Grandma Showers: Do or Don't?
Because grandma just wants a party too.
I first heard about grandma showers when a friend asked if I was throwing a shower for my mom. You know, to celebrate me having a baby and making her a grandma.
Um, no. Call me a selfish pregnant lady, but me having a baby is about me and my baby, not about my mom.
As the Boomer generation becomes grandparents they are doing it Boomer style with parties. And while I have no problem with ladies wanting to fete a grandma-to-be, throwing grandma a shower with gifts and baby gear seems misguided. As both my mother and mother-in-law have become grandparents, I’ve increasingly begun to appreciate what that word “grandparent” really means. When I was a child, “grandma” meant unlimited Oreos and lavender polyester suits. But as a parent, “grandparent” means means wisdom, grace, support and spoiling for you and the grandchild, should it come to that.
The gift of a grandparent is that they never stand in the way, rather they are there to help, to guide and enjoy your child in a way that you can’t. Right after my son, my second child, was born, my parents came to visit. Our house and my world was turned upside down. My daughter was acting out as she tried to exert her control over her new reality and my floors hadn’t been washed in weeks. But during that time, never once did they show frustration with my daughter’s need for attention as she grappled with defining her role as big sister or the crumbs that stuck to the bottom of their feet. In fact, the crazier my daughter got, the more my parents found in her to enjoy. “Oh honey,” my mom said when I sighed in frustration, “we aren’t the parents there is no reason not for us to love everything about this.” Also, she mopped.
The grace of grandparents is that they are no longer on the stage. They’re retired from the relentless spotlight of parenthood. It’s their time to step back and enjoy the show. Grandparenthood is a time to spoil the kids and toast to the fact that it’s not you getting up at 3am to feed the baby. Why would you make the birth of a grandchild about you? Also, the idea that grandparents or even parents are owed a shower or a party is a misguided and entitled notion. Of course, showers are nice. But in the end, no one deserves them. The birth of a child, while it is something to celebrate, shouldn’t be a gift grab for anyone. So, grandma’s if you are out there, say “no” to the shower.
I did ask my mom if she wanted a grandma shower. She laughed. “Oh no! You take the shower. You’re gonna need all the help you can get. Me? My present is my good night sleep.”
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