Grandmas Finally Get to Be the Funmeisters

by Donne Davis on January 24, 2012

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I have a lot of empathy for today’s moms. They seem to have way more stress in their lives than we did when we were raising them. Take Glennon Melton, for example. She wrote a post on Huff Post Parents, Don’t Carpe Diem, that really resonated. She complained that “well-meaning old ladies keep telling her to enjoy every moment because time goes by so fast” and that makes her feel worse. Then she feels guilty for not being in a state of gratitude and ecstasy.

I don’t know why old ladies have to sugar coat their memories of motherhood and say they loved every moment. I, for one, have an awful lot of memories of wanting to tear my hair out and run screaming from the house after a long day with my kids. I used to joke that on the first day of school after summer vacation, the cheers of moms could be heard ’round the world!

When some of my grandma friends complain that their daughters and daughters-in-law are too serious and don’t have enough fun, I say “cut ‘em some slack.” How can they lighten up when they have the weight of the world on their shoulders? They have more choices and decisions to make about raising their children than any previous generation. They’re trying so hard to give their kids all the best opportunities, it’s no wonder they have little energy left for fun!

Moms, let me reassure you, we grandmas are happy to take that role off your hands. We’re thrilled to finally have the chance to be the FunMeister. Becoming a grandma reignites our energetic sense of fun and gets our creative juices flowing. We have more energy to be lighthearted and, more importantly, we are not the ones responsible for raising the children. We can let them get away with a lot more—unless we really are responsible for raising our grandchildren. And then that’s a whole different story.

We can play the entertainer because, at the end of the day, we know we can go home, sleep late the next morning, take a yoga class, or go for a walk. Moms, on the other hand, have to be at the helm everyday, which makes it difficult to factor in fun.

I recently spent 12 hours taking care of my two granddaughters, ages 8 and 4. I’d never watched them all by myself before and I must admit, I was a little worried I’d get tired or run out of things to do. Our day included:

  • singing songs
  • playing the piano
  • having a tea party and egg hunt with dolls
  • making cupcakes and decorating them
  • coloring and pasting an art project
  • playing hide and seek
  • attending an origami workshop at the library
  • having dinner at our favorite pizza parlor
  • taking a bath and getting ready for bed—which made Mama very happy when she came home.

Throughout the day, I focused all my attention on my granddaughters and was totally present with them, another luxury most moms don’t have. I took pictures of our activities to show my daughter. When I look at the photos, I’m surprised by my own energy. But I remind myself that I didn’t have any other responsibilities that day except to enjoy and entertain my granddaughters. I didn’t have to do laundry, shop for groceries, pay bills, clean the house, walk the dog, or any of the multitudes of things moms do all day, everyday. I could truly savor every moment.

So let’s hear it for all you hardworking mothers of our grandchildren. We are so grateful to you for giving us the chance to be the FunMeisters! And, if any of you old ladies read this, please don’t lay on a guilt trip when you see a young mom. Just tell her she’s doing a great job!


Deborah Davis January 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Thanks for being a great mom and grandma!

Susan Adcox January 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Great post! I did have the luxury of staying home with my children when they were preschool age, and it seems that few moms today get to do that. No wonder that they are chronically tired and stressed. Yes, they definitely deserve kudos for what they do instead of criticism for not being more “joyous.”

Connie January 26, 2012 at 8:22 am

I don’t remember the stress I see my kids having except I do remember trying to get out the door for school on time. I love being a Gramma and having time and PATIENCE to do things with the kids for the 10th, 20th, or 100th time if they want to just because it’s fun for them. Or going for a walk and stopping to smell all the flowers along the way.

Yes it’s great to be ‘present’ as you put it and then going home with some great memories.

Grams January 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

I remember feeling completely overwhelmed my having two babies. I really enjoy being able to help alleviate some of that for my daughter. I can usually drop everything and go take care of them if one of them is sick and can’t go to day care. A short two hour drive puts me there so their mom can go to work.

I also really enjoy doing the fun things with them. They’re still little so we don’t do many crafts yet, but we often go to the park or playground. I’m looking forward to doing more and more with them as they grow.

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