BEING A GRANDMOTHER IS THE BEST KEPT SECRET

Why didn't anybody tell me how wonderful being a grandmother would be?

THE BEST KEPT SECRET

Nobody tells you how wonderful being a grandmother is. I don't remember anyone saying to me "it's amazing being a Grandma/Nana!" I had no idea grandchildren brought so much joy into this stage of life.....until I had my own.

Why is it such a well kept secret? Is it because we'd be pressuring our children into producing some grandbabies for us to love if we knew how much fun they were going to be? I probably would have started hinting much earlier in the piece if I'd known how delightful it would be to have a grandchild to love.

GRANDDAUGHTERS

Our son and daughter-in-law were kind enough to have a little girl, Sophia, in April 2016, and they have just brought her baby sister, Georgia, into the world a month ago. We live an hour and a half's drive away, and each time we couldn't wait to meet them. These tiny little bundles that aren't ours, but at the same time feel like ours. They are a part of my husband and a part of me - as well as being parts of their parents and their other grandparents.

Sophia and little Georgia
We lament the fact that we don't get to see them more than once a month or so, but when we do get to visit - or they came to visit us, the time we have together is longer and more precious. Seeing our first granddaughter grow from a little baby into a toddler and then into a two year old has been so special. As a grandparent you get to enjoy all the easy parts of children without the tiredness and tedium that are part and parcel of parenting.

ENJOYING THE BEST BITS

I have very few clear memories of my own children as babies and toddlers because I was so sleep deprived. They were a huge part of my life and I think we did a pretty darn good job of raising them (they've certainly turned out to be very fine human beings) but it's a bit of a blur trying to remember all the little stages of their early years.

With grandchildren it's different, you're wide awake and anticipating the time you get to spend with them. You notice how much they've changed since you saw them last. You are greeted at the door with delight and smiles and excitement. To hear Sophia saying Nan! Nan! Nan! brings such a smile to my face. To chase around after her, or to sit and play little games is so easy when there are no other demands on my time.

The proud granparents with our grandgirls

TWO LITTLE GRANDGIRLS

Now there is a second baby to love and spoil (yes, I get told that I never spoiled my children but I'm a pushover when it comes to Sophia - and will be with Georgia too I'm sure!) and life just keeps getting better. Two little girls are going to be calling me Nan, and two little girls are going to give me squishy hugs and wet kisses. I have two little girls in my life who are being parented so well and behave so beautifully. I'm so proud of our son and daughter-in-law and the job they're doing to raise them with love and discipline.

I'm not sure why I wasn't told that being a Nan would be almost as wonderful as being a Mum. Maybe people said it and I didn't believe them? Now I shout it from the rooftops and I will be forever grateful that these two little darlings are part of our family. I've discovered a whole new side to myself, a part of me that is just theirs - and I love that it feels like a reward and a blessing for all that's led up to this moment in time.

Now I just have to convince our daughter and son-in-law that it's their turn! No luck so far, but my motto is "never say never!"

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you a grandparent? Did you know it was going to be so much fun, or was it a big surprise for you too? Aren't grandbabies just the best?!



Why didn't anybody tell me how wonderful being a grandmother would be?

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55 comments

  1. You know, I think you're right Leanne, and I don't know why either!! I also don't recall ever being told what a wonderful thing it is to be a grandmother, although I'm aware that my mum and my stepmum very much enjoyed their small (and not-so-small) grandchildren, and still absolutely enjoy their grandchildren - of all ages, from not-yet-born to in their 30s - even now. So while I'm not one yet, I'm certainly looking forward to being a nana one day in the not-too-distant future. I love what you said, that there is "a part of me that is just theirs" - that's really special, isn't it? You have certainly been blessed with two gorgeous grandgirls, and their parents are indeed doing a great job of raising them xx

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    1. You're going to love being a Nana Sue - I think that grandchildren are the reward for all the effort we put into our kids. I don't think we truly grasp the whole idea of family legacy until our children have children of their own - and just how lovely a grandchild is - all the fun and no pain :)

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  2. This is such a sweet post. I know my in-laws and parents feel the same as they really dote on my kids x #AnythingGoes

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    1. I don't remember my parents being so in love with my kids as I am with my grandgirls Rosie - maybe it's become more fun these days than it was back then - make the most of those doting grandparents you have at your disposal :)

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  3. The girls are gorgeous! My Mother always said if she could have by-passed being a Mother and go straight to being a Grand Mother, she would have! Of course she was right!

