ON BEING A GRANDMOTHER

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

I always heard that being a grandmother is better than being a  mother. You can enjoy the kids but you don’t have to work so hard and if they  cry, you just hand them back to their mother. 
Well, now that I am a full fledged grandmother, Baruch Hashem, I  feel qualified to comment on this idea. I personally love being a  grandmother…but that is only because I no longer am of the age to bear my own  children. But honestly nothing is as wonderful as being a mother. Having your  own baby, nursing your own baby, putting your child to sleep….all of that is  very special and only a mother can appreciate it. A grandmother can make every  effort to fill the mother’s role (such as when babysitting) but it is never the same. And you end up feeling a bit rejected…both by the child (who consistently  cries that he or she wants their MOTHER) or you end up feeling exhausted (by  the amount of work involved running after the children to clean up etc. since  your energy level is no longer the same) or you feel a bit rejected by your own  daughter (or son) who keep expecting you to be able to do so much more than you  can and they simply don’t understand your limitations at an older age. They may  even become annoyed if you are not able or willing to do as much as they want simply because they dont really understand what it is to be older. 
So what is so SPECIAL about being a grandmother? 
I guess it is the feeling of accomplishment. You went through being a mother. 
You raised your children and now they have children. It is a special feeling. As 
the Torah says, grandchildren are the crown of the aged. They truly are. It is a 
special relationship and bond that you develop with your grandchildren. 
The truth is that grandchildren reflect many of your good qualities (and sometimes some negative ones). It is the "next generation" and it is the concept of infinity....how through the G-d given gift of procreation you can actually reveal the potential hidden within yourself. To see the grandchildren personifying these qualities is often mind boggling. 

Sometimes grandchildren are closer (as they get older) to their grandparents, in 
some ways,  than to their own  parents. A grandparent warrants respect. A grandparent is not someone a child  can abuse or take advantage of the way they can a parent…because the grandparent  will simply get up and leave! And a grandparent can teach children so much. They  also have time, a lot more of it than the parents may have. And all of those  factors combine to make a very unique relationship between grandparents and  grandchildren. 

As grandchildren grow up, they often can confide in grandparents
more than in their own parents. They often turn to grandparents for advice, for 
comfort, for that extra bit of attention they may not get from their own 
parents, especially if they are part of a large family.  
 
Grandparents provide a certain sense of security  to grandchildren, as well as to their own children even though they are grown up  and married. There is something comforting about a grandparent being in the  home.  A grandparent also can be a 
very important role model for a grandchild. 
 
And the proof of how special  and important grandparents are is when, after 120 years, they leave this world,  grandchildren cry and mourn almost as much as their parents do. 
 
So now that I am a  grandparent, I want to fulfill this role in the best manner possible and make up  for all the“mistakes” I made while raising my own children! I guess in a way  Hashem gives us a chance to do it again, better and with more simcha and more  confidence…grandparents become parents again but in a more matured manner . And  the results are praiseworthy. May we all enjoy each role we fulfill in life,  from babyhood to grandparenthood!  L’Chaim!!