3 Ways to Become The Best Grandparent (4 minute read)

I’m going to preface this by saying this list is based on the assumptions that my daughter decides to have a kid and that I will be alive when this happens. 

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I know this may not happen but I like to put these thoughts into words in case it does. 

This is so that if she does become a mom in the future, we can read this together and she will either make me eat my words ("Come on mom, you’re a total hypocrite and you don’t do any of these things you said you were going to do") or validate these thoughts I have now. 

Plus, it’ll be cool to see how my perspective changes as time go on.

1. Become a kid again.

Children are an endless source of wonder and curiosity. When I become a grandma, I get to see life through their filter-less lens but without the burden of authority and responsibility that comes with the parenting package. 

I can't wait to learn from my grandchild, to see the world from their perspective, to ask questions about random topics and see what spews out. I can't wait to be silly and say inappropriate things to them like, “that man has a funny smell”. 

I'll be this old person who has been given a new purpose to enjoy my life as it comes full circle. 

How am I going to remind myself to become a kid again? I'm going to continue to be physically active and maintain a sensible diet so I can climb the monkey bars, swing on the swings and go down the slide well into my 60s, 70s and beyond (note to self, write a blog about my fitness regimen). 

My bigger plan is to always be an active listener even when my hearing goes (as hard as it may be) so I can stay curious and open to learning. 

I know as people age, they get really good at filtering out “noise” and coming to their own conclusions when having a conversation with someone. Aging makes a person less patient (which makes sense since they have a limited number of years left on earth and they ain’t got time for bullshit). 

Instead of listening carefully and allowing the information to process, old people have a tendency to make assumptions without fully understanding the other side of the conversation. It’s because in their lifetime, they've had a million conversations with people already and so their brain goes into autopilot and starts filling in the answers they are supposedly seeking. 

I think it's natural to become that way and I try my best to be patient with them since I’ve got more time than they do. Also, if I ever get that way, I would want the younger generation to be patient with me. I’m hoping I won’t get that way so, in order for me to experience becoming a kid again, I will be staying active, listening, moving and learning.

2. Bond with my daughter as mothers

I feel like as my daughter goes thru each life stage, she slowly becomes my peer. And at each stage, I'm hoping she surpasses me with better lessons learned and with more grace. 

When she becomes a mom, it's going to challenge her and I hope she will be vulnerable with me, allowing us to connect as mothers as she discovers herself in the role I played for her all her life. 

It's like I wiped your ass for years and now you’re doing the same with your kid. Now you know how I felt getting shit on (literally and probably figuratively when she starts getting an attitude). 

As a grandma, I'm not going to give unsolicited advice. I’m not going to tell her what to do, criticizing every decision she makes. Instead, I will be her friend, her confidant, her coach and guide, only giving suggestions when asked. 

She needs to experience things for herself instead of having her mom tell her things she won't listen to anyway. Her rolling her eyes, biting her tongue and shutting me out would be indicators that I’ve lost touch with what matters in our relationship, which is authenticity, trust and open lines of communication. 

As she begins her parenting journey, she will really start to reflect back on her childhood and assess how I did as a parent. It’s my final performance evaluation as a mom and I want to do a damn good job. I’m setting my goals now, just a few decades early.

3. Bond with my husband as grandparents

I’m pretty close to my parents (location wise and relationship wise) and they take care of my daughter a few times a week while I’m at my day job (at least until I can make a fortune from blogging haha). When I see them interact with my daughter, it’s a bit like time travelling. 

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I get to see how they were when they were taking care of me, a flashback to a time I don’t have actual memories of, just a couple of home movies. However, my dad’s hair has now greyed and his abs have become a belly; my mom’s shrunk an inch or two and they’re much slower but a lot more invigorated. 

Recently, I picked my daughter up from my parents and my mom mentioned how her relationship with my dad has changed for the better. They have less time to bicker as empty nesters because they now have a joint focus, enabling them to work together as a team to take care of their granddaughter. They tag team, taking shifts and giving each other breaks (my mom will do her yoga and pound the treadmill and my dad will go out for coffee).  

I’m hoping my daughter will want me and my husband to take care of her child. We will get to reminisce together and drown ourselves in nostalgia about the grind we’re experiencing now. 

Our relationship will grow as grandparents and we’ll bond over our shared sense of accomplishment that we will have achieved together. We won’t have that overwhelming responsibility of parenting.  

As we watch our grandchild mimic our daughter's milestones, we can sit back, share laughs and stories about the time when I wrote this blog.

So Readers, are you a parent? How do you think you will be when you become a grandparent? How are your parents as grandparents? 

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