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    1. I'm not sure why they capture our hearts so completely Haralee - maybe it's the fact that there's all the good stuff and none of the hard yards? Your mum is very wise!

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  4. My mom always said, "If I knew how much fun grandchildren would be, I'd have had them first!"
    There's nothing quite like it. You're not on the leading edge anymore, so you can meander along in the sidelines with hugs and kisses. And candy! Grandparenting is your reward for parenting! ;)

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    1. It would have been rather a shock to our system to have our kids second Diane - we'd have been left reeling after thinking they'd be as easy as grandkids! I'll take my time with the grandgirls as a gift for all the sleepless nights and discipline that went into their father before them :)

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  5. OMG, Leanne. Your grandchildren could not be cuter. Lucky you! I think I'm a few years away from this event, but still can't wait.

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    1. They are sweet aren't they Laurie? You're going to have so much joy once those boys of yours provide you with a few of your own :)

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  6. I just LOVE this Leanne, so up my alley at the moment as you know. That photo of Sophia and Georgia is just gorgeous, what a couple of happy little cuties! Everyone I mix with has been banging on for ages about their grandkids and making me look at photos every other minute but I finally get it now, it is a most precious time in our lives and we are so lucky. I was given a book to write memories and stories for Emilia and it's fun telling our stories and writing about how I felt when I first saw her. Things I may forget in the future but at the moment are so clear and lovely. What a beautiful post and I agree with you!! I would have had them first if I knew how much I'd enjoy it :) Maybe it's because we're free-er now and not so involved, being a new mother was an amazing time in my life but now I'm older and wiser perhaps. I'm definitely not feeling so overwhelmed as I did as new young mother and I can offer help if asked. It also brings me back to thinking of how my grandmother may have felt when I was born and my daughter is going to have that very chat with her grandmother today when she sees her. A delight to read, thank you from this very new and emotional grandma :) Debbie from Debs-world.com

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    1. I think you were exactly the same as me Deb - you knew that you'd love them, but not what a special place in your heart that they take up! I get so much pleasure from my visits to see them - and I don't remember my kids being excited to see me when they were little - I was part of the wallpaper of their life - whereas I'm special when I visit the girls. It's so lovely watching your children parent well and to be able to sit back and smile and enjoy the snuggles.
      I love the idea of writing your memories down - they slide away so quickly don't they?

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  7. What a wonderful post, Leanne. Sophia and Georgia are absolutely gorgeous. I had been told about this "secret" much earlier...but I never really understood it until I held my grandchildren in my arms!

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    1. I think that was probably what happened with me too Donna - people talked about grandchildren, but I never really understood how special they were until I got to meet mine :)

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  8. My husband and I don't have children. If somehow we could have figured out how to have grandchildren, though, we probably would have. Your granddaughters are so cute (but you probably already knew that :) ).

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    1. If there was a secret to skipping all the hard work and commitment of parenting and just sliding into the lovely stage of being a grandparent we'd all want to know it Janis. I've wondered at times about all the effort and sacrifice that goes into parenting well - and it's nice to have a little reward for all those years of investing ourselves in our kids. I'm sure you'll manage to snuggle a great niece or nephew or two in the years ahead.

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  9. Maybe it's a cultural difference? I feel like, in the States, people rave about being grandparents, and sometimes people who are currently parents even joke about having kids just so they can be grandparents down the road. At least, I hope they are joking.

    When I married a man whose oldest was already in his early 20s - older than any of my nieces and nephews - someone joked that, for not having kids, I might turn out to be the first grandparent of my siblings! Not yet.

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    1. Aussies definitely aren't as full on as Americans Red, so maybe we downplay things more down here? I think you've hit the jackpot of skipping all the hard yards of parenting and just sliding into cuddling grandkids - smart move my dear!

