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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Carol, I am with Scoop on this one, but I also see "jealousy" as normal. I would give anything to just get to see my GC for one day a week. You would have to go read my precious gd story to find out the whole story. It's been 7 months since I have seen her and I miss her every day. I am also "jealous" that the other GM has access so I do understand your feelings. But, please cherish the time you do have with her because I would trade places with you in a second.
DDM, I bet your GC's other grandma is jealous of you, because she has to be a disciplinarian and can't just be fun. I always felt a little jealous of my parents, because they got to swoop in, spoil the heck out of my son, and then give him back (after he was all zoomy, overstimulated and sugared up, lol!) for me to do all the "boring" routine stuff. He still remembers those times with them very, very fondly (especially with my dad, who was the spoiler, versus my mom who used to try to be the voice of reason, lol). Kids need that kind of unconditional fun.
I am The Grandmother to my daughters only child(my youngest granddaughter)....I am the Other Grandmother to my oldests son's children.....So very true my son is my till he takes a wife, but my daughter is my daughter all of her life....
When I was young and before I had children people used to comment on the incredible patience I had with kids. Then when I had my own I really loved my 3 sons so much so, that I was too paranoid and neurotic.
I always said to my Mom I dont think I should have kids as I will worry too much.I was right.
I dont have grandchildren yet so cannot comment on how I will feel when the first one comes along but I dont want to spend my time worrying about them either so sometimes think I dont want to get too close to grandchildren then I wont have to worry.Silly thinking I suppose.
Friends have said to me "Just wait till you do have one ,then come back to me and say that again"
All I can say is I will do my utmost to use my time effectively,live my own life,not depend on others to
have a fulfilling life while my sons and DIL's and GC build their families.
I cant see the point in spending a whole week looking forward to seeing a GC once a week or however often.
Young people and the GC normally dont understand a grandparents feelings unless they let them know how they feel. Then they end up withdrawing more from the grandparents as they see them as encumberances rather than part of a family.
I want to fill my time enjoying what I could not do while bringing up children. I am fortunate that I do have my own hobby and business. A lot of the time mothers are left with too much time on their hands when children leave home.
When my son left to return to the U.K. recently after being here for 3 weeks for the World cup I felt quite lost,even a bit depressed.
My house was always filled with kids,my sons and friends in and out. When they visit hearing their voices in the house and having their old school friends pop around and visit recalls the good times when they were kids.I certainly get to hear about things they got up to that I never knew about and we laugh.Yet I would not want to have them back in my home permanently.
I may sound selfish but this is my time to live my life without the responsibility of children.
I really liked all the responses to your problem, however, I also liked DDM's.
that is exactly what I used to do with my GD. Created special events for her when she was with me, and yes, it wore us both out....
Jealousy is bad, no doubt about it....however, the fact that you admit it, is paramount....try and think back to when you had your child, was your mother alive and active in your life? Didn't you want to share your child more with her then your mil? It wasn't intentional on your part...you probably were not even aware of the fact that you did it, b/c it's perfectly normal to do so....a daughter grows ever so closer to her mother when she has a child....and she wants her mother there.
Think of it this way....if you do what DDM does and did....well, frankly, your GC is gonig to have lots of fun, and remember those special things you did and look so forward to being with you. Your GC is with your DIL's mother more, so, there is no comparisson that when your GC spends time with you and you create a day of fun and play, welll, my DIL told me that my GD looked so forward to the weekends with me, she told me my GD said...."I go play with Grandma".....
Take her swimming, if not, then get one of those small pools, make a tent out of blankets in the living room, and put blankets on the floor, let her take her nap in there....read to her...there are all kinds of things you can do...and it brings back fond memories of your own childhood.
If you have a spare bedroom you can make it into a child's room with just a few things like a princess canopy over her sleeping place...with a princess bed spread...
I bought a small desk and chair seat that was connected...it was unpainted so I stenciled her name across the top and the ABC's and Numbers on the bottom after painting it pink, then I put a couple of coats of sealent over top, which took a few weeks, b/c I left it get real dry and hard before I coated it again....
We fingerpainted, made sticker papers....painted...all supervised and doing it together...I didn't just sit her down in front of the TV by herself, but we did everything together and that's the key...
If your with someone all the time, it's human nature to take that time for granted....however, this will actually work towards your favor, and you will be the favorite grand ma....Every Sunday morning, as soon as my DIL would drop her off, we'd go to Friendly's for Strawberry Pancakes, then off to the park, or to a friend's home who had little children, then back home, to play, have lunch, nap....and then get up to play, go for a walk, watch Barney together and sing and dance around the coffee table, play her piano together....color together, made things for mommie...but keeping her busy and smiling was my only objective...and we really bonded...we had a good time together....don't worry about the other MIL...consentrate on making good memories for your GD when you do have her....and the rest will all fall into place.
Hi all~~Since I see there are a few new responses to the post I wrote almost a year ago I thought I would post an update.
I know longer feel jealous of DIL's mother as I realized there is no reason to feel that way. We both love her very much and I am just enjoying the time I spend with her. :)
Isn't it miraculous how life's lessons improve our lives...make us much more at ease?
QuoteI don't know who said this...but...thought I'd share...
"we are not humans having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience "
wow.. very helpful!!! I just became a first time grandmother to my son and DIL...its nothing what i expected it to be though...
I am not so much jealous but hurt...I know I have to keep busy so I wont entertain these thoughts...I guess it just hurts.
I already knew that it would be her mother getting all the attention and doing everything for her daughter...i can understand that...my DIL really only lets her mother stay with the baby.
They came over my house and left the baby with mom instead of bringing him along :( I know hes much too little to bring out yet...hes only two weeks but it still hurts like crazy. then to top it off mother DIL mentions mom moved babys cradle into her bedroom...how am I supposed to feel??!!
totally understand CarolN