Sending Packages – Part I

I’m a self-declared expert at sending packages in the mail.  Four boys, four, 2-year missions for our church equates to 8 years of packages sent at least three times per year (Christmas, birthday, and just because).  Plus, they’ve all gone to college out of state which means they got a package or two then as well …. at least the first couple of kids did.  Anyhow,  that’s a bunch of packages.

My expert package preparation skills were put to work recently when I sent a package to my son at OCS.  

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(**follow the asterisk below for some how-to tips I learned decorating these boxes)

Truthfully, that might have been a bit over the top – at least on the decor part.  The contents were admittedly so-so.

Since I am so well-versed in package prep (ha ha!), I even made a spare just in case there was a soldier who wasn’t going to get a package from home: DC6F3113-C91B-4F3C-AEC1-234EBB15C153

That soldier did indeed get more than a flag from me, however the package itself is IMPRESSIVE!

Since packages are kind of “my thing”, I decided it was time to start sending packages to my littles.  They live far away now so they must NEED packages.  I sent my first “official” package a few weeks ago.  It was a Hallowe’en package with costumes and candy and pj’s.  I think I threw a few new little toys in there two.  The decor was BORING …  I could have done better.

My mom used to send packages to my children.  They were usually full of Canadian candy bars – which truly are so much better than their American counterparts.  Trust me on this.

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seriously … I’m drooling over this

I can foresee a number of packages in my future so I’m polling the grandmas on what goodies I should put in them.  I got a few ideas on this:

Martha L, MN:  There are books you can record yourself reading it to them. The kids love to hear your voice read to them.

It looks like Hallmark makes a whole series of these.  They look adorable:

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Another grandma had books on her mind too:

Pauline V., WI: Books and always a package of animal crackers or Mini Nilla wafers.

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I thought the Nilla Wafer and animal cracker idea was a great one – as an alternative to candy.

Andrea G., MN:  I have a drawer in my kitchen and it has crayons, silly putty, paper, card games and fun snacks.  Grandma essentials!

Oh Andrea, I am jealous!  It would be so nice to have the littles close enough to raid my snack drawer.  Those are great ideas to put in a package as well.

Still, I need more package ideas.   I consulted Pinterest which generally has the answer to any question.  I was not disappointed.  I can see now that my packages are lame.  I commit to doing better.

Grandmas – what are you putting in your packages to your littles.  Mommas – what kind of packages are your littles getting?

** I used the free flat-rate shipping boxes from USPS.  The large box is basically 12X12 so it works well with those 12X12 sheets of scrapbooking paper.  That and a little spray-glue makes life easy!  Also, I opened the box on one of the sides so I could lie it flat to decorate.  SOOOO much easier than trying to reach inside.   Then, when the decor was all done, I just taped it back together again.”

The Miracle of Love Runs Deep

I absolutely loved being a mom to bunch of little boys.  I didn’t work outside of the home when they were young so being a mom was My Job.  I read books about it and watched what other moms did.  We played a lot and we learned responsibility.   We did everything together.  lessons-from-ducks

Lately, I’ve found myself comparing mothering to grandmothering, and thinking about how they are different.  Being a mom has been a wonderful experience for me.  However I’ve even been known to (half)joke that I might just love my littles more than my own children.   I absolutely adore my children.  They are my life.  Still, I’ve been surprised at the depth of my love for my littles.

This week I asked Go Grandma followers what surprised them the most about becoming a grandma.  If you’re a grandma, then their answers probably won’t be a surprise to you.   Here’s what a few of them had to say:

Lorri S., CANADA:   Maybe I was surprised by how easy is was to be a granny….and to completely love that little human from the get go.

Pauline V., WI:  How easy it is to fall in love again – with every new little one.

Martha L., MN:  The incredible amount of love and joy you feel for each child–from the first and still continues. It is amazing.

Mary H., ID: It’s simply wonderful!

Mary H.: What a blessing each child is in their own special way.

