We Love Grandparenting And Laughter

Sweet Little GirlPractice laughing it works. Deliberately think of a funny incident or joke, or ask your grandchild to tell you one of theirs. Don’t wait for laughter to come to you . . . make it happen. And smile on purpose. Even if you don’t feel like it, just using those muscles in your face actually signals your brain to release the chemicals that make you happy. So when it comes to smiles, follow that saying,”fake it until you make it!” Besides, the more you smile, the more everyone around you will smile and the more relaxed you’ll all be. 

The grand-parenting stresses in our lives are now part of our lives, and so are their symptoms. We cannot ignore them, must not feel guilty about them, and should not let them overwhelm us. The time to take care of yourself is now! The time to enjoy your life is now! I’ve seen that there is no single “right way” to grandparent. Just make sure that you’re not on automatic pilot or playing a role written by others. Make sure the way you are grand-parenting is the way you want to grandparent. If its’ not, change it . . . to your way.

Although there are probably as many different types of grandparents as there are grandparents, here is a few basic archetypes, which one, or more sounds familiar? The Enforce, The Spoiler, The Executive, The Globetrotter ( world traveler and include your grandchildren), The Environmentalist, The Buddy, and then there is The Pushover, The Cuddler,The Coach, and The Counselor, just to name a few, and I am sure that you add more. The archetypes are fun and help us to take a look at ourselves, recognize ourselves, smile at ourselves, compare ourselves to our parents and grandparents, and to make more deliberate and conscious choices about how we want to grandparent. 

All “types” are created equal. Different,  but equal. so type doesn’t matter, so long as you are loving and supportive. Roll around on the floor with them or read to them a story, both work. Get involved in whatever they are passionate about or get them excited about your interests both are great. Tuck them in  and read to them or let them stay up and watch TV with them both are special. As long as you are teaching your grandchildren about love, life, and happiness by example, your way is the right way . . .  for you and for your grandchildren.

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A Little Humor For A Boomer’s Heart

 Kids QuotesHumor for a boomer’s heart

1. “What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And most important, cookies.” By Rudolph Giuliani.

2. ” A house needs a grandma in it.” C By  Louisa May Alcott.

3.”Never have children, only grandchildren.” BY Gore Vidal.

4. “When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the widow.” By Omar Sharif.

5. “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. she’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where she is.” By Ellen DeGeneres. C.

6. “My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses. Drink’s right out of the bottle.” By Henny Youngman.

7. “Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle star-dust over the lives of little children.” By Alex Haley

8. “Elephants and grandchildren never forget.” By Andy Rooney.

9. ” The best babysitters of course, are the baby’s grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your bay to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida.” By David Sedaris.

10. “A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.” By  Erma Bombeck

 

Would Your Rather Clean Your House Than Spend The Day With Your Mother In Law?

 Would you rather clean your house than spend the day with your mother in law? A survey by iVillage in 2010 found that 51% of DILs (daughter-in-laws) said, they would rather spend the day cleaning their house than with their MIL ( mother in law); and 28% percent they’d rather have a root canalA Cambridge University study of hundreds of families over a twenty-year period found that more than 60 percent of the women said, their relationship with their mother-in-law was stressful for them! Daughter-in-laws had a chance to vent about  their mother-in-laws and grandmother in-laws. The answers were immediate, intense, and anxious often saying, “What ever you do, maintain my anonymity. 

They might not apply to you at all, but it’s good to get a window into what DILs are thinking. If you’re sure you want to know what they said, here’s what they said… Thanks, but no thanks when it comes to parenting advice. They want to raise their kids their own way and make their own mistakes. The story you tell about how your son loves your home-baked deserts that you tell just as your daughter in-law brings out the cake she bought at the bakery is an example of a mother in law being passive-aggressive in her  behavior and if you are a mother in law you may be surprised to be told you are still being aggressive even if you are being subtle stop it!  Let’s stop standing on ceremony.

 One daughter in law said, it bothered  her mother in law when she didn’t send her a thank-you note for the baby’s birthday present. She though of her as family and felt like saying, to her mother in law, ” I am not the rude ingrate that you think I am and yes, I am good enough for your son”. It’s sweet that you think your son is so perfect, as long as you also understand that I’m perfect for him. DILs would appreciate it if  their MILs would ask them for some gift ideas and respect the limits  for birthdays and holidays.

