Thursday

When Mothers Cry Over the Grandparents

The stereotype for grandparents is that they are supposed to love their grandchildren and spoil them rotten. I say, “Stereotype” because just like every black person can’t dance every grandparent isn’t a “grand” parent! There are those grandparents who just like the parents didn’t want to become “grand” parents. To them there is nothing “grand” about being a parent. They didn’t enjoy parenting their own children, let alone, being a parent to their grandchildren.

Some of these grandparents hear of another birth of a child in the family and think about two things: money and death. “I am trying to retire, I don’t have money to spend on all these grandchildren!” some complain. “I’m getting older now. All these babies being born in the family only means one thing, I will be going soon!” Thank God not every grandparent has such a negative view on being a grandparent, but there are plenty particularly when some are in their mid thirties with grandchildren!

Mothers cry when they notice that their own parents aren’t even a little bit interested in their grandchildren. So fearful these grandparents are that they will have to baby-sit, they make themselves busy. “I don’t want to be bothered, I have too much stuff to do, if she brings the children over, she will stay with them, because I am not watching them,” some say. Now this attitude is justified if their own children are taking advantage of their hospitality and generosity, but for the grandparents who haven’t bothered to bond with their grandchildren it is sad.

Some grandparents aren’t very good teachers either. They can’t or won’t bother teaching their own children on how to be a parent or share wisdom with their grandchildren. Teaching requires work and some don’t want to step up to the task of teaching because it requires time they don’t want to share and money to educate. Being a grandparent is a second chance at being the parent he or she couldn’t be with their children. Years ago, he or she may have been too busy to bother with their own children, may have been too young to really understand what it meant to be a parent, and may have been too stressed about making money to bother with spending time with their own children. Grand parenting is a gift. Grandparents can use their opportunity to pick up where the parent left off and at the same time resolve their feelings of parental regret before they die. However, there are some grandparents who miss this important point about their role. They feel more comfortable criticizing parents about their parenting practices, then making positive contributions.

Mothers see things when relating to people that oftentimes their partners don’t see. They see the anger in a grandparent’s eyes that may not have approved of her choice in a partner from the beginning let alone the offspring that came from him. The mother observes the favoritism between her siblings and the grandchildren given to them by her parents and she knows when the grandparents are trying to cover up their actions by mere words, “I love all my grandchildren the same!”

Mothers also see when grandparents are using the grandchildren as a means to control their lives too. “If you move, I won’t be able to see my grandchildren.” A move doesn’t have to keep the grandparents from their grandchildren. If they truly love them, they will make the effort to visit the grandchildren. But far too often, grandparents won’t see them unless their children save money to go where they are. Knowing that it is a hassle and not necessarily affordable, the grandparents rather sit back and wait for the visit rather than get out of their comfort zone.

Mothers also see when the grandparents don’t want to be grandparents. They don’t call or write, acknowledge a holiday and unfortunately bad mouth about their children to other siblings, family members, friends, even strangers! “My daughter never comes and sees me! I don’t know why she won’t let me see my grandchildren!” Mothers cry about all these things, but for the mentally strong mothers, they don’t cry long when it comes to grandparents. Some mothers will either encourage the grandparents to join their grandchildren’s lives whether they like it or not. They may drop by unannounced, invite them to go places with the family, send letters, cards or video even when grandparents don’t ask or give them money or gifts “just because” or during holidays. They make a point to talk about their children, even when the grandparent doesn’t bother to ask, “How are my grandchildren?” However, some mothers don’t have the time or energy to build relationships with the grandparents, so they simply write them out of their lives. “If she wants to see her grandchildren, she knows where I live.”

Life is too short. Mothers, along with the help of the fathers, bring life into this world. Although it isn’t always celebrated, it is still life. Whether a grandparent chooses to acknowledge their legacy and go out of their way to be an integral part of influencing the child is left up to them (of course, for those who have the power to do it.) Not everyone is fortunate to have even a small opportunity to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives and that makes grandmother’s cry.

Written by Nicholl McGuire, For more articles by this writer Click Here!

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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