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.

Coast Guard Grandparents

JesseThere’s never been a generation like the baby boomers, and there never will be again! Some Boomers are retired Cost Guard, they are informed, enthusiastic, ready to beat the odds and they know how to laugh but are they really prepared to babysit?

Do they know the difference between a pull up and a pop up? Don’t laugh! I called Jeremy’s pull ups, pop ups it was an honest mistake. Plus he had to show me how to use his mother’s kitchen gadget stuff. I can’t be the only granny that can’t figure it all out!

If your grandchildren’s parents are in the coast guard then Facebook and Skype have probably become very important to you. Currently Facebook is our way of staying connected to them and my daughter in laws blog. We are so happy to be able to see what they are all up to these days it really means the world to us.

 Six years ago my son met a lovely gal and four years later they got married and when they said, “I Do ” and he became a father to her son. Then while they were stationed in the South they had two babies, a boy and a girl. Perfect! During that time I moved to the south with them (not so perfect) but then I meant a wonderful southern gentleman and now we are married. Perfect!

SAMSUNGWhen my son joined the Coast Guard he was a bachelor and I never thought  about the future or what it would be like to be a grandmother and having grandchildren moving every four years. However I did experience all the emotions mothers have when their sons and daughters are in any branch of the Military and have to move around.

Jesse And His DadThe up side of spending time with them these past four years was experiencing how awesome they are as a couple and parents and I will always consider it an honor to get to know them as a family. They are terrific people and they seem to just role along with where ever the cost guard takes them.

Miss Julie On The PhoneIt’s also been a blessing to have experience the past four years with Jeremy, and the first three years of Jesse’s life and the first year of Miss Julie‘s life. Last month they moved from The South to Alaska. It took me two weeks to adjust but I’ve made it through and now when I  drive past the Coast Guard base and see the air plane out in front and I’m happy to say, I don’t tear instead I smile!

My husband and I used to like to kid around and say “We child proofed the house and they still got in.” I know! But it’s funny. All kidding aside we had a blast with our grand-kids and suddenly for a while we were wise and loved again just because we were us.

Grandkids Keep Us YoungI’m sure they felt we were a bit odd, and occasionally I felt as though I would catch them giving each other meaningful glances that seemed to say, They’re old and we must be the patient with them.

Jeremy & JesseNevertheless Jesse and Miss Julie did not show any signs of age discrimination and treated us as though we were as young as their parents. I use to wonder if Miss Julie was thinking, oh no, here comes those old people again. Where’s the pretty blond lady? I’m referring to our friend Lynn, who loved to gently rock Miss Julie to sleep. While on the other hand I spent my time with Miss Julie walking and walking around the house for what seemed like a million times telling her she could do it and in own time she did.

 Miss Lynn & JulieWe want to thank Lynn and Victor (retired Coast Guard) for stepping up to the plate and helping us the first time we babysat Miss Julie or as the young people say, hung out with Miss Julie. We were surprised when it took three baby boomers and one retired Coast Guard guy to take care of one baby girl and when her parents came home she stayed up and played with her brother and we went home to take naps. Is that called role reversal? Parents taking naps instead of the kids!

Love from a Granny In Training

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

 

A Glimpse Into A Little Girls Dream

Sweet Dreams TonightThis captures the small bedtime rituals a little girl as she is settling down for the night, and offers glimpse into a dream time world as the she drifts gently into sleep.  Come along with her and snuggle down, close your eyes , and imagine yourself drifting gently away with her on this sleepy, dreamtime journey as she says  “Night-night” to the world.

Before she goes to sleep at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house they read her favorite “Veggie Tales Stories” to her and they laugh and laugh and laugh and then they give  her lots and lots of  hugs and kisses to their  precious grand-daughter and say, Night-night. She can hardly stop giggling to give them hugs and kisses. Night- night Grandma. Night-night Grandpa she finally says as she stops giggling.

When her mother puts her to bed she reads to her lots and lot of her bedtime stories and at the end she hugs and gives her a goodnight kiss and always says, Night- night. She hugs and kisses her mother back and says, Night-night mommy. When her daddy puts her to bed he reads her a story called “The Little Red Sailboat ” and when the story comes to the end  he hugs and gives her a goodnight  kiss and tells her Night-night.  Night-night, Daddy she replies.

 After they leave the room and tune out the light, she starts to wonder where Big Dog is? There he is. Night-night, Big Dog. Before she goes go to sleep, he kisses Big Dog and Mr. Teddy bear good night. Night-night Big Dog and  Mr. Teddy Bear. Then she asks Miss Kitty if she is sleepy yet and Miss  Kitty is never sleepy . She wonders where does Miss Kitty go at night? Before she goes to sleep she’ll snuggle down and close her eyes and sail away in her little red sailboat over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Night -night again Grandma and Grandpa and then across the pond to say, Night-night, ducks. Night –night sky.

Night -night, Mr. Moon. Night-night,  Sparkly Stars. Night-night, Big World.  Night-night Big dog and Mr. Teddy Bear, are you sleepy yet? She is almost home, now. Night-night, Me. Night-night, You. Night-night Everyone. I don’t know about you but  for a few moments it was sure fun pretending to be sailing with her in The Red Sail Boat.

“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.