November 28th, 2007
Categories: Parenting Older

For a bit of a giggle for older adoptive parents who have grown kids as well, this story may provoke a chuckle or two.

All about young-ish moms hoping for grandma to help out, and how many grandma’s are too busy doing their own thing … raising children in our case … to pitch in as some of our kids think we should.

Starting off with a “general image of what a good granny is: apple-cheeked with a bursting biscuit tin and oodles of time to spend with her precious grandchildren”, it’s a tale of disappointment for some that follows.

Sadie Woods realised this within weeks of her first son being born. “I was having a hideous time. Fred just didn’t sleep and I was absolutely on my knees. I rang my mum, who lives an hour away, and just said: ‘Help me!’ There was a pause as she went through her diary, noting appointments with the piano-tuner and to play bridge. Then she announced that she could come for lunch in three weeks’ time.”


It’s a two-way street, though, apparently, as many grandmothers claim their daughters set such strict routines that there is no way they can manage to navigate the hoops that need jumping through.

Whichever it may be, grandmothers who are raising a second batch of kids are probably not as available to their grown children’s needs for support and babysitting.

My case is different, of course, as so much distance separates me from my adult daughter and her daughter, and if we did live nearer each other, I would certainly be a feature in both of their lives. Perhaps I would even be able to fill some of that apple-cheeked baker-of-cookies role, but it would be a challenge to pull that off in the kindly-and-spoiling sense while parenting kids younger than my granddaughter at the same time.

(Grandparents who end up raising some of their grandchildren while sticking to the original role with others must be very creative in their relationships, and I’d be interested to hear how they manage this.)

Others may end up with issues over money, as dishing out for grown kids takes on a different tinge when you have little ones at home, too. If daughter’s idea of a grandparently function is to fork out for Junior’s new computer and Sissy’s dance camp, but Grandma is more concerned about Jane Brown workshops, attachment therapy, or saving up for the next adoption, someone is bound to be disappointed in the way things are working out.

One Response to “Disappointing grandparents”

  1. mamabearauxier says:

    My husband and I are in the process of being foster parents then adopting our grandson.
    We just forked out a bunch of money for my oldest son’s graduation.
    So far, it has been a very tightened belt on spending for extras.
    I am known to my grandson as grandma and my hubby is papa bear. But we can’t be in the role of “yeah let’s go to grandma’s house she’s got cookies and will spoil us rotten”. I am in the role of mother.
    This is difficult at times, blessings others.

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