What Happens When You Become A Grandma

Finding out you’re going to become a grandparent is pretty exciting and I’m used to people saying that being a grandma is “the best”, but I don’t think I’ve ever really heard people say what actually happens when you become a grandma. Or maybe I just haven’t listened closely enough! For me, becoming a grandma has been overwhelming. Overwhelming in a good way, that is!

There are two main things that “happened” to me when I became a grandma.

The first thing was that my mommy instincts kicked right back in. Holding, feeding, burping, diapering…all of the essential baby care tasks came back in an instant. I was so surprised. My youngest child is almost twenty so I thought for sure that I would be out of practice. But I guess it’s like riding a bike; once you’ve learned, you never forget how. The same goes for caring for a baby, apparently!

The other thing that happened when I became a grandma was that my heart grew bigger. I have three children and with each one my capacity to love increased. It’s a natural occurrence, I’m sure, instinctual, perhaps. But the birth of our newest little grandson has made me feel a bit like the Grinch when he has his epiphany about Christmas and experiences a change of heart toward everyone in Whoville. The story says that his heart grew three sizes and that he had the strength of “ten grinches plus two”. This is exactly how I feel! The birth of this little has filled me to the point of bursting! I feel a bit giddy and have noticed an increase of energy and a lightness of heart.

I think that one of the reasons that becoming a grandma is so amazing is that while we are raising our children, we forget. We forget the initial flood of love and emotion that occurs when they are born because raising children is hard work. While they are growing up we are dealing with their emotions, hormones, attitudes and everything else that goes with it and the “new parent euphoria” wears off. When you become a grandma, the euphoria comes back. And I have a feeling that it lasts longer for grandparents than it does for parents.

Perhaps it’s because, generally, grandparents aren’t responsible for raising them. We influence our grandchildren, for sure, but the pressures of parenthood aren’t heavy upon us. We are free(er) to simply enjoy (and spoil) them!

The other evening, as I was holding LittleMan, Girl2 teased about how I’ve been since his birth. Well, I can’t help it! When she has children, she’ll understand. And when she has grandchildren, she’ll marvel at her heart just as I marvel at mine now.

Becoming a grandma has been one of the best experiences of my life and I hope that as the grandchildren grow I will remember to enjoy every moment with them and to be a constant source of support for their parents. Like I said, raising children is hard work. But as a grandma, I am older so I have a reserve of information, wisdom, and patience!

We are blessed by our children and doubly blessed by our grandchildren. That is the truth of it. It’s what happens when you become a grandma; the blessings abound! The anticipation of LittleMan’s birth was nerve-wracking but his arrival has been overwhelmingly amazing!

We’re excited to watch the grandchildren grow and as they do, this Nonnie will continue to share about the amazing adventures of becoming a grandma!

 

 

 

Words of Wisdom for Young Parents

The kids when they were all teenagers.

It’s amazing how the everyday tasks of house and home can help to provide words of wisdom for me to share with young parents!

One day several years ago I was feeling particularly self-satisfied with my accomplishments around the house. I had cleaned it from top to bottom and it felt great.

Just a couple of months before that, I remember looking around my house in disgust and asking my teenagers, “Do you remember when I used to keep the house so clean we could have eaten off the floors if we wanted to?”

The three looked at me, a bit puzzled and replied, “We don’t remember how clean the house was, but we remember how crazy, scary you got while doing it!”

I was horrified by their response, but they were right! I did get crazy, scary when I would clean. And not because I dislike housework. In fact, I like cleaning!  I think it was more because I would get frustrated that the house wasn’t always clean because you just never know when one of those home decor magazines is going to show up at your door and want to take pictures! Just kidding. Sort of.

But my kids’ honesty humbled me and as I pondered their words, I realized my error.

A long time ago, I had fallen into a trap. A trap that said I had to be Suzie Homemaker, Betty Crocker, Joan of Arc, and Mother Teresa all in one.

It was a train of thought that said that in order for me to truly be a good wife and mom, I had to perform a certain way. It was exhausting. And unfortunately, I remained in that trap for several years.

You see, my children didn’t care how clean or dirty my house was. They cared more about how it affected me.  They noticed more whether I spent time with them or on housework. They shared with me how they felt as if I cared more about how clean the house was than I did about them! The very thought of it brings tears to my eyes!

