Grandmas Relish the Role of FunMeister
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By Donne Davis
Moms can sometimes feel envious as they watch grandma doting on the grandchildren and having all the fun. They might even be thinking: Hey, what about me? I’m the one who produced them.
We grandmas relish our role as FunMeister. We can put all of our energy into being 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.
It’s no wonder some of my grandma friends complain that their daughters and daughters-in-law are too serious and don’t have enough fun. They wish they could lighten up. Well, try telling that to today’s super-conscious moms, who have more choices and decisions to make about raising their children than any previous generation. I have a lot of empathy for them. It’s tough always having to be the disciplinarian, the rule maker, the naysayer, the buzz kill. No wonder they may not have much energy left for fun!
On more than one occasion my daughter has asked me if I really just come over to visit the girls. And I reassure her that I love spending time with her. We have wonderful conversations after my two granddaughters go to sleep. But during the day, my granddaughters are my first choice for playmates because fun comes naturally to children.
As we grow up and become moms, our ability to have fun and be playful is often relegated to the back burner. When I was a mom, I wasn’t nearly as much fun as I am now that I’m a grandma. Becoming a grandma reignites that 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 are responsible for raising our grandchildren. And then that’s a whole different story.
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, a 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.
So let’s hear it for all those hardworking mothers of our grandchildren. We sure are grateful to them for giving us the chance to be the FunMeisters!
Donne Davis has two grown children and two grandchildren. Eight years ago, after witnessing the birth of her first grandchild, she founded the GaGa Sisterhood, a social network where grandmas bond, brag, and benefit. She writes about the joys and challenges of being a grandma on her blog: http://gagasisterhood.com/ You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org