Since I wrote this post my feelings about maternal grandparents have not changed much.
I am really interested in what others think… especially, moms, dads, grandmoms and granddads, themselves.
Do maternal grandparents have it better…maybe, is all I have to say.
It truly depends on the relationship that a mom has with her daughter. If the relationship with your daughter is marginal then I believe the relationship with your grandchildren has a greater chance of being marginal. As a grandmother, you will have to make more of an effort at your relationship with your grandchildren as well.
Relationships are work…grandparent-grandchild relationships are no different in many ways than relationships with other relatives or friends.
Grandchildren should not, in my belief, have to “kowtow” to their grandparents. I have said this in other posts.
To me, it is nice to have grandchildren who respect you, but if you want to have them visit, call or talk to you, then you will have to be the engager.
Sorry to say, but I remember being really bored by my paternal grandparents…even though I loved them dearly…they just were not fun and to top it off, most of the time they spoke Italian which I did not understand. I remember thinking this, was kind of rude.
Since my parents were divorced, my paternal grandparents were visited only on weekends with my dad. It was kind of an obligation of his and he brought me along for the ride.
Since I lived with my maternal grandmother, I loved her like she was my mother and sometimes, she was my “stand in” mother. She taught me to cook and do things around the house like ironing and making hospital corners on the beds. All girls need to know these things…Right?
Divorce or any rupture in a family does nothing to enhance the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Of course, it does depend upon the age at which the rupture takes place and to how extensive is the animosity between father, mother and family members.
In these situations, grandparents may find it difficult for various reasons to remain in contact with their grandchildren, because of loyalty to their child, conflict with daughter-in-law or son-in-law and the trickle down effect that all of this has on the grandchild.
Even if there is a seemingly amicable situation, there will be unspoken feelings that a child may sense, which will interfere with a developing relationship between them and their grandparents. Grandma and grandpa will have their work cut out for them in this family scenario. But hopefully the work will be worth it in the end.
Being a grandparent is the best thing that has happened to me. I cannot imagine any thing better. Being a mom was great and yes, I definitely had more energy but not more wisdom or patience…those I have acquired with age and life experience. For me, being the maternal grandmother has been a perk because I had and still have a good relationship with my daughter.
Do I have to walk on egg shells?… sometimes, certainly… will my relationship with my grandchild continue to be as wonderful as it currently is…well that will depend on me now won’t it?
Do maternal grandparents have it better?
Posted on October 8, 2012
Like I said: Its complicated.
Commentary: July 2014
Grandparents when it comes to you, there are boundaries just as in any relationship . If these boundaries were not established with your own children first, you may have a hard time establishing them with in-laws and even with your own grandchildren.
There is no entitlement that goes with the status of grandparent…just like every other role in life it must be earned. Your place in the family genogram or family tree is fixed but your role is not…
I would like to go back to Jackie Kennedy for a moment…she said, “if you bungle raising your children, nothing else matters much.”
So grandparents, if your relationship is not what you would like it to be with your grandchildren …. maybe you need to look at your relationship with your own children and see if you did “bungle” somewhere. Then look at the relationship with your grandchildren’s parents.
Remember, it is not about you and what you want, it is about your grandchildren and their parents.
Life is not easy…