Grilled Grandma: Cathy

What is a Grilled Grandma? A Grilled Grandma is a grandma whom I've grilled with some grandma-related questions, and she's graciously responded with answers and photos. Here is Grilled Grandma Cathy:

How many children do you have? 3. I have Shannon, age 26 who is the manager of a bar/restaurant. April is 23 and is the manager of a hair salon. And Ryan is 20 is in college studying engineering.

How many grandchildren? What are their ages? Just one. Maylynn (I call her MayMay) turned 2 in August.

Any great grandchildren? No, not for a very long time, I hope.

What do your grandchildren call you? Nana.

After the initial elation, what was your first concern upon hearing you would soon be a grandmother? How hard it was going to be for my daughter April. She is a single mother and that has to be the hardest job in the world.

How often do you get to see your grandchildren? Just about everyday. I watch MayMay while her mother works and since she works sometimes 50+ hours a week she is with me a lot. She also sleeps over several nights a week.

What is the best thing about being a grandma? How much more fun it is than being a mother. I know that sounds awful but I think being a mother is more stressful. Being a grandmother is like having all the fun parts of being a mom without all the responsibility.

What is the most challenging part of being a grandma? Trying to keep up chasing after a 2 year old. I wonder how I did this with not one, but 3 little ones! But then I was 20+ years younger.

Describe a recent time that one (or more) of your grandchildren made you laugh out loud. Today, MayMay came out of my office wearing my reading glasses. They were low down on her nose. It made her look like a librarian. Then she said “Look, I’m Nana!”

Something else she says a lot is when one of the dogs tries to take her food, she looks at them sternly and says. “That’s MayMay food, not dog food.” It’s just really cute how she says it.

What is your favorite thing to do with grandchildren who visit your house? We have a tradition on one of her over night visits. When we get up, we stop by Hardees to get a biscuit for breakfast. Then on the way home, we stop by the park and play for an hour or so. She loves this tradition and asks as soon as she wakes up when can we go get her “bisit”. She can’t say biscuit yet.

What is your favorite thing to do when visiting grandchildren at their house? I don’t go over there that much. Usually when I do it’s when my daughter has a very early morning appointment so I go over while the baby is still sleeping. When she wakes up, I take her to my house, which is about 15 minutes away.

I guess I like the early morning quiet. I usually manage to get some reading done, which I love to do but have a hard time finding time for it.

How do you maintain the bond between yourself and your grandchildren between visits? MayMay has learned how to call me on her mom’s phone so she calls me quite often when she isn’t here.

What do you most want to pass along to your grandchildren? How loved and special she is. I remember feeling that from one of my grandmothers even though she died when I was 8.

What is one word you hope your grandkids think of when they think of you? Security

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier as a grandparent? I can’t think of anything but then I have only been a grandparent for 2 years. Ask me 10 years from now and I may have an answer for you :)

What one bit of advice would you give a new grandma? To be available for advice about parenting if your kids ask for it but unless it’s a dangerous situation, don’t give your opinion in how they are raising your grand kids. And yes, that is sometimes easier said than done.

Do you have a website or blog? What is it about? I actually have over 50 sites but I won’t bore your readers with all of them. I’ll just mention my favorite one, which is called The Frazzled Homemaker. It can be found at

Dear Readers: If you'd like to nominate a grandma for grilling—yourself or any other grandma—please e-mail me her first name and e-mail address and I'll take care of the rest. Thank you!