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Stepmother

The Wicked Step…Grandmother?

By Amalah

Hi Amy-

My husband and I recently welcomed a beautiful baby boy into our family! Everything is going fairly well, thanks to your advice on breastfeeding and other postpartum…experiences. We’re even using cloth diapers now, which I’m pretty sure I would never had had the guts to try if it weren’t for your writings on the subject. So lots of thanks, and keep up the great work!

Advice Smackdown ArchivesWe are having a bit of a grandparent issue. My husband’s parents divorced when he was young, and his mom never remarried. His dad, however, remarried only a few years ago, after my husband was out on his own. After our son (the first grandchild) was born, my father-in-law asked my husband if his wife could be called “Grandma” by the baby. While my husband likes his step-mom, he is not completely comfortable with the idea of her being “Grandma” to our child[ren]. His point is that he did not grow up with her, and in no way does he consider her his mother. He never responded to his dad’s question (posed via email), but they are coming out to visit soon, and I know the issue will arise.

I definitely see my husband’s point – she was never his mother, and is not quite in the same “league” as the other two grandmothers. However, I feel like this could be a major insult to her and my father-in-law if we completely reject the idea. While they live across the country, I do not want to spoil the relationship our son will have with them in the future. But as this is my husband’s family, I hesitate to try to push for anything if he is not in support of the idea. I’m just trying to avoid bitterness and hurt feelings on all sides! As an added complication, I’ve let the other grandparents choose what they would like to be called, and have not brought up the topic with my husband’s father…but if we aren’t going to let her be called anything special, should I even ask? Or just stick with grandpa?

Anyway, I’d love to get your opinion on this, as an objective observer. Family dynamics are always complicated, especially when divorce and grandchildren are involved!

Thanks for all your help,
L

I’m not sure if this little factoid is widely known by my readers — I’m sure I’ve mentioned it at some point, now long buried in my tedious archives — but my parents each have three children from their first marriages. My six siblings are all technically half-siblings, but since they were the only siblings I had (and even though there’s quite an age difference), I never really think or refer to them that way. And for the most part, I’m just the “baby sister” and not the half-sister to them as well.

NOT that I grew up with the Brady Bunch, or anything. Oh, no. Even though their divorces happened long before they met and had me, I certainly grew up seeing the very real fall-out and consequences of divorce and children and blended family. It was…very bad and very ugly at times. My parents married when my father’s children were in their late teens. My mother’s children were slightly younger. The step-parent relationship was rocky on both sides for many, MANY years.

But all of my nieces and nephews — on both sides of the family — call my parents the same thing: Nana and PopPop. My mom’s first husband remarried as well and his wife is also given a grandparent title. The way I observed the situation and decision-making from my siblings was that 1) it was simply a good time to work on putting crap from the divorces behind them and move forward, and 2) it would complicate things for the grandchild down the line, forcing a discussion about divorce and remarriage probably before they were really old enough to grasp it. (I can easily picture a four-year-old asking why he calls a grandmother-like figure “Susan,” even though at that age the concepts of marriage and divorce and biological relationships would be WAY too much for him. Kids are tricky like that.)

From my own perspective, I could also see problems with a young child interpreting the name difference as step-parents being “not equal” or “not real” — and while that’s probably true for your husband, as the remarriage happened so recently, during his adulthood — your son is likely going to encounter other divorced and/or blended families sooner than you realize. Disney already does enough damage with their countless Wicked Stepmothers, you know?

I totally get why it’s probably pretty jarring for your husband to think about handing over the honored grandparent title to a woman who is possibly a stranger to him. But she won’t be a stranger to your son. The fact that she’d like to be called Grandma (and thus, I assume, BE a Grandma) seems like…a nice thing, and probably a tough thing for her to ask, since I’m SURE she’s aware of her awkward position in your husband’s world. Unless she’s done things that would justify a wariness or a need to keep her at arms’ length — or your husband’s mother would lose her MIND at the idea of the new wife getting called Grandma — I’m probably going to come down on the side of burying the family drama for the sake of your new family. Yes, the divorce happened and the splitting and blending and remarriage is still part of the tapestry, but I really think it’s a good thing if your son grows up with the impression that none of that really matters — this is his family, and everyone in it loves him very, very much.

