I am a Grandmother and naturally most of my friends too are Grandmoms. The ages of these ladies ranges from 90 to 40+. In this day and age forty plus you may well ask.
Well! If my friend, Malu got married when she was 18—it used to happen and is coming back into fashion whatever the laws may say—she had her first child at 19-20. Her daughter got married when she was 21. So the maths works out to Malu being a granny at 40+.
Now let’s talk about other pluses and minuses of being a grandmom. The sheer joy and delight that you experience when you hold your first, second, fifth grandchild in your arms is unmatched by any other emotion in your life. It does not become stale with more and more grandkids. In fact I would place it higher in a scale of ten than the ecstasy of holding your first born—that comes with a niggling memory of pain and labour (sic).
Some may consider this aspect a minus, but in my reckoning it is a big plus—The initial days after the childbirth used to be the domain of the grandmom. Diet, feeding, changing, bath, laundry, sleepless nights etc. used to be a grandmom’s job. Nowadays Dads, Doctors, nurses, child help books, TV, internet, peers etc. have thankfully taken over the job.
So I love being a Grandmom without responsibility (in the Indian scene). My Grandmom friends do became drudges and drones when they go abroad for deliveries of their grandchild. In fact they are called IAS ..not after the elite Indian Administrative Services that form the bureaucrats who run the government. This IAS stands for Indian Ayah Service where Moms and Mom’s in law take turns to run to babysit for their DINK offsprings in foreign shores!
I thankfully escaped this and have solely enjoyed the cooing and gurgling scene. Maybe I will be able to take sole charge of my grandchild only when she is articulate and able to express her needs and desires…say beyond 5 or 6 years of age. I can spoil her, buy stuff for her, indulge in my every whim to buy her stuff and when she becomes difficult, I can pass her back to her parents.
The greatest plus would be a captive audience to listen to all the stories that I can reel out—not necessarily the ‘when I was young’ kind of rosy tales that glossed over power cuts, lack of running water, narrow roads and orthodox lifestyles, but the horror tales based on fairy tales, mythology and adventure stuff.
This I can do sitting in AC surroundings with an attitude to match any teenager—“Will do chores if I want to, otherwise I shall just loll around”.
Now don’t you agree that there are many pluses to being a modern day grandmom apart from being glamorous, famous, stylish and …Hey! I’ve run out of adjectives!