I am the mother of three beautiful girls. They range in ages of 24 to 11. I love being a mom and I loved being pregnant. I didn’t mind childbirth at all. I missed sleep for many years, of course, like we all do (and still do sometimes – being a mom doesn’t stop when they reach 18). But holding your child in your arms is a blessing and gift I am so very thankful for.
So, one would conclude, that as a woman of 45 who has two of her children having children of their own, that I would now embrace the “grandma” part of being a mom. That wonderful time when you’ve had your children and they are now having theirs. When you don’t have to go through all the body changes of being pregnant, the moment of childbirth, the long nights of diapers and feedings. You can enjoy the good parts, spoiling and doting, and then give them back for the rest of it all.
I’m here to tell you that you would be wrong.
Before I get anyone thinking I don’t love my oldest daughter’s children, just stop. I love those children with all my heart. They are the three most adorable children in the world. I also have step-grandchildren. Love them all as if they were blood. My 21 yr old is 33 weeks into her pregnancy with her first. Love her and will love her little boy (she wanted to know what it was).
But that doesn’t change the fact that I intensely DISLIKE the “grandma” title. I don’t even know why for sure. I do know that I had always wanted one more. Even now, at my age, I would welcome the challenges of having one more. I know, I know, the risks are high. I should just enjoy the ones I have and my “grandkids”. Sue me, I wanted another. And seeing my daughters have children just reminds me that I will probably never get the chance to enjoy a life growing inside me ever again.
I’ve struggled with this for years now. I have been told to get over myself so many times it makes me sick. I don’t have to get over anything. It’s how I feel. I don’t love my girls or their children any less. I have a right to feel as I feel and to deal with this as I see fit. I just don’t know how to make anyone understand how I feel.
I tell myself that I’m probably not alone in how I feel. There has to be at least ONE other woman in the world of 7 billion people that feel like I do. But where that person is I have no clue. So in this I feel very much alone.
I’m not blogging this to get anyone’s sympathy or pity. I’m not looking for someone to tell me to just enjoy what I have and consider it a blessing. I know my children and their children are a blessing. I KNOW IT. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to have one more of my OWN. And I shouldn’t be made to feel bad because of it.
I guess this is one of those rare human quirks that no one can explain. I hate being called “grandma” and my daughters have been very understanding of that. Others, however, have not. Hearing the word directed at me makes me physically ill. And angry. Why can’t people respect how I feel just because they think differently?
At this rate I don’t know if I will ever embrace that word. And believe me, it’s the WORD, not the idea, that upsets me. And my logical brain has no idea why. It just does.
So I guess it’s just another thing that makes me different than almost everyone else on the planet. I really do wonder if other women, and men too, think that the word “grandma” or “grandpa” is depressing and irritating. But I doubt it. I see way too many “proud grandma” “proud grandpa” pictures out there to think that there might be people like me.
I guess this will be something I live with myself. Maybe one day I’ll find that other person in the big wide world who understands where I’m coming from. Until then I’ll love my daughters and their children with all my heart – and yes, cringe, when I hear that word.Sue me.