Family Magazine

Why Can’t Nana Be President?

By Sandwichedboomers @SandwichBoomers

hillary and chelseaBy now we all know that Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky are expecting their first child in the fall. The fact that Hillary Clinton’s daughter will give birth to one of this year’s four million American babies will be exhilerating for their family. But it doesn’t deserve the media banter that says Hillary’s new role will hold her back in the 2016 presidential race.

There’s no denying that family has an impact on all aspects of our lives. And let me tell you from experience, grandparenting is totally underrated. Like Hillary, if you’re about to begin this adventure, here are tips as you prepare to accept this unparalleled gift:

Enjoy the process. Don’t be defined by what others perceive as the grandma stereotype. Incorporate the richness of life experiences and acquired wisdom into your sense of self. And rely on what you’ve learned about developing relationships.

Restrict unsolicited advice. You don’t have to say whatever comes to mind. Only give suggestions if your kids ask, and make sure they’re open-ended. Don’t take it personally if they’re not put into play. Remember how it felt when your parents told you what to do?

Respect your children. For years you were a hands-on mom; now let your sons and daughters raise their own kids. A lot has changed–don’t assume your way is the best. Step back and watch how naturally and competently they care for your grandchildren.

Set limits that work. Don’t let resentments build. You may be ambivalent about babysitting so often when it cuts into your work and other relationships. Try to create balance between meeting your own needs and your responsibility to family.

Don’t you think there’s disproportionate attention being paid to Hillary becoming a grandmother? Men with grandkids who have run for president usually project the image of a family man. Nobody is ever concerned about whether or not they can do the job. And I bet no man would give up his political career to fulfill the role of grandfather.

When it comes to her prospects on the campaign trail, the grandma card might come in handy. It’ll bring resolve to the policies she has long championed, like early education and family leave. Actually, as grandparents, we could all stand at the forefront of change–in our family, community, country. And someday look back with pride at our legacy and the small part we played in history.


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