The Grandparent Conundrum

It may be a far off thought, but what kind of grandparent will you be?

Even though I have a toddler, I’ve been forced to think about becoming a GRANDMOTHER, thanks to my 11-year-old daughter.

“Mommy,” she announced. “When I grow up, I’m going to adopt three children. Twins and an 8-year-old girl.” I applauded her, while also telling her I didn’t think she could pick out twins. But who knows. Maybe you can?

More importantly, I asked, “Who is going to help you out with your twins and 8-year-old?”

Like any parent who has had a child beg for a dog, promising to take care of it, and then failing miserably after three days (or hours) so mommy or daddy has to pick up the slack, my daughter answered, “YOU!”

“ME?” I responded, giving her a side-glance. “Me? Really?”

Um, hello? Hold on! I have yet to figure out what kind of mother I am, aside from a tired one, let alone figure out what kind of grandparent I want to be.

It seems to me that there are really only two types of grandparents: hands on or hands off.

Our family has been blessed with amazing grandparents, who are always willing to lend a hand, offer to babysit, and pretty much spoil our children.

My parents want to see my children at least once a week. My fiancé’s mother is over about three times a week. The phone calls from each of them are daily. Sometimes three times a day! I’m not too sure if I want to be THAT kind of grandmother.

I kind of always thought, “Hey, once MY kids are out of the house, I’ll be free to move and live in a hut on a beach. Make that a house on a beach.”

I hadn’t factored in possible future grandchildren, which may put a wrench into my solitary life in a tropical climate.

From what I hear from grandparents, there’s no love like the love grandparents have for their grandchildren. There are just so many types of love when it comes to family and children.

Of course, since I’m covered in stickers (my toddler is in the Sticker Phase) and usually have some sort of baby food in my hair (and bra) I may not be in the right state of mind to actually think about taking care of another baby. Even if it’s years away, and they are my daughter’s twins and 8-year-old, if that works out for her.

Like most mothers of babies, I’m just trying to get through each day, tantrum by tantrum.

I mean, of course I’ll be there for my daughter, if she asks, but I really can’t make any promises that I will babysit for days (as my fiancé’s mother does) or take my grandchildren to the science centre or any other must-do children experiences. Why? Because I’ve been there, done that.

And it is possible that Rowan could be a mother, while Holt is still a teenager, living at home. So it may not be possible to be as hands on as my in-laws are.

I have friends who are super jealous, because their parents are not hands on at all, and refuse to even let their grandchildren sleep over for one night.

Listening to my friends, who don’t have grandparents who are so entrenched in their children’s lives, makes me realize how blessed I am.

Then again, I don’t want to be an overbearing grandparent, because I also have friends who constantly complain about their mother-in-laws practically moving in to be near their grandchildren at all times.

But because I love my children so much, surely that will mean I will love their children too. But can’t I love them from a beautiful house on the beach? Hey, I’ll even have a guest room for my future grandchildren.

Or, maybe, just maybe, I will end up helping my daughter with her twins and 8-year-old, living with her and annoying the crap out of her. But, really, it depends on what type of mother Rowan is going to be.

For now, I’ll just concentrate on being a mother, getting through each day, dreaming of my beach house. After all, can’t I be that awesome grandparent who has a house on a beach? Just sayin’.

Do you ever think of what type of grandparent you will be?

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