Judy C., UT:  I’m 3 weeks into this new grandma life and I didn’t realize my heart was capable of loving my new grandson as much if not more than my own children. BEST CLUB EVER!!!!

I’m not sure why life was designed in such a way that at just about the time you’ve exhausted your parenting energy, you approach the grandmothering years.   It’s the best reward for years of worried late nights and parent teacher interviews.

Do you remember when you first held your newborn baby, you drew them close and smelled their sweet newborn smell?  Do you remember how you were instantly filled with complete love and compassion for that child – like you would absolutely lay down your life for that child — yet you’ve only known them for a moment?   Being a grandma is something like that only for me it’s more of a feeling of complete protection.  I don’t wish to parent the littles at all.  I just want to be in their presence and just watch.  I could watch All.Day.Long.  Literally, everything they do is a pleasure to observe.C715429B-9A63-494C-B7A2-3CFED0E53AEBI’ve learned that love changes and becomes deeper as our roles expand and change.  The love grows from one of depth and begins to include a love of breadth.  It’s an intangible thing.  It’s especially intangible when you add the love my child has for his own children now.  It’s really the best miracle of love.

What surprised YOU about becoming a grandma?

 

The Day Care Dilemma

I’ve seen this story going around about how “babysitting grandkids may help prevent Alzheimer’s”.   Well who doesn’t want to PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S??  Seriously.  Sign me up today because THIS:

You don’t have time to think about anything else,” said Mary. “It’s a wonderful exercise in love — it really is.”

I guess you would be preventing Alzheimer’s … in a way… because you can’t actually think about anything else except baby so …

This is the VERY LAST paragraph of the story:

The Australian study focuses on caring for grandchildren one day per week. Research showed grandparents that spend five days a week or more caring for little ones may have a higher risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders.

Sorry kids – but grandma’s only babysitting once per week!  We can’t risk developing neurodegenerative disorders – AKA Alzheimer’s!!

Anyhow, I do know plenty of grandmas that do provide day care for their littles – and so far so good for them – mentally!  However, it’s not without some consequences.

Andrea G., MN:  I have done daycare with my grandkids so a pro for me is the extra time I get to see them, the con is that while they are at my childcare they have to follow the schedule/rules. And my 4 yo grandson thinks my house is daycare, so that’s kind of a bummer. But I do have a strong bond with my grandkids, so that’s the trade-off.

Claudia J., MN: I physically couldn’t do day care for an extended period of time. A day, here or there. However, I’m so grateful to be able to give care when I can. It’s a special way to be able to bond with my grand blessings.

I wonder though, do grandparents sometimes feel obligated or guilted in to providing this often FREE service?  I mean childcare is really, really expensive.  To have your grandchildren go to a “cheap” day care or a day home that seems … well … sketchy – you just might feel like you should step in and offer your services.   After all, if you’re not working at least part-time, what else could you possibly have to do with all of that FREE time, right?

Here’s what Susan Adcox had to say at The Spruce:

… grandparents should carefully consider the impact that providing child care may have on their personal finances.  Extra expenses can mount up, and a child care commitment may keep grandparents from accepting other employment or from performing home and property maintenance, which they may end up paying for.

She makes some great points about the longterm effects on personal finances associated with quitting your job and providing FREE day care.

What about if you indeed do insist on payment:

Accepting Payment

Even if grandparents don’t have to quit a job, taking on regular child care responsibilities will require major changes in their lives. For that reason, some grandparents are willing to accept payment for child care. Usually, they charge their children less than other providers would charge. Some grandparents refuse any pay. It is vital to reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties before accepting child care responsibilities. If you decide to accept payment, you need to consider your children’s financial habits. Do they pay their bills regularly and on time? Will they consider your bill for child care something they can skip if their budget becomes strained? A very important question is will you feel guilty taking payment from your children?

