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Not a Nanna anymo

Ozlady's picture

My DHs grandkids no longer call me “nanna”  but by my first name, aged 6 & 3 which I actually don’t mind. I’m not into being a nanna anyway however, I would like to know how this occurred and why they also spent a large portion of our Christmas lunch referring to the BM (clearly coached to do so) and the wonderful presents they got from her. 

I guess my biggest issue with this sudden change in behaviour is that we, my DH and are never consulted when SD makes a decision ie I wasn’t asked if I wanted to be nanna and now have not been asked if I don’t want to be either. Yet SD thinks we should consult her about our life decisions, including travelling abroad for a trip of a lifetime because in her words we should be considering her and her children’s needs! Well Princess you can’t have it both ways! 

On the positive side, I am no longer bound by the rules of grand parenting and when she chooses to bring the brats to my home from now on, I will be setting and enforcing the rules. There will be no more putting up with poor behaviour because my DH believes that grandparents house should be fun and rule free. Food will be eaten at the table, manners will be used, valuable items will be left in place and the brats will learn not to touch them oh and SD will be made to run around after the brats not me because I now have no implied responsibility for her brats. WOOHOO 

Am I being petty? Probably but it feels pretty good


notasm3's picture

Tell your DH to go visit with them elsewhere.  It's not your job to be her babysitter.  My DH has a 3 year old grandchild that I have not seen in 2 years - but DH sees him.  My home is not childproofed nor do I want to be their babysitter.

Ozlady's picture

I am not making a huge effort but I will be enforcing rules, one of which is if you bring your kids to my house you make them follow my rules or I will, which is going to get messy when I smack them. I don’t believe in smacking to hurt a child but do believe there are times when a physical response to bad behaviour can be a tool to reinforce a verbal message but SD is not into discipline at all, they have never even heard the word no! So if DH insists on them coming here, so be it. 

Winterglow's picture

I can pretty well guarantee that you will not see them again if you smack one of them... 

Ozlady's picture

SD has the option to make the kids behave but refuses, her latest statement to her father was that I should watch the kids whilst she has her daddy time, which I have no intention of doing but if that’s her MO, then I will discipline as I see fit and frankly the 6 year old is out of control naughty (even his dad says so). So be it, if she chooses not to bring them here because she doesn’t like my rules. 

notarelative's picture

DH's grandchildren have never called me anything but my first name. When the oldest was born her father, step son in law, told me that only his mom and my husband were grandparents (other bio grandparents deceased). I was devastated as while I have bio children I will never have bio grandchildren. But, I have survived and moved on. 

I decided that if they (SD and her husband) do not want me to be a grandparent so be it. I figure my role is somewhat between live in companion and one of the lower servants. Not what I wanted or expected, but I have adjusted. I sit back, and let DH be the authority when they are here.

Who took longer to adjust was DH. But, he did. He's responsible for the kids when they visit. He enforces the eat in the kitchen rule, the rules for play dough and markers, the toy pickup,  etc. It only took once that he, not me, had to clean up a mess, and magically he was enforcing. If the kids "forget" all I have to say is did your grandfather say that was ok, and he's right there correcting.

If they had considered me a grandparent I, not DH, would probably have enforced the rules. DH wouldn't have said a thing, and left it to me. But, SD's decision to exclude me has forced DH to step up (and he has).

So, no I don't think you are petty. Fun at a grandparent's house can be had with rules. Your house doesn't have to be destroyed for the kids to have a good time.



Ozlady's picture

You are so lucky to have a DH that understands normal child behaviour, mine is either excusing it because he thinks SD will be upset if he enforced rules or uses the but they are so little excuse, they are 6 and 3, well old enough for rules in my view. 

I am sorry that your SD has behaved in that way, it is unfathomable to me that any mother would reject help with kids from a well intentioned woman, which you clearly were.

I don’t really mind about the name or that I am being excluded as a grandparent, not my scene anyway but I despise poorly behaved children, manipulation and the fact that the bioGM is clearly being shoved in my face. If it continues there will be no Christmas or birthday gifts, as DH won’t remember to do it and I will refuse.

i hope to disengage just like you so I don’t have to feel petty anymore

notarelative's picture

DH really doesn't understand, but he knows my boundaries. He'd leave it to me if he could. He steps up because he can't tolerate the behavior. 

Since my message was related to me at the hospital after the birth of the first grandchild, I set my response early. Gifts and cards come from grandpa only. He pays. His name is on the card. 

I'm not entirely heartless. I will and do suggest items, in the price range he can afford, for birthdays and holidays. I do like the kids and want them to get a decent gift. DH, who I love dearly, has great difficulty picking out gifts. 


Ozlady's picture

I really hope my kids are never that cruel or disrespectful but then again they would know my level of unhappiness with that and hopefully act accordingly. 

I should have made it clear from the beginning that I was going to disengage instead of trying to fit the mould of Nanna.

disrestep's picture

No, you are not being petty. I personally couldn't care less what the gskids call me or not or if I was asked by the skids what they should call me. I am sure they all have choice names to call me, which I won't repeat here. So, I'd let it slide if they consult me or not, as who the bleep cares.

like you, I don't want the gskids running amok in my house and breaking things and terrorizing our pets. Ugh, just the thought of it. My Gskids have been taught to avoid me and I am not allowed in pics with them. I don't care.

