View Full Version : Grandparents- Paternal Vs Maternal
Was just thinking about this today.
Are your children more involved with their maternal grandparents or their paternal?
(maternal- mothers side, paternal- fathers side)
Reason: I'm still struggling with the fact it's most likely I'll never have a daughter. Therefore I will never be a maternal grandmother. This- to me- is very upsetting, as it has ALWAYS been my experience that the maternal grandparents are far more invlolved with their grandchildren than paternal.
Eg DP's parents. - Don't come and visit us regularly despite only living 45 min drive away. We are always making the effort to visit them. Even then they still go about their own business, and we usually end up entertaining the boys all day.
- watch their maternal grandchildren ALL the time- and spend LOTS of time with them. (DP's two sisters both have two children each) They babysit them, buy them toys and gifts and offer parenting advice. Things that they don't do for their son's children.
- I don't believe they love their daughters more than their son, but I do believe that a mother will always be more involved with her daughters children than with her sons- if that makes sense?
And anyway.. I grieve the fact that I will be the paternal, not the maternal.
Mine spend more time with their paternal grandparents (grandparenT now) but they are equally close to both nanna's. The only reason they spend more time with my MIL is because my mum lives so far away.
My kids have a LOT of grand parents.
There's my parents: Grandad, Gran + my Stepdad
DF's parents: Nanna, Poppa + Stepmum
FOB's parents: GG, Opa and Omi
Out of all of them they see DF's Mum and my Dad the most. DS see's FOB's Mum 4 days a week when he's on access too. They see my Mum + Stepdad every few weeks and same with DF's Dad + Stepmum. DS rarely see's FOB's Dad + Stepmum as they are traveling around Oz atm.
So I guess they see equal amounts of paternal/maternal Grandparents.
My parents are much more involved in my children's lives. However, my in laws live in Ireland, so it's a bit hard for them to be involved. My parents live over an hour away, so only see my children once or twice a month. If my in laws lived closer, I imagine they would be the ones who spent more time with the grandchildren as they are more capable and younger than my parents. My mum is in a wheelchair now a lot of the time, so can't really do much. My daughter does love sitting on nanna's lap when she is being pushed in the wheelchair or having a ride on my mum's walking frame.
Actually, my children spend a lot more time with "grandparents" who are not blood related :)
ETA - as a child, I spent more time with my dad's mum and was a lot closer to her than my mum's dad. My dad is an only child, though and my mum's mum died when she was 17.
Nomsie - I realised this the other day myself. I will always be the mother in law - how depressing!
My kids only spend time with my mother. Due to the fact that DHs mother lives in Canada. But she talks to them on the phone every week. We have a good relationship with her and our eldest loves her to bits and he has only met her once and he is 5! Hopefully my kids will partner up with people I get along well with!
My son spends a lot more time with dp's parents then mine as my parents are never home and dp's parents are.
Actually that's where ds is right now he is having a sleep over there for a couple of days while we sort out his room (he is getting a big boy bed).
We see my mother a LOT, least twice a week, but that's because she lives 5min down the road and I'm an only child (mum and I are very close). She see's my father when we go visit him about once every month or two, my dad and stepmum are besotted but live 3 hours away.
We see FIL at least once a week, he stops by to say hi, takes DD to the park, sometimes take her up to visit his parents (DD's great grand parents who she adores), DD and FIL are quite close.
MIL is crazy so we don't see her.
I think distance makes a difference, but the biggest difference for our DD is how much the grand parents want to be involved and how much they respect our parenting choices. FIL, Mum and Dad are all really involved grandparents, we trust them to take DD without us because we have a relationship built on respect, they know we don't give DD sugar and she is intolerant to preservatives and additives so wouldn't dream of feeding her certain things. They respect that we don't used physical punishment or isolation to deal with behavioral issues and will react appropriately when needed. They will call me if she is upset and not dismiss her emotions as needing to "toughen up", they respect her too.
