I need someplace to discuss my strong dislike to being called Nonna or any other Grandmotherly term at 42, and my husbands adamancy to me having a Grandma like title. Our situation is special. My daughters 14 and 11 only in middle school, leave me still feeling fairly young and I am unable to relate to that next stage in life yet. His boys are 27 and 24. They are from two different mothers the youngest was from a previous marriage and our relationship is what I think is appropriate, he includes me but has his mom and does not expect too much. His oldest son has had a difficult life and had lived with us before reuniting with his mom at around 14, and leaving the state to live with her til he graduated. Our relationship has always been strained (he was 11 when I met him)very needy and wanted me to be momma but I was feeling more mentor than momma, and a bit suffocated. I supported and looked out for him but it hasn't changed. Now my husband and my stepson strongly want me to fill grandma shoes and I feel it is impeding any opportunity to have a relationship with the toddler because I didnt feel like Momma and I dont feel like Grandma now. Help!!!! I can only compare it to when your young and you love your siblings but they fall asleep on you and you want to scream and shove them off. How do I find a happy medium?
I don't think the title "grandma" or being called "nonna," is the real issue here. I will agree 42 is young, but you can't really "pick and choose" what age you will become a grandmother. You aren't ready, but the situation has presented itself. That's life. Lots of things happen, you aren't ready, but you have to press on and deal with it.
Well.....let me see if I have this correct. Your relationship with the younger stepson allows you to take a more "in the background" role and your older stepson wants you to have a more "involved" role. Sounds like you never really bonded with this older son. You will definitely have a difficult time bonding with this grandchild especially if you never bonded with his/her father. To be perfectly honest, sounds like you barely want to be a stepparent to this son let alone a grand-stepparent to his child.
Well....for starts, does your husband and stepson know exactly how you feel?
Try baby steps with this. Can you at least try to be a little bit more open about the situation and try not to be so focused on yourself and remember these are your husband's children and try to get through this for him? Make it a little less about you and more about trying to sort out this strained relationship between you and the older son. Move on from whatever happened in the past between you and the stepson and try to build a relationship with him as an adult and his child. I would look at this as a "second" chance to have a relationship with him.
What all are they, your husband and his son, asking you to do in regards to "filling" the grandma shoes? I mean, are they just asking you to bond with the child and to let the child call you "grandma" or "nonna?" OR Do they have a never-ending list of what you should be doing for this child?
Would it help ease the situation if you could tell them what name you would like the child to call you? I know my mother didn't like the name "grandma" either. She chose the name "nana" and that was fine with us.
Perhaps you could also sit down with your husband and stepson and discuss what you feel comfortable doing and what you don't feel comfortable doing in regards to this step-grandchild.
Is this stepson's mother in his life at all? It doesn't sound like it and he is probably looking to you to fill that major role his mother would have that for some reason or reasons isn't happening with her. Try looking at things from his point of view. This is something he needs.
You are right in some aspect of what your saying, I have been trying to have a relationship with them, I am kind and laugh and joke with the grandson, but the minute my husband says " go ask Nona to buy you .... Whatever, I feel extremely distant and pushed. This child will be three and I feel toward him the same way as I do toward my nephews or extended family. I have definitely had problems with his son forever and well I would love to just be able to move on, it would be great to not always have this thorn but I have tried convincing myself for years and cannot just change my own discomfort. This does stem from a long history, but haven't you ever felt smothered and just wanted to escape from anyone super clingy and needy?
Yes, to be honest I have had to deal with this myself, but not with my stepchildren, however, it is definitely not a great feeling to deal with a needy and clingy person. It can be extremely draining. I get that. Is this stepson still super clingy and needy? Perhaps he isn't aware he is even doing this behavior. What exactly is he doing now to make you feel smothered? Sounds like he shows up and then you just start to feel overwhelmed because you have to deal with him and his child.
Let me ask you this.....do you interact with the child and its father on a daily basis or do they come by your house for visits?
Let's be honest, you will probably never be "super" close to this stepson or his child, but there has got to be some "middle" ground created here for the sake of the family dynamics. Have you ever thought about seeing a therapist to get a professional's opinion on this?
I can tell you these feelings are super "deep-rooted" and it will take some time to come to some "middle-ground." This is ALL stemming from this past situation with your stepson.
This is all about accepting someone.....exactly how he is, but at the same time having some boundaries in the situation in order to help you to cope with dealing with him. I am not saying "toss" your genuine feelings out about the whole situation, but you need to try to look more at the situation from his point of view and the point of view from everyone else involved and not just yours 100% of the time. If you can't do that then the situation will become worse over time.
I am a stepparent, so I know it isn't any picnic, however, you have to learn to adapt and accept as you have chosen the position of stepmother. Perhaps when he starts doing "this and that" and you are starting to feel smothered remind yourself about his situation with his real mother, which sounds like it isn't good.
nono, what do your nephews call you? Maybe that would be a good thing for this child to call you.
Personally, I think you are making a mistake by not allowing this little baby to call you an appropriate name for your position in his life. You're his step grandmother, whether you want to be or not. And you're well old enough to be a grandmother.
I think taking out whatever hostility you have here in this family situation out on a little toddler by creating confusion will come back to roost and when your beloved daughters have children, the difference in how you treat them will create lifelong discord for generations.
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