6 Family Stories to Tell Your Grandchildren Again and Again

My daughter, mother of my two grandsons, is an early childhood educator. Each school year, my daughter hosts a Grandparents Day celebration and encourages her students to invite a grandparent (or two) to attend school with them. One highlight of Grandparents Day is when the students "interview" their grandparents on what school was like for them at their grandchild’s age. The anecdotes shared by the grandparents, my daughter says, never fail to dazzle and often downright befuddle the rapt grandchildren... Continue reading on Grandparents.com

Why It's Scary Being the Grandparent

From the moment I learned my husband and I would be parents up until those three little ones we eventually birthed left our nest, I was a paranoid, overprotective mother. I worried during each of my pregnancies, fretted over growth charts as my newborns grew, panicked about tiny things that might go wrong, every danger that could feasibly come my children’s way.

Fortunately, little went wrong, and my three daughters grew into happy, healthy, productive adults.

Then one of those daughters became a mother…Continue reading on Grandparents.com

What's a Grandma Worth?

Each Mother’s Day, Salary.com releases figures on what a mom is worth, the salary mothers working outside the home and within should make based on the duties she performs. Esteemed outlets from Forbes to Working Mother magazine tout the results, highlighting the ultimately priceless job mothers perform.

I think a similar study should be done on what a grandmother...Continue reading on Grandparents.com

To Move or Not to Move (Near the Grandkids)

I'm a long-distance grandma. On occasion, I complain about the many miles between my two grandsons and me. After a recent long-winded lamentation about what I miss out on by them living so far away, I was asked, by a non-grandma, Why don't you just move closer to them?

My short answer: Sheesh! I have a life!

My long answer: I have a life. A life filled with interests...Continue reading on Grandparents.com

Remembering Grandma

I’m a relatively new grandma, on the job for just over four years. Though a novice, it took me no time at all to consider myself THE grandma in my family — the family matriarch.

In my self-centered state, mentions of grandparenting led me to consider only my grandma experience, my state of affairs, my revered status. I’d mull the myriad ways my daughter might encourage my young grandsons to remember...Continue reading on Grandparents.com

7 Challenges Grandmas Face at Thanksgiving

Life becomes easier once we become grandmothers. With fewer obligations to meet, there’s more fun to be had. Except, that is, when it comes to the holidays, and none more so than Thanksgiving.

To wit:

1. We have to share. We were...Continue reading on Grandparents.com

Grandma is a Hoarder

I keep a fairly neat and tidy home. I head right from the mailbox to the recycling bin to throw out junk mail before entering the house. I make regular donations of unused clothing, books, and household items to Goodwill. I empty the fridge, cupboards, and closets without restraint.

When it comes to artwork from my grandkids, though, I simply...Continue reading on Grandparents.com

Thank Goodness I Don't Have a Daughter-in-Law

Beneath the gentle exterior of many a grandma flows a subtle undercurrent of competition. It’s difficult to resist the nagging desire to be like uber-crafty and clever grandmas. And—as is the case for many long-distance grandmas, such as myself—we often envy the more wealthy, traveled grandmothers their regular visits to see their grandbabies.

I do admit to playing a bit of...Continue reading on Grandparents.com

Grandmothers Helping Others Through Activism

A popular concept of late is that of finding one’s tribe, the group with whom we fit, folks whose values and actions resonate with and reflect what’s in our hearts. Grandmother and photojournalist Paola Gianturco found her tribe in diverse women all across the globe. Then she wrote a book about them — the inspirational grandmothers facilitating...Continue reading on Grandparents.com

What Not to Give the Grandkids for Christmas

The Christmas my middle daughter was about 4 years old, she received the most adorable, soft-bodied baby doll. We called it “Laughing Baby,” because when the doll’s tummy was pressed, she’d let loose an infectious giggle that would set my daughter into giggle fits galore. It was precious—the first 320 times. Then it was simply obnoxious and in need of silencing.One night while my daughter slept...Continue reading on Grandparents.com


Thoughts on my daughter's miscarriage

My daughter lost her baby last week. A miscarriage in the first trimester.

Coming from an abundantly fertile family, it's hard to wrap my head around that. My mom had seven children. Three of my sisters had several children, and a number of those kids had kids. I had three children myself, and my middle child had three children, too.

All of us had no problem. Yet it's a problem for my oldest child, Brianna.

"Problem" doesn't come close to accurately describing the fertility challenge for my daughter. A dead baby is far more than a problem. It's a painful, traumatic, inexplicable loss.

My 33-year-old daughter, who learned just this past year that her chances for conceiving and delivering a child are sadly...continue reading on PurpleClover.com.

