What are some different names for Grandma?

Who Gets to Name Grandma?

What Was Your Reaction When You Found Out You Were Going to Be a Grandmother?

Aside from the utter joy of the upcoming event?

When I learned I was going to be a grandmother, I imagined I looked too young to be called “Grandma.”

I remembered both my grandmothers at the end of their lives.

They had gray hair. Their faces were lined. Their health was age-appropriate for 80-year-olds.

They did Grandmotherly things like making doll clothes for the church bazaar and traveling all over the country visiting children and grandchildren.

They hadn’t worked in years.

What If You Still Feel Young?

My friends flattered me by agreeing that I did not fit everyone’s image of a grandmother.

One young friend finally insisted that I use a different name, and she coined the name, “Glam-ma,” for Glamorous Grandmother.

I loved it! It made me feel young and chic.

What Do Your Children Think?

Shortly afterwards, I shared my new name with my son and daughter-in-law. Their faces fell.

My son finally stammered, “You will be our child’s only grandmother, and we thought you’d be honored.”

I was stunned into silence.

My daughter-in-law had lost both her parents within a year of their marriage.

She had never known her grandparents because they were gone before she was old enough to know them.

I finally recovered with, “Grandma it is!”

I am known as Grandma to both my grandchildren.

What Are Some Different Names?

So, what is a new grandma to call herself?

How does she reconcile her own identity with this new identity of grandmother?

What names for grandparents – you and the new grandfather – seem appropriate and personal?

Women have a number of choices, whether they are looking for the comfort of traditional names, ties to their cultural background, or something entirely distinctive:

  • Traditional, like Grandma, Nana, or Granny
  • Foreign language, like the French Grandmére
  • Regional U.S. favorites, like the Southern Memaw
  • Grandchild inventions, like Gammy
  • Chic, like G-Mom

To avoid hurt feelings, don’t do what I did.

Consider that this decision may be a sensitive one for new parents. In fact, they may have very strong ideas about it, as mine did:

  • First, consult with the new parents-to-be to find out their feelings and wishes
  • Second, check with friends and grandmother forums to find out what creative names women are choosing
  • Finally, consider waiting until the grandchild comes along.

Are There Other Sensitive Topics for New Grandparents?

You can read about how to navigate the relationship between new parents and grandparents in my book, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers.”

Written after 40 interviews with mothers and grandmothers about what advice they would like to offer the other in raising the children or grandchildren, every woman I interviewed began with, “My daughter/daughter-in-law is a really good mother,” or “My mother/mother-in-law is a really good grandmother.”

If you’re looking for:

  • Something special for a new mother
  • Help for a grandmother-to-be
  • An unusual gift for a dear friend you share grandmother stories with…

You will find it with this book and read mothers’ and daughters’ affectionate advice to each other.

You can order a print copy here: “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers

Or, get the Kindle version.

Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers

Click here to nominate this book for Best Grandparenting Books at grandparents.about.com


Click here to nominate this blog for Best Grandparenting Blog at grandparents.about.com

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