3 Ways to Get Past Negative Comments (Plus, Why it Still Bothers Me to be Mistaken for a Grandma!)

“Wisdom is with aged men,
With long life is understanding.” 
Job 12:12

Good Morning, Grandma!

I was running late…AGAIN.  I’m sure I was looking a little frazzled.  I had my youngest on my hip.  I had the other two holding hands by my side as I walked in the door of the church.

“Is it grandma’s day with the kids?” a voice asks.

“Surely, she’s not talking to me?”  I thought to myself.  

For the first time this week, I had on a cute outfit.  I had make up on.  My hair was fixed.  I was wearing jewelry.  There was no way I could be mistaken for a grandma again…not today at least! 

As I looked over to see if she was indeed talking to me, she was staring right at me. 

Noooooo!  Not AGAIN????  I screamed inside myself!

I’m sure the look on my face made her quickly realize her error.  So she corrected herself, “Oh, those are your kids?”

“Yes.  Yes they are.” I said and quickly moved forward.

And I huffed back to take MY KIDS in the childcare room…ticked off! 

OK, Take a Deep Breath, Grandma

And then I reminded myself again that mathematically, I could be a grandma…friends my age are grandmas so I shouldn’t be so offended.  I am an older mom and that is just a fact.  I also realized that I must need to get more sleep or something too!

Because this is no isolated incident.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I was the grandmother of my own children.  The worst one, though, was when I was asked if I was the mother of one of my friends!  And she is only a year and a half younger than me for cryin’ out loud! 

It’s very discouraging to realize that I think I’m ok with getting older and then someone says something to me about being a grandma and I let it upset me.  Any time these comments are made to me, I find myself replaying them in my mind all day long.  Even as I’m writing this, I’m feeling myself getting a little huffy.

What’s my problem?  Why does it bother me when people keep mistaking me for a grandma?  Grandmas are awesome!  I sure hope to be a grandma someday, but it’s just the fact that people see me and their first impression is…old.  And so, I must confess my frustrations about this whole aging thing to God, once again, because that’s really what this is all about. 

Why oh why does my face have to get so wrinkly?  When oh when did my hair get so gray?  How oh how did my body shape change so drastically? (Oh that must be due to all the Halloween candy and brownies I allow myself to eat without exercising because I forget that I don’t have the same metabolism as I used to).

I must continue to remind myself about the good that comes with getting older, and even though I don’t love the aging process of the body…I do love the aging process of the soul!  I really do!

Tweet: I don't love the aging process of the body, but I do love the aging process of the soul. -The Real Mom @realmomjoy

My old-fart soul is wiser and has a better understanding about life, priorities, and the vastness of God’s unconditional love.  I have more of an acceptance of who I am and how God created me to be.  

What’s Your Advice Granny?

Even if you can’t relate to being called a grandma when you’re not (and you’re so lucky–what’s your skin care routine by the way?), I’m sure you can relate to someone making a comment to you that hurts. And let’s be real here…negative comments hurt…even if they ‘re not meant to be negative comments.  Well, let me share some granny wisdom with you.  Don’t let negative comments fester…make you doubt yourself…make you feel down or less or unworthy or old!  Instead…

Here are 3 ways to get past comments that hurt…

1.  You can pray.  Ask God why this comment is messing with your mind and ask Him to see the blessing in it if there is one.  Does He want to use this comment to help you grow in any way? If so, listen.  God can absolutely use comments to highlight an area in our lives that He wants to prune or weed out, so we can grow stronger in Him.  If not, then ask Him to take the comment away–out of your head and out of your heart–and replace it with His truth!

2.  You can choose your attitude.  You choose to be bitter or be better.  It’s your choice.  You can choose to live in the “betterness” that comments can bring into your life through growth or through the maturity to ignore them.  You can choose to let it ruin your day (like I have done–it’s no fun) or just be grateful for each day.  Move forward.  Look ahead.  Count your every blessing.  Shake it off.  Breathe.