I don't think at the end of the day its the maternal or paternal grandparents who have a stronger bond or more to do with the grand kids. It is all to do with their attitude and how much they can put aside their own ego and respect the parents decisions (even if they disagree).
no contact with the paternal grandparents so its only my parents who we will see a few times a year being christmas the time we spend the most with them(a couple of weeks)
:hugs: OP i am very conscious of the fact that my MIL has only my DP, so any grandchildren she has, are ours. She and DS are very close, it's lovely. :goodvibes: she minds him once a week and we generally see her on the w/e as well. My mum takes him on outings and visits a few times a week but is not as involved as she still works full time. She is retiring next year so i'm sure that will change. But i am very close with MIL, and i hope if i only have boys i am close with my grandchildren too!
I said 'other' because my DD only has her paternal grandmother.
Speaking for my childhood though, even though we lived closer to my maternal grandmother(Nanny) (p. grandmother was 400k's away) I always felt very close to my p.grandmother and many of my best childhood memories (and food associations :laughing:) revolve around my Grandma.
I put other. MIL has always been VERY excited about our kiddies. She only comes every couple of weeks at most, probably it will be a bit more soon. My mum is amazing, she would be here all the time if she could. We skype every night or two. My dad is a drunk and does not make the effort to come see them. He has seen Kael once here and once or twice in the back of the car when I have stopped at the pub so he can wave at the kids :rolleyes:
FIL loves the kids, but things are complicated, he rarely saw them and now DF has decided there will be NO contact due to recent events.
My parents live round the corner... DH's parents live 4hrs away.... so it is natural that the boys see their maternal GP's more...
BUT my MIL adores the pants off the boys, they are her only grandchildren... and holy heck they ADORE her right back... can't say we've had the best relationship, but I can say that watching her interact with the boys is just wonderful... she definitely has a better connection with them than my mum does.
BUT that's personality, circumstance (them being her only grandchildren) and priority.... My parents live to live... my MIL lives for her granchildren... she comes to stay and will spend 3days literally just playing with the boys- she is at their beck and call.... and she really knows how to get down to their level.
That said it's taken me a long time to get to the point where I am happy to leave the boys with either GP rather than immediately leaning on my mum... when I was a sales rep I often took mum with me on my travels so DS1 could come too... but only once asked MIL to come... and that is cause of my comfort with my own mum rather than my MIL.
I truly believe there are other extenuating factors though... and for me it will be about first and foremost being the BEST MIL I can be before I have grandchildren... so that hopefully my DIL's will look upon me as having an equal part in the relationship of their children, as their parents might.
ETA- oh and FWIW I have two brothers, and I can definitely say that my Mum spreads her time evenly between all her grandchildren- she does not see mine more. And even though we have the only GC for MIL atm... she also has a daughter, and I can definitely see her still spending as much time with our children as she would her daughters....
Our kids spend equal time with mat and pat g/parents. My parents live o/seas and my husbands mum lives interstate (his dad passed away when he was a child) so it's when they come and stay, or when we stay with mil when we go home. I think my parents are more 'involved', like they do things with the kids that the kids enjoy, whereas mil is just kinda sitting around with us all, but the kids love both equally and I believe each offer different things.
My brothers don't have kids yet so can't comment on how my mum is with them. My husbands sisters have kids and mil is pretty similar with theIr kids as she is with ours.
I think a lot of it prob depends on the women your sons marry, I admit I already hope my son marries someone who wants me in their life, I had my mil at my births because I want her to be very involved with our family, mostly for my husbands and kids sake. Some maternal grandmothers may feel some 'ownership' over her daughters family, and I guess some women feel they have their own mum fulfilling the grandmother role and don't need the mil as well, if that makes sense. I think when my brothers have kids I can imagine my mum would take her cue from her dil as to how involved she'll be, I mean, she will see the kids and stuff but I know she wouldn't want to intrude, and it'll be up to my brothers/their wife to invite her into their space if that makes sense?
We live with my parents so obviously Ds spends more time with my parents but we see dps dad at least once a week and in summer generally twice a week (he watches dp play cricket with us)! That being said now he's not a newborn dps dad will be starting to help with babysitting so will get to see him for longer! Ds's paternal grandad just adores Ds so I have no doubt they will have a very special relationship as he gets ildern
My parents see our children a lot more and both sets live the same distance. I think the difference is that my parents main focus is their grandchildren. Mum and Dad have gone away for 10 days and after 3 days my dad rang because he missed the kids. DH family went overseas for 2 months and we barely heard boo. They werent ready for grandkids and as much as they love the kids they're not as involved.