If your husband decides he feels really, really strongly about the no-Grandma thing, perhaps come up with another special term of endearment for his stepmother. Kids call their grandparents ALL KINDS of things, like names from other cultures or sometimes just toddler-speak nicknames of their first names. (Commenters with step-grandparent limbs on the family tree? Any personal suggestions?) That way you can still make her feel included, keep the hurt feelings to a minimum…and not make the family boundaries so distinct to your son as he gets older and starts trying to figure everyone out and where he fits in.

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Katie
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Katie

I am in a similar situation and really empathize with the how hard it is to deal with divorce, blended families, etc. There can be a lot of baggage and I don’t want to sound like I am making light of that. That being said, before you say no to “grandma,” consider it from a practical perspective… what else is your baby going to call her? Mrs Smith? Her first name? I was a little unsure of my daughter calling my step mom (from recent marriage) “grandma,” but then I just couldn’t really imagine any other suitable option! And FWIW,… Read more »

Sunshine
Guest
Sunshine

My parents (and my husband’s parents) both divorced & remarried. So my kids have EIGHT grandparents and 11 great-grandparents. All have “grandparent names” of their choosing – from ‘grandma & grandpa lastname’ to ‘mimi and pappy’. Yeah, I grew up with divorced parents and my step-parents have been a part of life for, well, my whole life, so it was a no-brainer for me. For what it’s worth, my kids don’t think it’s weird, and my husband and I are just thankful that they have so many grandparents who love them.

Courtney
Guest

We had a similar situation as well. My parents divorced, and my dad remarried – stepmom has five kids, then there’s my brother and me, and they recently adopted two little girls. Anyway, when my son came along – first grandchild for the family – my stepmom immediately asked if she could be called “Nonna.” Her family is Italian, and that’s what her kids call their grandmother, so it made sense, and it was perfect because it was a grandmother-y title without actually being “Grandma.” My husband’s parents have dubbed themselves “Gramma” and “Grampa,” while my parents are waiting to… Read more »

Therese
Guest
Therese

I agree with the previous commenter to look at this from a practical perspective. What can your child(ren) call this step-grandmother? It makes sense that the word “grandma” might not feel right for her position, but is the alternate to call her by her first name or Mrs. lastname? (Maybe it is?) If your husband is not comfortable with the word “grandma,” could he come up with an alternate title that would be acceptable to use? My Great-Grandmother died when my grandmother was only a few months old. When she was a few years old, her father remarried. My Grandmother… Read more »

Olivia
Guest
Olivia

My family situation is a bit different, but we also have step-parents given the grandparent title. My in-laws are deceased, and my mother is married to a man she met after I finished college. Since I like him, and since there are no other grandparents to speak of, he gets to be called grandpa. However, I think even if there were other grandparents around, he would still get a grandparent title of some sort because he is married to my mom and he wants to be a grandfather to my children. Maybe not grandpa, but grampy or the like. Still,… Read more »

Christine
Guest
Christine

My own family has no divorces and the “Grandma” title was held pretty sacred, so I can see where this would be an issue.  My husband’s family however is a different story, and I am really glad that everything has already been sorted out by my nieces before my own daughter’s arrival! Hubby’s family has 2 different step parent/grandparent issues.  The first was for his father, whose parents had divorced when he was very young.  He was brought up by his mother and stepfather and very infrequently saw his father and stepmother.  This definitely translated over to the relationship his… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

I totally agree wtih Amy’s advice that it’s worth burying the family drama for the sake of the baby. Also agree with her pointing out the awkwarness for your husband’s step-mother. My mom is the “step-grandmother” to my niece and nephew and I know it’s been really heartbreaking to her that they haven’t really embraced calling her grandma. Of course, she *knows* that they have a “real” grandma, but she would love to be all warm and fuzzy and give them candy when their parents aren’t looking too. Instead, she just feels kind of like an awkward outsider. I guess… Read more »

Kim
Guest
Kim

Also, for the child, this person (the stepgrandmother) will have always been a part of his life… just like his “real” grandparents. I understand the husband’s feelings. I hope they can come up with a good alternative name… I love the name Nana.