They know that they are not like their mother in-laws. But that doesn’t mean they don’t respect the heck out of them.  Remember, she married your son knowing full well that “She married the whole family.” All this  Mother in law business is not a great mystery to daughter in-laws because after all they understand that  their mother in law was the first woman in her husband’s life and have known him longer (and maybe better) than she does. She has taken care of him… and did it very well.  She may be expecting to share holidays and all special occasions with her son’s wife and  family.

The mother in law has her own relationship with her children…the grandchildren and she will usually take her son’s side… even if she doesn’t say so aloud.You can decrease the issues somewhat and sometimes but not all the time. If  you are a mother in law you may be saying to yourself why brother? The answer is simply, you try your best for your grandchildren! You may wonder why should you make the first move? For your grandchildren’s sake that is why! Why let things pass? For your grandchildren that’s why! Let’s start with a few suggestions: See what your daughter-in-law is like with other people, and don’t expect her to be different with you.

On the other hand if she is kind and considerate to other family members and her close friends and not to you. There’s your answer, she doesn’t really like you but you still have to be kind to her for your grandchildren sake! Treat your daughter-in-law with the same patience and politeness you show your own daughter or your close friends or even new acquaintances. The odds are that your daughter-in-law will not have the same kind of personality as your daughter or your close friends because they are like you so go for new acquaintances.

If things get really tough, pretend you’re writing a movie and become an observer instead of participant… it will help to give you psychological distance and enough emotional breathing room to feel in control of your emotions, and sometimes a laugh. Look at the up side of this one you could end up writing a book or a movie script or just feel better and don’t forget to vent with all the other mother in-laws who are in the same boat. Remember you’re not alone just take a few minutes and read any book about DILs and MILs.

 You may be surprised to learn that there are many of blogs used for DILs or MILs as a place to vent. Take a look on-line there are thousands of  women venting about the women in their lives. The most important thing to remember is keep your sense of humor and pray, pray and then pray some more. Want to calm the stormy seas? Here are some tips: Never, never, never…say, “My son is right. Never say, “I think you should. Never say, “I just assumed that…”  You may be asking yourself is there anything we should say? Here are a few suggestions from seasoned mother-in-laws and grandparents…

Tell her stories about your son that will amuse her and interest her and not stories that will make her feel that you think he’s perfect. Make sure you say positive reinforcement statements and yes that can be a challenge when you know in your heart of hearts that she doesn’t like you or resents you but do it for the grandchildren. Say positive statements, like “I respect how you’re raising your kids.” They may not do things the way you did, but it’s a different world today. Find something positive to say that will ring true. Offer to do the dishes or the laundry… or make dinner, be there to help. Don’t be surprised if she tells you “know” that she prefers to it herself it’s an ego issue.  Try saying things like,” Don’t worry; you’re wonderful parents.” They’re probably nervous about every decision they make, and those kind words can make them feel so great and so warm toward you! Your children are wonderful.” All kids go through difficult stages. Tell her your kids did, and they turned out great.

“I’m here if you need me.” You know they’re up on all the latest information about child safety, diet, and development. Just let them know that if they want your advice, they can ask for it and you’ll be happy to share it. Daughter-in-laws usually turn to their mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts before they’ll ask their mother-in-law. Oops! Does that sting? “Keep in mind that all parents feel insecure sometimes.” Parenting can be learned only on the job, and not matter how many blogs and books they read or experts they consult or even if they ask for advice from you, nobody knows their child as they do.

In the Bible, Ruth praise, respects, and loves her mother-in-law, Naomi. Although some of your friends or maybe even you think that your daughter in law (DIL ) feels the same way, most say they are not as lucky as Naomi. They describe their mother in law/daughter in law relationships as one of the most sensitive and complicated relationships they’ve ever had. But at the same time, they know in fact we all know it’s one of the most important relationships we’ll ever have, because if we don’t have a working relationship with our daughter in-laws, we won’t have a relationship that works with our grandchildren! So if you have an excellent relationship with your daughter in law cherish it! And if you don’t, there are things you can do to improve it, the first step is to pray about it and talk to a seasoned mother in-law you respect.

“When Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!”

Many couples are putting their children at the center of the family. This doesn’t sound like a bad thing, after all, aren’t your grandchildren the apple of your eye too? But when parents put their children ahead of  their own needs, ahead of their marriage, it may seem child friendly, but it can lead to complications.

When children are the absolute center of the family, they can grow up without boundaries. This can lead to demanding, entitled kids. Who become demanding, entitled adults. You might have a friend or two who are demanding and they can be difficult to get along with. Can’t they? 

