This blog is going out to the the Grannys on the block. And the Nanas, Nannys, Nanoos and Mormors too, cos we Mamans know you rightly like to shake up the generational name game these days to fend off unwanted ‘Little Old Lady’ status.
Now, you know we love you right. We literally couldn’t do this mothering stuff without you to spin the occasional plate for us when things get out of sync. So here are some (tongue in cheek) handy tips on how to be the best CheltenhamGrand-mère in the business:
1) Live just the right distance away. You know, close enough to do an emergency school pick up, far enough away to mean you don’t notice every time we don’t draw the curtains all day because we haven’t taken our pyjamas off yet- any of us.
2) Bring food when you visit us. Unless it’s fishfingers- we have those covered.
3) Yes please do our washing, No- please don’t put it away. That’s just weird- plus I’m not sure my wardrobe could cope if I actually put away all my clothes each time they got washed- surely that’s what the 4th laundry basket is for?
4) Cleaning the oven is a step too far- we’ll feel like you pointed out our house is filthy. I know my oven needs cleaning, but I like to pretend I haven’t noticed. I’m going to take it by surprise one day when it least expects it!
5) We love it when you play with the kids. Really love it. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids enjoying time with their grandparents. I love it even more when it is 6.05 am and I am asleep. Just saying.
6) Break the rules. It’s glorious to treat your grandkids. Give them sweets and ignore bedtimes. (But if you do it every time you see them we’re sending them to live with you so you can deal with the consequences.)
7) Babysitting is usually the best gift you can give. But be honest. Be truthful about how much time or energy you have to give because this shizzle is a marathon not a race. If you can’t babysit, Gin is a good alternative.
8) Please do offer us the advice and wisdom of your experience. My mum taught me how to get little arms through the sleeve of a babygrow in a split-second. I could dress an octopus in the dark. I am forever grateful for the extra moments of sleep this gave me when I most needed it. She was also great about me ignoring loads of her other tips, and has the balance between advice and interference set just right.
9) Build memories. Do amazing things with your grandkids that they will never forget. Make hot air balloons and float them away, do papier-mâché, baking and potato printing. Do this in your house not mine, and keep the finished products to display on your own walls, I have an artwork surplus which is threatening to turn into a catastrophe if I don’t find a storage solution soon!
10) I was fibbing about the oven. You can clean that baby whenever you like!
A Guest Blog from Sara Wood
Sara is GP near Stroud and spends her time juggling work and home life with 2 small boys. She loves family walks in the country and fun times with her #villagemumtribe to let her hair down, and is currently trying to persuade her husband they need to add chickens to their brood!