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Grandfather issues

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


Grandfather issues

New member, hope everyone is well.

Long story short, my Wifes G-father is driving me crazy with trying to "outdad" me to my 8 month old son.

For a TLDR, check the bottom otherwise read on.

He is the type who generally thinks he knows best because in his life he has been somewhat "pushed" into positions of authority, starting with needing to look after his siblings as a young boy, as parents had too many kids to adequately manage. Then, having 3 girls, and unfortunately wife and mother passing away and migrating to a new country, he was again, "the boss". Additionally, my wife is his favourite daughter. He is used to saying and people obeying.

So now with my 8 month old son, it's small things. Like before giving him back to me he will literally hold him back and ask him if he wants to go back to me. As if to ask who do you love more. Or constantly saying how my son always smiles around him (actually my son smiles at everyone, he's a very friendly baby). Or wanting to push the pram while I am around.

Its really frustrating as I am at work most of the time and my wife has to give him over to rents while she works (self employed). My own parents are too far away to be practical. I leave before he wakes and only get to see him awake an hour or so at night except for weekends. The grandparents get to see and have him about 3-4 days a week, and he still wants to take all the attention. They get to see hi during the day at his happiest, I come back to him being somewhat tired and nearing the twitching hour.

My main question is, even if a baby is with say another Male majority of the time, do they still know who their dad is at the end of the day? Are any other fathers in the same position where it turned out okay?

I swear I am going go do something physical I'll regret if my son ultimately ends up loving the grandfather more than me.

To confirm, when I get my son time, we have a great time, I don't neglect my son at all and as a modern father can look after my son in all aspects just as well, (if not possibly a little better than haha) as my wife. I also spoke to him and had womb time as well and was there for delivery. The issue is the amount of time I get to spend with him and the timings. I dont know if only weekends and the hour or so at night are enough.

Thanks in advance,

- Philip.

Tldr: will babies always know their dads despite spending more time with another male family member.
Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Grandfather issues

Hi @Th3F0x

Sounds like you love your son and miss him a lot while working long hours.

I know when my kids were babies I hated not being able to be with them.

TBH I got jealous of time others had. That was my choice and my reaction. It took me years later before I reconciliated this.

I was not the wrong choice but there was a cost on me to provide for My family.

The behaviour of granddad may simply be poor understanding of how you feel about how you are feeling.

My recommendation is to be firm while being respectful. explain to granddad you appreciate the support he gives. Then be firm and assert your authority as the father t push the pram.

Granddad hopefully will respect a take charge approach on your behalf.

Also be sure to get your wife on board first. She might even help tall with her dad

And 2 finial notes:
There is room for more than 1 positive male role model in a child life

Dad is always a special place in a child life. Making it a loving supportive positive attitude is on you

Re: Grandfather issues

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi there @Th3F0x  


Welcome to ReachOut parents forum and thank you for coming here to get some support on this issue. It sounds incredibly frustrating for you - especially as a new dad who has limited time with your son. Do you feel like there is any room for this to be communicated to your wife's father, or to your wife? 


From what you're saying he has been the patriarch of the family and this is starting to conflict with your fatherly instincts. I personally believe that there isn't anything that can come in between a loving father and his child -  I can sense that you are a wonderful father.


I did want to let you know that the age range we work with at ReachOut is 14-25 years old. While you are welcome to get support here I did want to provide you with some resources that may be more relevant to you considering the age of your child. 


How Is Dad Going? is an organisation geared towards giving support to new dads - they also have forums that you might find helpful. The link to their website is here.