Monday, 28 March 2016

we're not our grandmothers - no we're so much more!

we midlifers are reinventing middle age - we are young, bright and vibrant!
picture shared from Zen to Zany facebook page
A friend of mine shared a picture to my facebook wall the other day saying that she thought of me when she saw this photo and quote. It took me a bit of sleuthing and research to find where it originated, but eventually I tracked it down to Zen to Zany on facebook - where there was a myriad of interesting artworks and quotes.

Anita Opper, the owner of the page is the person in the photo and she was a new grandmother at the time it was taken. I loved how fresh and vibrant she looks, how un-grandmotherly looking she is, how downright cool she is. I was extremely flattered that my friend could see something of me in what this picture and quote were saying.......basically we are NOT our mothers or grandmothers - we are re-defining this whole stage of life and I think we are rocking it!

I've mentioned previously (here) that I'm going to be a grandmother for the first time in April - it's very exciting to think a new little human being is coming into our family for us to love and spoil. I can't wait to meet her (yes she's a little girl) and I'm even stepping out of my comfort zone and throwing a pink party/afternoon tea for them when they come to visit at Easter - my alternative to a traditional baby shower.

Below is a picture of my grandmother taken when I was a baby. She is probably 5-10 years younger than I am (my parents were very young when they had me) and she's dressed quite stylishly for the occasion. Despite that, she still seems older than I feel - is that because I'm living in cloud cuckoo land or is it that we are indeed younger now in our outlook and appearance than women were 50 years ago? 

we're not our grandmothers - no we're so much more!
My nana - with her first grandchild - me!
There is so much more to our lives now than she had in her day. My nana stopped work when she married and was a housewife, a mother and a grandmother. She never had a drivers licence or a car of her own, she caught the bus to town once a week and my grandfather drove her to the shops. She never aspired to more and seemed happy with her fairly small world. It's SO different now, my friends and I are becoming grandmothers and that is just a small part of our diverse lives.

We are in our 50's and changing jobs, learning new skills, travelling, blogging, playing sport, running (well some of us are...), savouring the empty nest, rediscovering our husbands, meeting new people and enjoying our friendships. A grandbaby adds another element to all of this, but it's not the sole focus of who we are. No, we are women in our own right - independent, sassy, ready with an answer to any question, and doing our utmost to make the most out of this season of life.

We are the new generation of Nanas, Grandmas, Omas, Mimis, or whatever we choose to be called - what a blessing to have so much to offer those grandchildren of ours when they join our extended family. 


42 comments:

  1. That's so true, Leanne.
    Grandparents were before expected to stay home, take care of their grandchildren and basically wait for their time to "come".
    Now we see people act, living healthier and developing themselves.
    It's a good time to be a grandparent for sure!

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    1. we are just so fortunate to have so many more opportunities available to us - it keeps us relevant and I think younger in our outlook too Deb.

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  2. Think of all our Grandmothers had to do. I look at pictures of my mine and wonder why she looked so old in her early 60's, but then my mother tells me stories of how she would be up before everyone, cook them a hot breakfast, wash the dishes by hand, if it was winter, she would actually shovel more snow onto their sled run (so the kids could stay outside, there was no television when my mother grew up.) She cooked all of the meals, cleaned the house and stayed up until my grandfather got home from his restaurant and then did the books for him. She didn't hit the bed until at least 2am, but was up before 6. I'd look the same way too.

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    1. I know Jennifer - my grandmother had a wringer washer and then a twin tub that was a "luxury" - their lives were so confined by the need to do chores and be the wife and mother - we have so much freedom in comparison.

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  3. Oh I adore this sentiment and am immediately sending it to my own mother.
    <3

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    1. thanks Carla - I think each generation is getting better at keeping a piece of themselves, rather than being completely absorbed by the housework and childcare. I'm loving this stage of life (without all those extra chores)

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  4. I didn't know my grandmother but I've seen pictures (not nearly as stylish as yours, btw!) but I looked around when my first grand was born three years ago and concluded we "grands" are not our mother's grandmother. (Not that there's anything wrong with her.) Coincidentally, I blogged about this topic yesterday and it was actually featured on the Huffington Post at this link. (I hope posting this here is okay. If not I'll understand if you delete.) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-drezon-carroll/outdated-image-of-grandparents_b_9488776.html

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    1. I don't mind you putting it there at all Debby and I'll have to pop across and read it - funny when you both land on a topic at the same time :) we are definitely in a different ballpark to our grandmothers though!

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  5. My granddaughter will be five on April 5th and must confess... I was not thrilled to add the title "grandma" to my name.
    But you are right... grandmas come in a variety of sizes, styles, and personalities.
    I have now learned to embrace this new chapter in love - and I cherish the relationship I have with my sweet granddaughter and look forward to other little grand-blessings in the future.

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    1. It's all about the grandbabies in the end - I can't wait to meet ours and I think we are setting a whole new image for grandmas and nanas - we'll be grooving into our 80's!

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  6. I do agree that women today look younger than our mother's generation did at the same age. Congrats to you on the new arrival!
    Carol Cassara
    http://carolcassara.com/advance-directive/

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    1. thanks Carol - 4 weeks and counting - we can't wait!

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  7. Congratulations Leanne to your family and to your new title and status. A girl, how wonderful! After my Mother became a Grandmother she always said if she could have bypassed being a Mother and go straight to being a Grandmother she would have. She was a good Mom but she really was a terrific grandmother!

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    1. that's a reassuring thought Haralee - I'm not sure how I'll go but I hope any grandbabies will love me like I love them x

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  8. Love the picture of your grandmother. We do have much more to do with our lives these days. But I think all grandmoms have extra special patience and make time for their grandchildren. You must be so excited about your little granddaugher!

