My dad was in the hospital this past week (that’s a whole other topic to discuss) so I got to spend a bit of time with 2 of my sisters. One of them has one little grandbaby. The other is about to be a grandma for the first time. Both are/will be “the other” grandma. By that I mean that the grandbabies are cared for and/or live with the maternal grandmother. They fear that she will get more face time and therefore will be the favorite. There it is, the basis for the grandma wars.
It’s a subtle battleground that none of us is prepared for and frankly, I didn’t even know existed. Who lives closer and therefore gets more face time. Who is more financially stable and therefore buys the coolest gifts. Who has the most time? And who gets to be called by what name?
I have to admit there have been times I’ve been tempted to engage in the battle. When our first grandchild was born, his mother and father were living with us and, for the better part of the first year, I helped raise him. And then they moved…900 miles south…7 miles from his other grandmother. I just knew she would be the favorite. She would see him every week. She would go to his baseball and soccer games. She would see him learn walk and ride his bike and go to his programs at school. He would forget all about me. How could I compete with that? And you know what? I can’t. But here’s what I’ve learned, I don’t need to.
We now have 9 more grandbabies. 6 of them live near us. The other 4 require travel. 6 of them are fortunate enough to have both sets of grandparents in their lives. Each of us brings something different to the table and that’s a good thing. Nana is always there in an emergency. Papa D will be there to help teach my southern babies how to hunt and fish and throw a baseball. Papa Jim will teach grandson #2 about airplanes and maybe take him flying. Meega and I can share babysitting duty when daycare is closed. Grandma Gayle will teach the girls about caring for animals. Papa Jeff and I will be at as many wrestling meets, hockey games, baseball games and dance recitals as we can. I hope to teach the girls (and maybe the boys) to quilt.
And if, having a tub full of nerf and water guns available for use happens to make us the fun grandparents, well, I can live with that.
Want to share your war stories? Contact me. Contact Page