How To Perfectly Handle The Highs And Lows Of Being A Grandma

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There is no job on earth like being a grandma. It is rainbows, puppies, butterflies, and every other good and positive visual that may come to mind. While most of being a grandma is great, the occasional stumbling blocks can make the gig a little more difficult or complicated.

Let’s talk about some of these highs and lows, shall we? As with all good things, being a grandma has its ebbs and flows, which is essential to remember on bad days. Here are some common scenarios and my advice for overcoming the hard times: 

1. Savoring The Highs: Sweet Moments To Cherish

Remember the first time your grandchild held your finger with their whole hand? Oh, how my heart swelled in that moment! The highs are there to fill our hearts, and the best way to honor them is to savor them fully.

Tip: Keep a Grandma Journal. Write down those precious moments, those funny phrases they invent, their hugs – everything. When you’re having a tough day, this journal will be your sunshine and your comfort.

2. Managing Distance: When They Are Far Away

I remember the ache I felt when my daughter told me they were moving states away. How could I be a long-distance grandma?

Tip: Establish a ‘Grandma Time’ ritual, like weekly video calls or sending them letters the old-fashioned way. It keeps the bond strong, no matter the miles. There are so many other things you can do to keep your bond strong, too, like writing letters, sending care packages, and playing games together online.

3. Feeling Out of the Loop

When the family plans a holiday and assumes you might not want to travel, it stings a bit, doesn’t it?

Advice: Speak up but be gentle. Let your family know that you still enjoy adventures and would love to be considered, even if you might ultimately say no.

4. Seeing Them Struggle

It breaks our hearts to see our grandkids face challenges, whether it’s struggling with reading or feeling left out at school.

Advice: Be their cheerleader, but resist the urge to ‘fix’ everything. (I know this is so hard, but it is for the best in the long run!) Show them the power of resilience and love, which they can use throughout their lives.

5. When You Need to Say No

Saying no can be tough, especially when those big, hopeful eyes are looking up at you.

Advice: It’s okay to set boundaries. In fact, saying no can teach them respect and understanding! And don’t worry – they still adore you afterward!

6. When Parenting Styles Differ: Navigating The Waters

My son and his partner have different rules for bedtime than I had for him. Initially, it was tough to bite my tongue.

Tip: You have been around the block and know a thing or two, but it is still vital to respect their parenting choices, as your role now is to support, not steer. If asked for advice, share it lovingly without expecting it to be taken.

7. The Rejection Phase: Not Taking It Personally

There was a stage when my granddaughter became a tween, and suddenly, I wasn’t cool anymore. It stung.

Tip: It’s a phase and not about you, so keep your heart open and let them come back in their own time. They almost always do!

8. Keeping Your Own Identity: Grandma and Beyond

At first, I got so caught up in being ‘Grandma’ that I forgot about the other parts of me – my love for painting, and my book club...

Tip: It’s important to maintain your own hobbies and interests, so don’t let your new job completely define you! Having separate hobbies and interests keeps you balanced and sets a great example for your grandkids about lifelong learning and self-care.

9. Being There During Family Struggles: The Supportive Rock

When my daughter went through her divorce, it was hard on everyone, including my grandson. Being the steady, loving presence for him during that time was both a privilege and a challenge.

Tip: Be the calm in the storm. Times like these is when your unconditional love and stable presence are most needed, without casting judgments or adding stress.

10. Taking Care of Yourself

When I faced a health scare last year, it struck me how crucial it is for me to be around and healthy for these kids. We mustn’t forget ourselves in this grand role.

Advice: Prioritize your well-being. It’s not selfish; it’s necessary. Remember, our grandkids need us at our best, and we owe it to ourselves too!


Being a grandma is the role of a lifetime, filled with the highest highs and some lows that teach us resilience and deepen our love. Our grandkids will remember the lessons we taught, but most of all, they will remember the love we gave – in good times and tough ones alike.

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