Some children who do not pay their parents for child care instead buy extra gifts for the grandparents or pay for occasional restaurant meals or even vacations for the whole family. Some grandparents who do accept payment put a portion of their earnings back for similar treats. In both of these cases, any extra treats or gifts must be considered as just that, gifts. Neither side is entitled to feel slighted if the gifts aren’t lavish enough or the outings don’t occur frequently enough. They should not enter into any type of financial accounting that takes place.

Here’s another great point from this article:

Working Overtime

Most child care facilities have definite hours and penalties for parents who don’t pick up children promptly. These should be spelled out between parents and grandparents as well. Although most grandparents won’t mind an occasional half hour of overtime, parents who constantly run late are abusing the grandparents’ good will. Also problematical is the parent who comes to pick up the kids, starts “visiting” and ends up staying for dinner. Some grandparents will welcome this extended day, and others will be fuming, inwardly at least.

Oh boy – I’ve heard this story on more than one occasion from a number of grandmas!  I’d definitely be fuming.   I really have a lot of opinions on this but I’m hesitant to share them because honestly, I’m not sure what I’d do if I was in the situation where my kids really needed the help.  So for now, only you can decide what’s best in your situation.  What do you think?  Have YOU provided child care for your littles?

By the way, we haven’t even talked about all the things that can go WRONG when grandma is in charge all day.  That I do know about!  That’s my next post!

 

 

 

Back to School and the Last First Day

80 First Days of schools for 5 children. That’s a lot. This Tuesday will be my last. My baby is grown. There will be no fancy signs. No celebration. I’ll get up early and make him breakfast – which he probably won’t eat. We’ll take a quick, (forced) photo as he gets into his car at 6:15 AM. Then I’ll get ready for work. And it’s over. That’s 25 years of Back to School – over. Just like that.IMG_6551.jpg

Don’t even blink, young mommas. It goes by fast. You don’t think it will but it does. Just like I was told it would – back when I thought I knew better.

There were tears last week when I watched from afar at my baby’s senior photo shoot. Not really tears of sadness, but tears of pride. It’s been so many years of hard, hard work.  Every hour spent on science projects and car pools. Every penny spent on field trips and school supplies and athletic fees and parking passes and just everything. Every, single worried late night.  Worth. It.IMG_0053

I’ve loved every choir concert, every theater production, every soccer game, every swim meet, every ski meet.   The product, so far, has been 4 high school graduates, 3 college graduates, 1 masters degree, and 1 MD.   We have a radiation oncology resident, a civil engineer, a navy flight officer in training, a lawyer to be and the sky is still the limit for that baby of the family.

As one era is coming to an end, another is beginning.  We’re not going back to school yet, with the littles, but it’s coming.  And it’ll come fast.IMG_9949

I’m not sure how involved I’ll be in my little’s Back to School experience. Grandparents seem to be much more involved in this process now than ever. I’d like to be there for every First Day. If I can peak from a distance, I will. I’m sure I’ll feel the same pride, and try to hold back the same tears. Or maybe I’ll need to accept that I’ve had my First Days and I’ll wait to hear about their First Days by photo or text message.   Time will tell.

I asked Go Grandmas what they were doing with or for their grandchildren for Back to School. Here’s what they had to say:

Mindy,  CO: I take them shopping for a back to school outfit.”

Andrea, MN: I let my grandchildren choose two outfits each, shoes, and a backpack.  It’s not stressful to me and it takes some pressure off my son and daughter-in-law.  I always appreciated it when my mother-in-law sent money for back to school clothes for my kids.  This time of year can be stressful for parents and finances can be tight

I remember my in-laws buying new shoes for my boys when they went back to school . That was a huge help – not just the shoes but the fact that they physically TOOK them and did it for me.

Anonymous:  Nothing!  Maybe I’ll do something next year but this year we have too many other issues to deal with.

Truth! Sometimes life just gets in the way of being a grandma and there’s not anything we can do about it.

