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Re: Jealous of the other Grandmother?

Started by Bridget, July 20, 2011, 09:06:23 pm

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I am embarrassed to say that I, too, am jealous of the "other" grandmother.  Just turned Grandma a little over a year ago.  My son and his wife had a son and my daughter and her husband had a daughter a few months after that.  My daughter lives a great distance away where her inlaws are and this does not seem to bother me.  But my son lives nearby and I am very jealous of the time he and my grandson spend with his wife's family.  The sad thing is that I remember when I had my children and how I felt.  I wanted my kids to be close to my parents and although we tried to spend time with both families, I know I wanted to favor mine.  And I feel very bad now thinking that I might have hurt my mother's feelings when I chose to visit my in-laws and I may have hurt my mother-in-law's feelings when I chose to spend time with my family.  Becoming a grandmother is another growing up stage in my life.  I never realized how much joy grandchildren could be but it has also brought me some tears and feelings of loneliness and feeling left out at times as well.  The other grandparents have a cabin on a lake and my daughter-in-law loves spending time there.  I feel horrible for feeling the way I do.  I think the person who wrote, "a daughter is a daughter for life and a son is a son, until he takes a wife" said it all ... that saddens me a lot.  I find myself wanting to pull away from them to avoid feeling this way which really solves nothing. 

Silver Spring


You have an interesting perspective. Daughter near her ILs and son near you, with his ILs nearby. Do you think that it is harder for the  son b/c you "see" it or are more available?

I do wonder if jealousy is something all grandmothers go through a little bit. It is the first time (save your child's marriage), where there is the new little person that you don't have around the clock time with. As I get older, I think about the time I have left too (hard not to), and it feels only more  precious to me. I feel like I'm missing something more now, than I would have been if I was younger. I'm sorry if that sounds morbid.


I still say it's totally normal.  It's what you "do" about it that makes a difference.  Heck, one of my co-workers just got back from Hawaii.  I'm totally jealous because I want to go!  My jealousy only extends to that aspect of it though.  I don't treat her any differently or "dislike" her because she went.  I'm happy she got to go actually, but that doesn't mean I'm not jealous.

I think jealously is very normal in every aspect of our lives.  I'm a jealous GM but yet I'm glad my GD has all kinds of people that love her.  Wouldn't it be terrible if they lived away from us but yet had no one to love them?
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Welcome Bridget :)

Please read the Forum Agreement in the category Open Me First if you haven't already done so.  We ask all new members to do this not b/c there is anything wrong with your post.

I think all feelings are normal, it's what you do with them that counts!

People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

lancaster lady

hi Bridget ....

I always felt second best throughout my GD's first year . My FDIL always favoured visiting her own family
before giving me a second thought . It took some while to get used to , but realising painfully that I probably
did the same , however my in laws showed no interest whatsoever in my children .
Make your time fun , and visits the grandchildren will remember , then they will ask to see you when they are
older .
My son and family now live with me , so be careful what you wish for ....lol


Don't feel bad about your feelings - it's hard to control how you feel - but be careful to act polite and pleasant and uncomplaining.  Take a hard look at what you have.  Don't compare to what the other grandparents have.  Given your geography and work and other commitments, do you see your son and his family for a reasonable time?  It doesn't matter if the other grandparents have more.  I lived next door to one set of grandparents, so of course I saw them more.  But I saw my other grandparents every month practically.  Given our geography, that was reasonable.  I'm sure my farther away grandparents were jealous, but that's life.  The maternal grandparents tend to have an edge because women still tend to make most of the family's social arrangements.  If you feel the jealousy is taking control, get some professional help.  Or lean on your friends.  Don't complain to other family members - that will undoubtedly get back to your son and dil and cause problems.  Good Luck.


I think we get to see our granddaughter more because we make an effort to see her on the weekends.  If not for an hour or so, just to get a little sugar from her.  My daughter's sister in law just had a new baby and that baby will be seen by the other grandparents more because they live very close to them.  Other granddad is great with baby, but GM is a little cool.  Hope that will change.

We are not close to othe other grandparents but hope that will change now with the babies.  I hope to be a surrogate Fafe for new baby as babies GM is in China.  We are all getting together for the first time in a week or so.  Hope it goes great and we can continue to spend some time with them.  But, I do know that they all need their "family time" as well. 


