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The First Grandchild

Ok can I be a little honest about my selfishness right now? …Never stopped me before.

Alright, well one thing I think about a lot when it comes to having kids is timing. But this isn’t always in regards to how old I am and how ready am… That’s a given. The timing I’m talking about is in regards to when I have kids in relation to my (/our) siblings.

My husband and I are both the oldest children and we were the first to get married out of our siblings and we could be the first to have kids (aka grandkids). Sometimes (actually most times) I think that I want to be the first to have grandkids for our parents (aka grandparents).

There are many reasons for this. For one… I think the first always has a special place in grandparents’ hearts. I know I was the favorite (or did they just tell that to each of their grandkids?) and while it’s not always fun to be the oldest child, being the oldest grandchild is kind of cool. They are the first part of the next generation of posterity. I mean common, the sacrifice was always the “first born” no one asked for the second or third! The oldest = coolest ok?! (Can you tell I’m the oldest child?) And while I think the oldest CHILD has it hard (babysitting, way stricter rules, no cell phone, allowance, curfew, and all those other things the younger siblings get away with, etc.), the oldest grandchild… Well, they pretty much have a sweet gig.

I however, do think that my expectations of having the coveted “first grandchild” could be a little overrated since we don’t live close to either of our families. Therefore our kids won’t be in close pampering proximity and even if they are the oldest, the others, who live closer could have a better opportunity to see the grandparents and get spoiled rotten.

Now on the other hand, if we didn’t have kids first, I could get first hand, down right honest reaction on the whole parenting scheme straight from the trenches. It would be like an up-close, behind the scenes, exclusive interviews, uncut version of parenting. I’d witness how my siblings/ siblings-in-law handle it, and see how the grandparents react… Then learn what to do and no to do. Guinea pigs I guess you could call them.

Either way, the decision is completely selfish and could be beneficial one way or another. Now I just have to figure out which one is MORE beneficial. *evil laugh*


Mammatalk says:

That’s a good point. I have seen oldest grandchildren maintaing granny’s sweet spot. For me, it wasn’t an option as I became an aunt before I could drive. Good luck with your decision!

Deatren says:

our son (who’s 2 now) is the first grandchild on both sides and it is great! We don’t live close to either of our parents either. They love to go shopping for him. They send boxes of clothes (new not hand-me-downs from my sister’s kids cause she doesn’t have any yet) He also gets the things we ask for at Christmas and Birthday because they want to “help” since they are so far away and can’t regularly babysit or anything like that. He always gets cards for V-day, Easter and other holidays that he might not get if he wasn’t the only one, things like that seem to fade the more grandkids that come along. Being the first and only grandkid for a while seems to definitely have it’s perks.

Mommy Bee says:

Well, I was the oldest grandchild on one side (my mom had 3 kids before her sister had one), and I was within 18m of oldest on the other side…although there managed to be 3 cousins in that 18m, LOL!
I don’t know that being the oldest grandchild was anything special. I never lived very near any of my grandparents, which I’m sure had something to do with it… (btw, both of my parents are oldest children too). The one thing I can think of that was kinda negative is that I didn’t really have cousins my age, so I wasn’t really friends with my cousins (with just one exception). I had lots of friends, and lots of cousins, they just weren’t the same people…I had a sister who was close though, and I never cared that much about the cousin thing.

I seriously don’t think that having family who has ‘been there done that’ is any better than having friends who have. I find that I get better advice from people who share my parenting philosophies than from people who share my blood…

I married a youngest child, and so all his siblings are done having kids, whereas we are still just starting. I have one sister who is married, but the other 6 siblings are still single (the youngest is 7, LOL!) So our little family kinda straddles the divide I guess…one son is the age of one side of the family, and the other son is the age of the other side…good thing we stay in touch with both, eh?

Jessie says:

Wow. I can’t explain to you the emotions reading this post stirs up in me. You see, I’m the oldest child and always assumed I’d be the first to give my parents grandchildren. This to me was more than just a privilege, it was my right as the oldest. My God given right, as a “gift” of some sort for going through the trials of being the oldest. My next youngest sibling is a brother, three years younger. I figured with the LDS mission factored in, there was no way he’d beat me to the punch. Then, at 16, he got his girlfriend pregnant. I was so hurt, felt so wronged and so so so angry at him for taking this away from me. Even now (three years later) thinking about it makes me cry. The baby has since been adopted by the birth mother’s older sister, a family close to my family. And even though the baby is not a legal part of my family, I know he holds that special “first grandchild” spot in my mom’s heart. And I hate it. So, um, my advice would be … have the first grandchild. Haha, I clearly have a lot to get over.

