F Simple and Serene Living: THE IMPORTANCE OF GRANDMOTHERS 09 10
Friday, April 17, 2015

THE IMPORTANCE OF GRANDMOTHERS

There was a time when it was the norm for extended families to live together. When grandparents were an integral part of a family's day to day living. When an older generation was deemed to be a source for teaching life experience to younger members of a family.

mamma and babychimpanzees
the grandparent effect
Although those days have primarily ended, does that mean that grandparents and especially grandmothers no longer are needed in the raising of children?

I recently came across this article from The Grandparent Effect. It spoke to my question. 

"Some scientists think women evolved to live way past their childbearing years so that in middle age, unencumbered by babies of their own, they can make sure their daughters’ kids thrive.
These scientists posit that back in the days before farming, young mothers were better able to keep their kids alive when their own mothers were around to help forage—an advantage that has been dubbed the “grandmother effect.”
Okay, so that is the theory for why we lived longer than our chimpanzee friends, but what is our purpose in the family now? Are we meant to take cruises where we play shuffleboard or hang out in bingo parlors?

I agree with the author's thought that the importance of grandparents has ebbed and flowed over time. Maybe grandparents were less important in the mid twentieth century when most mothers stayed at home, but the importance of grandmothers may be on the upswing once again. 

I do know that I would like to spend more time with my own grandchildren. That I would like to pass on things that I learned from my grandmothers. 


Just look at all of the fun we are missing out on by not being together. 

My hypothesis is that grandmothers are pretty darned important.

What are your thoughts?


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31 comments:

  1. Oh my heavens, so important! And grandchildren light up my life!!

    Great post~

    Nancy

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    1. Grandchildren sure do help to keep us going :)

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  2. I don't get to spend enough time with my grandchildren, either. But luckily, we get to babysit the 2 youngest ones tomorrow night. Can't wait! It was definitely a new years 'resolution' for me to get more grandkids time this year. ;)

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    1. I hope you have a wonderful time babysitting, Gwen. I am working on finding a way to be closer to mine.

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  3. Grandmothers are very important in the life of their grandkids as we have so much we can teach them about life. I wish my own little grandsons weren't 3000 miles away as our visits with them are limited and brief. I only had one living grandmother when I was growing up and she was really 'old' and proper and not very grandmotherly but, I had aunts that kind of stepped up to the role of grandmother too. I think it's the wisdom and knowledge which come from life experiences that are very important to share whether you are a grandmother, aunt or friend to little ones. In the meantime I am thankful that I can see the dear little faces of our grandsons on Skype! I love technology. Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. So sorry that your grandsons live so far away, Pamela. I know how difficult it is to see them so rarely. Our life experiences are important to our grandchildren. My grandparents taught me so much in so many little ways about life.

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  4. Well, I am pretty lucky in that I have been able to have such hands-on with 7 of my grandchildren. I know that they light up my life and I am pretty sure that they are happy to see me and spend time with me. The funniest at this point is little 2-1/2 year old CJK...no matter what happens at DAYCARE---good or bad---he will say---My Nana teached me that! lol I am sure they think I am something out of a bad novel. xo Diana

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    1. I love that little anecdote, Diana. I bet they think he is lucky to have a nana who spends so much time with him. :)

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  5. Grandparents are essential and cherished!

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  6. I'm not a grandmother yet, but I remember how important my own grandmother was in my life. I always loved visiting her and she was such a help to me after my own mother died when my son was 2 weeks old. She lived to the ripe old age of 98! My children loved her and my mother would have been a wonderful grandmother to them had she lived. Sadly, their other grandmother didn't have much time for them and she only lived 15 minutes away. I suppose not all grandmothers know how to be or want to be a grandmother.

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    1. I'm sorry that your mom didn't have the chance to enjoy being a grandmother to your children, but how wonderful that your grandmother stepped in. I'm sure she added so much to your children's lives. My mother never really liked being a grandmother. She never wanted to babysit or have the children sit on her lap. I think she now regrets that and loves to see her great grandchildren.

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  7. Just welcomed my 22nd grand baby this week... a sweet baby girl. Grandmothering is the very best part of mothering... all the fun and not so much the fuss. Most of our vacation time is spent visiting the grandkiddos and we wouldn't have it any other way. FaceTime and Instagram keep us updated in between visits. Your hypothesis is definitely correct!

