Being a Mom and a Grandma

I told you that I had the grandkids this weekend.  What I didn’t tell you was that I had lunch with Buck on Friday.

In yesterday’s post, I told you that I went to pick up Buck’s kids on Friday but they thought I was coming on Saturday.  It was the best miscommunication EVER.

I got to Buck’s house and no one was home.  I was confused as I was on time.  Typically on my drive there he’ll call and see how I’m doing.  It’s a two-hour drive..nothing terrible.  But there was no phone call, and now no one was here.  Hmm.

I called him and he said, “You’re here today??”

“Yep”, I said, “at your front door”.

He said he thought I was coming tomorrow.  So…we made new plans to go up to the bar and grill and eat as it was close to lunchtime.

I had yet to eat in a restaurant yet so that was GREAT, but the best part was…
spending time with my son.

I think we who are grandmas all do it.  We put all of our energy into our grandkids.  They are the ones who openly need us.  They are the ones who demand time.  They are ones who need a diaper change, a meal, time in the rocking chair, a sippy cup, a visitor at a game…and the list goes on and on.

As I sit here and reflect on my weekend, I’m thrilled to have gotten this picture I showed you yesterday of me and the grandkids…

…but I am equally as thrilled to have gotten to spend time with Buck.

In all the hub-bub of chasing grandkids, I think I’ve not done as good of a job as I should of loving up on our kids.  Oh my.

A long time ago, people would hassle Kelli about not having kids…they did that to Kayla too.  In fact, they even did it to me.  I’d get comments all of the time.  People would say, “Your kids are old enough.  I’m surprised you don’t have grandkids yet.”

The comment bothered me some.  I finally got to the point that I learned to say, “I didn’t have kids just to have grandkids.  I love spending time with my kids.  If they do or don’t have kids, I don’t care.”  It was the truth.  If and/or/when they had kids was their business.

I still believe that but I think I’ve lost sight of that a little bit.  I need to spend time with my adult kids.  I’m still their mom.  They still need me…and they don’t just need me for childcare.  I’ve not done as much as I want to nurture adult relationships with them and I’ve going to work harder on that.

Don’t get me wrong.  I see my kids.  I talk very regularly on the phone with the kids.  I feel close to them…but…there is something about having lunch with someone one on one that is different.

I’ll always remember reading a book and the author was talking about building better relationships with your spouse.  She suggested going out on a date with one rule…not to talk about the kids.

Kramer and I did that a couple of times.  Oh my.  That was a challenge.

The author suggested that to keep your married relationship alive and happy, your life together had to be more than just the kids.

WOW.  I can see that this same idea should probably be translated for me to my kids.  My relationship with them needs to be about more than just the kids. I want to know if they have aspirations and dreams.  I want to know about them…not just the kids.

I think I need to work to have lunch with them.  No kids.  No spouses.  Just me and my kid.  This sounds marvelous to me.

I think my kids know I love and appreciate them, BUT  I think they need to know I appreciate and love them…not just for bringing grandkids into my life but for being part of my life.  I love them.  I want to spend time with them.  I want them to be a part of my life as my adult child and friend…not only as the parent to the grandkids.

Buck said, “I think that’s the most alone time we’ve had since I’ve moved out.”  That is so sad.  He’s 31.  In 13 years, I haven’t spent more than two hours of alone time with him.   Granted we have a big family.  He doesn’t come home that often so when he does, the other kids all want to be here and see him.  But…still, it’s sad.  I’m changing that.

I ended up writing my kids a note:
Dear kids- In my day mix-up with Buck on Friday, we ended up going out for lunch…just the two of us. It was nice. I love all of your kids dearly, but I love you too. I want to spend time with the kids, but there was something nice about lunch alone just the two of us. I want to do that more. Pick a time and place, lunch will be on me. No kids. I’m more than happy to do the driving and even paying for the sitter. This is an open invite for any time that works into your schedule. If you want to come here, I’d happily get a sitter to babysit too. I just want to stay in touch with you and recognize you for you, not the parent of my grandkids. XO Mom“.

Feel free to use my note if you need an opening to get in touch with your kids.  Hey, let’s do this.  Let’s love up on our adult kids!!

I felt bad that the date was screwed up and it made Buck and Lora (well Lora mostly) have to scramble to get the kids ready, but it was so worth it.   I got time with my son!  I’m so grateful.

16 thoughts on “Being a Mom and a Grandma”

  1. What a beautiful idea. Before my daughter had children we used to go away for a few days of binge shopping. I really miss that. I love her children and husband but it not the same as individual time. I wish I had some individual time with my son too.

  2. Jo you are so right! I, too, enjoy just spending a lunch or such with one of my kids. Just before moving from Colorado to Michigan, I was able to have lunch with my son and it was so good. At one time (before he married) we would do that in some way, but life changes and we accept that and the new flow. Thankfully, your kids are close in proximity to you, so ENJOY.

  3. Good for you! We were married 28 years the very last time I was asked when we were having kids. The judgment and pressure is real. Now nearly 41y and no kids. Some of us are meant to be the professional auntie and uncle :-)

  4. Margaret in North Texas

    Jo, a great reminder, you had mentioned earlier about being more mindful of your relationships this year. One down and four to go, but you will need to repeat. So just put it into your schedule.

  5. I agree. I was looking forward to time alone with my mom after my kids were grown but unfortunately by then she wasn’t interested in going out for lunch or shopping. She had reached a point in her life that she wanted to stay home. In hindsight, I think she was starting to have memory problems.

  6. From the child side, as a young mom with two little kids, this is huge. I struggled so much with my relationships, especially with family, when I had kids because you suddenly felt invisible and everyone only seems to care about your children. I know it’s harder for us, as we live hours away from family so they want to spend any time they can with the kids when we are together, but even just the random phone calls when I’m asked about myself and not just the kids means so much.

  7. Thank you for this reminder Jo. As a mother of 6 adult children the grandchildren are coming hard and fast. I need to remember I am mom first. I need to intentionally connect with my grown babies. Thank you.

  8. After many years of family celebrations always being at my parents’ house, with a growing crowd of grandchildren, spouses, etc., one year my father said for Father’s Day, he just wanted to go out to lunch with my mom and his three daughters. I wish we had started doing it sooner!

  9. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Great post!!! We do need to work on spending time with our children, one on one!! My kids are spread out so when I get to see them, it is with their kids and spouses. I do love the phone calls and texts from them daily! As a step-mom to 4, back in the early days, I did ask one of my step-daughters what I was doing wrong and what I was doing right…she told me that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and the thing I was doing right was to allow them time alone with their dad (their mom’s hubby was always there with them so they were never alone). I’m so glad I asked her and she was honest with me…I have obviously never forgotten that and I have worked hard to make sure they have alone time with their dad. Now that his kids have gone from 3 grands to 6 grands in the last 6 months, when we visit them, I’ll suggest that their spouse and I stay with the kids and the two of them go to lunch alone! Thanks for making me even think about doing that!!

  10. As a mother of 2 children in there 40’s, I see them get asked all the time, why aren’t you married, no kids yet??? etc. It is hurtful and intrusive. I have learned to be more kind towards those nieces and nephews who have or have not married and have or have not had kids. The benefit of all of this is that we can spend time with our children alone and enjoy doing so. We visit them separately and together, just depends what’s happening. Our son loves to fly fish and he invited his dad to Colorado to do just that for a week, they had a blast and sent me lots of pictures. I have gone to see him and we enjoy cooking new kinds of food and lots of hiking….just us. It is a treasure to spend time alone with each of them and to not have the other spouse feel threatened. Great post and l love your coupon to your kids on lunch, do it.

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