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7 Reasons Why Living Away From Your Grandkids Might Be a Blessing


I am a long-distance grandma, and have been from the beginning of my grandma gig. The first few years I moaned and groaned ceaselessly about the miles separating me and my sweeties, but I’m now nearly nine years into grandmahood. In that time, I’ve thankfully learned there is indeed — unbelievable as I first thought it might be — a bright side to my grandbabies living so far from me.

Following are a few such perks on which fellow long-distance grandparents just might agree.

1. Bathroom breaks at my house are a breeze.

I never need straddle a step stool when using the toilet. Nor do I have to question who left the seat up as only two males share my home — and the clever canine one is not (yet) clever enough to not do his bathroom business outdoors.

2. It’s an empty nest free-for-all.

Visits from grandkids require advance planning. Which leaves zero possibility my husband and I will be caught in the act — of eating ice cream for breakfast, that is. Or any other adult-only activity. 

3. Saturdays belong to me.

Youth soccer, basketball, birthday parties, swimming lessons and similarly time-consuming extracurricular events often take place on Saturdays. Events local grandparents often spend their Saturdays spectating. Not me! Mine, mine, mine. Saturdays are all mine to fill — or not fill — however I please.

4. Netflix is all mine, too.

When the streaming service asks “Who’s watching?,” there’s only one profile to click — and no reason to enter the Kid Zone. I have the freedom to watch whatever I want, whenever I want. What’s better than that?

5. Same goes for snacks. 

Never, ever do I have a hankering for a cheese stick only to find upon opening the fridge that a grandkid gobbled the last one. When I want a banana for my breakfast, no one else has nabbed it. (Cookies, well, they’re another story, thanks to the cookie-gobbling grandpa-in-residence.) 

6. I don’t have to watch my language.

I can say “insert-swear-word-here” and “insert-another-swear-here” all I want the majority of the time, and not a single person within earshot will be corrupted or concerned with Gramma’s potty mouth. 

7.  Lying is acceptable — encouraged, even. 

To oneself, at least. Because who would have the heart (or lack thereof) to call out a grandma who compiles lists of feeble reasons why she’s just fine and dandy living miles and miles and miles — 815 to be exact — from her grandkids? Especially a grandma who, truth be told, would be quite content to spend Saturdays in the stands of sporting events of her grandkids. I miss them terribly!

This essay originally appeared on and was written by Lisa Carpenter, a baby boomer, grandparent, parent to adult children, wife, and writer. Follow her on Facebook.

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