Who You Calling Grandma?

Recently the NY Times ran an article titled “Who Are You Calling Grandma?” The topic seems to have touched a nerve as midlife women are weighing in from everywhere.

There seems to be a consensus that BEING a grandma is wonderful – but being called a grandma (for many) is not. The word grandma typically calls forth stereotypical images of the soft, red-cheeked, wrinkly woman in the kitchen trying to feed us more  than we healthfully needed, or whatever image your past experience paints for you. Mostly there seems to be a negative connotation between the word grandma and, well… old.

Those stereotypical images don’t fit with today’s maturing women because most of us just don’t feel old. Many midlife women are going back to school, starting new careers, creating businesses and traveling the world. We’re picking up the creative pursuits we neglected for so many years and engaging our energies in all sorts of new adventures. We’re redefining what the next 50 is all about!

Nonni out biking with her grandgirls

After a lot of deliberation I finally settled on being called “Nonni.” It resonated, was easy to pronounce and, most importantly, I had no preconceived notions attached to the word.  Therefore, I felt no pressure to become what the word represented – I could make it up as I went along. My granddaughter’s paternal grandmother chose to be called “Amachi” stemming from her Basque heritage. Other women have proudly become Nana, Lola, Nona, Giggi, Grammy, Mutti, Meme, Oma, Glam-Ma (think Goldie Hawn) and any number of amusing versions that come with a child’s mispronunciation!

What do you want to be called when your offspring’s  bundle of joy is placed in your arms … and why?

4 Responses to “Who You Calling Grandma?”

  1. vicki Says:

    my mum was damma for years because my daughter couldn’t get the hang of the gr sound! my poor mother! she was fairly disconcerted be it, especially in public, but she was a trooper. :) vicki

  2. admin Says:

    How funny! A child can only say what a child can pronounce – a good reason to pick a name that’s easy for them to say!

  3. Donna Skilling Says:

    My grandchildren call me Mema, I love it!

    I am soon to be Silver Sage ….wish me luck,

  4. Jennifer Day Says:

    I became a grandmother at 45 yrs. I was ready for the role but the word Grammy or Gramma I was not sure about. Once that little bundle arrived I was so smitten he could have called me anything and I would have loved it. He was starting to say Dada and Mumma at 8 months so when he naturally called me NaNa that was it! I am officially Nana and I think its perfect :) I am married to a wonderful man 8 years younger than me, he teases me that I am in way better shape than him. I feel 20 years younger than 51. That is what matters to me.

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