I always heard that being a grandmother is better than being a mother. You can enjoy the kids but you don’t have to work so hard and if they cry, you just hand them back to their mother.
Well, now that I am a full fledged grandmother, Baruch Hashem, I feel qualified to comment on this idea. I personally love being a grandmother…but that is only because I no longer am of the age to bear my own children. But honestly nothing is as wonderful as being a mother. Having your own baby, nursing your own baby, putting your child to sleep….all of that is very special and only a mother can appreciate it. A grandmother can make every effort to fill the mother’s role (such as when babysitting) but it is never the same. And you end up feeling a bit rejected…both by the child (who consistently cries that he or she wants their MOTHER) or you end up feeling exhausted (by the amount of work involved running after the children to clean up etc. since your energy level is no longer the same) or you feel a bit rejected by your own daughter (or son) who keep expecting you to be able to do so much more than you can and they simply don’t understand your limitations at an older age. They may even become annoyed if you are not able or willing to do as much as they want simply because they dont really understand what it is to be older.
So what is so SPECIAL about being a grandmother?
I guess it is the feeling of accomplishment. You went through being a mother.
You raised your children and now they have children. It is a special feeling. As
the Torah says, grandchildren are the crown of the aged. They truly are. It is a
special relationship and bond that you develop with your grandchildren.
The truth is that grandchildren reflect many of your good qualities (and sometimes some negative ones). It is the "next generation" and it is the concept of infinity….how through the G-d given gift of procreation you can actually reveal the potential hidden within yourself. To see the grandchildren personifying these qualities is often mind boggling.
Sometimes grandchildren are closer (as they get older) to their grandparents, in
some ways, than to their own parents. A grandparent warrants respect. A grandparent is not someone a child can abuse or take advantage of the way they can a parent…because the grandparent will simply get up and leave! And a grandparent can teach children so much. They also have time, a lot more of it than the parents may have. And all of those factors combine to make a very unique relationship between grandparents and grandchildren.
As grandchildren grow up, they often can confide in grandparents
more than in their own parents. They often turn to grandparents for advice, for
comfort, for that extra bit of attention they may not get from their own
parents, especially if they are part of a large family.
Grandparents provide a certain sense of security to grandchildren, as well as to their own children even though they are grown up and married. There is something comforting about a grandparent being in the home. A grandparent also can be a
very important role model for a grandchild.
And the proof of how special and important grandparents are is when, after 120 years, they leave this world, grandchildren cry and mourn almost as much as their parents do.
So now that I am a grandparent, I want to fulfill this role in the best manner possible and make up for all the“mistakes” I made while raising my own children! I guess in a way Hashem gives us a chance to do it again, better and with more simcha and more confidence…grandparents become parents again but in a more matured manner . And the results are praiseworthy. May we all enjoy each role we fulfill in life, from babyhood to grandparenthood! L’Chaim!!