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Jealous of the other Grandmother?

Started by CarolN, September 08, 2009, 01:13:35 PM

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Just found this site today and have a question. Became a first-time grandmother in February. Am loving it but I am jealous whenever my DIL's mother babysits. I realize this is petty but I can't help it. Any advice? She has always been the loud "I'm the center of attention" type of person and that really never bothered me because my son always let her know how he felt. But the day the baby was born she had to hold her all the time etc. and it was then the seed of jealousy was planted. I watch her occasionally also but it seems that whenever her mother is watching her I fret about it all day long. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


September 08, 2009, 01:42:09 PM #1 Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 01:43:55 PM by Cat
Hi CarolN,

I am a daughter in law. And I think it is actually very sweet of you to admit that you are jealous. How often do you see your grandchild?
Do you have any daughters?
Any chance you and the other grandmother can watch her together?


I see my granddaughter usually once a week--sometimes less. I know they are busy with their own lives etc. I have no daughters--two boys--the other one unmarried.


Sorry--didn't scroll down far enough to see the rest of your question before I replied. Because of her mother's hyper personality--I really don't think I would like to babysit with her :)


If I were you I would get something to do to get my mind off it. A hobby, something like that, sooner or later your grandchild will be a teenager and then he is going to rebel against seeing anyone at all :)


Hi Carol and welcome!

I like what Cat said about them rebelling when they're teens.  My mom is starting to go through that.  My niece is 15 and she rarely comes around because she's off playing sports, hanging with her friends and her boyfriend.

But you know I just put myself in your shoes and you know I think I would feel jealous too.  I think that would be a natural response if someone "hogs" the baby.  I know it can be hard if she has a dominant personality and you have a more submissive personality.  I think I would offer to babysit as often as you can.  And I also agree with whoever said getting your mind off it is important.  If you're retired maybe you could do some volunteer work or something like that.  Maybe even do something that involves baby or children.  I'm so sorry  though I know that must be difficult.  But at least you're willing to work on it before it gets out of hand.


"C" - What I have often seen on this site is that the mother of the baby turns more often toward her own mom and the MIL is apt to take a back seat. On top of that you have a "limelight" personality to contend with. (Her daughter may be used to that.)

First I think I would let myself off the hook about feeling jealous. Of course you do! Who wouldn't? The rest looks like it may have to be acceptance. In the family dynamics that are surfacing, her mother is probably going to continue to do "front and center," hog the babysitting and be generally obnoxious while you are going to be called on to adapt because she can't/won't.

Not fun, not good, no fair...I agree!

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


September 08, 2009, 03:21:55 PM #7 Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 07:21:12 PM by AnnieB
Hi, Carol!

I'm the mother of three sons, and two grandsons (each from a different son).

Yep, one of the other grandmother's calls herself The Grandma.  Same personality as you're describing.   

I just finished reading a really funny book for first time grandma's, The Granny Diary.   It takes a humorous look at it (and a lot of her amusing advises applies to MIL's too).

However, at the end, she takes a "haha" dig at her son-in-law's mother, as the Auxiliary Grandma.  All in good fun, but that has a bite of truth in it (the author has a son, too, she says she knows it's just a matter of time before she's in those shoes).   

I'm trying to think back to what the situation was with my sons and their other grandmothers.  Hard to compare, as my mother was more into the bottle than into them at the time, so my MIL's were substitute mothers for me and there was never any problem with them and the boys.  My boys are much much closer to their paternal grandma's.   And, FYI, in their teen years, they loved being with their grandma's!

Jealousy is natural, but you will have your own relationship with your grand babies -- kids have big hearts and they can love a lot of grandparents (thank goodness!) 

Mostly I just try not to be around when the Other Grandmother(s) are there  (we also have StepGrandma who is very big in one child's life, and Ex-Step Grandma who is fading fast from the other child's life.).


Just want to thank everyone for the input. It actually helped just sharing that. Plus this seems to be a great place to be--so glad I stumbled upon it.


Hi Carol!

Jealousy consists of two "things". 1) Comparing yourself with the one you feel jealousy toward. And feeling inferior as a result of comparison. 2) Fear of losing something important to you. In this case, fear of losing your grandchild.

So, perhaps addressing directly those two aspects of jealousy might help you to overcome it.


"C" - Glad you feel this site is supportive.

