Summer break for Grilled Grandmas

There's likely no busier time than summer, especially when it comes to spending time with the grandkids. Which is why you're not seeing right here, right now a Grilled Grandma—the weekly feature I've posted every Wednesday since introducing readers to Grilled Grandma Liz in October of 2009.

Grandmas are busy women. That became all the more crystal clear for me, a long-distance grandma who doesn't usually spend a lot of time with her grandsons, after my recent week hosting Bubby and Mac. Now I'm finding it hard to have a clear conscience about asking potential grillees to step away from their summer fun with the grandchildren to answer my questions.

So I'm not going to ask those questions anymore. At least not through the rest of the summer. It is officially summer break for the Grilled Grandmas.

That said, I do still have Grilled Grandma wit and wisdom to share. I may not do this every Wednesday in place of the Grilled Grandma feature, but at least this Wednesday—so no one suffers ill effects of going cold turkey—I'm sharing with you a small sampling of responses from the Grilled Grandmas to one of my favorite Grilled Grandma questions.

Here are those answers—with a few photos of Bubby and Mac interjected in between, simply because I took 6,726 (no joke!) during their visit and need to share those any chance I get, as well.


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 is that four different sets of adult parents have very different ideas about child rearing. Trying to avoid stepping on toes is challenging for me. —Kimberly

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 things 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

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

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

Realizing that I am not as young as I used to be...especially when I get down on the floor to play with them...and, it takes me quite a long time to get back well as lots of moans and groans! —Laurie

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 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

The most challenging thing for me, is on holidays, or special occasions, showing grace and consideration for the exes and the extended family. —Linda

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

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

• To read more responses to this question as well as a plethora of other profundities from the experts in the grandparenting field—the grandmothers—click on over to the Grilled Grandma Archives. •

Today's question:

What is the the biggest challenge you face today in being a grandparent?