do grandparents love their grandchild more than their own child?

(122 Posts)
Hiphophap123 Thu 07-Jan-16 15:47:28

MIL has been telling me repeatedly that 'grandmothers love their grandchildren more than their own children.'. She tells me her friends agree with her on this.

The first time I heard this I thought it was a bit of an odd comment. The second time I thought it was a bit inappropriate to say to me. Now with it being said repeatedly I'm feeling offended as I feel like she's suggesting that she loves DC more than I do. We have had some issues with mil being very controlling and not recognising us as the parents so that doesn't help. Im also concerned that she will say this infront of her 2 sons which could be hurtful to them. I'm particularly interested in comments from any grandparents.

- is it true? Do GPs love their GC more than their DC?
- is it normal to tell your DCs this?
- how can I respond to this firmly without being offensive? MIL doesn't take hints u have to be clear but I really don't want to be rude! If I said ' I think u may have forgotten how u felt as a new mum. It isn't even possible for me to love anyone more than my DC' Or 'I think that's really sad for your DC maybe u shouldn't say it to me or them.' Any ideas?

DisappointedOne Thu 07-Jan-16 15:49:24

My mum says DD is the reward she got for not throttling me as a teenager. grin

BlueMoonRising Thu 07-Jan-16 15:50:10

Crap. Grandparents have an easier time with their grandchildren than they do with their children, so it's easier and less frustrating, but there's no way they love then more.

LivinLaVidaLoki Thu 07-Jan-16 15:50:34

Im not sure they love them more, just differently.

You get all the things that were great about being a parent (unconditional, overwhelming love for this child, watching them grow and supporting them), but without the general stresses like getting up for nightfeeds, feeling like crap etc etc

whatevva Thu 07-Jan-16 15:50:43

A. It is a gross generalisation, and all gross generalisations are wrong.

B. Yes, weird hmm

I would have thought that parents love their children a lot and grandparents love their children a lot, but differently, ie as parents or grandparents and that one is not greater than the other. There is always room for love.

Hiphophap123 Thu 07-Jan-16 15:52:06

Hahaha!! That made me
Laugh DisappointedOne! grin. Do u think that's all it is? It's not that they love the child more it's just that they don't have to deal with the worry and discipline bits as a grandparent they just get the fun bits?

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 07-Jan-16 15:55:04

I think they love being able to love them without anything like the same amount of responsibility involved! smile

LizKeen Thu 07-Jan-16 15:55:21

It is probably the excuse she uses to rationalise her undermining of you as parents. She sounds toxic.

I think that some GPs get the opportunity to have all the fun without the negative aspects of parenting, which maybe could make it seem like grand children are easier/more loveable than their own children were. My FIL tells me all the time that he loves being a GD because he can enjoy them completely, and he is settled now and not worried about jobs and money like when his DC were growing up. That and the fact he can hand them back when he has had enough. grin

MitzyLeFrouf Thu 07-Jan-16 15:57:04

I'm not a grandparent but I'd have though being a grandparent was a gentler kind of love than being a parent. One that didn't have such a primal feel to it. One without the stresses and strains of being an actual parent. Without the extreme highs and lows.

A weird thing to say though. Very weird. And hurtful to your MIL's actual kids.

LarrytheCucumber Thu 07-Jan-16 15:58:17

I love my grandchildren dearly, but I don't love them more than I love my own children.
I think it is a bit of an odd statement to be honest.

StephenKatz Thu 07-Jan-16 15:58:40

My DM says being a granny is far more fun than being a parent ever was. She can do the good stuff like running around on the beach with them and stuffing them with ice cream, but doesn't have to do the crappy stuff like early waking and cleaning up puke.

However I can't imagine that she loves her DGC more than my DB and I.

Arfarfanarf Thu 07-Jan-16 15:59:18

Well, they only love them at all because they are the child of their child, so really it is tied into their love for their child isnt it?
I mean, they wouldnt love some random kid they saw in the park.
I think also there might be some feeling of wishing you could start over, knowing all that you know now. Maybe a bit of regret for mistakes? Maybe the love without the responsibility is a different feeling? I dont know.

Clearly they shouldnt say something so stupid and hurtful. First of all, how do you even put love on a scale?

First question i would ask is oh so you loved your child less than your mother in law did? Interesting.

And perhaps say that you find it offensive and she needs to stop saying that because if she ever tells your child that nobody loves them like grandma she wont know what hit her.

