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Grandma knows best

  • feeding my youngest grandson Stephen



Becoming a grandmother is like winning the lottery without ever having to buy a ticket. The ultimate upgrade from ‘Mum’ to ‘Grandma’ comes with all the perks and none of the downsides of parenting. You get to enjoy all the fun, laughter and cuddles without the 2am feeds, nappy changing, tantrums and (gasp!!) teenage drama.


I was 48 years old when my elder daughter Alanna informed me I was going to become a Grandma, and I felt a mix of excitement, disbelief and slight panic about whether I needed to start knitting booties IMMEDIATELY!!! (Spoiler alert – I did, and it was a GREAT excuse to go buy some really cute toys and stuffed animals – some of which I actually gave to the baby.)


Holding Elizabeth for the first time was a moment of pure magic. Her tiny fingers wrapped around mine and I was hooked. I love playing the doting grandma, showering my grandkids with love, while happily handing them back to their parents when they start crying – it’s the perfect balance.


One of the best parts about being a grandmother is the chance to indulge your inner child. You can play games, do fun crafts, and get lost in a world of imagination without anyone judging you. Grandchildren are the perfect excuse to revisit your favourite childhood activities. Want to spend an afternoon finger painting? Go for it! Feel like eating ice cream before dinner? Why not? After all, Grandma’s house, Grandma’s rules! The relationship with your grandchildren is pure joy because it’s all about the fun stuff. You get to be the hero who sneaks them extra cake, reads them one more story, and lets them stay up past bedtime. And when they say you’re their favourite, it’s like winning a gold medal at the grandparenting Olympics.


Watching your own children navigate parenthood is another source of entertainment. Remember all those times they rolled their eyes at your advice? Now it’s your turn to sit back, relax, and laugh (quietly) as they experience the same parenting challenges. You get to offer sage advice with a smile, knowing they’ll appreciate it – eventually.


But being a grandparent can also bring great sorrow. One of the most challenging periods of my life was when my granddaughter Annabelle was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable brain cancer when she was only three. Watching my son coming to terms with losing his child was unbearable. As a parent and grandparent, we want to be able to ‘fix’ everything for our kids, and when we can’t, the pain is unimaginable. Annabelle passed away in 2019, aged 5, and I am only now starting to be able to look back fondly at the time we had with her, grateful for every single moment.


In the end, becoming a grandmother is like getting a second chance to experience the wonders of childhood, but this time with the wisdom to appreciate every moment. It’s a role filled with laughter, hugs, and the occasional eye roll from your kids.  Grandparenting is about having fun, and making memories that your grandkids will be able to carry through their lives. And don’t forget to spoil them rotten – because that’s what grandmas do best.


Jody Webster


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