D sayI have a slightly different DIL/son issue. They call on his step mom (whom he absolutely hated as a kid) before me to watch my 14mo old GS. I confronted my son about it the other day & all he said was "It was easier." When I asked him what he meant by that he turned it around & asked me if I would come over at 5am. I was sooooo hurt by this. For one, they'ge never asked me even tho Ive repeadedly told them I would take time off work (step mother works too & has to take time off too). Tonight I called him to just talk & he said he was on way home from picking the baby up from her home. I had seen him on Xmas & told him I had day off & not once did he mention babysitting needs even after I expressed I was off & would love to watch the baby if they had to work. Nothing. Not a word. Then today he tells me he didn't know I had the day off & that the arrangements had been made 2 weeks ago. I was so hurt. I told him so & that they hadn't even given me call & why & all he repeated was how the arrangements had been made. I told him I had to go & that I loved him & hung up. I know I should've confronted him with more questions but I couldn't because I was too sad & was afraid of saying things that would've been worse.  I just don't get how he puts his step mother before me. I never said anything negative about her to him & would say positive things instead when he would sagged he hated her when he was younger. But now he acts like shes his mother over me & pain doesn't even describe how I'm feeling.  I'm sure some here will feel the need to blast me & say I should feel happy he has a relationship with his Step mother & my
GS is loved by so many...please don't because you don't know her & the pain she caused thrum the years towards my son. Many a times I had to console him when she said horrible things to him & treated him terribly. I would try to talk to his Dad too & even put him in therapy so for the life of me I don't get why she is picked over me to watch my GS. I even found out they are having her watch him for a week in May when he & FDIL go on their honeymoon. Id even asked them months ago if they needed me to watch the baby id love to but let me know so I could take time off. Instead....they ask his step mom. :(  I just don't get it and am heartbroken. :( I am not bad person & love my sons & GS & did everything for them growing up. I am sure I made mistakes along the way but never neglected or abused my kids. They were my world!    Clearly tho my son must think different if he calls on his step mother before his own mother to watch his son.  :(

lancaster lady

Hello D ......  Go back one year and I was in your place . I never babysat my GD till she was 18 months old , then for just 2 hours .I know how hurt you are feeling and its painful . Do you get on well with your DIL / fdil ? You might make some progress by speaking to her , just casually offer your help , time .Don't go in guns blazing . Your DS probably doesn't pass on what you are saying . The fact they use the step granny might just be that it is easier . Does she live nearer , work less ? It might not be personal , but its hard not to take it personally . My situation was my DIL spent all her time at her own DM 's home . It was with her I had to work things out, we did eventually but it wasn't easy and it was painfull and upsetting . However worth it to enable me to connect and bond with my GD . Good luck to you , I hope you can work things out , your dil might be unaware how you are feeling.


Welcome back D. If I am remembering your story correctly, hasn't this been an issue between you two for a long time now?  Him spending most of his time with his Dad and SM?  If I'm remembering that right, then I can see that if he was spending all his time with them before, I can see that they are now calling on her for babysitting.  Not saying that's not painful to you and that your offers of helping aren't very nice of you, just that it sounds like this isn't something new, you were already having this issue before the babysitting thing with holidays and such?  Them spending most of their time with them?

If I am remembering that right, and please correct me if I'm not, then I'm with LL, it's not personal against you babysitting, they are just using the person that they were already spending alot of time with.  Had the situtation with you and OS improved before this came up?
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Hi Dlphnsgl -

I'm not going to tell you to be happy for your son, etc, but if you are the mom who is being sad, hurt, disappointed, bewildered to your son, that may be putting him off.   When I left my babies with people, I looked for cheerful people who would have plenty of attention for keeping my babies happy while I was gone.

I think in any situation, getting someone to spend time with you isn't accomplished by saying 'why won't you spend time with me' over and over.  Making yourself someone the person wants to spend time would seem be more productive, imo.

That said, I understand you're disappointed - my son moved 1000 miles away to have our first grandchild and now won't send pics or talk to me.  I don't really want to change myself into the person he wants me to be in order to garner a possible few hours a year with my GK so I just accept the situation for what it is.


Bridget, I thought your post was so very sweet and poignant, and wow to tell the truth refreshing! I envy you and have a new post as a little role model!  Thank you.  You are showing yourself as honest and unpretentious.  We all feel jealous, if we tell the truth about it.  I think you're doing a really good job, and I don't think there's any red flags flying above your head.  I love being a grandmother, and have two spectacular grandsons that I'm close to, but I keep telling myself over and over  - watch it Ruth.  Don't start the cycle over with g/c as you did with dd and ds, they g/c can't become my validation of worth as a human being, or my social status, or my fairy tale world where all is good and happy. 

I have been licking my wounds for a day or so now, after I realized that those two spectacular g/s, (whom I dote on and spare nothing as far as favors, gifts, love, etc.) actually gave me NOTHING for Christmas!  Well, their names were on their mom's gift, but after I thought it over, it really sickened me.  When I was small, I saved up my tiny allowances and so looked forward to picking out some little gift for my grandmothers.  I was so excited for them to open it.  But the world has changed.  That drive isn't in my g/s.  But I won't dwell on it, its another opportunity for me to jerk myself up and remind myself that the world turns on and I have to see things clearly, as as I wish or hope them to be.  Thanks for such a sweet post.  Follow your honest instincts and you'll be a gift to your g/c.