Grandparents-why they are so important!
It takes a village!
To raise a child.
I remember my grandparents. My mother’s mom was pretty old and I did not have a lot to do with. My dad’s mom was pretty tired raising two different families but she always remembered my birthday.
My parents were in their own world however my dad always made sure he had time for the kids when he saw them and my mom battling with her own stuff, she did the best she could. Everyone does the best they can at the time they are going through things.
So why is it such a priority to me to be part of my grandchildren’s lives. Because I chose them and they chose me.
And they matter.
I have 5 grandchildren and I am very clear I am part of the village that raises these children. I am not the absentee grandparent that is on survival mode.
And my children never abuse that. My one daughter usually will check my calendar to make sure I am even available before asking me to look after the children. And I do not just watch them, I teach them. Three of these little people spend the night quite often and they already know at 5 years of age what ingredients to get out to make pancakes for breakfast. I love having them all and when I can I make the time.
From when they were born, I have had some very key rules for me that I adhere to as grandmama, also known as nana.
- I am not the mama, I am the grandmother. What goes on in their house and how they want to raise the kids is their business, not mine. If they want to raise the children vegan, that is their choice, not up to me to judge. If they want to go to a Catholic school, again not my choice. If they choose to bottlefeed baby, that is their choice, not mine.
- Let go of all judgments. Here is what judgment looks like. Cleaning the kitchen without being asked. Making food without being asked, disciplining the children without being asked.
- I do not break their trust. I support.
- I watch who and what is around the children at all times. And I do what the mama and papa ask.
- Do not judge. Judging will get you banned from the house. If you do not like the partner, shut up if you want to ever see the kids. I listened to one grandparent tell the partner that if he watched what he ate, life would be easier for him. And they wondered why they were not welcome in the house.
- Love, love, love all of them. I have witnessed 30 years of silence due to judgment. Families have a hard enough time.
If you do say something that is not correct, clean it up. Why would anyone be nice to you if you are not nice to them?
A great rule of thumb for all conversations but particularly one of a family kind.
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?
Is it true?
While you may not agree with all of this, one thing I truly listen to is my children. I want a relationship with them. I want to be part of their lives. My upbringing with regards to family certainly did not nurture that and my children had a lot of chaos around them as well. My job as grandparent is to bring about peace to them, be an aid to them, and to simply be a positive support to them.
My Grandma Lynne(I was unoffically adopted by her) and my mother in law Helen Ropp were two of the best teachers of how to be a grandma. They both simply joined the home and supported me and Dad. Great role models of whom I miss very much.