3.  You can laugh.  If God has no purpose for that comment in your life, than laugh it off!  “Water on a duck…water on a duck…water on a duck!”  Repeat that over and over and visualize the comment rolling off your back.  That image always makes me laugh–never mind the fact that I also visualize that the comment splashes on top of the person’s head.

For me, I can cry at the fact that so many people think I need to be wearing Depends or I can depend on the good Lord to uplift and encourage me.  I can pray that He continues to fill me with His wisdom and understanding that only comes with age and life experiences.  I can choose my attitude when people ask if I’m a grandma.  I can be grateful that I must look wise and just go about my day.  When I feel down, I can rely on the good Lord to whisper into my ears His precious words of affirmation knowing that He has a purpose for this old geezer in this world.   

And I can laugh.  Oh how I hope I can laugh the next time someone calls me a grandma. 

I hope I can just grab my bifocals and God will  allow me to see it all in perspective in the grand scheme of life.  

And I hope that the next time someone throws a negative comment your way, you’ll know what to do too!

Let’s Pray

Lord, show us the blessing in the messy comments we get from others.  Allow us to put them through your Holy Spirit filter and grant us wisdom to know what to do with them.  Help us to embrace our aging bodies and be joyful of our aging souls.  Allow us to live our lives with confidence in You no matter what anyone says about us.  You love us unconditionally.  Help us to love ourselves unconditionally too.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

10 Things to Remember When You Become a Grandma

I’m not a grandma yet (so will you all please stop asking!)  I know I’m an older mom.  I know that I may look old enough to be a grandma.  I know that mathematically I could be a grandma, but I’m not!  

But one thing I’ve learned from talking to grandmas is that many of them have forgotten what it’s like to be a mom of young children.  In some ways that brings me hope that I will one day forget about this exhausting phase of life with a 7 year old, 4 year old, and an ever-so-clingy almost 2 year old. 

But in other ways, it makes me realize how much I don’t want to forget about what it’s like–how exhausting it is, how much you really need help but don’t want to ask for it, how much you really need a break but don’t want to admit it, and how much you really need encouragement because so often, you feel like you’re failing! 

I know that I’m thinking way ahead, but I want to remember what my kids will need from me when they are in the “trenches” of parenthood, so that I can be an incredible blessing to them when I do become a grandma someday!   

10 Things to Remember When You Become a Grandma

1.  Always know your grandchildren’s diaper size and have extra diapers and wipies on hand when you see them.  Let them keep the extras.

2.  When your kids say that they don’t need any help, they really do.  Politely insist on coming over to help or at least just let them know that you are available if they change their mind.

3.  Give them a break.  They love their kids but they are tired and need time to reconnect with their spouses.  Don’t wait for them to ask you.  Clear your schedule to babysit at least once a month as well as on your kids’ birthdays and anniversaries and encourage them to take a night out…your treat.

4.  Visit as often as possible without being pushy even if you just come over to help fold laundry, clean the house, or just hold the baby for a while. 

5.  Keep a list in your purse of current clothing and shoe sizes of your grandchildren, so while you’re out shopping you can help find new seasonal items (especially boy pants because they put holes in them so quickly and snowsuits and boots because they are so expensive and some years they barely wear them.)

6.  Don’t give your kids gifts that require any extra work or care.  They are seriously busy and focused on taking care of their own kids and although, they love the gift, they will probably not get that plant in the ground unless you help them do it.

7.  Bring meals often.  No one will ever turn down a home-cooked meal from their mom!

8.  Before you leave the grocery store, call and see if your children need anything.  Even if they say they don’t need anything, you can always drop off milk…and chocolate.  🙂

9.  Know your children’s love language.  Even when they are adults, they still need to feel loved by you. 

10.  Listen to them.  I understand that moms want to fix everything, but just know that sometimes your children really do just want you to listen, offer them encouraging words, and give them hope!

Lord, give us ways to love, respect, comfort, and support our kids in every phase of life but especially when they become parents of their own.  Help us to be a blessing to our children…now and always.  Amen!