Stay-At-Home Grandma

Me with my granddaughter.

I’ve started babysitting again. My book and my grandson are infants, and I’m nurturing them both in the same crazy year. So while I plan for a book signing at my home on Saturday, I have to lean on my sweet, hard-working hubby to handle the logistics. And while I have my hands full babysitting my grandson and, once a week, his sister too, at least I get to go home. My son and daughter-in-law are in the heat of it. I tell them they’re young. These are the years they’re like a nuclear reactor; they’re vibrant and powerful and everything feeds off them!

Bill with our grandson

I know I’m a big help, but I couldn’t do it without Bill. He’s my support team. Not only does he fix our dinners every night, run errands for Mom, and do all the home stuff, but he was prepared to come over every day for a couple of hours, as he did in spring of 2011 with our granddaughter. This time around, I suggested he take Tuesday and Thursday off. I don’t want to burn him out, but also, I feel less guilty because on those days he ends up with a pretty big honey-do list!

I told him to hang in there – next year will be the year I start to age gracefully! My kids know this is the toughest year, at least until the babies turn into teenagers. My kids both work fulltime as teachers, and with two children under two years old, they’re grateful for the help.

I’m typing this right now as my grandson watches my fingers. We’re sitting on the carpet together. He has a bunch of mobiles dangling overhead, his feet can kick me, and I reach over every few seconds to pat his belly and coo at him.

Our daughter-in-law with the newborn

I also feel a bit guilty falling in love with him, because my first love was his sister. However, she’s moved on. She loves being at her daycare with other kids to play with. When she first started going there she wasn’t yet walking and was frustrated that the other kids could run away from her, but now she plays on the swings and the sandbox and runs everywhere rather than walking.

Wow. He’s waking up from his nap – thirty minutes, just like the first one. What happened to the two-hour one he was supposed to take this morning? Or even the hour? Stay-at-home-moms, I feel ya!

My mother with her great-grandson

But it’s a dream for me. I never got to be a SAHM. I went back to work when my son was one month old! Horrific, but thank God my Mom was able to babysit those first six months. I had no choice. I was the primary breadwinner. So staying home now is like revisiting those days, one generation removed. I don’t have to dress up or be ready for a boss – my little boss doesn’t care what I look like. My favorite time is in the middle of the day, sitting in the rocker in his room while he naps, listening to him breathe. The neighborhood is quiet, and I’m all alone in this daytime world of mothers and babies, snoozing within the walls of our houses.

Our son with our granddaughter

Sometimes it floors me, that my son is a grown man and I’m a grandma. Beautiful and weird at the same time.

Today I’ve got a Skype conference in the afternoon. I’ll probably have the baby on my shoulder. That’s where he’s quietest. Such a snugglebug. It’s not with a client, it’s with people who I’m helping develop a curriculum for a writers’ organization I belong to. I told them next year I’d be there physically to teach or whatever they need, but this year, it’ll have to be Skype or Saturdays.

My dad used to say family is everything. While I don’t believe family is defined by blood, I surely do agree with him. We need each other. Life is hard. We’re in it together.

Comments

  1. Susan's Story says

    Lynne…I, too, am helping out now with the care of my soon-to-be 4 year old granddaughter….rich, rewarding, hard work

  2. karenalaniz says

    I will definitely be back. I’m loving connecting with women at this point in my life. And as far as the farting grandson – better him than you, right? LOL Sorry…couldn’t resist. I’m in a house full of guys right now; apparently I’ve succumbed to the relentless fart jokes.

  3. karenalaniz says

    I was having trouble posting so I kept it short above. Here’s the rest; I love what you wrote here. Although I’m a little jealous that you’re a grandma already, what you shared goes beyond your particular situation. Writers have a writing life. They also have a real life, which encompasses everything else. Every day brings something new and different on the home/life front. And yet, we manage to enjoy the moments while plugging into our writing life when we must. To me, it’s a perfect, messy, inspired life to live. And you live it well, my friend!

