Think Grand. Act Grand. Be Grand
I’m the “step-grandmother” of quite a few grandchildren. After I lost my first husband, I remarried. My newfound family was part of the package. I felt separated. Twenty-three years later, I’m “their grandmother.” I am the second mother of my daughter-in-law, and my biological grandchildren do not feel jealous. Want to know how this happens? Below is my step-grandmother’s guide to success.
A Story of Two Grandmothers
I also had a “step-grandmother.” Before I was born, one of my grandmothers died. I loved my step-grandma just like I loved my natural grandmother, and they loved me unconditionally. Titles had no meaning to me. Their actions were all that mattered.
I called my step-grandma “Aunt Clara” instead of calling her Grandma because my grandpa demanded that every one of us (14 grandchildren) respect our dead grandmother’s memory, the grandmother we did not know.
I did just that for more than 40 years. But, in the heart of my heart, I yearned to call her grandma. She was a “granddaughter’s gift.”
I whispered into her ear one day, “I wish I could call you Grandma.” So that she’d know how deep the love this little girl has for her is. She smiled, drew me closer to her, and said she loved me. I didn’t know that one day I would be called a “Step” Grandmother. But not for long!
The Key to Being a Successful Step-Grandmother
Today I’m like many out there, an “Aunt Clara!” Many of us have step-grandchildren whose grandmother are deceased grandmothers, no grandmother, or not many biologically living grandmothers. We’re the outsiders who long to be insiders.
Aren’t we? You’ll not be considered a step-grandmother if you put the feelings of your blended grandchildren before yours. Don’t be self-absorbed. That’s the key to being successful as a step-grandmother. There’s no need to feel helpless in your role. Praise it. Think Grand! Act Grand! Be Grand! Know that there’s enough love to go round. For each grandchild, discover your position with them. They all have diverse temperaments, needs, and one common ingredient: They each want to be loved and recognized as someone special. Treat them extra special, and in return, they’ll treat you the same way.
A Simple Formula
It doesn’t matter how old they are; I hug and kiss my grandkids. This is my method.
While still at a young age, I took them to Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Company, for hamburgers and fries at Johnny Rockets, and ice cream at the Dairy Queen. Before COVID-19, we’d go on trips to either a museum, play, or a movie. It’s always a pleasure any time they visit so that afterward we can eat pizza at Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s in Chicago.
We’d take a seat at a circular table and talk about the event. I enjoy hiking and biking, and I like taking a walk and talking. I even write emails and exchange texts with them, particularly now that I’m so far away. We are like a family that laughs and learns and explores.
I spoke to my mixed grandchildren regarding my family’s history and the story of “Aunt Clara.” I never talk about the parents of my grandchildren or any other grandmother because I want my grandkids to see me as their guardian angel. And, I’m always at their disposal. I’m neither confrontational nor a disciplinarian. I’ve learned to “understand it.”
Everyone has unique ingredients! Change them into an excellent recipe for becoming a successful step-grandmother.
Are you a step-grandma? Let me know what you’ve learned or what questions you have in the comments section below.
With Gratitude and Love