Hil
Guest
Hil

And for another perspective, your kid may eventually make this decision for you.  My parents had taught me to call my dad’s stepmom by her first name, Colleen, which I did until I was old enough to realize she was my grandmother (duh!) and decided to address her that way.  Out of the three grandmas I have, she is by far my favorite, and it seems silly now that adults tried to impose their weird delineations on my relationships.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

We have a similiar issue only my husband’s mother died shortly before we were married and his father remarried about a year later. My husband was nearly 37 when his dad remarried. He calls his stepmom by her name. Frankly I’m sure that she would like being referred to as grandma…yeah, that isn’t happening. Aside from the fact that she doesn’t especially ACT like a grandma. So my kids call her Nana or Nana FirstName.
My vote would be for a similar nickname for the stepgrandmother.

liz
Guest

My parents both come from blended families (death and remarriage), and in general, the step-parents were called “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. When my parents divorce and remarried, my step-parents parents became “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. And thus, my step-parents are “Grandma” and “Grandpa” BUT, my husband’s mother’s new husband (his father died shortly after we married) is “Papa FirstName”. Which is what he chose for himself since he “has his own grandchildren” (I know). Remember that your child will have his own relationship with the grandparental generation. Choose a name that shows love and respect. Bubbe (Yiddish), Tante (also Yiddish), Nonna, Mimi,… Read more »

Bethany
Guest
Bethany

My parents divorced when I was in my early 20’s. It wasn’t a happy splitting as there was adultery involved. My two sisters and I took it really hard and are still working on getting over it 5 years later. Both parents have since remarried- Dad 2 years ago and Mom 2 weeks ago. I still have trouble with calling either of them step-parents. I realize this is my issue, but then again, kids learn what to call things/people by what you call them. We all live in the same town, so we spend a lot of quality time together.… Read more »

The Maiden Metallurgist
Guest

She may not have been your husband’s mother, but she will be your child’s grandmother- unless you decide to cut them out completely, which it doesn’t sound like you are doing.

Camille
Guest
Camille

We have no divorces in our family but my daughter has 6 grandparents. My mother and father are Grammie and Pop, my husband’s mother is Nana (her husband is deceased), our elderly neighbors are Nana and Poppy, and my boss and his wife are Robba (?) and Nanny. I don’t think a child can have too many people who love them whether they are blood relatives or not, and to start making distinctions among who ranks higher teaches them values that, if we sat down and considered it outside of this context, we wouldn’t want them to have. I hope… Read more »

Penny
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Penny

I have a step grandfather, and we call him ‘granda john’ (our grandmother? Just ‘Grandma’) – my mother was felt the same way as your husband. As my brothers and i grew up, and became adult enough to understand their often difficult relationship on our own terms, we began to call him just John. Granda John means that he doesn’t feel alienated from being a grandparent – we are the only grandchildren he will have and loves us dearly and my grandmother didn’t feel rejected either, but gave enough distance for my mother to feel she was in control. Highly… Read more »

Kate
Guest

When I was growing up I called my grandparents Grandma and Grandpa except for my grandfather’s long-term (like 35 years long-term) girlfriend, who we called Grandma Grace. Adding the first name made it a bit more casual. Since the grandkids from my grandfather’s family were older than her own grandkids, they grew up calling her Grandma Grace as well.

I now feel like I’ve taken something super-simple and made it unnecessarily complicated.

redwoodmama
Guest
redwoodmama

Since the remarriage is relatively recent, it sounds like the husband’s issues are more about his father than the actual stepmother herself. But the baby doesn’t know and isn’t part of the backstory, and in his/her eyes this woman will be a grandmother. Nobody’s asking the husband to redefine his relationship with her. It’s not a matter of “get over it” – just a step back, look at the big picture, and allow his child’s relationships with them to build. If it doesn’t feel right that she should have the exact same title as his mom (and that’s fair, his… Read more »

JB
Guest
JB

Agreed w/these! My suggestion is that when they visit, say “Oh we would LOVE if he called you GiGi [or Nonna, or Grandy, or…]. Doesn’t that sound so sweet? Here little son, say hi to your Gigi!!” They will just be overwhelmed with cuteness, and how can you resist a name like that 🙂 . Then your husband’s mother can be called “Granny” or whatever and everyone is (fairly) happy. I’m glad that the other point was brought up – I still have no idea what to call my bf’s parents though I have known them for 5.5 years and… Read more »