I was very fair for the first six months. If I went to visit my family I saw DH family before. It was clear though we werent welcome all the time. I honestly think it's what you make it. If you want to be involved and you're not over the top I'm sure you will be. I'd love to be able to feel confident with DH family like I dO with my own but it's their lack of thought that's an issue. My FIL illegally put a pool up without a fence. Obviously I refused to leave DS there for even 5 minutes without me. Yet my parents are to afraid to keep a clam pool at their house :laughing:. In a nutshell it's where their priorities are that mean we seem them more.
I reluctantly voted "Paternal" even though I hate it!
The only reason why at this time, she seems "closer" to them or whatever is because my parents work odd hours and often and travel alot and live 45-50 minutes drive away and DF's parents are *always* home :rolleyes: Mil works mon to fri but FIL doesn't and they loive 20 minutes away and DF is such a mummy's boy and spends way too much time there lol so unfortunately it means DD is at this time, "closer" to them. Only because she's at an age where she's learning who people are and if she doesn't see someone often enough she does take a bit to warm up to but then is fine.
It irritates me to no end because MIL always reaks of stale cigarette smell and often smokes within seconds of being near/touching DD and i just plain don't like FIL...I fake it of course, but I wish she was closer to my parents. it's just hard trying to T up a decent time to go see them. Due to their workings, its not like I can just go there on weekends and through the weeks, depending on their work and mine, and the fact that its such a long drive, Im wary to go there and risk DD falling asleep in the car late at night and then messing up bedtime etc but because I work for the first half of the day, its not as simple as dad/mum just rocking up to spend time with DF & DD...and DF doesnt mind driving to his parents with DD for the day but wont drive to mine!
grrr lol (hit a nerve :laughing: )
Firstly we live a long way from any family.
Paternal grandmother is no longer with us. Paternal grandfather perhaps overcompensates for that by being quite involved. His new partner has no children and is besotted with DD, hence quite involved.
Maternal grandmother has other commitments which prevent her being involved as much.
DD is just naturally very drawn to her paternal grandfather. She has a very strong connection to him. I can only imagine her paternal grandmother would have been very much besotted with her too.
Don't worry about this just yet Nomsie, perhaps your sons will marry women who have no living parents, who knows? Off the top of my head three of my close friends are all much more involved with the paternal grandparents.
One of THOSE mums!
I wouldn't trust my mil with my kids. She is always complaining about her health. Has nearly choked Ds on numerous occasions by trying to feed him inappropriate foods. Can't change nappies.
My parents on the other hand are fantastic. It is no effort for them. As it is they have taken on my two cousins who are now 4 and 6 so are familiar with babies and children.
I do t feel like my mil makes sn effort. If I felt she cared I would make an effort to give her more time.
My kids spend more time with my mum than DPs parents, but more time with DPs parents than with my dad. They also see their step-poppy more than DPs parents, but only because i go to him, which i dont mind doing.
DPs parents live 20min away but dont visit, we are expected to visit them. My mother stays over occasionally, she lives 20min away too.
My kids are closer to my parents as MIL is interstate. That being said, even when we lived less than an hour from her, she never came to see my first as I didn't go to her and she had her nose out of joint because my parents bought heaps of stuff for bub.
my children dont see any of there grandparents as none of them care about the kids. i have both boys and girls and i hope i will be a good grandma no matter what. my kids dont understand why it isnt their fault grandparents dont see them. very sad.
just her chameleon
My DD hasn't seen her maternal grandparents in 2 years as they are interstate, but we skype and she's talks to them every day.
Her paternal grandparents are divorced. FIL lives 5 hours away and we visit roughly 5 times a year. MIL lives 5 minutes away and we barely see her. It's sad, but at the end of the day she's the one missing out watching her beautiful grand daughter grow up.
My DD doesn't have maternal grandparents and on DD side there is only MIL and step FIL who love DD 100%.