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    1. 22!!!! How wonderful. Anytime I am able to get away it is to see my grandchildren too. I can't imagine that any other vacation would be half as much fun.

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  8. I chose not to have children, so there are no grandchildren - but my great-niece had a baby daughter yesterday. The famiy goes on. One of my own great regrets is that I never met any of my grandparents. Long ago, and far away in New Zealand or England.

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    1. I feel sure that you can play an important role in the lives of the children in your extended family, Diana. I wish that you had been able to meet your own grandparents and I bet they wished that they had been able to meet you too.

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  9. Every family is different, but I will say this...all my family is gone now. The only 'blood relative' I have is my daughter, but the only person I truly miss is my grandmother. I can't imagine what my life without her in it would have been like.

    Like many back then, she lived with us. She was a hoot!

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    1. I miss both of my grandmothers, Doreen. They were completely different, but each added so much to my life. I bet growing up having your grandmother live with you was a wonderful life experience.

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  10. Well I stopped down at my son's an hour or so ago and here's my tale. At the moment, I was VERY important.
    The twin girls and their cousin picked dandelions for me and then my DIL and I were talking and not paying much attention until the next round of flowers came my way, which they were picking from the neighbor's display. UH-OH! Glad that the neighbor was not there at the moment :)

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    1. That is so funny, Deb. My grandchildren have been known to pick flowers too that may or may not have come from someone's yard. :)

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  11. Hi Laura. I feel that grandmothers are VERY important. Both of mine had a huge impact on my life and I like to think I have a similar impact. Our society is so fractured these days. Grandmothers offer consistency and the greatest gift of all, love. Susan

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    1. Very well said, Susan. Our love is the greatest gift of all.

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  12. I so agree. I lived next door to one of my grandmothers. Loved seeing her every day. I have been spending extra time with two of my grands while their mommy is in ICU. They miss their mom and their daddy right now. I think it helps having their grandmothers around in times like these. Then on the other hand, my other granddaughter in Colorado had a birthday today. We called and sang to her. Her little brother got on and talked and talked. He is just hilarious on the phone. When ever I say goodbye he says that he wants to speak to Grampy. When we saw him last I told him I was going to miss him. He looked at me and said, 'I am going to miss this guy," Grampy. Finally he is someone's favorite.

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    1. I will pray that "mommy" gets well very quickly. So important that the children have your love right now. Isn't it amazing how the little things that our grandchildren say to us mean so much. Happy to hear that Grampy is finally someone's favorite.

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  13. My grandmother's were both important to me and they helped to fill in gaps in my childhood. They have played a large role in who I am today. One lived nearby and the other far away and visits were few and far between. (There was no Skype back then) Yet she contributed in the hugest way possible to my value's today.

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    1. Grandmothers have so much to teach and so much love to give, Ronda. I am glad that you received those things from yours. :)

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  14. Grandparents mean the world! I was so very lucky to have the worlds best living with us on the farm when I was growing up. Those two dear people had an enormous impact on my life and who I am, taught me so much and infinately shaped who I became and am today. I always cry whe I visit their grave. They were my father's parents, the others died before I was born. My own mother doesn't make my children a priority atall sadly. We only live an hour apart, but she has trouble fitting us in between all her activities. There can go moths between her finding time. Very sad, grandmothers and grandkids need eachother. Pam

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    1. I am so sorry that your mother is missing out on so much and that your children are too. My mother did not want to be a grandmother either, and now she regrets it. Yes, we do need each other, Pam. It is an amazing bond.

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  15. At this point in my life, my grandchildren are my reason for living! I suppose grandpa and I could pack up and travel wherever we wanted to go, but right here, with them popping in and out of our lives is the best place on earth to be!

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  16. My grandmother took care of me most Friday evenings while my parents bought groceries and went to a movie. The memories I have are priceless. She had worked a full day and was still willing to take care of me for the evening. My children had grandparents on both sides and they chose to have nothing to do with grandchildren. It always bothered me but bothers me more since my children are grown. There was a need for others to show care. Just having"me" was not enough.

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  17. Fantastically said dear Laura. Most of my colleagues with children enjoy having their mother around and acting like grandmothers: showing love, interest, comforting, telling stories, attending some events, ... In short, helping children to make the most out of a wonderful family life.
    Grandmothers are special.
    I'm sure your grandchildren really treasure the moments you spend with them.

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