I'm expecting my first and planning to announce to my family over Thanksgiving, and I'm sure everyone is going to be thrilled. One of the things I'm worried about though is how to handle a name for my Dad's second wife. It's the first grandkid on my side, so there's nothing established. My mother has passed so there's no risk of tension there, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with her being Grandma either. I've thought about Grandma Debbie or Didi, and DH looked up Polish terms for Grandma and found Baba or Babcia (she's of Polish heritage) but I'm wondering what other people do. If you have step parents what do your kids call them?
nectarine / 2010 posts
DD has three step grandparents - my stepdad, my stepmom, and DH's stepdad. She calls my stepdad by his full first name - DD and I are the only ones who use it, so it is kind of a term of endearment. In fact she typically says "my x" when referring to him. While I really like my stepdad he came into my life in my twenties and I wasn't open to DD using a traditional grandparent name for him. Though if she decides to call him something different when she is older I would be fine with it.
DD has never met my stepmother (we only see my dad and sisters without her) so we refer to her by her first name, granddad's wife, or aunt's mom. It seems awkward to write out but we very rarely refer to her.
She calls DH's stepdad Grandpa. DH's dad is not in his life, DH's step siblings already had children who referred to him as Grandpa, and DH was fine with it. So we went with it.
I would just have a discussion with your dad and stepmom (or just your dad if that would be more comfortable) and discuss what feels right for all of you. I know this caused me a lot of worry when pregnant but it somehow worked out with a few honest (and only slightly uncomfortable) conversations. There is definitely no one size fits all answer here.
pear / 1728 posts
My daughter has one step-grandparent (my stepmom). She calls her Mimi.
coconut / 8483 posts
My son jut calls my step dad grandpa. He isn't my dad but he's as much a grandparent as the rest of them to my son.
cantaloupe / 6085 posts
My mom remarried a year or so before my daughter was born. My dad died when I was 19 so it wasn’t that, but there was ridiculous drama around the marriage because the guy was such a creep to me and my brother. So before she was born I said Uncle ___ was my best offer (she was first grandchild so no precedent). There was fighting about that too but I said look kids don’t care about names, this is about adults, and that is what I can be comfortable with. They ended up divorcing when she was 3 so now she doesn’t really remember but I’m just glad we didn’t go there. Do what works for you.
blogger / pear / 1509 posts
O has so many grandparents. My parents, my mother in law and her... um... companion. My father in law and his wife. And her bio grandparents. We use these names:
Honey (O came up with this one for my mother in law)
Bela (her companion's first name, not sure he wants to use a typical grandpa name)
nectarine / 2180 posts
My family has been blended for quite sometime and I call my step-dad dad so all the grandkids call my parents grandma and grandpa first name (due to their being so many grandparents, both my sisters have divorced inlaws as well so my nephews all have 8 grandparents). On the other hand if my father were still alive I have no idea what my kids would call his 3rd wife considering we are not close. I would like to think some type of grandma name like mimi or nana but not grandma which has very specific connotations to me
apricot / 486 posts
My parents are divorced and my mom remarried when my daughter was 3 months old. They had been together for a while before they got married, so we knew he would be around. He was the one who chose Papa and I was happy with that because I didn't necessarily want him to be grandpa - I didn't want to take that away from my dad (first grandbaby).
wonderful pea / 17279 posts
My SMIL picked Mimi. LO is too little to call her that yet. She picked out her name after my mom and MIL shared their preferences. There was no issue or conflict.
persimmon / 1196 posts
There are so many options for grandparent names, I don't think you have to go with Grandma if it doesn't feel right to you. LO calls my mother a diminutive of her first name (think "Zuzu" for Suzanne), and my father a diminutive of our last name (e.g. "Mac" for McNeill). DH's mother and step-father are called names that are essentially just nonsense syllables selected by their first grandchild.
In the extended family, we have Mimi(s), Bumpa, Mema(s), Lolly, Bobo, Grumpy, Nana(s), etc.
pomelo / 5563 posts
We have one step grandparent, and she’s Nanny. She’s a stepmom to my husband but I don’t really think of her as a step to my kids, she’s been in their lives since she was born and she’s as much a grandma as anybody else (Actually much more, as my husband has virtually no relationship with his actual mom). We let her pick what she wanted to be called just like everybody else.
persimmon / 1114 posts
I have step parents on both sides of my family and my sons call them grandma and Poppop like all their other grandparents. We weren’t the first so we followed the routine others had established. It does not bother me at all, because I want my kids to feel like they have an equal relationship with all their grandparents. That being said, I could see myself feeling entirely different if it was because one of my parents had passed. I like the idea of using the polish word for grandma.