    • says

      Karen, I love what you said, and I’m typing as fast as I can because my infant grandson is waking up. I’m watching the monitor from the kitchen of my son and DIL’s house, where I spend my days. I’m mobile! It IS messy. I tried doing my first Skype conference the other day and he ended up having a BM right when I was talking. He farted audibly! Luckily the conferees were parents and grandparents!! I hope you’ll stop by again soon; future comments will go up instantly without moderation.

  4. sally says

    A win-win for everyone. Mom and Dad can know that loving care is given. Ella had a loving foundation as is Andrew. Loved the pictures

    • says

      Sally, your brother is such a good grandpa! His specialty is taking Ella in the pool. She’s such a waterbaby, and so is he. Plus he remembers happy summer days growing up, playing in the pool all day long. He threatens to have lemonade and hot dog lunches, as your mother did for you kids and all the neighbors. Being a grandpa is a trip back in time for him, and the kids love him for being so big-hearted.

  5. says

    Oh, Lynne, you have captured the essence and joy of being a grandma and how quickly these babes will grow! So nice to hear you enjoying these precious moments. The first time I held my first grandson in the delivery room, I had this overwhelming feeling that I would never see the world in the same way again- in a good way- and that feeling has only been enhanced as the years go by. Grandchildren are truly our reward for surviving our own children and the rigors of single-parenting! The picture of your Mom holding her great-grandson is priceless.

  6. says

    Lovely post. I so relate to this as I too am babysitting for my cutie patudie 16 month old granddaughter. I have a bunch of grandkids overseas but I sadly don’t feel much connection to them; once a year doesn’t bring on the grandmotherly in-love feelings. But with this one who lives 20 minutes away, I’m in love. I am thankful everyday for this gift of seeing her often, being close, and having that loving grandma relationship. What a treasure chest of LOVE!

    • says

      It’s true. You want to see them all, all the time! Because proximity is what helps you know them. If my 23-month-old gdaughter looks at me a certain way, I know what she’s thinking. I don’t yet know that about the 4-month old, but I will. It’s your reward for the time invested. I have a sweet granddaughter who is almost 12, who lives about 15 hours away, and we don’t get enough time together. Another gchild is about to be born, halfway across the country. You tell yourself, well, as long as the parents are happy! But it’s hard, isn’t it?

  7. says

    I’ve heard it said that being a grandparent is easy — you can always send the kids back. I’m not to that stage of life yet, but you make it sound pretty appealing. Enjoy that little one (as I’m enjoying Dakota Blues!)

  8. says

    Oh Lynne this is such a beautifully written piece! I love the image of you caring for your infants…your book and your grandson. But you look to far too young to be a granny! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy AND God bless family.

  9. says

    Ha! I’ve never heard a baby referred to as a nuclear reactor and I love your analogy….because everyone feeds off their energy! So very true. I have 2 new little NR’s to grandmother. Stella and Jane. They both make my heart dance! This is a lovely post; I could almost hear your little one cooing.

  10. says

    Lovely family and article. Life is rich at the moment and it gets better if we appreciate the moment. You will be amazed how quickly the next twenty years pass.

    • says

      Morning, earlybird. Your new email had to be approved but after this your comments will go right up. As for the going fast part, I hear that all the time, and it’s like they say, the years are fast but days are slow – is that it? It amazes me that my son is now the age I was when I was getting really good at my corporate job, strong in so many ways. So that seems like it passed fast, but if I have 20 years left, that’s how long it took me to raise him. And looked at it that way, slow. I think the best advice is not to rush so much, try to savor the moment so you know it is leaving. Even though I’m rushing every morning to get to my grandson’s house, once I’m there and his parents leave, time slows down and I savor it.

  11. says

    It’s wonderful that you’ve taken the time to express your appreciation for your other half so publicly. Letting your partner know how grateful you are to have them regularly is what I think keeps relationships going. Also, well done for balancing what sounds like an incredibly well-rounded and busy life!

    • says

      Thanks, Larry. He is a doll. Also, best wishes with your book. Sorry I don’t have time to review it (it’s 4:45 am and I’m racing already) but I’m sure it’s a helpful read for us in the second half.

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