First, a confession: I feel a bit bad writing this! My mum is super. Nice to boot. But she raised me. She put up with my tantrums, disciplined me and put her foot down on this or that because she loved me too much not to.
She was my mother. Is my mother. But now she’s a grandmother. And grannies, I’m discovering, are a special kind of nice.
It’s like all the golden rules she held true during her parenting years have gone by the wayside now that her role is to just love and play with her grandkids, rather than raising them to be responsible humans. She’s the granny, not the parent. She’s FREE of responsibility. So darn it, her grandsons can have an extra scoop of ice cream when they visit her. She doesn’t have to worry about their overall sugar intake, or that they might be becoming little sweet-toothed brats.
Not. Her. Problem.
Here are seven ways my mum – and upon chatting to a friend about this very phenomenon, I’m thinking all grandmas – are way nicer (softer-hearted perhaps?) grannies than they were mothers to us all.
1. They read ALL the stories
When I was growing up, my mum read to us every night. It was our thing together. But there was a limit to the number of books she’d read because she was a stickler for bedtime. But if she babysits my boys for a night? It’s book after book after book until they fall asleep on her.
2. They play pretend games
I don’t remember being a dinosaur with my mum and stomping all over the house looking for velociraptors and their eggs, but whenever my youngest spends time with his grandma this is what they do. It’s pretend games galore and her house turns into a storybook of magic and wonder.
Perhaps she has the energy for this that she didn’t have when she was a tired and stressed out mum? I dunno.
More posts about grandmothers:
- Dear Granny and Grandpa, this is why I love ‘us’
- Three kind grandmas become a “village” for single mum of triplets
- The day my mum reminded me why grandmas are just the best
3. They make treats
My mum makes juice ice blocks for my boys ALL THE TIME. Whenever they visit her house, they make a bee line for her freezer, which is always filled with them. They take them outside to devour on her back deck.
I don’t remember her making my brother or me ice blocks. Maybe she did, but I can tell you it wasn’t standard operating procedure. But now she’s a grandma? Ice blocks galore! “And yes, my sweet, you can have another one.”
4. They are relaxed about the rules
I was never allowed to watch TV during the day growing up. My mum was pretty strict about this. But when it comes to her grandsons and ABC Kids TV, she flicks it on before they’ve even come over. That and she’s put out their favourite toys on the floor for them to play with. Oh, and made some telly snacks for them to gorge on in front of Octonauts.
Screen time, mum! Screen time. Again, not your problem.
5. They play, play, play
When my mum spends special one-on-one time with her grandkids, it’s usually just one boy at a time, and she gives him her all. She builds towers with him, they sings songs together, she tosses a ball to him outside and often I find them doing a puzzle together when I come to collect him.
She plays with him non-stop.
I’m sure my mum played with me growing up but it was probably in the same way I play with my boys now – in between getting stuff done. But grannies? They give playtime their full attention and their grandkids lap it up. See? NICE!
6. They go on dates with our kids
I had a great childhood but there was never a lot of money. We had cheap thrills as kids and it was a case of the best things in life are free.
But now my parents are retired and money isn’t so tight, they like to take my boys out. They still adhere to the ‘best things in life are free’ philosophy and take them to places like the beach, but there is often a treat slipped in there, like fish and chips for lunch eaten at the picnic tables.
7. They have the patience of Job
My mum will wait patiently for one of my sons to find his words when telling a story. She won’t lose her sh!t when they take forever to put on their shoes and brush their teeth when going out in her care. I don’t remember this calm, chilled-out mother from my childhood. But then, maybe she wasn’t back then? Because like me, she was ruled by the clock, she had a job and routines to abide by.
Maybe it’s because she’s more relaxed these days and is enjoying not being ruled by time? Or maybe she’s just nicer?! Either way, my mum as a granny has the patience of Job. And a very excellent Job, she is!