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How do SKs and their children (GSKs) Act When They Are Around DH and You?

ldvilen's picture

OK, I made it thru 15+ years of dealing with the SKs.  I now consider myself disengaged at a level that is comfotrtable for me (and DH appears to be okay with this too).  However, now comes the next batch--the GSKs.  With my level of disengagement, I don't buy things much for them or remind DH of birthdays, etc., but I do continue to go with DH to family events that I feel I would enjoy and if I'm in the mood to go.  Both of his children are now married and have children of their own.

Any kid is so cute to me. So, when it comes to seeing his grand-kids, I usually don't mind coming.  It is fun to watch them grow.  My DH sees them maybe once a month, and I go along about once every other month.  However, I notice that whenever we go over to the SK's home, we just kind'a sit there and watch while they play with their kids.  My husband may take a picture or two or video, and the grandkids may start to warm up to us and come over, and then, bing!, it's time to go because the kids have to eat or sleep, etc.

Is this normal?  Maybe it is.  I'm not offended by this per se, but just wondering if this is how it goes with SGKs or even just GKs?  The kids are still young, around age 2 or so (again, so cute!), but I'm kind'a wondering the value of going over there just to watch the kids play with their parents?  Or, maybe for the bios, it is just nice to see your grandkids no matter what?  They don't always ask how we are doing, but how they (SKs) are doing usually comes up.  What is everyone else's 2-cents? 

JRI's picture

This sounds about normal to me.  Is the BM still in the picture?  It was interesting to me that the SK, while including me in the family interaction, made sure that BM was the alpha grandmother.  She got the first, best pictures, her holiday plans came first, etc.  We both worked full time & I didn't have much time to babysit anyway. 

I had step-grandparents myself, i thought it was great that I had 3 sets when all my friends only had two (more gifts!) So it's all normal to me.  I still think fondly of my step-grandmother altho i understand now why my mother was a little leery of her.

As far as holidays went, i worked around BM's plans.  She demanded Christmas Eve at a particular time and threw a fit if they didn't comply. I'd plan some other time, often the week before.  I didnt have a specific time, I'd say "anytime after 4" and just have the food buffet style.  All the kids appreciated this when they had little kids.  Less stress, less drama.  I felt it was a gift to them.

Merry's picture

Sounds pretty normal. We see the steps/grands two or three times a year since they live in another state. The younger ones barely know us but warm up after a day or so. I don't force interaction, but I welcome it when they feel like it. Frequently SD and DH are chatting so much in their own little world that I spend my time with the kids. And that is fine. SD has never assumed that I am the babysitter.

But I also don't remember birthdays, plan gifts, call them, or even remind DH to do any of those things.