kiwi / 656 posts
There are no step grandparents for us, but I would say same rules apply to them as regular grandparents. They c an choose but Mom gets veto power my mom wanted to be “mama (first name)” since hat is what she had been to my close friends growing up. I felt very strongly that I was mama, the end and unabashedly vetoed. I’m sure she wasn’t thrilled but oh well. Is figure out what is off the table in your head, communicate that and let them pick. My MIL changed her mind 100 times and the only reason something stuck was that he started to talk
eggplant / 11824 posts
LO has one step-grandma who requested to be called Grammy and that's what LO calls her. She has been married to dh's father for more than 30 years though so she's not like a recent step or anything. I didn't think to call the steps differently; they are real grandparents too.
grapefruit / 4056 posts
We don’t have any step grandparents, but in my experience kids tend to find their way towards whatever name they want for their grandparents (Unless you are SUPER insistent that is). My parents always had wanted Omi and Opa, but my DS insisted from the time he could talk that they were Mimi and Papa. It stuck even though we tried to convince him otherwise for a while! The other grandkids have followed his lead!
kiwi / 635 posts
All of my grandparents divorced and 3 of 4 remarried. All of them who were married before I was born I just called grandma/grandpa and I think it helped emphasize that that was the relationship I had with them.
persimmon / 1409 posts
Wow, thanks for all the responses, ladies! I definitely want to give her the opportunity to pick something. It's hard because we don't have a strong relationship, but she's going to be the only grandma my kids will know on that side. I think going into the conversation knowing that grandma is how I want to call my mom to my kids and letting her pick from the universe of other names seems appropriate, and if she gets upset that she can't be grandma there's not really anything I can do. I was really close with my mom and want to be able to talk about her in a way that will be straightforward for tiny minds.
pear / 1852 posts
Growing up my dad's parents had divorced and each remarried, so I had THREE sets of grandparents.
Maternal: Grammie and Grampie
Paternal and step-grandmother: Grampie Lastname and Nana Lastname
Paternal and step-grandfather: Nanny Lastname and Grampie Last name
My mom's parents didn't need the last name because we saw them every day, they were our caregivers while our parents were at work.
With DD, my inlaws had a precedent set with our nephews, so they were by default Nannie and Grampie
My mom is Grandma. My Dad is Grampie.
She still has two great grandparents from my side, so they are Grammie and Grampie Last Name.
pomegranate / 3355 posts
We only had one step parent for dd and we referred to him as grampa to my mom's grama.
wonderful pomelo / 30692 posts
SMIL is "Mimi" to the kids.
GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts
It is a short nickname version of her name that the grandkids call her.
blogger / apricot / 389 posts
If she is going to act as a grandparent, I think it's fair to ask her what she'd like to be called.
My husband's step dad is Grandpa, it was established with his nieces and nephews, and his father is Grandad.
I'm Polish as well, and we call my grandmother Babcia, but Baba when we were little. She very well may want to be called that! Or you can suggest it! Tell her she's going to be a Babcia, and it will likely make her feel very included.
clementine / 918 posts
Unfortunately I am not a big fan of my step mom (even though she has been in our lives for 20+ years now) and I know my Mom is very sensitive about her status. I didn't have a chance to figure out a name before my Dad started referring to his wife as "Grandma Lisa". DS is only 2 and we rarely see her so he hasn't come up with his own name yet but is it bad that I want to encourage him to just call her Lisa like the rest of us?
kiwi / 745 posts
My Grandma died before I was born and we called both her and my step grandmother “Grandma Firstname”. My sister has done the same with her kids - their step Grandpa is “Pop Pop First Name”. My mom always used my step grandma’s first name when talking to me and it was never confusing. My mom has early onset Alzheimer’s and my Dad will probably start dating someday but at this point my kid is 3 and I can’t imag letting someone else be Grandma so we’ll probably just go with first name.
pomegranate / 3192 posts
My kids call my mum’s long-term boyfriend “Grampa Mike”.
pear / 1703 posts
My kids call their steps nana and grandad
honeydew / 7622 posts
Well DHs Dad is not in his life and the traditional names in his family for grandparents are Grandma and Papa so that’s what MIL and SFIL go by. DD won’t even know till it’s relevant that he’s not her biological grandparent- IMO he does the work he’s her grandparent. Do what works for you.
Even though my Mom is also grandma she prefers Oma.
cherry / 223 posts
My parents are Gigi and Grampy (we teased my dad about this name before my daughter was born, and it ended up being the name she chose for him). My mil and step fil are grandma and grandpa Doug. We rarely see my fil and step mil, we use grandpa and grandma deb for them.