However, I think grandparents do have a responsibility to their children and their children’s children. Whether or not you agree with the ways your children are raising their children, as a grandparent I believe you have the obligation to try to abide by those parenting decisions (unless of course the way they are raising them is a threat to the child). Of course, you bend the rules slightly from time to time, but never throwing their rules completely out the window. So taking this sense of responsibility on board, it means that there are still some important aspects of being a parent involved in being a grandparent.
I have two granddaughters, and it has been my pleasure to spoil them in ways that I was financially unable to do when my own children were little, such as heading to Pumpkin Patch with my littlest granddaughter, or shopping for a new wardrobe for my teenage granddaughter. But what I love best, is the little things, things which I also tried to do with my children but which were not always possible having four of varying ages, each with varying needs. Things like reading them stories from when they were really little, giving them lots and lots of cuddles – just one on one with no one else begging for your attention. Chatting to my eldest grand-daughter on the phone, letting her have someone to confide in – and respecting her wishes and privacy but also being an advocate for her if there is something she finds it hard to talk to her mother about.
Then there is the love of your grandchildren – their love for you and your love for them. Because you are not the parent, not the disciplinarian 24/7, grandchildren see you as fun, as a change to their routine, as someone who loves them unconditionally. There is not the fight for place that goes on in a family as children grow and parents begin to lose some of their authority.
As a mother I loved my children (and still do) with all my heart and soul – as a Grandma I have somehow found an even bigger and more special love – a connection that I am privileged to have experienced.
Being a mother was one of the best things that ever happened in my life, being a Grandma is the cream on the top.
Read more of my Mum’s musings on her blog, Menopausal Mumma. Thank you, Mum, for being our rock through the ups and the downs of life. We love you xxx