Here’s a fun list I found of ways to be involved in Back to School with the littles:

School supply shopping

Working parents often find it difficult to find time to take their kids shopping for school supplies. Not only will taking your grandkids to buy everything on their school supply list make their parents’ lives easier, but it’s a fun outing for you to share with your grandkids. Spend some time after you get home from the store helping them organize everything so that it’s ready to go for the first day.

Walk the route

When kids are old enough to start taking the bus to school by themselves for the first time, it can be intimidating! Help your grandchild overcome first day jitters by walking the route to the school bus with them a couple of times before the first day. You could even drive to the school and walk the route they will take throughout the day, from bus to locker to classrooms and lunch and back again. Familiarity will give your grandkids confidence on the big day.

Get a copy of the academic calendar

To stay involved throughout the school year, get a copy of your grandkids’ yearly events and academic calendar. Mark all important events like recitals, conferences, and “no school” days on your personal calendar so you can be sure to avoid scheduling a conflict. Don’t forget to mark Grandparents’ Day!

Create a reference of school info

If you’re going to be helping out with school logistics throughout the year, such as carpooling or after school babysitting, it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the relevant info in one easily accessible place. We recommend making a cheat sheet of all important school information.

This includes:

  • Teachers names
  • School day start and end time
  • Bus number and driver’s name
  • Bus pick-up time
  • Locker combo
  • Lunch time
  • Days of special subjects (P.E., art, music)
  • Field trips

Even if you won’t be helping with driving, it’s good to know what your grandkids’ daily schedules will be.

Volunteer

Another way to stay involved with your grandchildren’s school lives is to volunteer in their classroom or around the school. Sign up for the volunteer roster at the start of the year to get your name on the list for openings. There are many different tasks that schools rely on for volunteers throughout the year, such as classroom aids, media center support, field trip chaperone, lunchroom supervision, and PTA. Don’t forget to remind your grandchild when you’ll be volunteering so that they know to keep an eye out for you!

Whether you’re watching from afar or you’re there on the doorstep, grandmas love to be involved. Back to School will always be one of my favorite memories. It meant starting fresh. It meant freedom. It meant pride. I hope to experience that again. Someday. Through someone else’s eyes.  Please invite me because I’ll be there. I’ll just watch. I’ll be quiet and silently cry my pride tears.IMG_0110

Get Ready – the Littles are Coming to Visit!

It’s been a few months since the grandchildren moved away – out-of-state.  Remember that day when my heart was ripped out?   They’re coming for a visit next week and needless to say I’m pretty excited about that.

Since we have no littles that live close by, we are trying to sort out how to maintain a grand-parenting home, given that the grandchild are only able to visit periodically, while still raising a teenager.  As much as I’d love to keep the (now) vintage Fisher-Price toys in the living room, it just doesn’t seem practical.  il_570xN.1220062575_236m

However, when the littles come, I want to be ready.   So I asked Go Grandma followers what they do to prepare for a visit from the littles.   What are the MUST-HAVES to make the visit not only more enjoyable for the littles, but also a bit easier for the moms?  We got some great advice.

This first bit of advice is from a mom of two littles:

Christy H. (Canada): For me and my kiddos: if it’s big, bulky or heavy, it’s awesome to have at the house we are visiting. That means high chairs (IKEA makes a great and cheap one!) and Pack’n’Play (cannot recommend the Graco one enough) are first on my list of wants at Gramma and Grampa’s house. We appreciate toys and books at the Grandparents’ house, as they take up so much room in luggage and new, special, grandparents’ house only toys and books are so much more entertaining than what we have at home. Strollers and car seats are fairly easy to travel with (they fly for free and if I’m driving, I have the seats already), so I would prefer to bring my own.

If kiddos are in diapers, it makes travelling easier (especially when flying) if I know there will be a box of diapers when I get there. That way, I only have to pack enough to get me to Gramma’s house.

