5 Reasons Being a Grandma is Better Than Being a Mom
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5 Reasons Being a Grandma is Better Than Being a Mom
It’s hard to top the glow of new motherhood. Life looks like a whole new adventure laid out before you when they place that sweet child in your arms. Wait! (insert sound of record screeching here). Being a grandma is light years better than being a mom, and here are my five top reasons why!
1 – You Get to Choose When and How You Participate
When you become a mom, you are suddenly responsible for a whole new person! It is your job to make sure they are in bed at the right time, eat the right things, learn good manners, and make new friends. When you’re a grandma, you get to enjoy helping your kids with those responsibilities, but when you want to, and not because you have to.
Part of the fun of being a grandparent is knowing that you don’t have to enforce the rules as stringently as the parents do, but you always have those rules to fall back on. Here’s a great example. I know my grandson loves to stay up past bedtime. He’s three, so it’s normal to fight the bedtime ritual. His parents must enforce bedtime because he’s likely to take a mile if they give an inch. One night of bending the rules turns into an epic battle each night for the following number of days.
But when he stays here at grandma’s house, I get the pleasure of bending the rules. He is smart enough to know that just because grandma lets him stay up a little later and reads one more book before lights out doesn’t mean it’s going to happen when he returns home. I get to be the hero.
Being a Grandma Means You Have Options!
On the flip side, if he’s had a rough day with grandma and he’s feeling extra tired and a little grumpy, I can always fall back on mom rules and get him to bed right on time, citing how proud mama will be to know that he did a great job with bedtime.
If you’re looking for info on why limits are essential (for the parents, not the grandma – insert maniacal laughter here), take a look at this article from the University of Michigan on How and Why To Set Effective Limits for Your Kids.
It’s incredible to be the grandma – I get to choose how to handle these situations one at a time with very little concern about how one extra book at bedtime will affect his long-term future. I am happy to say I’ve earned this position. I put in my time being the mom when my kids got spoiled by their grandparents when they were little. It’s a well-earned privilege to be the grandma!
2 – Being a Grandma Means Your Grandkids Appreciate Your Wisdom
Remember when you had preteen kids, and you would tell them how it was when you were their age? They were so annoyed to hear about your childhood. My grandkids aren’t quite old enough yet to appreciate the “back in my day” stories, but I’ve talked to many of my grandparent friends who have older grandkids. The consensus is that the kids love to hear these tales of the olden days from grandparents (in reasonable doses, of course).
As the grandparent, you get to share how much life has changed from the “good ole days” until now. When you think back to your childhood, it feels like just yesterday, but to your grandkids, it feels like ancient history, and they will be amazed at your stories and may even ask questions.
I can only imagine how shocked my grandkids will be when they’re old enough to understand that that dishwashers and microwaves didn’t even exist in my young childhood. When my grandkids get to the age to start understanding these things, they will indeed be horrified to know of our hardships! I can’t wait to tell them how telephones worked with long, curly cords and how dad would answer and screen our calls. It will be even better to reminisce about that first Atari with one joystick and a button.
As you pass along your personal history to your grandkids, you are feeding into their natural curiosity and building bonds that they will remember long after you’re gone.
3. Being a Grandma Means Your House is YOUR House
When my five kids were young and living under my roof, I outfitted my home with kid-friendly fixtures and used furniture. No matter how hard I tried to keep the house looking clean and tidy, a certain level of craziness, disorganization, and mess came with the young family years. I regularly swapped out our furniture for newer used pieces, and the carpet was always a bit stained. Bathrooms were never as tidy as I liked, and the laundry was always piled high. Let’s not even think about the number of toys that were always underfoot!
Now that the kids are grown and gone, I can have the lovely pieces of brand-new furniture that my heart has always desired. When the grandkids are here, the delightful mess of young children comes with them – toys are strewn about, and occasionally something spills, but not at the same rate of frequency that it happened when I had five kids (and their friends) in my home 24/7.
I am finally in the phase of life where I get to enjoy my grandkids just for being kids, and I have the time to clean up after the oopsies and spills with love and patience. At the end of the day, when the little ones go home to mom and dad, I can restore order, tuck the toys away, straighten the pillows on the sofa, and feel the peace that comes with an orderly space and quiet calm.
4. Your Grandkids Don’t Push Your Buttons the Way Your Kids Did
When I had young kids at home, I felt like I was always on guard to remain calm, keep cool, not raise my voice, and get through the day. This level of stress is natural when you have several kids who are constantly pushing your buttons. The thing is, kids push buttons to get a reaction from you. Perhaps they need some of your time or attention or subconsciously want to test how much control they have over your behaviors.
When you’re the grandparent, kids just don’t have the same need or desire to push your buttons. They are likely getting plenty of attention from you already. When I have my grandkids over, the rest of my world gets put to the side. I am in the moment in a way that I never had the time or ability to be when my kids were growing. When they leave at the end of their visit, I know that I can go back to the all-important chore list and be productive again. But while I have them, I can focus on them and them only. When I can meet their need for all of my time and attention, they don’t have a need to push my buttons to get my attention.
Don’t get me wrong; button pushing will inevitably happen at times. The good news is when it does, you can take a deep breath and know that this is just a visit, and soon it will be time to send the little loves on home to their parents!
Are you about to be a grandparent for the first time? Read Trendy or Traditional? What Grandma Name Will You Choose?
5. Being a Grandma Means You Get to say YES!
Not only do you “get” to spoil your grandkids, but it is also your job to spoil them! Part of the fun of spoiling them is to say yes to things when you would have said no to your children. Think back to when you were parenting your kids. Chances are, you were counting pennies a lot more closely than you are now. You were a whole lot more likely to say NO than yes when it came to the extras.
Now, as a grandparent, you get to indulge in some of those extras. Maybe it’s a second cookie or a quarter for the silly machine near the entrance to the grocery store. My grandson knows that whenever he goes to the store with me while I run errands, we always make a run through the toy department to choose something fun and new. I remember the days when I would avoid passing anywhere near the toy aisle for fear that my kids would want something new, and it just wasn’t in my budget for the week.
It was hard to say no, and I felt I did it so often. With my grandson, I can say yes and enjoy it. Not only is this good for me, but I like to think it is a little extra help for my kids, too. One less thing for them to buy. And I am super fortunate that my kids have never done anything to make me feel I’m stepping out of line here. They have been kind and appreciative of these grandma gestures.
Wrapping It Up!
Being a grandmother is a promotion from being a mom. But there is one last bonus that comes with grandchildren that is all about you as a mom. It is so rewarding to see your kids become adults and learn to nurture and care for their children. It swells my mom-heart to see my sweet little boy all grown up and wearing a big ole beard, cradling his newborn baby and patting her bottom with the ease of a good dad.
I also get the joy of watching my kids begin to understand and respect the challenges that I faced as a parent. In their own way, they are learning how tricky relationships can be, why we said NO so much, and even why bedtime was such a strict rule in our house. There’s no doubt about it; becoming a grandma is a unique and enriching experience worth all the trials of being a mom!
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