DD is the first female born in three generations so least to say she is somewhat spoilt. She is also the first great grandchild on DH's paternal side and her great Nan comes up once a year to spend time with her.
My mum and dad live five minutes one way and my dhs parents live five minutes the other way. I see my mum and dad heaps and they absolutely adore my dd and my MIL and FIL are equally great and absolutely adore her as well, she sees both grandparents easily 3-4 times a week. I have to say I am truely lucky that my dd has such a loving relationship with all my family I feel truely blessed :)
Thanks for all the reples so far- it's interesting to see how different families spend their time (or not!)
I guess I stress because my experience has been heavily maternal.
* DP's parents are as I outlined in the OP. In comparison, my parents and mother in particular- are HEAVILY involved in my boys life, despite also living 45 min away. Mum was with me when I had the boys. She practically lived with us for the first 6 months of their life (putting her own life on hold) because DP found it very difficult to adjust, and I just plain wasn't coping with two newborns.
* I only experienced having one maternal grandmother growing up. My dad shut his own family out of his life shortly before I was born, so I never met my paternal GP's (or any of his side of the family). My Nana always helped out and took care of us when Mum and Dad went away. Family Christmases and easter were always spent at Nana's with the extended family. Still do that, actually :)
* Most people off the top of my head only have contact (or primarily) with their maternal grandparents.
But you have raised some very good points in that a lot of it will have to do with the relationship I form with DIL's and how comfortable she is around me...
Still.. it is something I can't help but think about because I have no daughter... no mother of the bride... no awkward first perod talk... no watching girly movies on the couch together... it's the silly things :rolleyes:
OP, I'm exactly the same with my two boys. I'm petrefied for when my boys have kids that I won't get to be the grandmother I want to be.
My sons have a fantastic relationship with my parents. My son asks me everyday if we are going to Nana's house. My boys see them at least once a week, more often twice. Mum looks after them once a fortnight when i work and on any extra emergency days that I get. My sons adore their maternal grandparents and they adore my boys.
My sons like their paternal grandparents but their relationship and the bond between grandparent and child is nowhere near as strong. It can be two months between when my sons see them and it is almost always us initiating the visit. They don't call to see how my boys are going, they don't stop by. We only live 15 minutes drive away.
I'm determin that I won't have the same sort of relationship with my children that my children do with their paternal grandparents. While I understand that I am going to be the paternal grandmother, I'm going to be the best Nana I can be. I want to be the type of grandparent my parents are.
Sorry, I'm iPhone-lexic
DS1 sees my side the most.
I think being a grandparent & how active you are is your choice.
Not if your maternal of paternal side:
Definitly maternal. my sons parternal grandparents were useless, and my daughters paternal grandparents are ok but rarely see her. my parents are obsessed with my kids and can barely go a day without see them and help me alot with raising them. But with me growing up i was closer to paternal as im very close with my dad and i just felt more of a connection with his mum as we are very similar.
(& I love my paternal grandmother she Is a sweet nanny,only 10mins up the road I'm just closer to my maternal grandmother cause I live next door to her & she is 15years under so it's different sort of bond & time spent together)
I think it is going to depend on where the relationship is at with your future DIL. If you treat her like she is not good enough for your son, then she will block you out and try not to include you in a lot of events etc. It will also depend on what type of personality she is.
My MIL & I have had a very up and down relationship. Right now it is more up and positive. I have done things like taking her shopping for her mother of the groom outfit for the wedding and we included her in a lot with our wedding. She was also there the weekend that DD was born (not in the delivery room).
So even though we have had our ups and downs, she has still been included in every way.
My kids spend more time with their maternal grandparents.
DFs mums side of the family are too busy playing favorites with DFs sister's daughter. DFs dad side however see the kids every chance they get. As a result, the kids are MUCH closer to my family and DFs dads side of the family.
DFs mum told me that she will naturally be closer to her daughters kids because of the mother daughter bond that you "just don't have with your son", which I think is the biggest load of crap!!