I did invest the $19.99 in the Ikea high chair and was able to get a great deal on the Graco Pack’n’Play on Black Friday, which were both well worth it and have seen plenty of use.

I love this advice as well:

Jane G. (Canada): When (my little) was younger, we would child proof the house. Have his favorite books, make Mac and cheese….he loves it!

Child-proofing.  That is a really important thought. As your own children begin to leave home, we kind of forget what it’s like to have littles crawling around, and all of the things they can get into.  I found a great list of reminders here at the Baby Corner:

– Install childproof covers on all electrical outlets.

– Store household cleaners and medicines out of reach, and attach safety latches on cabinets.

– Post the number to the Poison Control Center where you can find it quickly. Keep medicines in the original containers so you’ll have the correct information available in case you need to call for help. Make sure all medicines have childproof caps.

– Keep your hot water heater set between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid scalding.

– Buy pressure-mounted stair gates, but do not rely on them to keep your grandchild from falling down the stairs. With enough momentum, a good-sized toddler could dislodge the gate. Vigilance is always the best policy.

– If any of your furniture has sharp edges, cover the edges with corner guards made especially for that purpose.

– If you cook when your grandchild is over, remember to use the back burners on the stove and keep the pot handles turned toward the back of the stove. Place knob protectors on the stove knobs. Make sure no stool or chair is positioned close to the stove.

– Store your garbage can behind a locked closet door. Keep plastic garbage bags and sandwich bags locked out of reach.

– Remove small magnets from your refrigerator that are within reach of little hands. Keep on the lookout for any small objects that have fallen on the floor or that might be in reach of little ones. Anything that goes in the mouth becomes a choking hazard.

– Enclose your swimming pool with a locked gate. Make sure the slats in the fence are close together so no child can slip through.

– Install finger-pinch door guards and drapery cord wind-ups. Make sure all cords are up and out of reach when your grandchild is visiting.

– If you must own a firearm, remember to always store ammunition and the firearm separately and keep both under lock and key.

– Purchase a safe highchair or booster seat to use when your grandchild visits.

– If your grandchild will sleep at your home, purchase a crib with slats close enough together so a baby can’t slip through. (Check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for government regulations: http://www.cpsc.gov/.

– Remove blankets and stuffed animals from the crib; they can be suffocation hazards. Consider dressing your grandchild in a warm one-piece sleeper instead of using a blanket. Use only a fitted bed sheet that tucks snugly around the crib mattress. Remember to place a baby to sleep on his or her back only, and check on your sleeping grandchild often.

– Consider keeping bed side rails for an older child who is still young enough to be in danger of rolling off a bed and getting hurt.

– Check any houseplants to make sure they don’t pose a poison risk, and keep them far beyond the reach of children.

– Closely supervise your grandchild around any pet, regardless of how long you’ve owned the pet or who well you think you know the animal’s temperament. Even a docile pet can become suddenly aggressive.

– Regular home safety rules always apply, of course, whether a baby is present or not: Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. Keep fire extinguishers handy. Tack down area rugs or attach backing that will keep them from sliding.

– Stay aware and informed! Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for more tips.

– Spread the news: Show and tell your grandchild’s parents how you’ve childproofed your home so they will feel confident and relaxed when visiting. Invite them to offer additional suggestions. Make it a team effort!

I especially like the last one about telling your grandchild’s parents about what you’re doing to childproof.

Here’s a bit more advice:

Lorri S. (Canada): Baby Tylenol or something like it.  I’ve learned to keep some in the cupboard along with the emergency soother, emergency t-shirt, emergency underwear, and emergency blankie!

Nothing more difficult than a sick baby at grandma’s house – with no Baby Tylenol around.  My daughter-in-law always comes prepared for just about any baby medical emergency so we’re pretty much covered but still – those emergency situations seem to happen a lot.  That’s why I keep telling my husband I HAVE TO buy that cute little onsie from Wal-Mart or little jacket off the sale rack.  Be PREPARED!