To All - Hey, you guys! My GREAT granddaughter is in high school!!!! In Paris!!! LOL!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I too am the MIL..Our Grandson is now 1 year old.  It's been tough but I just am thankful for when I do get to see him.  The DIL takes him always to her Mother's and I just came to the resolution that .....A daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life,,a son is a son til he takes a wife.  I am sure that he will eventually see how unbalanced it is,,but for now,  I just fuss and make over that child when I do get to see him.  It is hard and there have been times when the feeling of jealousy has overcome me but I WILL NEVER let them know that.  In fact, we are retired now and have been talking about moving south.  My son asked me "What about baby"
I said, well its a 15 hour drive and I will probably see him just as often as I do now.  Told him there is the phone and internet and that is how we keep in touch most of the time anyway.(All in  a loving way of course). 


My one and only grandson just turned 1 this spring. I never felt jealous of his other Grandmother until my son and his wife split and DIL moved back home with the baby. It bothered me to think my grandson would have such a strong bond with his other gramma and not me. I decided to go with the traditional wisdom of 'quality time over quantity'. So when I see my grandson I spoil him rotten! I take him for the day and try to pack as much fun and love in those 8 hrs as I can. I give him special treats, go to fun places, crawl around the floor, sing songs, laugh and generally wear both of us out.

His other grandmother takes care of him while DIL works, so she has him a lot. I wouldn't trade places now even if I could. I think I have a much better deal. I wouldn't want my time with GS to be a chore or a job. I want my time to be SPECIAL!!! 


My heart is with you.  It is only normal you feel this way.  Noone has the same bonding with other persons.  The love you may give your gc is unique.....because your are unique and special.  You are you and that is what you give your grandkids.  It is not the grandmother you love more who you were closer to, it is the one who makes you feel special.   The more love granchildren have, the better.  Love is never in excess.   Lucky grandkids that can have different sources of love.
You will be just fine.

I agree with DMM.  She has special time with gc not duty time.  I too only have my 2 gkids on Fridays.  I always plan ahead what this day will be.  At first I was also jealous that my dil's mother had my grandkids every week day except Fridays.  I was fearing they would love her more.  We are only human.   Things have changed now.  This week I had them 3 days because my dil's mother left town.  It was completely worn out.   I tutor during the day at home and even though someone was with them (my house keeper), they wanted to be with me and wouldnt let me work.     I now prefer to have them only once a week so I can continue doing the things I have to do.  I am not jealous anymore.  They will love me as much as I earned it.  I try to be the best  granny and they know I love them with all my heart. 

I once remember that my then  3-year old grandchild told me that he cried because he wanted to stay with the other granny that day.  I was really shocked and I had to go to the bathroon because tears were all over my face.  When I told my hubby he was teasing me about it.   He thought it was really funny but it really hurt me.  Now, when I remember I smile because I cried out of insecurity. 

Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:


I'm sorry Carol, I'm sure you're hurting, but I just don't "get" this jealousy.  You're jealous of time spent with a 6 month old?

If you weren't seeing her AT ALL, that would be a different story.  But you're seeing this baby at least once a week.

I really think that this is something you have to change your mind about.  Please don't bring this up to your DIL, because it will bite you in the rear-end.  If you say that you 'fret' while the baby is with DIL's DM, then you're saying you don't TRUST the DM with the baby and ... well ... good luck with that.

I like the advice that the others gave you, and I think you should use it to plan your future relationship with this GC.  It's true, quality time is more important.  Treating the child as an actual person, learning what they like and dislike and PLAYING with them will add up higher than just being in the same room.

You could also establish yourself as the "restful" Gma.  It's hard work being with someone who likes being the center of attention.  It's working for DIL's DM now, because people pay attention to YOU when you have a baby in your arms.  She might not be so happy when people start paying attention to a cute toddler.   So as your GD grows, pay attention, if she looks like SHE wants the limelight, then give it to her and be her greatest fan.  If it looks like she doesn't want to be the center of attention, then you and she can take off and do quieter things.

Please stop comparing yourself with the other GM.  There's NOTHING to gain from it, and a LOT to lose.  So focus on yourself, and being the best Gma you can be.  And you know what?  The BEST Gma manages to love the other Gma, and is HAPPY that the baby/child has 2 Gma's who love her and can talk about the other Gma without bitterness.  Try working on that - I bet that DS, DIL and baby will all appreciate it and it will make you a welcome addition to their family.