So, OP, if you play an active grandparent roll in the kids lives and don't favor one child in particular then I don't see why you being a paternal grandparent is any less important :)
Just to cheer you up:
Noms I was closer to my paternal grandparents, actually so was DP.
But I do agree with what you at saying to a certain extent.
It can also depend on the person. DP's mum thought going on an 8 week holiday when DD was due was perfectly acceptable. Even when I told her that her relationship with her son would be affected forever, she still didn't budge. I basically forced her to stay. She saw the birth of A and makes an effort to see her once a fortnight. However she still frustrates me. She held A and A rubbed her face where MIL'S makeup was and got a rash. I asked next day that as she had perfume on again that he not let A snuggle in. Her response was but she has to get used to perfume!!! My mum would just never wear perfume again :-)
MIL LOVES her granddaughter. She even told her other kids that she loves them, but with A it's just so much different. But my mum would drop everything for A. She is a little more comfortable as as well, and IM more comfortable with mum.
I think if you make the effort to have a beautiful relationship with your DIL's, being a paternal grandparent won't be a second prize to being a maternal one.
Alternatively. Have another crack at a girl :-)
**** I can spell, honestly! It's my iPhone's fault ****
Out To Pasture
DS sees more of his maternal grandparents, because the paternal grandparents live in another state. Which really is a shame. My MIL would love to see her grandson a lot more.
Maternal. My boys Paternal Grandmother lives interstate, so they only see her once, maybe twice a year.
Nomsie, in the example you gave of your DP's parents it seems that it is their choice to be more involved with their daughter's kids than your kids. The thing that stops them from being more involved with your kids is their attitude, not yours.
We were more involved with my paternal grandparents, because they were more available and offered to help out more. My mum's parents were always travelling or socialising and therefore we didn't see them as much. My dad's mother used to look after my sister three days a week while my mum worked part time, and consequently now my sister is an adult she is still extremely close with my dad's mum.
Ours see paternal, but only cause they have no others :(
I think that mums generally were more involved with kids, so maternal grandparents feel they can be involved more, where paternal grandparents are more wary of the mum as they are not blood relatives. I think if you have a great daughter in law you will be right, but you don't get to choose them! Hopefully you will raise boys who will choose well :) or they might be gay in which case you should have as much involvement as the other parents, as you are all paternal lol.
From my point of view I would say never criticize your DIL, never ever ever. And certainly don't come in and take over her home, or try to be more important in your sons life than her. Mums who can gracefully "hand over" their sons to their life partner do better IMO
I hit other as both sets grantparents are maternal- mothers side.
They is no contact with the my side parents so its only OD parents who we will see a few times a month.
DS's paternal grandparents live in New Zealand, so of course he spends most time with my parents and step parents. That said, my ex-IL's are very heavily involved with DS's cousin who does live in New Zealand. He spends lots of nights at their place being babysat and has a lot to do with them, even though the child's mother is separated from my ex-BIL.
One of the mums in my mothers group has a great relationship with her MIL and her two kids spend WAY more time with the paternal set of grandparents than the maternal. So, whilst according to this poll it appears that the maternal grandparents spend more time with kids, it can be the other way around.
share a book
Mine has 4 living grandparent (+my father's wife) but only access to 1 of them then very limited access to another one both on my side. Her paternal grandparents can live their life without her and that seems to suit them fine.
My new nephew has his maternal grandparents in town with my mum visiting on the weekends and me and dd visiting whenever we can so he has all the family around him. He's one lucky little boy!
I must add that I think it's all to do with the attitude of the parent or inlaw.
My MIL CHOSE not be an active part of my kids lives for quite some time. She expected us to do what she wanted, when she wanted and didn't respect our choices as parents. It was her way or the highway.
She COULD have seen the kids when she wanted for however long she wanted but she CHOSE not to. I had no family close by and would have welcomed her support and encouraged a relationship with her and the kids. She chose not to.
I think it comes down to making the effort to see your grandkids, offering support without pushing your views and respecting parenting choices.
