At our July GaGa Sisterhood meeting twenty grandmas engaged in a lively discussion that was long overdue: When Being a Grandma Isn’t So Grand. Fairly early in the conversation one grandma brought up a good point: how come we’re the ones who have to bend over backwards in relationships with our children? What about our needs and feelings? She even proposed that I create a pamphlet for new parents to help them be more understanding of the new grandparents’ feelings. We’re all new at our roles and it would help if our children would cut us some slack! But the parents have leverage; they have the “goods” and if we want to enjoy our grandchildren, we have to play by their rules.
“Instead of the wussy-sounding Grandparents Day,” she proposes “we get real and change the holiday’s name to Let Grandparents Have Their Say Day. This would be the one day of the year when grandparents can say what they really think, without fear of reprisal from the parents of their grandchildren—i.e., their sons and daughters and their often-testy partners.”