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  10. Such a sweet post, Leanne. Sophia and Georgia are so cute. I'm not a grandma yet but I can see how much love you have for your granddaughters. #MLSTL

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    1. It just seeps into your heart Natalie - completely unexpected and that's half of the beauty of it :)

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  11. Hi Leanne, your little granddaughters are so adorable and perhaps arranged marriages might be the go with my two grandsons LOL:) I agree that nothing prepares you for the love you feel when you grandchild is born. I just adore my two grandsons and Ethan has taught me so much during his 4 years. I'm lucky to live nearby so can share fun times with them and I just love the special bond we have. I'm sharing on social media and congratulations!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond. #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Sue - I can definitely see an arranged marriage or two working nicely :) Your grandsons are just gorgeous and I know the joy you get from spending time with them - we're so blessed to have these young people as part of our lives and it's only going to keep getting better :)

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  12. You have two cuties for grandchildren (although, I'm sure your children were cuties too!) When I was growing up, my parents were already grandparents to kids that were my age. So they didn't spoil them. But the grandchildren that came after got double and triple doses of spoilage to make up for it. They went on long road trips, to every single miniature golf place in the state, on vacations with them. Ask and it was done because my father, especially, was a pushover for his grandchildren. #MLSTL

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    1. My husband has turned out to be a wonderful grandfather too Jennifer - so different to my own dad who had very little to do with my kids and never kept up with what interested them - it was the standing joke with my kids that their grandfather was always at least 10 years behind and never knew what they were studying or doing - I'm so glad my grandgirls won't have that as an example of grandparenting! It was his loss though.

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  13. Oh I got a bit teary reading this post Leanne. I'm such an emotional thing sometimes! Your grandchildren are so beautiful! It's wonderful that you get such joy from them. The early days of when my kids were little is rather blurry too. I was very much sleep deprived and exhausted a lot of the time. I'm not a grandparent yet. I hope one day I will be. I absolutely adore babies and little children. I think that having little people in my life AND still getting adequate sleep will be wonderful! :-) xo

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    1. I think that's the magic secret Min - the fact that you have a full night's sleep and all your faculties intact when you're with them. It certainly increases your patience and it's fun to do silly things in small doses - as opposed to being in charge and making sure that they're disciplined and doing all the right things at the right time. I definitely think grandparenting is a reward for all our hard work :)

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  14. This is s beautiful post Leanne. I have three gorgeous grandsons who are about the same distance away as yours are to you. I would love them to be closer as they are the joy of my life. I was not expecting to have this reaction when the first was born. Yes I agree grand parenting joy seems to be a bit of a secret. Your little grand daughters are adorable. #MLSTL Shared on SM

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    1. It's funny how it's such a surprise how much we love them isn't it Jennifer? We expected to love our own kids, but I had no idea of the flow on effect that this next generation of little people would have. To have that special bond is so unexpected and so lovley.

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  15. Beautiful post. Sometimes I lament the fact that my children's grandparents do not seem to feel the way so many other grandparents do. They will happily miss out on important things and not be present in the moment.
    I look forward to it, myself.

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    1. We said the same thing about our kids' grandparents Becky - they were just not that interested in their grandchildren - there was some involvement, but not the same sense of joy and connection that we feel with our grandgirls. I'm sure, when your time comes, you'll be like me - just loving the joy of another generation of babies in the family.

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  16. Not yet and I don't know when it is going to happen, if ever. My kids are in their early 20's and don't seem to want to have any realtionships at this time. Maybe someday. You have proved it is great. #MLSTL

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    1. My son was 25 when he suddenly settled down Patrick - so you never knows what lies around the corner. Then the grandbabies come. Mind you, our daughter is 29 and not showing any interest in producing some of her own - even after 5 years of marriage. So who knows what the future holds?

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  17. Totally - it really is the best. Someone did tell me it's better than having children, certainly easier in a support role, and they were right. I'm very blessed to see mine every day or two as well, which is wonderful. I certainly didn't have that relationship with my grandparents.

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    1. Maybe it's our generation that are making it into something more special Chris? I know my grandparents weren't as in love with us as we are with our grandkids - and our parents weren't as besotted with our kids - not sure what brought about the added delight, but I'm glad we get to experience it.

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  18. There is absolutely nothing better than grandchildren. We have eight 2 boys and 6 girls. And our oldest has two little guys so we have great grandchildren. It is so good to get all of the fun and none of the responsibilities.

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    1. I cannot believe that you're a greatgrandmother Victoria - when I read your blog you seem younger than me, so to imagine you with grown and married grandchildren when I'm just beginning is really hard to get my head around!

