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Refuse to be Step Grandma

mskaye2012's picture

Married this year together 5 years total. My SD had a baby 3 months ago, and I don't want to be a step grandma. I am cordial and nice around the baby, however I have no interest in baby sitting holding her or anything maternal. The daughter has boundary issues and now that the baby is born I fear she will invade my space and privacy even more and use the baby to do so. I want my husband to spend time with his granddaughter and welcome them over or he should go spend time at her house, but I told him not force that on me. If he wants the responsibility of watching his granddaughter then he should take on that responsibility not me. Am I wrong?

Winterglow's picture

In my book, you have every right to feel the way you do and do only what you feel inclined to towards the baby. Tell your DH exactly what you told us - he has to be told ... he may not understand but that's his problem.

Kes's picture

No you are certainly not wrong - it is your choice how little or much you want to be involved with the grand SKIDs.   Both my DD's have children and my DH loves them and spends a lot of time with them when they visit.  However, I imagine that this will be less the case for me if my SDs ever have children (perish the thought).  As it is, I do all the gift buying for my grandchildren and DH does not contribute financially.   It will be the other way around for any grand SKIDs of mine.  

ESMOD's picture

I'm not a kid person myself.  I didn't have kids of my own and babies make me

I say jokingly that I am NOT the grandma.. too young..etc..haha.

fortunately, we live over an hour away... so I am not called into babysitting service.

But, people cannot take advantage of you without your permission.  If you dont' want to be sucked into babysitting.. tell your husband that.. it's not that you "hate" the baby.. but that is just not your thing.. he is welcome to be grandad and watch the kid if he wants.. but if he does.. it is his responsibility

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I'm child free and babies (particularly newborns) give me anxiety, too. 

OP, it's best to start out as you mean to continue. There are many, many stories on this site of SMs who got too involved or overfunctioned for their partners with skids and got burned. Grandskids are also a potent weapon of exploitation in the hands of a manipulative skid. Far better to be cordial yet distant than to be used or have your heart broken.

hereiam's picture

You are not wrong, at all. If your husband wants to babysit his grandaughter, great, but all that goes with it, is on him.

I also do not consider myself a grandma, although my SD has 3 kids. After her second was born, we went for a visit and she tried to get me to feed him. She set the bouncy seat that he was in right in front of me, held out a bottle and asked, "Do you want to feed him?" I said, "No, that's okay." I didn't pick him up or anything.

I think she was a bit put off but I did not care. She stuck a blanket under his chin and stuck the bottle in his mouth. She didn't want to feed him, either, she just wanted me to.

I think she really wanted me to bond with her kids but to be honest, even DH was afraid to get close to her kids for fear that she would use them to manipulate him. It's the kind of game that she learned from her mother and neither of us want to play that, we had enough of it with BM.

You have to do what you feel is right for you.

beebeel's picture

Even if she were your daughter rather than stepdaughter, you would not be obligated to babysit her infant.

MissTexas's picture

here from women who were fully invested, but when SD pulls her stunts, they use the kids as bartering chips.  Anyway, if you are not in a valued realm now as far as SD relationship goes, they will indoctrinate their children against you. The cycle just keeps repeating with every new birth.

You're not wrong to feel the way you do. You're smart. So,  no babysitting, no special gifts just because she draws breath. She is  NOT YOUR GRANDCHILD, and therefore you owe no allegiance and have no responsibility to her. Your DH can go stay with SD and visit HIS grandchild.

Jcksjj's picture

Oh God. If SD ever procreates I'm not dealing with a fourth generation of crazy. Dont feel bad, it sounds like it's her own fault you dont want to be close to them. SD technically has a step grandpa who she has never met because her grandma always flies up here alone to visit. That's what my goal is, to be like him. 

sandye21's picture

If you read through some of the posts from people whose skids have had children, you will find that what you are doing is best.  There have been horror stories about skids who have gotten the birth parent around their finger and moved in with the kids in tow.  Or they hold the birth-parent hostage by making them choose between the Gskids or the step parent.  Better to have an 'understanding' from the get-go.

Thumper's picture

OP you are NOT obligated to babysit anyone's child.  Lets say this was your bio's baby---again not obligated to babysit your own Grandchild.

When I had my kids I never EVER thought my parents would or should watch our children. Doing so was a sign of weakness and immaturity ie NOT fit to have kids. You were a grown up now and you handled your business yourselves. You didn't call on GRANNY to babysit, hell you hired a babysitter or you didn't go.

I am a baby boomer. PLUS we still have minors at home too...but anyway,  During our travels the stories are mostly the same. The Traveling Grandparents LOVE their kids and Grand kids but but but,,,this is now their time to be kiddie free since they paid their dues. Sure they can visit with the Grandkids for a few hours, maybe 1 or 2 nights MAX but not without their mommy and daddy present. 

Just the other day heard about a Family who invited their Mom on a cruise with them. I guess they figured "poor old Granny" would watch the kids so THEY could stay out to all hours and have fun. Turnes out these young parents had quit a surprise---"Granny" was having way too much fun. The kids parents were stuck in the cabin at 730pm every night caring for their own kids. BAHAHAHAHA

True story.

OP---All of this really depends on your dh. Will he spend his retirment playing daddy to his kids kids...OR will he enjoy his time HIS way with you. Time to have a serious talk with him I guess.

My dh and I talked about this stuff very early on in our relationship---We were both on the same page about most things. THANK GOD.



Winterglow's picture

Couldn't agree more. When my brothger and his wife had their first child, they just assumed that our mother would be thrilled to babysit for them every Saturday (from what I understand, the MIL was doing every Sunday). Well, she wasn't and told them in no uncertain terms that she had a life to live too. Now occasionally, she would be willing to help out if they were stuck. She was 53 and worked full-time - her weekends were her time off. They thought that by involving both grandmothers they'd have their weekends to themselves. Nope, their child, therefore their responsibility.

2Tired4Drama's picture

I am disengaged from her and thankfully she lives many states away.  My SO went to see her after she gave birth and I did not go.  I will NOT spend a penny of my money nor a minute of my time by visiting her.

Just before the birth, I had a rather heated exchange with my SO about her.  I had never raised my voice when discussing her before but I wanted to be very clear that I was fed up with her and had no intention of being involved with her kid.  I had sent her a baby gift (trying to do the right thing) and hadn't even received acknowledgement it was received.   My hope was she might have an epiphany of sorts, since she was going to be a parent, and this was my last chance to see if she would act like a mature adult.  No such luck.  My SO sat there like a wounded water buffalo, literally hugging a pillow, and didn't say anything.  Wimp. 

My SO will show me photos once a week or so of the baby and I say something nice like, "Cute" or "He's got long legs" or some other trivial compliment.  Then I change the subject.  I suggest you do the same.  Treat this kid like it is one of your young coworkers - say something nice and move the conversation along, or leave the room.

I know it will be harder for you since you live nearby, but the same philosophy applies.  You don't have to be a grandma to this kid and you can disengage as best you can.  Don't let your guard down because your SD will use your generosity and kindness against you.

And never forget for one minute that your SD could care less if you live or die - it's only what you can do for her (and hers) that she has interest in.  Disengage.