That’s Not My Mom!

Kids often think grandmothers are the most wonderful women on the face of the earth. But I can’t help but wonder if my kids have ever thought, “That’s not the same woman who raised me!”

Windows wide open to soft gentle breezes…it was springtime! My favorite time of year. And what better time to do spring cleaning? But what does cleaning have to do with grandkids? Well, read on…

I was in the midst of my pulizie di Pasqua (Spring or Easter cleaning) for that year, plus a major de-cluttering campaign. So I had taken a few things over to my daughter’s house. Including a padded envelope, which my four-year old granddaughter seized upon and proceeded to tear apart!

But so engrossed was I in hearing of my son-in-law’s escapade of falling up the stairs, I hadn’t noticed. (And yes, he fell up the stairs – he’s a very talented guy!)

“Why are you wrecking that envelope?” I eventually inquired. To which she replied decisively and with a can’t you tell? attitude, “I’m getting to the bubbles!” Now, it hadn’t occurred to her she was doing wrong. Her one thought was popping those prized bubbles!

Not the same woman

And that’s when I realized that my daughter probably thought, “That’s not MY mom!” For I’m not the same as when I raised my own kids. I likely would have made a big deal over that envelope. But I now know that a stupid little envelope isn’t that important – certainly nothing to come unglued over! Why? Because I am not the same woman I was then!

I now have Grandma eyes

My parental vision was often dim. Overwhelmed by duty, responsibility, expections, and exhaustion I often couldn’t see beyond the end of my own nose! But being a grandma, able to step back from all that, I can better see the crux of the situation. I see further down the road and beyond my viewpoint. I can envision the long term effects of present actions.

And grandparent eyes grant us two distinct advantages:

1. Less responsiblity

We get to enjoy the kids without the huge parental responsibility of having to raise them right. And this can help us to step back, reflect, and react with more logic.

For to my remorse I wasn’t always a logical parent. I sometimes made mountains out of molehills, overeacting, or speaking with harshness.

Not that children should get to do whatever they want, or be without discipline. They need to learn right from wrong. But my granddaughter hadn’t disobeyed and didn’t think she was doing wrong. She was just being four, and didn’t think to ask.

2. Greater objectivity

Objectivity grants us grandparent eyes to see the child’s point of view. Eyes that helped me understand my granddaughter wasn’t trying to misbehave. That her only thought was getting to those bubbles. And to see that it was nothing but a little envelope that would in the end would get tossed anyway. Definitely not a big thing.

But harsh words and actions are a big deal. They can linger in young hearts for a lifetime.

So what did I say to my granddaughter? “Enjoy your bubbles!” Spring cleaning, a granddaughter, and a padded envelope helped me change perspective. And made me so glad that I’m no longer that woman who raised my own kids!

Sometimes patience takes stopping to see things from a new perspective!

While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.

Angela Schwindt

Images: Family by 3422763 | Broom by cottonbro studio.

10 thoughts on “That’s Not My Mom!

  1. I definitely think we gain more objectivity with age and experience. I don’t have any grandchildren yet, but there are 20 years between my oldest and my youngest, and I was a lot more uptight with the first 5 than I have been with the youngest 4. My oldest daughter comments that I am a different mom, but that’s not a bad thing. I pray that the older girls learn to be more relaxed by example, since we still have littles around. And I trust that God knew what he was doing, giving them to us in the order that he did! 🙂


    1. I hear you, Linda. Of course having only 2 kids, I can’t say I did better with the later ones. But I did experience that between kids and grandkids. I was SO uptight with my kids, thinking (I guess) that I had to prove myself as a super mom. The poor things were like little soldiers sometimes! 😐 But you’re right, we do have to trust that God always had everything under control. And thankfully, he knows how to turn our mistakes around and create something beautiful from them. That is such a great consolation in so many areas of my life. He is able!


  2. Grandparenting is a lovely blessing! I especially appreciate the opportunity to just enjoy the grands–blow bubbles, do puzzles, play games together, etc. The first time around with our sons and daughter there was so much else to do, time for play was limited. I’m also more aware these days of how quickly the growing-up years fly by, and am more intentional about savoring the moments. Yes, I’m different too than the woman who raised her kids! P.S. Love that Angela Schwindt quote!


    1. You got that right, Nancy. As we age we do become more aware of how quickly time passes. I wish I could have had more sense to cherish moments, instead of always having to do and have things “right.” What will kids really remember anyway? A spotless home or kissing their boo-boos away? Gourmet meals or impromptu picnics? And yes, that quote actually holds more truth than we often realize. Kids have a way of stripping things down to the basics. It’s we adults who muddy the waters with so many unessentials! So enjoy your bubbles, puzzles, and games. You are building great memories!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh you were a parent who wasn’t always logical, kind and gentle? Me too! Part of it was having so much to learn but part was being tired, confused and overwhelmed with the work of parenting. Thank God for grandparents who come along side and help us and our kids to grow up with both grace and discipline!


    1. I hear you Pastor Pete, I too was confused and overwhelmed with the work of parenting. It was often a great struggle. It didn’t help, I’m sure, that we didn’t have any family nearby. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles can make such a big difference. I grew up surrounded by all kinds of family, and my grandparents, aunts, and uncles played a big role in my life. And I’m sure were a big help to my parents. We were all alone, often tired and overwhelmed – and dealing with culture, language, and finance issues on top ot it. It’s actually a wonder that our kids turned out so well!


  4. I’m sure our grown sons feel the same about their dad and me. Grand-parenting comes after years of “trials and errors” as we lovingly try to raise our children the best way we know how. When they grow up and become these terrific adults, maybe we relax a bit, knowing God helps the parents whose heart is set on raising their children to honor Him! And the blessings of being a parent and a grandparent are just amazing, aren’t they?! Thank you for this post.


    1. I never thought about it that way before Doris. But I think you’re right. We do relax knowing that our kids turned out pretty good. Plus we see more and more that it’s because the Lord helped us every step of the way. And yes, grandparenting & parenting are wonderful. I just wish mine weren’t halfway around the world!


  5. What a beautiful perspective to have with kids. It’s easy to get annoyed and see how children disrupt us, but if we took time to listen to their reasoning we really would learn a lot. 🙂


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