The Newage Grandparent

Remember the days when you used to see grandparents out with their grandchildren at the parks, malls, the zoo and all sorts of other fun kiddie places?

I kinda sorta remember those days as that was the kind of grandmother I had.

She used to pick me up from school, walk me home and feed me dinner.

From Friday to Sunday I was at her house and she spoiled me rotten, allowing me to have the run of her home, heart and wallet.

She allowed me to experience a kind of freedom and independence that I didn’t get at home. I was a free bird and I knew that I could never disappoint her.

Although I took her for granted at times, today I can honestly say that the relationship that I had with her taught me to be the best person that I can possibly be.

Watching her taught me to be compassionate, thoughtful, caring, kind and loyal.

My grandmother was happy to be a grandmother.

She wasn’t trying to take back the life that she had given to her children, nor was she trying to relive any part of her youth.

She came from a time where aging was a sign that you have survived all of life’s struggles and it showed character.

A time where watching her grandchildren grow was a gift that was treasured.

Today’s grandparent is very different.

Grandparent’s in the twenty-first century are rediscovering their youth.

They have a thirst for travel and freedom.

They love their grandchildren but would prefer them in small doses so that they don’t have to do anything but play.

After all, didn’t they raise these children’s parents to be high quality parents and caretakers. To do all of the “dirty work” while they swoop in for an hour at a time for a “play-date”.

Gone are the days where grandparents wanted to spend quality time with their grandchildren. Today this kind of a relationship is too much, too hard or just not something they want to experience again after raising their own children.

I spend a lot of time with other mothers and I always hear the same thing;

“We can’t go away for a couple of days because there is nobody to watch the kids”.

This coming from people that have both sides of parents alive and well.

It is one thing if you actually don’t have parents around to help but if they are around and available than what is the problem?

Why would grandparents rather their grandchildren be watched by other people if they can do it themselves?

This is an absolute anomaly to me as my grandmother was happiest when we were around; even if that meant that she had to do things for us that were laborious. 

Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away when I was thirteen and I was not yet mature enough to truly treasure her for the amazing woman that she was. If she would still be around I would be right by her side letting her have the run of my home, heart and wallet just as she did for me.

I can’t say that today’s generation of children will be the same with their grandparents when they mature. 

Unlike my own grandmother the new age grandparent will probably live long enough to feel the negative effects of their absence. They will grow old and realize that their grandchildren have absolutely no interest in them once they are older and have moved on with their own lives.

I thought that part of the beauty of raising a family is to watch it grow and to be involved in the evolution of it.

Not to be a slave, a full-time caretaker or a parent but to be there full heartedly.

It’s a sad sad state of affairs.


2 thoughts on “The Newage Grandparent

  1. I feel very privileged to be able to say that my mother, who became a grandmother just 4.5 months ago, is to my son like your grandmother was to you and mine was to me. My parents and in-laws don’t live in the same city as us so that may have something to do with it, but just 3 weeks my mother said, “next summer when you’re at work Cullen can come stay with us for two weeks” (my mother is a teacher and has the summers off). My heart hurt as soon as I heard that – I don’t know if I can be apart from my baby for that long, but the offer is there, and I know one of the best gifts I can give to my mom and my baby boy is a relationship.


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