Sarah in LA
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Sarah in LA

My dad married my stepmom when I was 11. I call her by her first name, but I wouldn’t have any problem with any kids I have in the future calling her grandma. The kid won’t ever know any different, and I think making an issue of it would just alienate my stepmom, and I love her and wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings, especially since she and my dad have been married for over 20 years. Your situation is a little different since your husband’s dad remarried later, but still, it would cause unnecessary friction to make an issue… Read more »

Brittany
Guest
Brittany

My grandfather died before my birth and grandmother’s new husband was named Roger, which got shortened to Rog (soft g sound) the entire time I was growing up during their nearly 25 year marriage. Close to the time of grandma’s death, we all started calling him Grandpa Rog. It really wasn’t a big deal to any of us kids. My husbands’ parents had an ugly divorce, and all the grandkids all call his wife Grandma Helen. I doubt that my husband’s mom likes it, but she deals with her issues. The child doesn’t care about the divorce, and picking a… Read more »

bethany actually
Guest

She may not be your husband’s mom, but since she’s married to his dad she WILL be your child’s grandma. And really, can a kid ever have too many grandmas!? My daughter calls several good family friends “Grandma Sue” or Grandma Grace” even though they’re not related to us at all, and at least one of my good friends is “Auntie Erin.” I think it’s a nice way to honor a close relationship, bestowing a family honorific on someone. I say, ask your husband’s dad and his wife, “What do you want to be called by our child?” They might… Read more »

AJU5's Mom
Guest

There is no divorce in our families (in terms of grandparents), but my kids have three living great-grandparents. One pair is fairly young and an active part of our kids’ lives. When they visits in the Spring, we tried doing great-granddad and great-grandma with our then 29 mo. She couldn’t get it. So, we just went with Grandma and Granddad – and she is fine with that. So, she has two grandmas, a granny, a granddad, a grandpa, and a grampy. My only other idea would maybe to use “Aunt” if you didn’t want to use grandma, but I think… Read more »

Sarah in LA
Guest
Sarah in LA

My dad married my stepmom when I was 11. I call her by her first name, but I wouldn’t have any problem with any kids I have in the future calling her grandma. The kid won’t ever know any different, and I think making an issue of it would just alienate my stepmom, and I love her and wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings, especially since she and my dad have been married for over 20 years. Your situation is a little different since your husband’s dad remarried later, but still, it would cause unnecessary friction to make an issue… Read more »

Jenni
Guest

My grandpa didn’t marry my grandma until well after my brother (the oldest grandchild) was born. As a matter of fact, my brother was the ring bearer in their wedding. Even though he wasn’t my moms dad until very late in life, he was grandpa! Add to that, my mom’s dad was involved until that point and, things being what they were, I never knew him as a grandpa. I actually never knew until junior high the whole dynamics…it didn’t matter…he was grandpa because he ACTED like grandpa. Had no one told me that he was a “step” grandpa, I… Read more »

Beth
Guest

My mom is called Nonna – Italian for grandmother
My Dad is grandpa or pop-pop
My FIL is also Pop-pop
My Step mother is Grandma or Grandma Holly
My MIL is Grammy.

There are so many names for grand parents that there will be something that your son eventually lands on. Try to pick something easy (My kid picked up Nonna and pop-pop really easily so a repetitive sound is probably your best bet) and even let your MIL pick her name first. That might smooth it over for both her and your husband.

PaintingChef
Guest

I have a step-grandmother. My dad’s parents got divorced when I was maybe 4 or 5 and his father quickly remarried. I have always called his wife by her name, “Joyce”, but that hasn’t ever made me think of her as not a grandmother. And she was never a substitute grandmother or one that was meant to take the place of my dad’s mother. I just… had an extra. And of course my dad never thought of her as his stepmother. He was grown and had a child of his own when his father remarried. But as someone else pointed… Read more »

Christen
Guest

As someone who grew up with stepgrandparents who welcomed her with open arms and never introduced me as their “stepgranddaughter” or anything, I have to concur that your little one is so lucky to have all these people clamoring to be part of her life! Anyhoo, it’s likely your kiddo will end up coming up with a nickname for your stepmother-in-law (and all the grandparents, really), and that will stick, thus rendering the Grandma Debate over. Maybe for now, you can refer to her as “Grandma First Name” in her presence, especially if you don’t see them much. It will… Read more »