 No one wants their children or grandchildren to turn out to be demanding. Do they? Some acting out might be all right for a child, but future bosses, spouses and friends will probably not be so tolerant. Will they? Furthermore, being the center of the family is too much pressure for most childrenChildren cannot fulfill all their parents‘ emotional needs and it’s not fair to expect them to. Children in this position often feel they need to parent their parents and that’s not their job. Actually, it’s your job to be there for your children when they are parents.

Remind them to make time for themselves, their spouses and friends if you want to be helpful offer to babysit so they can have a date night or weekend getaway, and you’ll get to spend extra time with your grandchildren.  Bob and Jane being the wise parents and grandparents that they are, offered to babysit their grandchildren while Jim and  Lynn went out on the town.  As Lynn was leaving, she told her children to listen to Nana and Pops and then gave them a kiss on the cheek and thanked her parents.

Well, Bob winked at Lynn while reminding her of this old saying,”When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” Bob’s point was that couples need to spend time together just the two of  them and keep the romance going.  Now Jim plans romantic surprise date nights at least twice a month and all Lynn has to do is show up . Jim and Lynn are feeling reconnected and Nana and Pops are “Happy Grands.” Jim agrees with Bob “When Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy!

The Wubbolus World OF Grandmothers

Margaret Mead wrote: “The closet friends I have made all through my life have been people who grew up close to a loved and loving grandmother or grandfather.”

In part, she attributed the strong bond between grandchildren and grandparents to the fact that they are united against a “common enemy” the parents.

 It begins to dawn on new grandmothers before that wonderful bundle of joy is brought home from the hospital that this grandmother business can be much more complicated that they had ever imagined.

 When a baby is born, so is a grandmother and that is the beginning of a new love story fresh from heaven. There is nothing for a grandmother to do except love her grandchildren. As days and months follow grandmothers soon learn they can love their grandchildren fiercely, with a passion that can make them hunger for them when they are out of range.

Grandmothers know that their own children love but can they trust them to baby sit? That is an interesting question, isn’t it? You might assume automatically that all grandparents are natural baby sitters but that is not the case in many families.

 Sometimes grandmothers feel like they are auditioning for the role of the” baby sitter grandmother.” Even though your children love you that doesn’t mean that they can trust you with their new bundle of joy. Does that shock you? After all, you are full of motherly wisdom and all that expertise you gained through your years of motherhood. You know how to hold a new-born properly, you are capable of changing their diaper and you know all the ends and outs of bottle feeding. Wait, wasn’t that stomach-down or is it stomach-up just what Dr. Spock advise? 

A wise grandmother will get rid of her’ ” know it all attitude” and ask her little of bundle from heaven parents how they want their child or children cared for and follow their requests because it’s what is best for your grandchild and if your children are happy with you and trusting you then you will have all the Grandmother time you need and that makes for a happy family. 

However with that being said, I suggest that you learn how to pronounce all the tongue twister words in “The Cat In The Hat” books before your grandchild is born. I am recommending this base on an experience that I had while reading to my oldest grandson when he was three or four. He blurted out to me these words to me ” you can’t read very good”, so I don’t want you to read to me any more.

Needless to say I felt crushed but after thinking about it a few seconds I had to agree with him. At the time I didn’t realize I was trying to read made up words by the author Theodor Geisel known as Dr. Seuss. This kind of unexpected situation is not listed in any grandparenting book, so I decided I better get the word out to other grandmothers, so they can be better prepared because there is nothing we enjoy more than our hugs and our reading time with our grandchildren. Is there?

 If you can’t figure out how to pronounce some of the words in your grandchildren tongue twister books ask one of your seasoned grandmothers chances are they have already been through the ranks and will be more than glade to save you from being crushed when your grandchild tells you not to read to them cause you don’t read so good. Welcome to the Wubbolus World of Grandmothers and The Wubbolous World of Dr. Seuss.

Tips For Guiltless Grandparenting

Guiltless grandparenting starts with self-acceptance that most grandparents are trying to instill in their grandchildren.

So if you really want them to value themselves, you have to show them how by valuing yourself.

Here are ten grandparenting tips

1.  Break the guilt habit and stop should-ing yourself. Replace thoughts of “this is who I should be” with thoughts of “this is who I am.” Take the grandparenting journey with less stress and more fun. You don’t expect your grandchildren to be perfect. Why should you have to be?

