So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

It’s been said before, “If I knew how great being a grandparent was, I would have done it before parenting.” I don’t know who said that except every grandparent I know. Because being a grandparent is basically the best gig ever. Right? 

Because when you’re a grandparent, you don’t have to worry about what happens later. You just get to enjoy the present moment with your brilliant, talented, beautiful, hilarious, never-throw-a-tantrum or a toy grandchildren. You get to reap the benefits of years of JV — parenting — and play varsity — grandparenting. 

But you never sit the bench. 

Nope. Grandparents are like down on the ground, pretending they’re a horse and the grandkid is a cowgirl as the parents look on with glazed tired eyes and cotton shoved in their ears. Grandparents embrace the noise of squeals and even cries as parents raise their eyebrows as another fit takes off for flight. Grandparents say, “Please! Make a mess!! That way I have a little piece of you after you go!” 

Yes. Grandparents are a special breed. 

I asked 10 grandparents what they do differently now that they wear the grandparent shoes. What do they do now that, as parents, they would have scoffed at, cried at, or completely gone batshit crazy cakes over when they were parents? 

  1. Bake. With flour. And let the kids actually pour the stuff in – not with a guided hand. And let the kids crack the eggs. And add the extra sugar. 
  2. Leave the hand prints. After the grandkids leave, one grandma said, she leaves the hand prints on the glass and the stainless steel as a reminder of their tiny hands. 
  3. Let the kids stay up until the grandparents are ready to go to bed. Because the house is too lonely without them awake. 
  4. Give the grandkids soda. And sugar. Upon sugar. Fruit snacks for breakfast. Donuts for lunch. Chicken nuggets for dinner. Because the kids eat so great at grandma and grandpas!
  5. Push the grandkids in the swings for an hour. One grandpa said that he didn’t remember ever pushing his own son on the swing. But his grandson – he’ll push all day long if he asks. 
  6. Go swimming with the Littles, wear a bathing suit, get wet, and even put all their hair under the water. Because it turns out, that’s the most fun way to go swimming. 
  7. Make a huge mess of toys and not put them away at the end of the day. Because they know it will just be another day of play the next day. And they don’t have anxiety over going to sleep with the house unsettled. Because for them, the presence of toys is like taking a trip back in time. 
  8. Like the grandkids all the time. The grandparents I talked to admitted that there were times where they didn’t like their kids. But their grandkids – they ALWAYS like them. 
  9. Wait for the next time. My kids’ grandparents make lists upon lists of things they are going to do each time they’re together. Because why put off until next time what you can do now?
  10. Volunteer to change diapers, put them to bed, handle them during a tantrum, rock them during colic, give them a bottle, and on and on. Grandparents seem to feel less angst over the minutia that comes with parenting. 

What do you think? Are grandparents the to you? Do your kids adore time with MeMa and Papa? Are gran and gramps just the bee’s knees? 

Or do you parent with your grandparent glasses on? Are you one who savors every little and big thing and doesn’t mind a mess, the noise, the exhaustion — ever? Good for you… You might actually be a grandparent. 

If your children are lucky enough to have someone that is a grandparent to them, call them today. Tell them you’re thankful they are crazy cakes and that you, too, can’t wait until you get the grandparent gig. Because they make it look like the best time ever. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast. Follow me at

Look beyond the Labels for What You Don’t See

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three kids sitting on parents' laps smiling

I’ve always said that labeling someone with high- or low-functioning autism, or any disability for that matter, isn’t ever truly accurate. You may see an extremely smart girl who seems “normal” but you don’t see everything. You don’t see how the noises hurt her ears. You don’t see how the bright lights hurt her eyes. You don’t see how hard she struggles to fit in. You don’t see how she struggles to understand the social cues. You don’t see how seriously she takes what you say even if you’re joking. You don’t see the struggles when she’s having an overwhelming...

Keep Reading

When You Look Back on These Pictures, I Hope You Feel My Love

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four kids playing in snow, color photo

I document your life in pictures. I do it for you. I do it for me. I do it because I want you to know I lived every memory. And loved every moment. When you go back through the thousands of moments, I hope it sparks something deep inside of you. Something that perhaps your heart and mind had forgotten until that moment. And I hope that it makes you smile.  I hope the memories flood and you remember how much each moment was cherished.  I hope each giggle and secret that was shared with your sisters at that moment sparks...