When A Teen Mom Hits Midlife

In the summer of 1982, I graduated from high school, turned 18, got married and had a baby. I went from kid to wife and mother in the span of three months, just like that.

My husband was 21 at the time. Now, 33 years later, we're empty-nesters. We've patted ourselves on the back for a job well done. We beat the odds and raised three lovely and amazing daughters from diapers to dorm rooms and into the real world. Our journey featured little outside the typical bumps, bruises and pains of parenthood, despite the fact that we were mere children ourselves at the outset. Our girls are grown and gone—one has even made us grandparents.

Time to rejoice! Time to enjoy midlife!

Time for an unexpected reality check, is more like it.

Once my kids split and I recovered from the initial empty-nest jitters, it became clear that having been a teen mother would...Continue reading on PurpleClover.com


Outlook for 2014: A to-do list for grandparents

Though the new year steadily picks up steam, there’s still plenty of time to resolve to improve certain areas of one’s life. Some call such intentions resolutions, but for me, the “R” word guarantees failure as I rail against having to do what’s expected of me… even if the only one expecting it is myself.

I don’t do resolutions. I do do to-do lists, though, and the following is my to-do list for grandparents. The great thing...Continue reading on Boomeon

An Introduction from GrandmasBriefs

Dear Boomeon community members:

I am delighted to be a part of this new adventure called Boomeon, and I so look forward to getting to know you and your stories.

My story is that I am on the younger side of the boomer generation, one of those in the so-called “Generation Jones” subcategory of baby boomers. I have no memories related to the assassination of JFK, yet I do remember clearly where I was...Continue reading on Boomeon


7 Ways to Be a Cool Grandparent

As a baby boomer, I like to think of myself as being pretty hip. And even though my middle child, a Millennial and the mother of two, doesn’t always see me that way, she does admit that I am one cool grandma.

My grandsons, 5 and 2, think I’m a pretty neat grandma, too. How do I know? Last January, when I visited them in Arizona, I brought some…Continue reading on Next Avenue

How to Be a Grandparent Fit for a King

With the eyes of the world focused on the new royal baby, there’s much chatter about what William and Katherine will name the future king, how they’ll rear him and, interestingly, the roles of both sets of grandparents.

It’s normal for in-laws to feel a little competitive with the “other” side: Imagine trying to outdo the Windsors! But being a terrific grandparent is not, ultimately, about the bestowing of material gifts...Continue reading on Next Avenue

How to Help Your Unmarried Child Find Love

The current dating scene is a depressing place: too few suitable options and fewer still willing to commit. And far too many tears after yet another less-than-stellar first date.  

Such things should matter not one whit to me, a happily married 49-year-old grandmother. But they do matter — a lot. My heart breaks every time I witness, counsel and console my oldest, never-wed daughter...Continue reading on Next Avenue


While those above feature original content, you'll also occasionally find my Grandma's Briefs articles syndicated on popular sites including the following.


10 Things for Grandparents to Quit Fretting About

Grandparents far too often fret and fear that they're somehow not the grandparent they should be. For all you worry-wart grandparents, I suggest you stop fretting about the following when it comes to your grandchildren:

I don't have the budget to give many gifts or clothes.

Kids don't need stuff to know they're loved. The child's parents are likely covering all the basic needs, so any extra stuff you might provide is just gravy. And how...Continue reading on Huffington Post

Who Puts Baby in a Corner? Not This Grandma

My favorite grandma never spanked me. She also never yelled at me, reprimanded me or restricted me.

My not-so-favorite grandma? Well, she never spanked me, either. She did, though, once make me drink grape juice I didn't want. I immediately vomited up the purple stuff; grandma immediately yelled at me...Continue reading on Huffington Post (Also published on Better After 50)

Good Riddance, 2012: An Open Letter to One of the Worst Years Yet

Dear 2012,

I had high hopes for you. After the economic mess 2007 and 2008 left us in, I had heard you'd set things right, bring us back to the normal we citizens all across the globe had grown to know and love — even though we didn't know how...Continue reading on Huffington Post

The Perils of Pauline Multiplied: My Girly Girl Daughter Now Mothers All-Boy Boys

My grandsons live more than 800 miles away from me, so I see them only occasionally. One of the perks of being a long-distance grandma — and there are a few — is the obvious growth and maturing of my grandsons from one visit to the next.

I delight...Continue reading on Huffington Post (Also published on Better After 50)

Becoming Grandma Too Soon: Tips for Navigating an Unplanned Pregnancy

As our children become young adults and we envision our eventual role as Grandma, we all imagine a certain scene, a certain set of events leading up to the glorious title and tasks of family matriarch. The imagined scene doesn't usually include a teen daughter — or a teen son...Continue reading on Huffington Post