2.  Practice saying ” No” sometimes. Grandkids actually appreciate the extra TV time, special snacks, and new toys when grandparents are not so predictable and dole out a little less often. And grandparents see that they are still loved when they are not a push over. Plus it causes less conflict between parents and grandparents that is a plus.

3. Don’t try to keep the grandkids entertained every minute.  Downtime is an opportunity for imagination so  don’t feel guilty if you take them with you to run errands or just leave them alone for a while to read and relax.

4. Play with the grandkids, don’t just supervise. Grandkids will remember all the laundry you did for them while they sat in front of the TV but they’ll never forget the time you went down the slide with them and neither will you.

5. Expect the best from life. Remember anticipatory anxiety does not help grandparents to be prepared for the big and small problems that come with grandparenting. It can add stress even before anything negative happens. Remember to say, positive prophecies instead of negative ones because the words we speak are self-fulfilling!

6. Stop over scheduling your time. Grandparents tend to forget to budget their time and energy and they can wear themselves out. If an emergency or another essential task arises it’s okay to cross something off your-to-do list before you add the new item.

7.  Don’t wait for permission to take care of yourself. Grandparents don’t have to make themselves so exhausted with al their chores and responsibilities that your children have to beg you to rest. That sets a bad example. Show them that you value yourself  and your time putting your feet up or taking time off to read a book. And if you can’t give yourself permission, then your kids do!

8. Treat your family the way you would treat your friends. Grandparents know who their friends are and they know what they are like. They don’t expect them to change overnight and they don’t take everything they say or do personally. They ask them questions, listen to their answers, and give them the benefit of doubt. Do the same with your family and you’ll be a great role model for your grandkids.

9. Be your own best friend. Be on your own side. Listen to yourself. Pat yourself on the back when you do well. Forgive yourself when you don’t. Grandparents teach this to their kids and grandkids now is the time to apply it to themselves.

10. Put yourself on your list of loved ones. Grandparents need to make themselves number one on their lists, they need to take care of themselves at least as well as they take care of their grandkids and everyone else. Watch your sleep, nutrition, and exercise and make sure you’re having fun too!

Grandparents make mistakes but that doesn’t mean they have to punish themselves, or think that everyone else is grandparenting so much better. They’re usually not! Some moments are memorable, some are forgettable, but remember grandparents are all on this journey together. It’s time for grandparents to let go of the guilt.

Babies Don’t Keep

Dishes Can WaitEvery now and then a song comes along that speaks to our hearts “Babies Don’t Keep” is one of them. I’m not sure who the author is but I do know that Betty Jean Robinson recorded it many years ago.

When I was a young mother I routinely quoted the words to “Babies Don’t Keep” throughout the day especially if I found myself feeling a little cranky because I felt that I should have been able to take care of a baby and my house chores.

A couple of years ago I noticed my son and daughter in law where very busy keeping up with the demands of every day life, house chores and their children. Then I started saying to myself ” Dishes Be Still “and I couldn’t figure out where I had heard those words before so I asked a few of my friends if they knew a poem called “Dishes Be Still” they didn’t, but suggested that I write one.

I am not a poet but the other night I was suffering  T.V. there was Betty Jean Robinson singing a song called “Babies Don’t Keep” and it got my attention. Then my memories of being a new mother all came flooding back to me and it was fun revisiting them. 

As I went down memory lane I remembered my grandmother singing ” Babies Don’t Keep” to me over the phone on the days when my house chores just seemed to be calling me while I was rocking my baby. I would start saying to myself “Oh, Dishes Be Still Babies Don’t Keep” and before I knew it the dishes stopped calling to me and was able to enjoy rocking my baby.

If you are struggling with the demands of motherhood and the house chores the words to “Babies Don’t Keep” might tug at your heart like it did mine.

God gave us these little ones for just a short time. He said, they’re your blessings, but remember they’re mine. Made in his image this mystery unfolds a child is more Precious than Silver and Gold.

So housework be quiet and chores wait in line. I’m holding my Jewel for this is my time. Dishes can wait and dust go to sleep. I’m Rocking my baby and Babies Don’t Keep.

One day you’ll be grown just like daddy and me. And if you’re not loved now oh, how sad it will be. So I’ll tell you of Jesus for he loves you more, So housework be still quiet and chores wait in line. I’m holding my Jewel for this is my time. Dishes can wait and Dust go to sleep. I’m Rocking my baby and Babies Don’t Keep.