And sorry for the long reply 🙂

Kaycee says:

First grandchildren are always the favorite. My mom spoils my kids rotten, I don’t know if she’ll have anything left by the time my siblings decide to have babies.

Mallory says:

My son is the first grandchild on my side, the 4th on my husband’s side. (But, the other grandkids live in UT, and we live in OH.) I’m not sure if there are differences. But, I like having the first on my side, just for bragging rights. Gotta love that sibling rivalry! 😀 Maybe I’ll do a grandparent post soon.

Heidi says:

I was the fifth grandchild (but the first granddaughter) and I was the favorite. So, if you can’t have the first grandchild, at least have the first granddaughter for grandma to love the most 🙂

Randi says:

My son is the first grandchild on both sides and it has worked out WELL for him. Man oh man is he spoiled. Even from the family that lives two states away, he is just the apple of everyone’s eyes. My little brother’s wife is now expecting and while I am sure we will all love the little bean MUCHO much, I think Hudson will have a special place in everyones hearts. I totally think having the first grandchild ROCKS!

Angela says:

My grandmother has 2 grandchildren. Me and my brother. She’s always treated us fairly evenly. I’m the one that has the children. She now, being a great grandmother has a special and different relationship with each of my children. She definately knows their individual personalites and treats them according to their personailities. Sure she went all out with the first born one, cause who wouldn’t??? I guess it’s just as hard for a grandparent to not show favoritism as it is for a parent not to do it.

Good topic gurlie!!

you’re hilarious! this is something i’ve thought about too. the shock and awe of the first grandchild is a one time thing, although i’m sure each one is well received. chad’s side already has like 13 grandchildren so i know that my first won’t be a very big deal. it kind of bums me out 🙁

My daughter was the first grandchild for both of our parents. My husband’s family got another grandchild about 6 months after she was born, but she is definitely the favorite.
My parents only live about an hour and a half away, but my husband’s parents live in cali and we live in Ut, but they send her stuff monthly.
It was definitely worth getting pregnant just because of all that they bought her when she was born because she was everyone’s first grandbaby. SHe was even the first great grandbaby so she got more than normal.
But they definitely show their favoritism…

Abby says:

The first grandchild in our family is the one the grandparents don’t like. The next one down, from a different sibling, is high up on their lists though. However, and I hate to brag, it’s become obvious that although my kids are grandkids #7 and 9, they are clearly the favorites on both sides of the family. It’s a pretty sweet deal. Perhaps it’s them coming from me, the baby of the family, the only daughter, and the one who lives furthest away. Also, my kids are the best behaved bunch by far and fricking adorable. So that helps also.

My second oldest brother brought forth his daughter before my oldest brother brought forth his son. And #2, the son, is favored above #1. So I don’t think it really matters, honestly.

As a grandma I have to speak up on this. I have five grandkids, all around my youngest daughters age, and we try very hard to treat all equal. As for favorite, they all have their moments. Of course we are closer to the ones we live near to, but still try to maintain closeness with the others living in the States. We send gifts, cards and call lots to keep in touch. They are all so different hard to say favorite. I can say they are all pretty dang cute though 🙂

To my Mom’s parents I was an only grandchild for 10 years and it was awesome. To my Dad’s parents I was only for 2 years but the oldest and with them close to us my childhood was sweet LOL and spoiled by both sets of grandparents.

Now I’m oldest and my hubby is second in line (he has older brother and 2 younger) we are the only that have a child, so she is first grandchild on both sides, and let me tell you she gets everything from them and she can get away with anything 🙂

Nichole says:

Waiting has distinct advantages. First, you could have the LAST grandchildren. I’m the oldest child and oldest grandchild. All my siblings have had (and are done having) children. My hub is the youngest and all his siblings have had (and are done having) children. We get the distinct (and sha-weet!) honor of having the last grandchildren on both sides. Pretty awesome! Especially when the current youngest grandbabies are way past being babies.

Second, people eventually give up and stop asking. It’s awesome!

Hmm… I had the first grandkids for my parents, and there IS a special connection between them and my oldest daughter… my youngest was born just a month and change before my mom passed away, so she didn’t get to bond with the little one, and my Dad loves her to death but there’s just something about that first one…

On my husband’s side, it’s a bit different. I think his parents bond with their daughter’s children more; they are not the first, but they live closer to one another so it’s easier for this to happen. It’s nothing personal; grandma is extremely close to her daughter, and though she loves me and my hubby so very much, there’s just a bond between mother and daughter that is unshakeable, and that translates into the relationships with the kids. So you might want to take that into consideration, too–that there will be a difference in many of the relationships for many different reasons, and being first won’t necessarily win you any special prize…

Jenna says:

Audrey is the first grandchild of my parents, but the 8th of Dillon’s. Let me tell you, my parents SPOIL her. Dillon’s–not so much. It’s true; the first grandchild is a prized possession.

