Three generations in one photo; my sister (Marie), my mom (Geory), Ettalee, and myself. Photos by Sarah Kohut Photography.
For a Mother's Day and birthday present my sister and I got our mom a girls photoshoot with her daughters and granddaughter from the lovely Sarah Kohut Photography (aren't these photos gorgeous!?). Plus we took my mom to get hair and makeup done at 40 Volume Salon followed by a delicious brunch at Collins Quarter (definitely the best brunch in the city). It was a wonderful day and I highly recommend this gift idea ;)
We've skipped a few months since our last "Mom of the Month" post because this mom and grandmother deserves more than just one month. My mom not only raised me, but my sister who is sixteen years older than me, and now she is helping to raise my daughter Ettalee. I'm so blessed to have her and my dad here to help with Ettalee a few days a week so I can make this business happen. Not to mention she is the one who initially taught me how to sew when I was just a child! Hopefully this interview with Gigi (as Ettalee calls her) who has parented through multiple eras will be inspiring and encouraging to all the new moms in my generation.
1. What is the best thing about being a grandmother?
My first thought when I think of the word "grandmother" is it's grand to be a mother, but it's even more grand to be a grandmother. It's just really neat to watch your child have a child and witness love in a whole new way.
2. What are the biggest differences in raising children and helping to raise grandchildren?
I'd say the main difference is it's a little more relaxed, because I only watch Ettalee a few days a week. Basically I get to enjoy her without all the constant responsibilities of being a mother.\n \n
3. How has parenting changed since you became a mother for the first time (1971)?
Oh goodness, there's so many things that have changed. However, when it comes down to it the fundamentals of raising children are the same; they need boundaries, a little discipline, and they need love. While the new technologies do add convenience for parents, you don't really need them.
4. Are there any products you wish you had with your children?
Cloth diapers. Everyone was quick to choose disposable in back then because the cloth diapers were such a nightmare and now the cloth ones are more user friendly with the snaps. After being introduced to them with Ettalee, I think I would've used them with my children if they were available. (We used BumGenious!)
The conveniences of some of the products now can make a big difference. Something as simple as spill-proof sippy cups - that's a big one in my book! ( Playtex Sipsters are our favorite!) Or even the video monitors, we only had sound on ours, the new ones are so neat.
And last, I would definitely have wanted an electric breast pump, what a game changer.
(And breast pumps have even advanced since I had Ettalee. How cool is this wearable one from Willow?!)
5. What is your favorite thing to do with Ettalee?
I've always liked to expose her to new things and I enjoy seeing her experience things. She's either happy-go-lucky or she's really intense, but when she's really excited she can't contain her excitement.
6. What are some of the best activities you’ve found to do with your granddaughter?
I'm always looking up to see what's going on in the community to do. I love taking her to the different events at the library or places like Henny Penny. She and I both love outdoor/nature things so we often take her to playgrounds or to feed the ducks, go to the UGA Marine Science Center, or Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Just get her outside if I can.
7. Do you have a favorite memory with Ettalee?
The first time I saw her she was laying on your chest in the hospital and the first time I held her were both of course very special. The face she made when she tried a pickle for the first time was priceless. But one of my favorites is of her in her dress-up heals, in a diaper, dancing and shaking maracas to "The Little Mermaid" song - I have a video of that and it still makes me laugh every time.
8. Finally, what is the best tip you would give a new grandmother?
Learn to respect your children as parents. Feel out a situation before saying too much, you can give advice, but don't push it if it's not warranted. Basically, establish boundaries so everyone is happy and you can continue a healthy loving relationship.