February 2013 Moms

What to call grandparents?

Hi Ladies!  We finally told everyone and my MIL is making our pregnancy all about her. She actually asked me why I haven't congratulated her on becoming a g'ma?  Are you serious? Because you didn't do anything!!

She is driving me bananas and with these mood swings/my new short temper - I am going to blow.  She put all of this stuff on FB and started asking for suggestions on what to have her grandkids call her.  

I know a lot of people have nicknames for grandparents, but all of mine, regardless of which side of the family, have always been Grandma and Grandpa. It was never an issue and we always knew exactly who we were talking about. I actually hate nicknames, it's a huge thing for me! But she wants to be called NeNe because grandma is too common.

So, to my question... Can I say thanks, but no thanks because I will be the one who is actually teaching the kids which grandma is which and where we are going? Or does she pick the name and I just have to go with it?   Luckily both my parents want to be Grandma and Grandpa!  

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Re: What to call grandparents?

  • JBos82JBos82
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Comments
    Unfortunately, I think it's up to her, since it is the name that she will be called. My grandparents were always "Grandma ____" and "Grandpa ____" depending on last name. But my inlaws already have their nicknames from the four grandchildren before (which stem from what they wanted to be called when the first grandchild was born), so we have to respect that those are the names they want. I actually plan on asking my parents if they have any special names they want to be called.
  • I agree w/you 100%. It has always been Grandma and Grandpa (insert last name) for both sides of my family. I have heard of names such as Aunie, PawPaw, MeMaw, and so on. They sound silly to me. Since your MIL is being so annoying, I would have my kids dub her "Granny Dearest" and see if she picks up on the negativity in that term from the movie about Joan Crawford and her kids dubbing her Mommie Dearest. lol It may be hard for you to insist they call her grandma though...she may turn around and try to constantly change it when you are not around. I would actually politely insist they just call her grandma and see what happens.
  • image JBos82:
    Unfortunately, I think it's up to her, since it is the name that she will be called.

    This! If it makes you feel any better my MIL and FIL have the strangest nicknames. They go by Boo and Spanky. Everyone calls them that, even my husband and all his friends. I don't think I knew their real names until DH and I had been dating for a few months. Needless to say, I wouldn't have picked those names, but they are so fitting.  Your in-laws may have to wait and see what the LO will call them. I think more than anything that will determine the name (what they choose to pronounce lol).

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  • With my skids, we let them choose what to call my parents. At first they were Grandma Patty and Papa Kiki, but when the youngest started talking it turned into Mema and Papa and the names just stuck. IMO, I would just let it ride and see what the kids call them when they're old enough to talk.
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  • MIL and FIL want to be Mamaw and Papaw, which are southern terms for grandma and grandpa. I think it's ridiculous and stupid, but I am choosing my battles here. She doesn't get any say in how the kid is going to be raised so I am letting them pick their names.
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  • In my experience, the kids pick the names.  My mom wanted to be Mimi, but my oldest nephew messed up the pronounciation and she became DeeDee.  It stuck and that's what all of the grandkids call her. 

    My oldest niece on my husband's side called my MIL Nana, but my oldest son couldn't pronounce that.  He called her Nina, so now that's what stuck and is what all of my kids call her.

  • image FutureMrsDrew73110:
    With my skids, we let them choose what to call my parents. At first they were Grandma Patty and Papa Kiki, but when the youngest started talking it turned into Mema and Papa and the names just stuck. IMO, I would just let it ride and see what the kids call them when they're old enough to talk.

    This.  No matter what they want to be called it's always going to be whatever comes out of the kids' mouths!  And I doubt any grandparent would argue with that.

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  • Mash67Mash67
    1000 Comments Second Anniversary
    My mom Wanted to be called Nana... I actually liked Nana better than Grandma.. which to me ages people. My Dad is Papa just because Nana and Papa go together. I am happy with the choices.


  • ckalm5ckalm5
    Fourth Anniversary
    My kids have 3 sets one set was already Nana & Papa so that stuck. My other set of inlaws is Yiayia & Papou since I am greek and so is my husbands stepfather (and that is what he chose) and my parents are Mimi and Happy because that is what my oldest started calling them. You never know your kid may choose to call her something totally different than what she ends up wanting to be called. That is however very annoying that she is asking why you haven't congratulated her...something my mother in-law would say.
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  • I agree with the previous PPs that whatever name your MIL picks is probably going to be distorted by her grandkids.  The important part is that you can still refer to her as grandma and she can train them to call her whatever she wants. Trust me, the name that my SIL calls her MIL is definitely not the one that her kids use.

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  • My parents are grandma and grandpa and my inlaws are Gammy and papa my oldest niece couldn't say grandma so she called her Gammy and it stuck and all the kids call her that.
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  • We always called my dad grandpa, but when DD started talking he became Papa. My mom is Grammy. MIL wanted to be called Gran, but I've always referred to her as Grandma when talking to DD so that's what stuck. I just felt awkward saying Gran. I wouldn't tell your MIL no, I'd just call her Grandma with LO and see what LO goes with. 
  • I say  pick your battles...your child will call them what he or she will anyway.  My maternal grandfather is Big Bampa, because as the first grandchild I differentiated him from the skinny grandpa. 


  • I think they get to choose. My stepmom is Ema (Hebrew for mom). My dad is Pops. My IL's are Nana and Papa. Now, the one exception is my mom. My mom wanted to be grandma and is for my brother's kids who are older than mine. But my DH renamed her Cammaw (her name is Cami), and it's WAY cuter on her than Grandma. She actually loves it. Frankly, she doesn't care what she's called, as long as she's called.
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  • With SD, I let my mom pick while I retained veto power.  She wanted to be called Granny and I told her no way.  She chose Gigi next and I love it.  The ILs chose Grams and Grampster and it just fits them completely.

    My own grandmother was Mama Pooh growing up because my brother mispronounced the last name Poole.  I find it very awkward to call her that now that I'm an adult.

    I'd share your concerns and see if you can reach an amicable agreement. 

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  • I love that you don't congratulate her on becoming a grandma. Awesome!!!

    My parents said we will let him figure out what to call us. So we have Nana and Bapa. He is 2 who knows what they will become! :) On DH's side they had 4 other grandkids and they are called Grandpa and Grandma by the older but DS still calls them Nana and Bapa. 

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