Sage Advice: An Older Mom Is Sick of Being Called "Grandma"

By Amy Dickinson | November 8th, 2017

Older Mom

Dear Amy: I would like to use your column to ask people to stop approaching women and men with babies and saying, “Is this your grandchild?”

It took me a very long time to get pregnant and to finally have the baby I love. Perhaps this should not upset me so much, but it does make me so sad and angry when people ask if I am my daughter’s grandma.

It would be so easy if people would just not assume.

I was 48 years old when my baby was born; I am 50 now. Whenever I meet other older parents, we all have the same issue with people making these sorts of comments. Please put the call-out to get this to stop.

– Happy Mom

Dear Happy: I am happy to help you broadcast your request, but it’s an unfortunate fact of life that people … say things. Sometimes people intentionally say hurtful things, but most often – dumb questions, doofus observations or random sentences just escape, and cannot be called back.

The wisest thing for you would be to come up with a response that makes you feel good, every time you say it, because if you think this is bad now, just wait until your toddler is old enough to play soccer.

I like to disarm with the truth. You can say, “I’m not the grandma, I’m just the world’s oldest and luckiest mom.”

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers.

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