Elderly-looking grandmothers are behind us. We are now in a world where humans are living longer, children are becoming adult (mentally) at an earlier age, and grandparents aren’t quite looking like the traditional grandparents that we had when we were younger. Long ago were the aprons with grey and white hair up in a bun, smelling the house filled with assorted aromas of apple or pumpkin pies and the smell of moth balls with doilies on the end-tables in the living room. Fortunately we can enjoy our grandchildren for decades to come and being out in public with them (if they are older grandchildren) can be an adventure. The modern grandmother thinks and is open to many situations as their kids and grandkids. As I am moving along with my journey to become a fun-loving hip grandmother, there are a few things that I have been learning along the way.
Dressing your age is not the way of a hip grandmother. No one wants to see a woman in a bathrobe walking around the house. But on the other side of the coin, you needn’t dress like one of your granddaughter’s friends. Think logical about how much leg you would like to expose. Remember, you are not a teenager or young adult anymore. Learn to act like it. When you walk into a clothing shop, you will notice the women’s section sports a wonderful display of assorted colors for you to choose from. Quietly walk out of the junior’s section where your granddaughter frequents and look around to see what your individual style is. Thats the thing about being a hip grandmother. We know ourselves in ways that many young people don’t. We have the ability to mix and match items that doesn’t make us look trashy and trying to compete with our children’s child but in a way that can send a message that we have style in our every day life.
This includes hairstyles and makeup. Most grandmothers of old have no desire to ‘wash the grey out’ of their head. Make way for the new grandmothers of today! Sure, its fine if you have changed your hair color since you were a teenager and no one minds if you have a few streaks of grey to show wisdom. You have experience in life and you should let it show! Having a unique personality that goes with your style speaks volumes to the world that you are ‘old enough to know better but young enough to do it again.’
Find an even level that you and your grandchildren can have private talks. For instance, there are some things that my own mother and my daughter talk about which brings their bond so much stronger. They are ‘best friends’ and have inside jokes that sometimes I am not involved in. As a parent, I feel excluded at times but as an up-and-coming grandparent, I hope I get to have those inside jokes with my grand daughter one day. Patience is a virtue. Keep open communication with your grandchildren and not closed-minded about different social stigmas aren’t and shouldn’t be shown as stigmas anymore. The times have changed since we were young and you need to learn how to ‘roll with the punches’.
Technology at its finest. In a world of computers and the internet, we have to be able to keep up with many things in life. Especially what our grandchildren are up to. Take a class at the local library of the different programs such as Word or even how to learn to navigate across cyberspace. Never look at technical gadgets as a burden in your life, rather look at them as a convenience that you can find new ways of communication be it text messaging, Facetiming, e-mailing, social networking and/or video chat.
Laugh with the good times. Having a great rapport with your grandchildren is a must! If they can’t speak confidentially with their own parents, remind them that you always have a trustworthy, non judgmental ear for them to unload their little feelings on to you. Have in-depth conversations to let them know that you understand what they are going through. Just listen, without pushing advice on them and talk back and forth about what the solution is to the problem at hand.
To every season, learn, learn, learn. Remember to look at life as a learning experience because, lets be frank, you aren’t finished. I assure you there are still places to see and things to do. Take a class to learn about the latest technology or join a book club at your local library. Keep your mind energized as you would do with your body. Start doing puzzles and word-finds online as well as on paper. You can even do them with your younger grandchildren to keep your mind crisp and to build a bond with them. Strive to push education to your grandchildren to allow them to live in a better world than you did when you were a child. Isn’t that what we all want?
Whatever you do, where ever you go remember you are still an individual with your own identity. Remember what that is??