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    1. It will be wonderful to see her when she arrives - less than 4 weeks to go Corinne and it is quite an exciting thought (I think our daughter-in-law will be glad to have her out too!)

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  9. Wonderful post Leanne. Although I'm not a grandma yet, my friends that are look and act so different than their grandma's did. It's an exciting time. Congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy!

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    1. thanks Nancy - I can't believe that I'm at that next stage - I feel like it was only yesterday that my kids were teenagers - but time waits for no woman :) and a baby will be lovely.

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  10. I often wonder what my grandmother would have been like if she were born in another time! Funny how when we were born defines what colors fill our lives. Congratulations on soon to be new addition to your life!

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    1. thanks Ruth - it is interesting to think about what they could have achieved if they had more scope - I think they did more than we realize (we were only kids looking on) but even so it is wonderful living in these days of opportunity.

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  11. I agree. I think our grandmothers were older in spirit/body/mind then we are. I suppose it was the 'times'. Can you imagine how that will change for that new little baby girl of yours when it's her time to enter Midlife? Very exciting! And CONGRATS!!!

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    1. I hadn't thought about the next generation of grandmothers - they will probably think how lucky they are to have all the things we don't even know exist yet!

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  12. Neither of my grandmothers ever wore pants. NEVER! Yes, we are very different!

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    1. can you imagine not being able to wear pants! My wardrobe would be very depleted.....and mine wore stockings all the time too (ugh!)

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  13. I am not a mother, but my husband's seven (and as we learned just yesterday - soon to be eight) grandchildren know me as Grandma Gigi and I claim them as my own. I know it is very different, given that I wasn't a Mom, but being a new step-grandma at 46 was a surprising jolt for my self-image. I feel so very lucky to have been born when I was so that we can age with so many more options than were available to either of my grandmothers. Congratulations to you and I look forward to more stories about your entry into grandmotherhood!

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    1. thanks so much Ligeia - and I think being a grandmother of the heart is just as important as the blood connection. I think having a young step-grandma would be amazing. We are truly blessed to have so much of our lives still open to us and with the added love of grandbabies thrown in!

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  14. Love this blog! Frankly, I thought my Mom was ancient when she was in her 50's. Women today are younger, healthier and more vibrant than our counter parts from days gone by. That said, I adored my Grandmother. She was truly GRAND!

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    1. thanks so much for the love Ellen! I think 50 today is so much more vibrant and youthful than it was in previous generations - (my mum may disagree) I think it's because we have so many extra parts to our lives and we just keep getting better - grandbabies are just the icing on the cake!

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  15. First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on soon becoming a grandmother! There is truly NOTHING like it.

    Your post rings oh so true for me. As a grandma blogger (GrandmasBriefs.com), I have seen so many vibrant grandmothers around the web rocking the grandma gig — and not from a rocker. We're a force to be reckoned with, a new generation redefining the role. (Now if only Google and advertisers would get it. Have you ever Googled "grandma" and seen the ridiculously outdated photos that come up? Grrr...!)

    Again, congrats!

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    1. I know Lisa - they still haven't caught up with how fabulous we all are! Thanks so much for the congrats and for popping over - it's lovely to know that I'm joining another club (first it was midlife women and now I get to add the grandma/nana club into the mix)

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  16. I look at old family photos and can't believe how much older my grandmother and mother looked in their 60s than I do (and it's not magical/delusional thinking on my part!). We boomers have redefined/set a new standard for so many aspects of life; aging is just one more. And I think we're doing a fabulous job!

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    1. I think we're rocking it to Roxanne - no grey hair (or blue rinses - my nana had one of those!) no stockings or house dresses, and we only play bowls if it's fun. I'm loving this life :)

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  17. Congrats, Leanne. My Mom was not your "normal" Mom in some ways - she was in her late 30's when I came along in 1952. So was my Dad. And so I was I, and neither of my parents were alive to become grandparents. An aunt and uncle were in their 80's when they became grandparents! So the world is so much different now. Meantime, I wonder when it will be my turn to be a grandparent. I do look forward to it. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. I think it's all about attitude Alana - if you are young at heart then you avoid the stereotypes that worn out, bent over grandparents of bygone eras portrayed. We'll be down in the sandpit making castles and not watching from the sidelines :)

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  18. You have described exactly how I feel! I have 2 grandchildren who have added so much joy to my life. But you are right, being a grandmother is just one piece of who I am. Just a few more weeks and your new little granddaughter will be here. Congratulations! Tweeted, Stumbled & G+

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    1. thanks so much Cathy - I think that you sum it up beautifully by saying it's just one piece of who we are. I don't want it to be the defining of my life from now on - just an added bonus.

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  19. Congratulations! I can't wait to be a grandma and hope to be as beloved to my grandkids as my mom is to hers!

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    1. me either Lois - I think we'll be rocking this grandma thing and our grandkids are going to love having such fun grandies to visit :)

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  20. I'm gonna be ancient when my kids have kids. I was almost forty when my last was born...but still planning on rocking it.

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    1. you'll be amazing! The older you are the more you can break the mold!

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  21. I'm so amazed by my "in our 40s" high school friends who are grandmothers multiple times over. Our grandparents looked older than we do now. This gives me hope for when I become a grandmother in a few years. Thanks for sharing your post at the Over the Moon Link Party.

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  22. The love you will feel for your granddaughter will out weigh everything else. I still want to lead my own life and do my own things of course. You know the saying, "Spoil then and then send them him." There is just something about grands.

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