Guest Post by Carol Covin
Thanks first go to Wendy for giving me this opportunity to guest post on her blog. Her generosity is felt throughout the blogging community.
Eight years ago, when I blithely announced to my son and daughter-in-law that a young friend had decided I looked too young for her to call me Grandma, and coined “Glam-ma” for me instead, their faces fell.
My daughter-in-law had lost both her parents within a year of her marriage to my son and had never known her grandparents.
My son finally stammered, “You will be our child’s only grandma. And, we thought you’d be honored.”
Of course, I am thrilled and honored and Grandma it is.
However, I realized in that moment that our relationship had changed and I could hurt my son’s and his wife’s feelings.
I resolved to be more sensitive.
In subsequent conversations with other grandmas, I found I was not alone.
There were many things grandmas were not saying, to keep from hurting feelings.
I started writing down these issues, exploring what prompted the generational split of opinions and sensitivity and eventually decided to collect them in a book.
Not long after that decision, I thought, “I bet mothers have things they are not telling us, out of respect and to avoid hurt feelings, as well.”
Of course, they did.
Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers (http://newgrandmas.com/book) is a series of articles based on interviews, half with mothers, half with grandmothers, in which I asked, “What are you not telling the grandmother of your children or mother of your grandchildren that you would like to say?”
Each of the women I interviewed replied first with, “Oh, the mother of my grandchildren is a wonderful mother,” or “the grandmother of my children is a wonderful grandmother.”
I waited, and then, they told me.
From a grandmother, “I’m irrelevant.” From a mother, “Your son is not perfect.” From a grandmother, “When are you going to start feeding those children properly?” From a mother, “Ice cream is not a meal.”
Should grandmothers be allowed to spank? To take a toddler granddaughter on a first date with someone they met online?
Should mothers require that grandmothers have a working, charged cell phone when they take their grandchildren two blocks down the road to the park for an hour?
Should grandmothers bite their tongue when a toddler granddaughter is playing around on a pier without a life jacket?
The book invites readers to understand the different generation’s perspective on the issues discussed and open up a candid conversation in their own family.
Respect. Compassion. Understanding.
Mothers and grandmothers will gain a deep appreciation for the many ways their children and grandchildren can receive the love and guardianship of generations.
Bio: Carol Covin is an author and blogger. You can find her blogging at http://newgrandmas.com Proceeds from the book go to support bringing a promising cancer treatment to clinical trial through the company she founded for that effort, Sky Blue Pharmaceuticals, LLC.
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