Alanna
Guest
Alanna

Hoboy – I sort of had this as a child and we are definitely dealing with this now as I am expecting the first grandchild on both sides. I grew up with a step-grandfather who I and my cousins and siblings all just called Grandpa (first name). My mom’s dad had died when she was a teenager and her mom remarried after my mom was in college. So there wasn’t a competing grandpa in the picture. However, my mom and her siblings never grew up with my grandpa either and definitely did not see him in anyway as a father… Read more »

Julie
Guest
Julie

I think an alternate name, other than the “Grandma” moniker, would be perfect in this situation. Something like Gram, Grammy, or Nana or Gigi, etc. Not the revered “Grandma”, but still a very special and title indicative of her grandmother-ly status. You could always just say that your mom called dibs on the “Grandma” name, so you guys want her to have her own special name to avoid confusion!

Procrastamom
Guest
Procrastamom

My husband has a step-father who married his mother (husband’s mother, not the step-father’s…that would be weird…and wrong) the same year we got married. Step-father had never had kids of his own, so it took him a while to warm up to all us rowdies…what with inheriting adult step-children and then a grandchild within a year. He was a little overwhelmed! Anyways, almost 20 years later and he definitely qualifies as the favourite grandfather in the family. Our kids call him Poppa. They call my dad Grandad and hubby’s real dad Grandpa. I think it helps to extend an olive… Read more »

Candace
Guest
Candace

I had a step-grandmother, who my grandpa married the year my parents were married. I was a honeymoon baby and whoa that issue came up FAST. I think the difference is my maternal grandmother died when my mom was 17, so I didn’t have another person to call Grandma. But I will say, that when I was old enough to grasp the concept, I want to say 9 or 10?, my mom explained that my grandma wasn’t her mommy, and that she was my step-grandmother technically, but that she was my grandma. So it was always grandma for me, and… Read more »

Procrastamom
Guest
Procrastamom

I have just made an executive decision that when I become a grandma, I will be MEEMAW. Also, I don’t care that I don’t live in Texas. I will just visit there once before I become a grandparent and then I can declare myself MEEMAW.

Shannon W.
Guest
Shannon W.

I say ask her what she wants to be called and then go with that..possibly adding her first name if that makes it more comfortable for your husband. My dad died before my kids were born and my mom dated her next love for 10 years before they got married. My mom is Nonna to all the grandchildren. Her husband is Papaw FirstName to my kids and my brother’s kids and just Papaw to his biological grandkids. For a while my daughter just called him FirstName like we did, but we slowly started using Papaw FirstName more after my son… Read more »

Katherine @ Grass Stains
Guest

My parents are still married, but they have cute names that I wanted to share. When our first son was born, my mom spent countless hours trying to get him to say “Grandmama” — which was totally unreasonable since he didn’t even start to talk until 19 months and then only said one-syllable words. My dad had more realistic expecations and got him to say “Pop” almost right away. And then Nathaniel (my son) customized it for my mom — since, after all, she seemed to “go” with my dad — and started calling her “Mop.” And it totally stuck.… Read more »

Maura
Guest

One of my friends called her grandmother “Bubbles,” which is my all-time favorite name for a grandparent. We called my maternal grandfather “Sir,” totally our own term of endearment. It started out as a joke when I was born and stuck through twelve grandkids. (Now I’m sad. Sir died last year. I miss him.)

Shannon W
Guest
Shannon W

opps – I also wanted to agree with what others are saying regarding the fact that a person can be your kid’s grandparent even if you have no parental feelings for that person. I do not consider the man my mom married after by dad died to be my step-dad (though I have long considered him to be part of our family) but he is a wonderful grandfather to my kids.

Betsy
Guest
Betsy

My son has biological paternal grandparents that he hardly ever sees. But when they did come around, he called them Nana and Grandpa. He calls my dad, Papa (first name) and Beeba (my dad’s girlfriend). My mom died when he was two but he called her Nana also. He calls by inlaws Nana and Papa (first name). If he saw the biological grandparents more often it might get confusing, but this is what worked for us.

