Have you ever wondered why grandmothers enjoy children so much? It’s not just because we are madly in love with our grandchildren. And it’s not just because we want to recapture a long-gone season of nurturing, whether our own grands or other little ones.
I can’t speak for all grandmothers, but I enjoy my grandchildren because the pressure is off. The pressure that comes with parenting is a real, heavy thing that saps the joy out of relationships with children.
The daily pressure of feeding, clothing, bathing, and discipline.
The weekly pressure of balancing work, school, church, and activities
The monthly pressure of bills, tuition payments, and a packed calendar of parties, doctor’s appointment, and athletic events.
The annual pressure of these burdens on repeat for 18 years.
Because I am done raising children, nearly all of the pressures I just described are not a part of my life (with the exception of college tuition payments).
I wake up when I want and I go to bed when I want.
I eat what I want and don’t have to cook if I don’t want.
My calendar belongs to me. I come and go without lugging diaper bags, strollers, or eye-rolling teens.
This chill life makes me chill when it’s time to be with my grandchildren. I can live in the moment because my schedule is not tight. I’m rarely so preoccupied that I’m driven to impatience. So when the toddler throws a fit, I am not fazed. It’s not my job to fix him, though I certainly use time out when needed. I can be chill because I’ve seen seven whiny toddlers grow up to be decent humans. With age comes perspective.
And that may be the most important pressure I no longer feel: the pressure of uncertainty. Raising children is like driving in the fog at night. It’s slow and it’s scary and you can’t see the road very far ahead. Parenting requires holding tightly onto the steering wheel, prepared for a deer in your headlights. It’s hard to relax under these conditions, knowing your offspring need you to focus so the family doesn’t end up in a ditch.
Grandmothers don’t live under this kind of pressure anymore. We’ve survived countless parenting ditches and watched God redeem our worst mistakes. We’re so chill because we know He is actually in the driver’s seat, and we’re finally choosing to enjoy the ride.