Well, I’ve got some work to do.  Just today I noticed a bottle of Drano under the kitchen sink.   One of the littles just started crawling – so I need to get a new gate too.  At least I’ve had the good sense not to insist that my littles sleep in the same crib that their father and his siblings all used.  We just took it to the dump last year – 28 years after its first use.  It’s been a great ride, white crib, but you’re not good enough for my precious littles.

Mother-in-Law Relationships

This week I asked Go Grandmas about mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships. I’m quite certain that I couldn’t have asked about a more CONTROVERSIAL topic.  It actually caught me a bit off guard.  There were some STRONG opinions on this.

I adore my sweet mother-in-law.  She has always been kind and loving to me and my children.

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My sweet mother-in-law with her first great grandchild.

However, there is a saying:her-life

This slogan has always worried me a little, having no daughters.  I’m not alone in that worry:

Chris S. (Minnesota): As a mom of only boys, it makes me really sad to know that I’ll never hold that “maternal trump card” or be a holiday priority.  I can only hope that my boys find wives who are understanding and hopefully inclusive of me, their mother-in-law.

One Sunday as I sat in church I could hear two young moms whispering behind me complaining about their mothers-in-law.  It hurt me just a little because I knew that a mother-in-law was what I was forever destined to be.

I mean, when was the last time you heard a mean daughter-in-law joke?  NEVER. But mothers-in-law get a bad rap.  Some is deserved but I’m guessing mostly it is not.

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I vowed I would NEVER be the mother-in-law that would be the subject of negative gossip by my daughters-in-law.  I’ve since learned that you can’t always control that – you make mistakes and I certainly have given my daughters-in-law reasons, on occasion, for eye rolls or perhaps even hurt feelings or a tear.  However, I’m working darn hard to behave myself.

So I asked Go Grandmas what their advice was for building POSITIVE relationships with their daughters-in-law and also how daughters-in-law could do the same with their mothers-in-law.

Here’s some excellent advice from daughters-in-law:

Natalee C. (Minnesota): Daughters-in-law just want to feel understood. On their terms. They want to feel accepted for who they are, what they like, and feel valued and important

Julie C. (Minnesota):  It helps if mothers-in-law not constantly mother their son while visiting. Include your daughter-in-law in conversations and not have your entire visit be focused on your son.

Konnie G. (Minnesota)Support your daughter-in-law by giving them what they need, not what is convenient for you. (Ask them what they need, never assume).  Also don’t tell your daughter-in-law how to parent your grand babies.

Ashley M. (Minnesota): Don’t give advice unless explicitly asked. Don’t boss around your son, especially in front of your daughter in law.

Kate T.: Let your sons go. It’s hard but you need to accept that his wife is the #1 woman in his life now and that’s how it should be

These daughters-in-law have great relationships with their mothers-in-law.  I love what they had to say and how they honor their mothers-in-law:

Stacy A.: My mother-in-law figured out what I hate (taking kids clothes shopping) and she takes them shopping.  They are happy, she’s happy and I’m happy.

Jessica F.: I personally love that my mother in law treats me as if I am her child. I feel I am not just the daughter-in-law. She takes the same pride in me as she does her own son, my accomplishments are hers.  I didn’t just marry my husband, I gained another family

Jeni P.: My MIL is like another mother to me. She loves me dearly and tells me often. She doesn’t get involved in our life issues unless we invite her to. Because of her unconditional love I look forward to spending time with her often and hearing her life experiences.

Sandra B. (Canada):  I love my (mother-in-law) and appreciate (her) so much.

What about the mothers-in-law you ask?  Don’t worry – they had A LOT to say on the matter.  However, their advice seemed to come from places of POSITIVE experience, as well as some admitted trial and error, I’m sure:

Sherry K. (Canada):  Only give information or feedback if you are asked.
Don’t expect to have equal time at Christmas or other special occasions with your son’s family.  Remember that as a mother-in-law you ALWAYS involve your daughter(s)-in-law in planning family activities and time with the littles.   Maternal grandma’s hold the trump card – let it go when your plans are cancelled or changed last minute.  Remember that your son’s first responsibility is his wife and her happiness, and he walks a tight-rope everyday trying to balance everything.  Give your love and attention to all, and carefully build positive relationships with no favorites!

