Alert
Close

Introducing AARP RealPad: The Wi-Fi Tablet That Makes It Easy to Share, Learn, Connect and Play. Learn more

Family
poll

Most Popular
Articles

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

10 Things I Love About Being a Grandma

An adoring grandmother describes how her life has been changed by two fabulous little girls

Before I get to the love part, I must confess that I never expected to be a grandma — not because my son, who is married and will soon turn 40, wasn't old enough to be a father, but because I never dreamed that I'd be old enough to be a grandmother. Moi, a former 60's wild child, somebody's nana? How could this be? Even after I got the news that my daughter-in-law was pregnant and I was moving up a notch in the life cycle, I was as nervous as I was excited. What sort of grandma would I be? Would I remember how to hold a baby or change a diaper? How would I fit into the expanded family circle, in which I would be just one of six grandparents? Would I be as love struck as my nana friends, all of whom seemed so gaga over their grandkids it was as if they'd come down with some sort of viral condition. In other words, how would I measure up?

See also: Joys of being a hands-on granddad.

I needn't have worried. From the moment I laid eyes on Isabelle Eva, I, too, succumbed to love beyond reason. In the five years since, I've fallen a second time, for Azalia Luce, Isabelle's baby sister, now 2. Of course, there have been plenty of grandparenting lessons along the way — most having to do with the girls' parents. The good news is that ever since I began practicing the Golden Rule of Grandparenthood — "Keep Thy Mouth Shut and Thy Opinions to Thyself" — I've been having a ball. As Lois Wyse wrote, "If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I'd have had them first."

grandma with baby granddaughter in pool, 10 things to love about being a grandma

Being a grandma helps you see the world from a different point of view. — Photo by: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Here's what I love most about being Nonna — as I am known to Isabelle and Azalia.

1. I feel joy, pure and simple. There's nothing like spending the day with a young child to make you remember why it's thrilling to be alive. (Of course, later be sure to allow time for a nap.) Children are indiscriminate, nonjudgmental lovers of just about everything, and their joy is contagious. I recently spent time with 2-year-old Azalia, whose response to Elmo, hot dogs and her white plastic pony was uniformly ecstatic. "I LOVE it!" she yelped to each in turn.

2. I'm living in the moment. Adults spend hours doing yoga and practicing meditation in order to feel truly present, while kids, whether they're happy or sad, live in the here and now. They make great role models (except when they're throwing temper tantrums), and spending time with them offers excellent training for grandparents. We simply must be in the here and now if we hope to keep up — and keep them from eating dog food (my son's favorite) or running out the front door.

Next: Lots of fun without the parental responsibility. »

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Grandparent
Resources

GrandFacts

National and state fact sheets listing services, programs,  benefits, laws and policies for grandparents raising children. Read

GrandFamilies Guide

Information, tips and tools for grandparents raising grandchildren. Read

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

1-800flowers.com (1-800flowers.com)

Members save 20% or $20 on purchases of $79.99  from
Fruitbouquets.com.

Collette Vacations

Members save up to $200 per couple on select tours with Collette Vacations.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Being Social

Featured
Groups

Wisdom Circle

Join our circle to ask for — or give — advice on topics such as love, friendship, grief, parenting and grandparenting. Discuss

Grandparenting: Joys & Challenges

There are many joys from being a grandparent, so let's celebrate them together! Discuss

Raising Grandchildren

Grandparent caring for grandkids share tips and discuss challenges, solutions and triumphs along the way. Join