I don’t think they just said that to you, I know on my Mom’s side of the family I was the the first grandchild, and the favorite.

Kiki says:

I was the 5th grand child born into our family however my mother as brilliant as she is had a few tricks up her sleeve and made my Grandmother my GODMOTHER, thus making me extra special. 😉

Yolanda says:

Hmm well I was the oldest grandchild on my maternal side I wasn’t on my Dad’s side. My maternal grandmother definitely spoiled me- I could do no wrong. And even though they lived in Connecticut and we were in Texas if I demanded a special cake (she was an incredible baker) she would bake it and overnight for me. But as a baby we lived with them for a bit while my dad was overseas so perhaps that was her extreme attachment(she literally fought with my mother to give?

All of my children’s grandparents equally spoil the grandchildren equally. My husband and I are like you and your dh, the oldest children so we did have the first grandchild for both sides. However my oldest son was not terribly agreeable to anyone holding him (besides me) up until the age of 2 so even with grandparents in proximity he didn’t neccessarily get overwhelmingly spoiled.

My current pregnancy is the first one where my parents and I live in the same place. So while this will be the 6th grandchild he will be the first my parents will be attending the birth and regularly seeing. I expect him to be uniquely spoiled since Nana already has all kinds of plans for “her baby”. 🙂

Sarah says:

I have to say I’m right there with you on this one! I’m the first to get married in my family and have been married for almost 4 years. My older brother just got engaged and is getting married in the Spring. I want us to wait until I’m done with Pharmacy School to have a baby. His fiancee said they are going to wait 1.5-2 years before they have a baby. Which means that I won’t be having the first grandchild for my parents unless I change my mind! I’m a tad jealous because we have been married longer and I always thought that I would have the first. I’m almost certain we will have the first grandchild for his parents because he only has one brother. But his brother is 19 yrs old, has a girlfriend, and they want to get married. The only question is when/if they do get married how long will they wait to have kids and will they be smart enough to take precautions. So for now I have the upper hand but when they get married my chances decrease a ton! It almost makes me want to have a baby now so that I can be the first.

Joy says:

I was the favorite grandchild {and the first} on my mom’s side. I kinda knew it. It was kinda nice, too. ;o)

Lolly says:

If your sibs have kids first you get to see what its like and you get the hand-me-down stuff so you don’t really have to buy anything! My daughter is mt parents’ second g-baby and trust me – they love her as much as their first.

Lolly says:

If your sibs have kids first you get to see what its like and you get the hand-me-down stuff so you don’t really have to buy anything! My daughter is mt parents’ second g-baby and trust me – they love her as much as their first.

Jessie says:

Wow. I can’t explain to you the emotions reading this post stirs up in me. You see, I’m the oldest child and always assumed I’d be the first to give my parents grandchildren. This to me was more than just a privilege, it was my right as the oldest. My God given right, as a “gift” of some sort for going through the trials of being the oldest. My next youngest sibling is a brother, three years younger. I figured with the LDS mission factored in, there was no way he’d beat me to the punch. Then, at 16, he got his girlfriend pregnant. I was so hurt, felt so wronged and so so so angry at him for taking this away from me. Even now (three years later) thinking about it makes me cry. The baby has since been adopted by the birth mother’s older sister, a family close to my family. And even though the baby is not a legal part of my family, I know he holds that special “first grandchild” spot in my mom’s heart. And I hate it. So, um, my advice would be … have the first grandchild. Haha, I clearly have a lot to get over.

And sorry for the long reply 🙂

Charlie says:

Hey! Well I’m the oldest Grandchild on one side. And I believe that I may be the favourite, but sometimes I doubt it! I have a young cousin and she is 3. I guess she has to pay her a lot of attention though because she is only little. But sometimes I get jealous. Also they live quite close which doesn’t help me at ALL because they can see each other anytime! But I guess we still have our little cozy Friday catch ups! My grandma once said to my little cousin “who’s my favourite girl?” And as soon as my cousin could answer I said, “oi what about me?!” Then my Grandma said CHARLIE! And then said “see my baby, you didn’t let me finish!” That day I was wondering if she was actually gonna say that but… I guess she loves me the best, Hahahahah! So yeah the eldest is ALWAYS the favourite!!! Us guys have a VERY special relationship with our grandparents 🙂 x

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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