Through life and circumstances, I was freed from that way of thinking and began to relax a little bit more. I learned to choose my battles more wisely and how to make the best use of my time. And I gave up the idea that anyone was going to show up for a photo shoot of my house.

But by this time, my children were teenagers and didn’t necessarily want to always spend time with me, but when they did, I absolutely jumped at the chance!

The years go by too quickly and I now see that I wasted some of the best years on things that don’t matter as much as I used to think they did.

Parenting isn’t easy and thankfully, the children don’t hold it against me. Most of the time they laugh about it and make jokes about how “crazy” I was. Thank goodness that I’m better now – mostly. Ha!

As for Mr. SBF, he has never said anything about the cleanliness (or dirtiness of the house) – ever.

He’s always thought of me as Suzie Homemaker, Betty Crocker, Joan of Arc and Mother Teresa all rolled into one. And I suspect that it shall remain so for the rest of our days.

 

So, when all is said and done, what matters the most in life is spending quantity, as well as quality, time with your loved ones. Don’t pass up those opportunities for making great memories. The days go by quickly and before you know it, your children will be having children!

Don’t get side-tracked by the mundane things in life. Instead, cultivate a life of purposeful interactions and by the time your grandchildren are born, you’ll be a pro at having fun and making great memories!

Right now, we’re awaiting the birth of our grandson. His due date is the 18th and we’re on pins and needles, just wishing and waiting for the call from his daddy, announcing his arrival. What day will it be?

Check back soon or follow us on our social media pages to find out! Until then have fun making great memories with your babies!

 

For the Love of Food

I am a Foodie by birth. Both of my grandmothers were Foodies and my momma was a Foodie, so really, I didn’t have a choice but to be one too!

My fraternal grandma had nine children so I think that she became a Foodie out of necessity. When I was small, three of her children still lived at home and I remember her always being in the kitchen. She would get up early in the morning to make breakfast for my grandfather (which usually involved homemade flour tortillas) and to prepare and pack his lunch for the day. Then when the children (teens by this time) would get up, she would make breakfast for them. After they would go to school, grandma would do some cleaning and various other chores, watch a “novella” or two, then by late afternoon she would be back in the kitchen preparing dinner. By the time the dishes were washed and put away and everyone had eaten their dessert (usually a bowl of ice cream) it would be “late” at night.

Even as I got older, grandma was always in the kitchen. Everyone knew that if you were going to her house for a visit, you had better make sure you were hungry. And even if you weren’t, you’d better be prepared to eat anyway! I can’t recall ever going to her house and not eating while I was there.

My maternal grandma, I believe, was a Foodie by choice. She simply loved food and loved cooking. After their children were grown, my grandparents opened a restaurant in northern California. I’m not sure how long they had the restaurant (it was before I was born) but I remember hearing stories about it. And when Gram spoke about it, she did so with fondness. “It was hard work,” she would say. “But we met some good people along the way.”

 

After my grandfather passed away, Gram began working in a school cafeteria. She eventually became the head “lunch lady” and worked directly with the school nutritionist to create delicious, healthy meals. When I was thirteen I was able to go to work with her during the Summer School program and help out in the kitchen. I was amazed at how much food they had to prepare! And even more amazing was the fact that they made almost everything from scratch. That same summer Gram was asked to cook for a church family camp that was taking place at one of the local lakes. She took me along to help. I learned a lot that summer and I treasure the time I spent with her.

Even after retirement, Gram continued her kitchen activities. Every year for Christmas she would bake dozens upon dozens of various kinds of cookies and goodies. Then she would divide them into tins and containers she had collected throughout the year and every household in her family (along with many of her friends) would receive a container full of her delicious creations. To this day, at Christmas time, my (adult) children still ask me to make Great-Grams Molasses Crinkles! (I will share the recipe in another post).

Just before she passed away, Gram gave me her recipe cards. Every so often I take them out and look through them just to feel the nearness of her spirit.

 

As for my momma, well, she was a Foodie for Love’s sake. Meaning, she cooked because she loved to and because everything she prepared was done so with love. I think that my being a Foodie stems mostly from the comfort of the love that she so generously poured into everything she did.

My passion for cooking encompasses all three of these wonderful women. I have cooked out of necessity, I have owned my own cafe, baking is my favorite, nutrition plays an important role in my cooking (sometimes) and I put a heaping amount of love into everything I do.

I am proud to be a Foodie.

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