Keep Reading

For the Parents of the Kids Who Don’t Fit the Mold

In: Kids, Motherhood
mom hugging her daughter

This one is for the parents of the kids who don’t fit the mold. I see you holding your kid together with nothing but love and a prayer as they cry or feel defeated and you wish the world would see your kid like you do. I see you wiping away their tears after they were yet again passed over for all the awards and accolades. There is no award for showing up for school despite crippling anxiety or remembering to write down assignments for the first year ever. So they had to sit clapping again for friends whose accomplishments...

Keep Reading

Let Your Kids See You Try and Fail

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter sitting on floor knitting together

Let your kids see you try and fail at something. That’s what I did today!  My daughter wanted to take a knitting class together. I said sure, naively thinking the skill would come pretty naturally. I’m usually good at things like this.  Guess what? It didn’t. Although she picked it up easily and was basically a knitting pro within five minutes, the teacher kept correcting me, saying, “No, UNDER! You need to go UNDER, not OVER.” She was kind enough, but it just wasn’t clicking. I started to get frustrated with myself. I normally take things like this in stride...

Keep Reading

My Kids Don’t Like to Read, but They Do Love to Learn

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children reading with each other, color photo

I fell in love with books during a war while my kids lost interest in reading during COVID. Between 1975 and 1990 during the Civil War in Lebanon, my mom, an avid reader, was determined to make me one despite many odds. Once every few weeks, starting when I was about 10, she and I would make the half-hour trek by foot from our apartment in Beirut to a place we called the “book cave.” It was a nondescript space—about 15 by 20 square feet—tucked in the basement of a dilapidated building. Inside, it housed hundreds of books in various...

Keep Reading

Dear Teachers, Thank You Will Never Be Enough

In: Kids, Living
Kids hugging teacher

Growing up a teacher’s daughter has given me a lifetime of appreciation for educators. Of course, it’s true; I may be biased. I’ve been fortunate to have learned and been guided by many outstanding teachers, including my mother and grandmother, who passed those legacy skills onto my daughter, who strongly feels teaching is her calling. But if you’ve had your eyes and ears open in recent years, you, too, probably feel deep gratitude for the angels among us who work in the school system. So, as the school year ends, and on behalf of parents, grandparents, and anyone who loves...

Keep Reading

Before You, Boy, I Never Knew

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three boys playing in creek, color photo

Before you, boy, I never knew that little boys could get so dirty. Play so rough. Climb so high. Assess your risks. Make me hold my breath. Messes everywhere.   Before you, boy, I never knew how much my lap will make room for you. My arms will stretch to swallow you up in endless hugs and just hold you close. And love you to the moon and back. And back again. Snuggling and snuggling.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything Before you, boy, I never knew that there would be so much wrestling. And superheroes, and far-off...

Keep Reading

It Hurts Seeing My Kid as a B-List Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Teen
Teen girl sitting alone on a dock

Kids everywhere are celebrating, or will be celebrating soon. They will be playing outside, enjoying warm summer days, bike rides with friends, and maybe even sleepovers. It’s summer—it’s fun, right? Sure, it is. And sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it isn’t fun for the kids you least expect it from. We have that issue, and I knew it was building for the past few weeks with our teenage daughter. She was moody (moodier than normal). Short tempered. Obviously frustrated, but not ready to talk about it. But it was when she came home on the last day of school, in tears,...

Keep Reading

Dear Hunter’s Mom, What I Really Want to Say

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler boy, color photo

Hi, I’m Krystal. I’ve wanted to say that every Tuesday and Thursday when I see you in the preschool hallway. I don’t know why I never say it. It might be because I’m afraid to. Maybe you just want to get the drop-off over with and get out of there. I get it. Hunter is crying . . . hard. People are looking . . . they always look. Your face is flushed, your jacket twisted. You are caught between trying to do what you are supposed to do and what you want to do. I can tell. I know...

Keep Reading

5 Money Tips to Set Your Kids Up for a Strong Financial Future

In: Grown Children, Kids, Motherhood, Teen
Father putting quarters in child's hand

As parents, we want to see our children become independent, but the transition to financial independence has unique challenges. I get it. I have three children of my own, and each of them deals with money differently. The transition can be especially difficult if you are a family that doesn’t talk openly about money. Regardless of whether money has been an open topic in the past, as your high school graduate moves on to the next chapter in their life, it’s important to help them start thinking about their financial future. College tuition, rent, and other expenses can be overwhelming...

Keep Reading