Val
Guest
Val

Growing up we solved this EXACT problem by calling one Grandma and the other Grandma Carolyn. The first name made it more informal and didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

Angela
Guest
Angela

My parents divorced when I was 9 and both were remarried by the time I was 12. My sisters and I called all of the step-grandparents that we inherited by their first names, and it was no big deal. Now that I have a son (and the only grandchild on my side of the family) we have gone with Grandma and Grandpa First Name for my step-parents, and Grams, Grandma, Grandpa and Grandad for the other grandparents. My mom wanted to come up with a special name for my son to call her, but I wouldn’t let her, and now… Read more »

Angela
Guest
Angela

My parents divorced when I was 9 and both were remarried by the time I was 12. My sisters and I called all of the step-grandparents that we inherited by their first names, and it was no big deal. Now that I have a son (and the only grandchild on my side of the family) we have gone with Grandma and Grandpa First Name for my step-parents, and Grams, Grandma, Grandpa and Grandad for the other grandparents. My mom wanted to come up with a special name for my son to call her, but I wouldn’t let her, and now… Read more »

Julie
Guest
Julie

I think you have to look at it from the child’s perspective. The kids aren’t going to know the whole sordid history of the family tree and shouldn’t be put into a position of having to make that difference. Although my stepmother and I were never close when I was growing up, my kids call her Grandma [First name] just as they call my mom and my mother-in-law “Grandma [First name}”. She has a grandmotherly role in their lives and it seemed just mean and petty to encourage the kids to make that distinction. They kids will grow up knowing… Read more »

Jen K.
Guest
Jen K.

My mother is “Grammy Shirley” to my stepdaughter; she is “Grammy” to all the other grandkids. My stepmother, Mary, (my dad re-married after I got out of grad school) is “Gram-Mary”
to my kids.

Katie Ceary
Guest
Katie Ceary

My paternal grandmother died before I was born, and my grandfather married a wonderful widowed lady when I was little. My cousins and I call her Nana Renee to distinguish her from our deceased grandmother, but it does not make us feel any differently about her. We definitely see her as a grandmother and love her that way.

Amy
Guest

My parents are divorced and remarried, and so are my husband’s, and then my dad divorced his second wife AFTER she was already “Gramma” and my husband’s mom divorced her second husband after he was already “Grandpa” and HOLY CRIPES could people just learn to stay married, already, because it’s really screwing up the family tree!!?? In our own family (my husband’s and mine) we choose a policy of inclusion, not exclusion, which means that step-parents are “grandma and grandpa,” always, even when one of them is a raging lunatic bitch (no really, she is). We call our step-siblings “aunt… Read more »

Ms. K
Guest
Ms. K

An ex-boyfriend of mine had, like nine assorted grandparents or something. He was from LA and both his parents and grandparents all had very torrid and complex marriage histories. At any rate he referred to all of his various grandparents with the “grand__” title, and had good relationships with all of them. We could drop in unannounced to say hi, many of them came to parties, etc etc. Not all of them were still married to any of his blood relatives. It was a very cordial and happy situation. I was impressed. He referred to his stepmother by her first… Read more »

Susan
Guest
Susan

I second the suggestion of coming up with a special name that is a good alternative to Grandma. I have a relative who married a widower with adult children and several grandkids. The older grandkids have called her by her first name, but the younger ones wanted a special name. “Grandma” was out of the question (since Grandma is in the cemetery), so they settled on Nanna. That way the kids still get to acknowledge the special relationship.

Julie
Guest
Julie

My son calls my stepmother Grammy. Yet another one of those kid picked names. I never honestly cared what he called her. Just because you don’t consider someone like a mother doesn’t mean your children won’t consider them to be their grandparent. It might sound harsh, but I feel that in this situation, her husband needs to suck it up and act like an adult. It’s about his child’s relationship with this woman, not his own.

Lisa
Guest

A word of assvice — let the husband’s MOM pick what she wants to be called first, then let stepmom pick. My friend’s mom was heartbroken that her ex-husband’s wife announced — in the hospital waiting room — “I’m gonna be Mimi!” when my friend’s mom wanted to be Mimi, not “Grandma” like she is now. (She was too nice to say, “Um, that’s what I was going to be called.”)

Kathie
Guest

We have exactly the same situation in our family, in that my husband’s parents have both remarried, and whilst my husband grew up with his mother’s new partner in the home, his father has only been with his new wife for about the past 10 years, and so there are no motherly feelings at all. When I got pregnant, it was just assumed that my husband’s stepparents were going to be grandparents as well, and I was ok with that (working on the principle that a child can never have too many people who worship the ground they walk on,… Read more »