7 significant BEs of being a significant grandmother

7 significant BEs of being a significant grandmother

BE unconditional

Grandchildren come in assorted shapes, sizes, aptitudes, attitudes, with varied qualities and quirks. Love them because of those, regardless of those, in spite of those.


BE fair

Wherever two or more grandkids gather or grow, possibilities for playing favorites flourish. Avoid the all-too-human temptation to...

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10 things grandmas can stop worrying about

Concern about our grandchildren is one thing, but far too often we grandmothers fret and fear that we're somehow not being the grandma we should be. For all the worry-wart grandmas — myself included — I offer the following.

things grandmas worry about

10 things grandmas can stop worrying about

I don't have the budget to...

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12 Grand moments in grandparenting

Being a grandmother is one of the most surprisingly delightful adventures I've ever experienced. Some moments are more grand than others, though, moments such as these:

grandparenting moments

1. Being told you'll soon be a grandparent for the very first time.

2. Holding a newborn grandchild for the very first time.

3. The first smile a grandchild aims directly at you... and every smile they direct your way thereafter.

4. Having a grandchild hold your hand while proudly telling his buddies or teacher, "This is my grandma."

toddler at the park

5. Hearing the news you'll soon be a grandparent for a second time.

6. Rocking a grandbaby, with his sweetly scented head nestled into your neck, a tiny blanket-wrapped body relaxed against your chest.

7. Being handed a stack of carefully colored papers, each bearing an equally carefully — albeit imperfectly — scrawled signature, accompanied by the words, "I made these for you, Gramma."

8. Turning the corner in the airport terminal to see beaming faces and wiggly little bodies eagerly awaiting your hugs and kisses.

9. Those same little bodies crawling into bed with Gramma long before the sun rises to share their dreams from the night and their plans for the new day.

playing at the park

10. Listening to tiny voices singing nursery rhymes, lullabies, Sunday school songs. Hearing tiny voices singing along to the car radio from the backseat, too.

11. Shouts of "Watch this, Gramma!" followed by giggles, grins and grunts as a grandchild pedals, jumps, cartwheels, makes a basket or hits a ball over the fence.

12. Being offered a high-five with consolations of "Great game, Gramma!" when the grandchild wins. Especially grand when the game was won fair and square, with no handicap offered for age.

Plus so.many.more... including their birthdays, which today is for Bubby. Happy fifth birthday to my silly-yet-sweet, first-ever grandson!

five-year-old birthday

Today's question:

What are some of your favorite grand moments in grandparenting?

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?