I dont think its rude to tell someone that hurtful comments are unacceptable

LittleCandle Thu 07-Jan-16 16:00:29

I have recently become a grandmother and was surprised at my instant connection to my granddaughter. However much I adore her, I certainly don't love her more than my own DCs. I think that is an extraordinary thing to say. It is lovely to hand them back when they get grumpy...

myotherusernameisbetter Thu 07-Jan-16 16:01:27

I would think by the laws of nature that wouldn't be true. Your children contain half your genes so your need to cherish and protect them would surely be higher than a grandchild with only a quarter of your genes? Or would the fact that they are the next generation from your child and therefore the future of your genes make those feelings stronger?

So, I guess I don't know grin

I don't have grandchildren yet, but I can't imagine being able to love anyone more than I do my children. Even as they are now as teenagers I find it very powerful and consuming.

DisappointedOne Thu 07-Jan-16 16:06:08

One of the reasons we need less sleep as we age is because in our early days (as humans) it was the grandparents that would keep watch overnight. So I'd guess there is something primeval about grandparental love to grandchildren.

AuntieStella Thu 07-Jan-16 16:10:54

I think it's a bit weird to 'rank' love anyhow.

It's not as if it's a finite resource.

Can you just smile and nod?

Asskicker Thu 07-Jan-16 16:11:40

My mum always says it's different.

She gets all the fun parts with my DC. Non of the day to day drudgery , so does seem more fun.

But she doesn't love them more than me and dbro.

I understand this to some degree. Having my niece and nephew is fun. I don't have to worry about the little things and can hand them back when they cry. They don't keep me up every night etc. It's all the best bits and non of responsibility.

I adore my brothers kids, but not more than I love my own

MNemonica Thu 07-Jan-16 16:11:48

I'm a grandmother, and I love my grandchildren as much as I love my children, I couldn't love them more as it wouldn't be possible!

The relationship with grandchildren is more pleasurable in some ways though, as we grandparents have the fun times and less stress as we aren't responsible for daily routines, decisions etc.

Personally I love being a grandmother, just as much as I enjoyed being a mother.

However, I would never undermine the parents in any way, and would never imagine for a second that I loved their children more than they do.

lostInTheWash Thu 07-Jan-16 16:15:19

It is probably the excuse she uses to rationalise her undermining of you as parents. She sounds toxic.

I suspect this too.

IL made odd statements that upset DH when our DC were little along these kind of lines - partly control issues, partly MIL can't deal with getting older, partly inability to see us as adult and parents - despite us being in 30's and partly I think she was blind sided by not enjoying early years as a mum - suspect pnd undiagnosed for the early years - they are never talked about positive till reach mid childhood.

I'm sure she does love them - but it's an odd comment to make to the mother of the said child.

Chilledmonkeybrains Thu 07-Jan-16 16:17:01

I don't know but I've always wondered why, talking in generalisations again, grandparents are so much more lenient with the grandkids than they were with their own.

They get bought ice creams, sweets and so on from my mum that I would never have been allowed.

TheWordOfBagheera Thu 07-Jan-16 16:19:14

My MIL says this too but I think it is rather sadly a sign of how little she loved her own children. She does love hers in her own way (with a favoured child by her own admission confused), but for her children it is a very manipulative, narcissistic and twisted sort of love, all on her own terms and for her own gain.

Thankfully FIL, step-MIL and DM would say nothing of the sort and are much more reasonable and loving people in general.

deepdarkwood Thu 07-Jan-16 16:21:27

The phrase I heard - and I think makes sense is that you love your children ... But are in love with your grandchildren. The in love stage is a heady, exciting thing. The other person can do no wrong, you go along with stuff to make them happy, there's no worrying about responsibility or what comes next or anything logical. I think that doesn't make a deeper love but a very different type. I think it explains some of the bra parental insanity you often read on here too ...

Duckdeamon Thu 07-Jan-16 16:25:48

MIL sounds a PITA.

Unacceptable thing for her to say: how hurtful for her DC if they knew, and what an awful position to put you in!

I wouldn't personally leave a family member who said this kind of crap and had other controlling / interfering tendencies in sole charge of my DC!

AnnaMarlowe Thu 07-Jan-16 16:29:02

It's a very odd thing to say. Particularly to say repeatedly.

The key point however is that just because she loves your children more than she loves her own that doesn't mean she loves them more than you love them.

lostInTheWash Thu 07-Jan-16 16:29:57

On plus side few year in IL calmed down and did start listening to us as parents - and stopped making these kind of remarks in from of DH.

If it's the first grandchild - that seem to trigger this type of thing less so subsequent ones - perhaps the grandparent is taken back by the love the feel for the Grandchild and they go a bit loopy for a while?

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