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  19. There was no such secret kept away from me. I saw the joy my mum got as grandmother to our two and my brothers two. In fact Mum and our daughter spent a lot of time together as I was teaching and Mum often helped out with coming to our house and cooking baked dinners. I also had a grandfather who doted on me and an aunt. I was so ready to be "Grandma" and I was at the same age my daughter is now!! She Is "NOT" wanting to be Grandma for sometime as she had kids aged from 21 to 6! It is the best role I have ever had and only last night my 21 yo GD were reminiscing about my caring for her in one of the houses I showed we had lived in on IG. It is special but it is far better than being a parent!!

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week's optional prompt is Share Your Snaps! Denyse

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    1. You are so lucky that both your parents seem to have been ahead of their times Denyse - your father was happy with you going on to tertiary education, and your mum was a such a good grandmother and support person to you - very blessed indeed my friend!

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  20. My grandchildren are absolutely my greatest joy. Ours range in age from 9 to 18, and it's still amazing. I do miss having babies to cuddle, but now we go out to dinner and plays, cheer at soccer games, read books, watch funny TV shows, bake, paint our nails, and mostly talk a lot. The nine-year-old even still enjoys cuddling. And all of them still greet me with enthusiasm and a warm hug. People told me grandparenting was wonderful, but I had no idea until I had my own. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face this morning. My 14-year-old grandson will be here in about an hour. He comes each day before school. We will greet in our usual way by singing, "Good morning to you!" Then we will laugh and hug. It never gets old. (BTW your granddaughters are beautiful!)

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    1. You're so lucky to be able to see them all the time Christie - and to have your grandson every morning - complete with fun greeting ritual is just lovely. I'm looking forward to the girls coming to stay with us when they're older - and I hope they enjoy it as much as we will.

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  21. Being a Grandma (or in my case, a Nana) is something that you just don't understand until you join the club. I feel the same way about my boys' younger years...it tends to be a blur of memories. But I savor every minute of the time I have with the grand kids and the memories we are making now. It really is the most wonderful type of relationship! Your two are precious!

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    1. I'm a Nana too Candi - Sophia calls me Nan Nan - which will eventually reduce to just Nan I think. You're right about having the headspace to enjoy our grandchildren and I do hope we make lasting memories with them. (Although the highlight of my last visit according to Sophia was chips for lunch - oh well....)

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  22. I had the complete opposite experience of you. EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, told me how great being a grandparent was, and I struggled to believe that as I never had a desire for a grandchild. Now that I am a grandma, I know what everyone meant! I love my grand baby so much and I cherish every second I get to be with her.

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    1. I don't think I'd have believed them either Amy - it just doesn't sound feasible that a small child who isn't your own baby can hold such a special place in your heart - I love that it's been such a wonderful discovery.

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  23. I totally agree! I've got two - grandsons, ages 4 & 8. Alas, both of my boys (and hence both grandsons) live in Arizona & I'm in Texas - a whole flight away, so I don't get to see them near often enough.
    I'm glad you're much closer to yours, although an hour and a half is still too far to be from a grandchild!
    Sharing for MLSTL

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    1. I console myself with the fact that an hour and a half is nothing compared to those who have grandchildren in another State or overseas Trisha - but gee it would be lovely to live 5 minutes away!

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  24. I totally agree with you that grandparenting rocks! Enjoy those beautiful grandchildren.

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    1. It does indeed rock Sally - and I'm so glad I got the opportunity to find out - imagine if neither of my kids had wanted to have children!

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  25. No grandchildren for us at this time. All three kids seem pretty set against kids, for now. Many of my friends are grandparents and are really loving the whole experience. Only time will tell for us, we have time as our kids are still pretty young.

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    1. Your time will come Cherie and at least you know now that it will be wonderful - I bet you'll be smothered in grandbaby love before you know it - time seems to fly very quickly at this stage of life!

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  26. They are both SO darling! It sounds like grandparenting completely agrees with you :)

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    1. It surprises me still how much I love those girls Molly - they just have a special little spot in my heart that is theirs alone - I guess the spot grows bigger as you add more grandchildren :)

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  27. I'll admit, I was apprehensive about the role, but there's nothing like being "Bam" to my two little cuties!

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  28. Leanne - I'm still a few years away from grandchildren - but I've seen my siblings and my own mother's reactions to grandchildren. I look forward to the joy -- if it ever happens. Thanks for sharing your grandchildren with us - they are adorable.

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