My DS stays with me his maternal grandma is 5 hours away :( and his paternal grandparents are 5 min drive away but never see him, look after him or even bother at all. I don't understand this as my SIL child has been taken care of everyday by them til he went to daycare for 3 days the other 2 days his great grandmother and her look after him. The great grandmother is 84!! Is it because it's their daughters child? But how could you not love your sons child as much? I am so confused by these weirdos! I have never not let them have him they came into my room 2 mins after i had DS. I don't understand?
When I was a child at first I spent just as much time with my paternal nan as I did with my maternal nan. Over time though I became much much closer to mums mum. She always made the effort where as my dads mum couldn't be f'd.
I have a set of cousins who are on both sides of my family (my dads sister married mums brother) so my maternal grandmother is their paternal grandmother and their maternal grandmother is my paternal grandmother
My cousins are close to their maternal nan (my paternal) she made the effort and clearly favours them. My cousins were just as closed to my maternal nan (their paternal) but I think my sister brothers and I were much closer. My maternal nan made the same effort with all of us but with my siblings and I it was reciprocated
With dd she sees my inlaws at least once a week as she spends Mondays with them. They adore her. She is the only grandchild at the moment though. I feel if sil had kids they would be favoured. (that's when my paternal nan stopped with me once she got maternal grandchildren)
Dd is closer to my mum though as we live with her
I haven't read all the replies.
I spent more time with my paternal grandparents, but they lived over an hour away so it was maybe once a month catch up, and I found them scary lol. My sister was (is) closer to my Grandma. My Granddad passed when I was in my early teens. I never knew my maternal nan, she died when my mum was 14. Rarely saw my maternal pop as he remarried quickly and dumped my mother with her aunty - I loved my mum's aunty but still wasn't very close to her.
DH wasn't involved with his grandparents at all. His parents moved to Australia from England before they had kids, so they had very little family here.
As for our kids. They spend more time with their paternal nan. She lives about 15 minutes drive from us so we see her at least once a week. She used to mind the girls on a Friday while I food shopped, but that stopped once DD1 was at kindy on a Friday. Their poppy passed just over two years ago, he got to see DD1 walk and I was pregnant with DD2 but he never met her.
My parents live about 3 hours away, we see them every couple of months. Its usually us going there as dad does FIFO and in the few days he's home he has alot of property to look after, sheep etc, mowing.. a long list of jobs anyway so they don't get here often. The girls know them, and love them but its not the same as being here all the time. DD2 sees her daycare carers more often kwim, and she only goes once a week.
Sorry for the essay. :o
My parents see our kids maybe once a year, but we live 16 hours away from them. They see our kids via Skype every couple of weeks, and love them to bits.
My children's maternal grandparents have never met them, and short of a miracle they never will.
My kids see FIL weekly, we see MIL very regulary (every few weeks) and my mum about the same and my father NEVER!
I love my IL's though - and I have made it my business to inlcude my IL's as much as I can.
Seeing my mum is a little of a geographical challenge, but we speak to her weekly.
I love watching my kids know, really know their GP's. I grew up in my GP's house and they were our parents - I also knew most of my GGP's
We went to see my Nanna yesterday as she's quite ill and I really want my kids to remember her
Jax Tellers Old Lady
My children see my Dad alot! They are the light of his life. My mum and all DP's family live in NZ. In saying that my Mum sends things for the kids, never misses a bday where as they have never had a gift from DP's family.
I love the bond my kids have with Poppa my Dad. Their faces and his light up like lightbulbs when they are together.
My children spend zero time with their maternal grandparents as they are not a part of my life and i don't want them even knowing i have children (very long story).
They do spend lots of time with their paternal grandparents. We visit almost every week and they are the only people that ever babysit. they used to watch DD1 once a week but now they are very busy so don't babysit very often these days but they are there in case of emergency and help whenever they can.
The girls love it over there and are very close with their paternal grandparents :goodvibes:
Paternal for sure. Despite living further away, they actually make an effort to see us where as mine seem to forget I exist half the time. I don't have an easy relationship with my mother due to her lack of interest in my life and child. Not that that's a new thing, been like it all my life! She never bothers to ring me back, so after 20 years of trying to forge some kind of relationship with her in adulthood, I give up. I can deal with her lack of interest/rejection of me, but my DS? Not impressed.
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