Colleen M. (Minnesota):  Remember that they are now their own family who need to figure out what works best for them in ALL areas. If they ask, I give them my advice. If not, I keep it to myself(mostly).  If one of my kids comes to me complaining about their in-laws I try to help them see the other point of view.

Karla C. (Minnesota): Be honest and don’t take offense.

Andrea G. (Minnesota):  I just try to learn about what interests they have and find a connection, even if it is a small connection with each one. And sometimes feelings get hurt, but hopefully whatever it is it’s not too big to say sorry.

Darnell N. (Minnesota): I don’t interfere or take sides EVER. I give advice if asked but don’t expect them to use it or feel hurt if they don’t use it. I’m thankful they love their spouses and children and happy they tolerate me!

Camille B. (Canada): I have sons and I remember how annoying it was when my husband’s mother interfered. I don’t ever want my daughter’s in law to have those feeling about me. So I say let your sons grow up. Don’t ever demand that your son check in with you about his girlfriend or wife.

Denise B. (Canada):  Be giving, if you want your daughter-in-law to hold space and respect for you, please reciprocate and hold space and respect for her.

Phew!  That is a lot of great advice.

Any new relationship is hard.   I could be wrong but my guess is that most mothers-in-law genuinely want their sons to be happy and truly want a relationship with the love of their son’s life.  I know that’s what I want.

So mothers-in-law, try a little harder to respect that relationship between your son and his wife.  And daughters-in-law, be patient with your mother-in-law.  She has given you her child and just wants a little window into your life once in a while.

Grandma, Get In The Photo

Lately I’ve been looking through old photo albums – you know the kind with the photos stuck to those “sticky” pages.  There are so many photos of my children; not as many photos of me with my children; and hardly any with my children and their grandma.  After discovering the sadly vacant grandma in the photos, it got me thinking about my own #photomortality as a grandma.    Why wasn’t grandma in more photos?  She was there for almost every major event but still – she’s not in many photos.

I think there might be a few reasons for this:

  • She was probably the one TAKING the photos
  • She was likely in the kitchen PREPARING the food for the family EVENT
  • Her children (me) may have neglected to INVITE her into the photo
  • Her children were so busy taking care of their children that they were lucky to get a photo of the children, let alone GRANDMA too.

I know these things because I can relate to ALL of them.  Granted, I do actually get into quite a few photos with my littles, mostly thanks to my MAD SKILZ with the selfie feature.   It’s just me trying to #GETINTHEPHOTO.  (Actually, check out this big campaign Chatbooks had a while back for moms to #getinthephoto. )

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Selfie – while holding two littles AND watching a movie = MAD SKILZ

“Grandmas in the kitchen” – yes – another thing grandmas do.  They don’t have as much responsibility for the littles and their grown up children want some of moms home cooking.  So as the littles and their parents (and grandpa, of course) are having a great time, grandma’s in the kitchen.

I am guilty of “not inviting grandma into the photo”.  GAH – I hate admitting this.  It’s not like I purposely did NOT invite her, I just didn’t think about it.  As a mom trying to gather her chicks into family photos, I tended to forget that maybe grandma might like a photo with her grandchicks too.  So many regrets about this.

Grandmas, we need to do something about this.  It’s time to take matters into our own hands and #getinthephoto.  Get out of that kitchen, give the camera to your grown-up child, and get in that photo with your littles.   They’ll thank you later.

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My mom with three of her littles – I treasure this picture

I am now on the hunt for a single photo of me with my grandmas – either of them.  I can’t think of one ever being taken.  I so wish I had such a treasure.