I wouldn't recommend not using any type of physical response to the gskids bad behavior, as that may end up coming back to bite you in the end when someone reports its, gskids exaggerate it, CPS is called to investigate, SD presses charges, you never know.

good for you for putting your foot down with Sd. I am so sick of seeing parents in stores, restaurants and the like on their phone while ignoring their kids and the kids are running around, jumping on chairs and tables in restaurants, (yes, I've seen this), crawling around on dirty floors. Seems like many parents of the "Me" generation don't want to parent their kids. Just like the gskids. 

It's a blessing they will never get pawned off on me. No broken items, no stress and no freaked out pets, no gskid messes to clean up, no colds to's a good thing.

Ozlady's picture

The behaviour you describe is exactly what I am asked to put up with in my home, there is no discipline at all. Oddly, I am and was with my own children quite a free range parent who encourages exploration and learning through know climbing trees, falling over etc but inside the house is different. I think it’s basic respect but my DH and the BM clearly didn’t teach that and this is the second generation of no rules. Appalling!

Mountains's picture

My DH’s twin Gskids were 3 when we married and it was not specifically said I was not their grandparent but we got the message in so many other ways.  SD (48 at the time) told DH I was not to buy her kids anything because she felt I was only doing it to “buy” her affection.  I love kids and was excited to buy little things for them with my DH.  He told her she was wrong but I got the message.  

Fast forward many years later and the SD doesn’t visit, have the gskids  call, or make any attempt to see their grandfather.  They are “so busy”  they can’t visit but in the same conversation the SD mentions their cruise and other trips.  DH said it is about priorities and he is just not high on the list.  Not that they can’t or shouldn’t take vacation, it’s just they are always too busy to work in a visit.  My DH had to ask for recent pictures because he had no received any in 4 years.  

I am shocked the SD keeps the gskids from DH...even if she doesn’t approve of our marriage, DH has done nothing to be kept from away.  

Wish you all the best.


Ozlady's picture

They can be so cruel can’t they? I used to think that things would be easier because the kids are adults but their childish behavior is just unacceptable. Thanks for sharing your story, it makes me feel normal to know there are others who are going through the same issues

Rags's picture

My parent's house has always had rules.  Even for the GrandSpawn.  Interstingly.... all 4 of their GKs consider my parent's h ome their home and it is their favorite place to be as far as GPs are concerned.  It has always been this way. When they were all little and now that they are young adults (DS-26 formerly my SS, Niece-24, Nephew-22, Nephew-17)

My son is their eldest though not their first GK.  His mom and I married the week before he turned 2yo.  My niece was 5mos old.  My parents accepted him as theirs from day one. 

My forecast is that as you institute behavioral structure in your home for your GSkids, they will thrive and so will the relationship.  If... and it is a big if... SD will not go banshee as you do it.

As for what your GSkids call you, that is entirely up to you. Quit letting SD dictate anything in your world.   My parents have names that all four of their GSpawn call them. My eldest nephew could not say Gramma and Grampa when he was first talking. He came up with Deema and Deepa. And that is who they are.  As soon as my nephew came out with Deema, Deepa was a natural and that is what all of the kids call them.

So, you pick what you will be called. Or ... work it out with the GSkids. Make it something special and specific for you.  Preferably something that will torque SD's jaw.


Good luck.

Ozlady's picture

Great advice! I’m not sure how it will go but am thinking if I have to continue to be exposed to them that might just make it bearable 

Ozlady's picture

I don’t really mind the name change but would like to know why and how it happened. The SD and SIL and I bet biomum are working on those kids minds which is so sad.

Disillusioned's picture

It's disrespectful that your SD never consulted you when deciding you would be called nanna (just like mine never consulted me) and more disrespectful of her to have them stop, once again without even informing you about it

Best advice is to simply disengage, don't be grandma, but don't allow any rules to be broken in your home either

When my eldest SGS was born, every time someone would refer to me as 'grandma Disillusioned' to him, OSD was quick to correct and make sure it was understood - especially by me - that I was simply Disillusioned instead

I'm not sure what sort of reaction she was expecting from me, but I certainly didn't let it upset me

Just like you, I actually felt relief and was more than happy to simply be Disillusioned, and made sure to even cheerfully refer to myself that way when around SGS

And then one day out of the blue, suddently OSD was referring to me as "Grandma Disillusioned" to OSGS instead

So I went with it, but I'm 100% positive it's only another means to create problems...she likes to create a competition between BM and I/BM's SO and I, so I'm sure that's a big part of it

I'm also sure that one day she will also have the SGK's no longer call me Grandma and will make it seem I'm somehow responsible for that

My attitude towards it all is simply not to care, not to get involved, not to let much bother me

If sgkids are nice to me that's great, I'm even nicer to them in return

If they're brats (which they're not so far) then I will simply pay no attention, but will say something if they're directly rude to me or disrespectful to my home/ different than I would if it were a neighbor's kid in my home

Not right that people can use and disrespect others as SM's often experience, but I find the best way to deal with it is not to give them the reaction they're hoping for!

Ozlady's picture

Thank you for your advice, you are right I need to disengage more from SD, DHs family in general and the gskids. Your example of the neighbours kids is exactly how I should treat these brats as that is effectively the relationship on offer

notasm3's picture

My dh’s GS is 3. I have not seen him in 2 years as I have banned his parents from our home. But he does not call DH anything because he is 100% non verbal. He cannot even say dada. It is so sad. This is not normal. I see other 3 year olds who can count to 20.   

But his worthless parents are doing nothing to get him help. 

Ozlady's picture

Oh my goodness that is very sad. Surely there is a service you can anonymously report child neglect too? I’m a health professional and I would have to mandatory report that if I saw it. 

I genuinely feel sorry for that child and both of you