It took me a while to settle into grandma mode. Not because I felt too young to actually be a grandma. It’s because I still had a house full of children. When our eldest son blessed us with our first grandson, we still had seven children living in our home. Their ages ranged from three years old to late teens.
This grandma was still 99 percent mom.
My biggest problem was that I seemed to want to just sweep him up into the crowd. I’m sure he didn’t mind. But I was clearly more mom than grandma.
That may sound ok. But it’s really not. The bonding between a mother and a child is so different than that of a grandmother and a grandchild.
Babies are born to attach to their moms–not their grandmother. We have to really work at it. Especially, if we don’t get to see them very often.
To us, they are our world– our baby’s baby. Their very presence fills our hearts with love. Not so much for them.
At first, grandparents actually fall more into the stranger category.
It took me a while to figure that out. So, I decided it was fair game to be a really bad mom. In order for me to be a good grandma. Yeah. I’m talking about bribes.
Here’s my theory.
My kids are good parents. They don’t overindulge their children. They don’t eat junk food. Most of our family fell off the health-nut tree. They are great about not too much television– at least by today’s standards.
That means I’m not going to add to their demise if I allow things that I would never have allowed in their parents home growing up–right?
Eating popcorn and M&Ms in bed, watching a late night movie is not going to keep them out of college.
One of the best things about being a grandma is that it really doesn’t take much to win their hearts.
One day I realized that one (out of nine) of my granddaughters had never been to a tea-party with me. I searched my brain, and couldn’t figure out how that had happened.
When I brought that up to her she smiled and shrugged and said, “I know.” She went on to tell me that she and her cousin had just discussed that very thing. Her cousin told her that every time they come to visit–we have a tea party.
I asked her if that upset her. “No,” she said.” Whenever I come, we always snuggle up in bed with hot chocolate and popcorn. We get to watch movies on your laptop together. That’s our thing.
Needless to say, I have since had a tea party with that particular granddaughter as our guest of honor. It takes so little outside of their norm, and centered around them, for them to feel extra special.