All alone

Cabbie21 Fri 12-Jul-19 08:39:09

It is the same here as the OP. We don’t see much of the youngest grandchild as they live at a distance and whilst we all get on well when we are together, we don’t have much contact between visits, or much in common. It is DH’s son’s child, and it is all about Grandad. His son refers to me as Granny Cabbie, making it clear I am one step removed. There are no other grandparents in the picture, so I don’t see why. But in the end it doesn’t really matter.

JulieMM Fri 12-Jul-19 08:43:15

When things hurt me or upset me I write it all down...pour my heart out on the page. I do this when it’s not the right thing to say it to the one(s) upsetting me as you can’t ‘unsay’ things. One day when I’m gone they may come across these books and realise the hurt they caused at that time. Lessons learned hopefully. The reader will learn in private what I, the writer, have said.

Blinko Fri 12-Jul-19 08:48:31

Witchypoo, so sorry for your hurt flowers

bumblebee34 Fri 12-Jul-19 09:34:03

I get on very well with all my partner’s AC and their families but we all rolled up laughing when apparently one day the four year old GS, on being told Dider (Grandad) was coming to visit piped up with “Is that grown up girl who lives with Dider coming too”
I was thrilled to be referred to as a ‘grown up girl’ as I am mid sixties!

Nanny123 Fri 12-Jul-19 09:34:16

My husbands DD does a similar thing. She will send christmas cards to “Daddy” and will refer to everything as his. Yet my two DD love him to bits and include him in everything and we have 4 grandchildren (all from my DD) and they love him so much - I sometimes feel his DD is missing out on so much as she doesnt want to be part of the bigger family.

Tigertooth Fri 12-Jul-19 09:37:11

Well they are more interested in their dad than they are in you, it’s a bit of a mouthful to say “grandpas and grandmas garden/ cake etc.
I think you’re making a fuss over nothing - develop your own self esteem, why does it matter. It’s jyst not an issue imo.

Minshy Fri 12-Jul-19 09:41:41

Witchypoo that is awful.
How cruel.

NotSpaghetti Fri 12-Jul-19 09:50:10

I would rethink that JulieMM - do you really want them to discover the saddest and most painful part of you after you've gone?
I'd rather my family thought happy things about me.

Amagran Fri 12-Jul-19 10:02:38

I sympathise with the OP, but I don't think it is something to worry about.
No steps and family relationships mostly harmonious, but GCs always used to refer to our house as 'Grandma's house', much as they also loved DH. It didn't bother him. I suppose I was the one doing most of the looking after, I was the one always there - sometimes DH would be away working. With a little bit of work by son and daughter and their partners, they are happy to go along with the mouthful of Grandma-and-Grandpa's house. Two of the GCs have another set of grandparents. Their house is always referred to as Grandma dogsname's house.

Glenfinnan Fri 12-Jul-19 10:06:08

I don’t have exactly the same issue only nieces and nephews who always say thank you Uncle or where’s Uncle when they first come into the house. Doesn’t bother me!

nipsmum Fri 12-Jul-19 10:20:22

My first husband worked away from home while the children were growing up.( 2 daughters) and got very angry when he came home and the girls always started a sentence with Mum. I felt then it was childish and jealous of him to expect it to be different when he was really not at home much. I still think that, although he left permanently over 30 years ago.

Annaram1 Fri 12-Jul-19 10:32:50

Julie, I agree with NotSpag, don't leave your hurt in writing. Only write happy things, like what you have been up to in the garden, how lovely the weather is, a nice trip to the park, walking with your dog, nice film on TV which you enjoyed... and if they have done anything which made you happy then say so. Don't let your diary be just a list of recriminations, even if in revenge. Your words will be passed on to children and grandchildren, and may be "Granny Julies much loved diary" for generations. If it is nasty somebody will just bin it and they will badmouth you for ever!

paddyann Fri 12-Jul-19 10:34:38

my GC all call this Granny's house and its granny's this that and the other .I think its normal for them to do that if its their grandpa they see most nothing to worry about

Jaxie Fri 12-Jul-19 10:41:41

It's very upsetting and I sympathise. But, and this is a nasty thought: has money and inheritance something to do with this? I find that money matters bring out the worse in people.

notnecessarilywiser Fri 12-Jul-19 11:57:23

The fact is that your stepsons have all been connected to their father since birth (although I do understand that you may well have been in their lives since their childhood), so I think for them to talk of "Dad's house/car/garden etc" is understandable. The stepsons' partners and children will quite naturally use the same terms.

So I agree with Amagran - it's understandable, and shouldn't upset you. If their behaviour towards you is generally loving and warm, then forgive them their sloppy terminology!