Grandma Has a Life

If you’ve read here, even for a short time, you know of my deep love for my family.  I LURVS THEM!

When I’m with any of them, they have my full attention.  I’m all in, making every moment count.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’ve lived long enough to know that things can change in a moment and that which we take for granted, like spending time with loved ones, can change in a nano second. So, I cherish the time we do get and you won’t find me distracted or wishing I was doing anything else.

But, uh, Grandma has a life.

YEAH, SHE DOES!

Up until now, since the week Sweet E was born, I have been taken aback by those who question how I can stand to be away from Sweet E for any length of time.  What’s stopping me from being there all the time?  Am I making plans to move closer?  Is it the hardest thing I’ve done? Why aren’t you there right now?

I imagine myself as they must see me: blinking rapidly, while taking in the barrage, trying to process exactly what was being asked, because the questions were obviously deeper than face-value.

How, indeed?

Well.  Um.  I.  Uh.

Dadgum-it, I have a life, people.  I have a life here, separate from all that warm wonderfulness that is my grandson and his mom and dad.

Their turn to blink and process.

Is having a delicious new grandbaby reason to abandon my Husband, dog and life?  Yes.  Yes, it is.  Will I?  No. No, I won’t.

I find it interesting that these are same folks who used to ask me how I could stand to home school because Boy and I spent lots of time together with no back-to-school breaks for me.  These are the same folks that asked me if I was relieved when Boy went out of town for college.  These are the same folks who insisted I separate more of my life from my child’s as he was growing up.

I find it all very bizarre.

For the record: I loved and would never change the time I spent raising and teaching my son, yet his father and I had a clear goal we kept at the forefront while we charged forward: Get Boy to the place where he can care and be responsible for himself in this world.  For him to be able to stand on his own two feet would be the very best we could do by him, as parents.  Once he arrived at that legendary place, we stepped back and let him make his way, just as we made ours.  In other words, we let go, but didn’t say goodbye.

I’d like to think we did a fine job.

When Boy set off on his own, we remained a close-knit family, yet we were all aware that he needed his space to discover his road.  As his parents, we visited, called and kept in touch, yet always aware of what was transpiring: he was finding his way.

When Boy married Girl, we took the same approach: stay close enough to enjoy, yet allow them their privacy as they knit themselves together as one without outside interference.

Now, with that crazy adorable grandbaby?  More of the same, except with lots more fun.

Husband and I felt our foremost responsibilities as parents were to love, teach, nurture, then let fly.  We did have a kiddo-centric life when Boy was younger, but we loosened our grip with every birthday, until he was ready to flap those wings and GO!

We feel the same now.  We have an important role, but it’s not to parent or hover or intrude.  It’s to love and encourage and joy in the circle of life.

Yes, it’s tough living 5-hours away from that sweet pea. Yes, I’d love to see Boy and Girl with more regularity.

But, Grandma has a life.  A life I love.

We have raised our baby.  We have walked our parental path.  It’s time to say adios to that Tilt-A-Whirl and get ready for the new ride.

We are entering into an era of pure fun and love with very little of the responsibility that Boy and Girl will shoulder.  It’s as it should be.

As we eased into a new reality when Boy went off to college, leaving us with an empty nest and new opportunities, so have we eased into a new reality as grandparents. This reality does not include making their lives, ours.  Nobody, most of all them, wants that.

Will I rearrange my schedule if they need me?  Hell, yes.  Will I make sure they have what they need, if asked?  Affirmative.  Will I drop everything and race to the computer for a Skype session?  Every. Single. Time.

I also have goals, projects, responsibilities and aspirations that would have been impossible to tackle with a child.  My home is here, just as theirs is there.

So, nope.  I won’t be following them wherever they may go, but my love will.  Always.

Some things you can change as a mother; other things remain the same, always and forever.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Grandma’s got a life, baby!

Grandma Has a Life

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Comments

  1. Beautifully written!

  2. I love this post and I love that you are able to have your own life and start a new chapter for yourself. I see so many grandparents actually raising their grandchildren full time and they look miserable at times. Heck, grandparents already paid their dues. My mom lives about 2 hours away and I would love it if she lived closer, but that just means we cherish our short time together more.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Thanks, Michelle. As it is, I wish they lived closer; I’d love to see them more regularly in person instead of thru Skype. But, we deal with what we have. I love all aspects of my life (especially the mom/grandmom parts) and just thought I’d speak to it.

  3. Exactly! I LOVE the times we get to spend with my girls and their girls, and wish there were more of them! but I have a bunch of other things I am doing too…

  4. I had to laugh at this one because truthfully yes I love to see them COME and I also love to see them GO…!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Ha! Funny how we mourn our quiet house when they first move out and then become totally adjusted to the peace.

  5. Wow! What a great post!

    Thank you so much for linking it up at recipesforourdailybread.com/2013/12/31/1st-wonderful-wednesday-blog-hop-2014/.
    Blessings and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    Diane Roark

  6. Fabulous as always xx

  7. I get the same comments! People seem totally confused at how I can stand spending so much time with the kids… but when the oldest went off and clearly needed her space, and we gave it to her, we had people accusing us of being neglectful parents! Um… no, she was an adult. Same people can’t figure out how we’re so close now that she’s found her footing in life.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      I think that closeness allows our children the strength to forge their own path. They know we’re still right where they left us, ready to support when needed, yet willing to allow them some space. Space doesn’t equate abandonment. It’s a gift from parent to child; an acknowledgement that we trust they’re ready to fly! Thanks for coming by. I love hearing what you guys add to the conversation.

  8. What a perfect description of being a good Mom and a good Grandma. Kid-focused when young and necessary, with gradually releasing time, attention and responsibility as kid grows up. Love it! and the reminder that Grandma is still active in the world, after all.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Thank you, Carol. Isn’t it the hardest job you’ll ever have?! Once we get to the part where we can’t bear the idea of them leaving, if we’re open to the change, a whole new life is available to us. Life is good! Grandma has a life, baby!

  9. You are an inspiration! Right now I’m homeschooling 5 and living a VERY kidcentric life. I’m sure when they’re gone I’ll miss them but I don’t intend to fill my days with TV and waiting for them to visit. Thanks for sharing via Family Fun Friday.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Whoa…an inspiration! I don’t get called that often, so let me soak it in for a minute. OK, all done. Thanks!

      You will totally miss them; I still miss Boy and love when he comes home. But, having a life outside of the kiddos is always a good idea. I felt it has made me a better mom and maybe a more interesting person to my son…or not…either way, I needed it and have no regrets.

      Enjoy the time you have with those bandits. As you already know, they grow to dadgum fast.

  10. I love this reminder! My mother-in-law lives here in town and has been SO involved with helping us raise our kid, she’s practically his third parent. But she has a life too! 🙂 I try never to take advantage thinking she’s going to be available to babysit at the drop of a hat, I always ask first. People blinked and did a double-take when they found out we were paying her, when she was his full-time nanny, and we were like “Well it’s a JOB!” And we were lucky enough we could afford to make it work for all of us. Grandkids are great but everyone needs their own space too!

  11. AMEN! I’ve never thought I was wrong not to make my grandkids the be all and end all of my life, but I have wondered if that didn’t make me more than a little odd. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. By the way, I love the way you used “joy” as a verb;

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