The challenges of grandmothers

Any woman who’s been a grandmother for even a short time knows that the grandma gig comes with a few unexpected pitfalls. For me—a long-distance grandma—it’s the 815 miles between my grandsons and me.

Here, some of the responses from the Grilled Grandmas when asked, “What is the most challenging part of being a grandma?”

challenges of grandmothers

Remembering my place—I’m not their mom and need to respect my daughter in her role. —Robin

I can’t fit them all on my lap at one time. —Alice

For me it’s the feeling of competition to “keep up” with the other grandparents. It would be very easy for it to turn uncomfortably competitive. —Vicki

Knowing that when I visit them I will have to say goodbye. —Mary

I am concerned about the future—what kind of world we seem to be living in right now, with the economy and the politics of mean-spiritedness. Heck, I worry about those things TODAY, not just for the future. —Olga

The most challenging part for me is not giving in to their every command. For the “serious” things I stand strong. But for those little that that it really doesn’t matter, GG let’s them do/have it. —Jules

I was not a perfect parent. So when I see my children doing things I know are not perfect but will do no harm, I am quiet. I save my comments for safety issues and answers to their questions. I am older and I have seen too much, so I could be a huge black cloud. I really do not want to do that. It is a challenge, to say the least. —Barbara

Wanting to keep them from all the bad things yet knowing that it is an impossible task. —Janie

Energy! How I wish I had more energy. There are so many things I want to do with my grandchildren, but I must remind myself to be realistic about what I can do. —Kay

The most challenging part of being a grandma is remembering that your wonderful, caring child IS the parent. —Nita

Keeping it “fair” when there’s more than one around! —Joan

Working full time and not being able to go to all of their activities. —Connie

The most challenging part for me is trying to divide my time and attention between my three young children and my grandson. I feel like I’m missing out on some of the “full grandmother” experience because I’m young and have little one of my own to care for. I don’t want my grandbaby to feel cheated out of “grandma time,” too. —Kelli

Dealing with their parents! I don’t mean that in a bad way—it’s just that they all have their own parenting methods, and I have to remember about what that is for each family! —Angel

Balancing just the right amount of love and fun with discipline. —Rita

Balancing everything. I am also caring for elderly parents and there can be a lot of appointments, health needs, etc. at both ends of the age spectrum. —Kaye

For me it is learning how to just let go and have fun and play. I am still learning how to do that. —Marlene

Taking the back seat in how the children are being raised. Opinion is not always welcomed, especially since the mother is my daughter-in-law and not my daughter. —Merci

I haven't met a challenging part yet in being a grandma. —Terri

For more wisdom and wit from these and other grandmothers, check out the Grilled Grandma Archives. (Click on the months in the right sidebar there to peruse the entire archives.)

Today's question:

What do you find most challenging about being a grandmother? What has been most challenging about being a mother?