Roe M., a new mom, says her own mother is excited to have a grandchild, but less so about being called 'Grandma.' "I'm looking for an alternate name to call my mom other than the usual ‘Grand mom," she says, and it turns out she's not alone. Whether it's that they are a more active generation, for whom the moniker "Grandma" conjures the wrong image, or simply that they are more individualistic than grandmothers of yore, many moms find themselves casting about for alternative names for the generation that preceded them.
For many, the answer is simple: If a grandma doesn’t want to be called by that title, then as Rachelle W. suggests to grandmas, “let them call you your [real] name.”
Some families choose this path for convenience's sake, as Andrea explains: "My children call my mother-in-law 'Grandma Chris,' only because they have so many Grandmas. My ex in-laws are Grandma Brenda and Grandpa Chris. Then there is my grandmother, who all the great grandkids call Grandma Choochoo."
In some cases, Circle of Moms members suggest their children use "Grandma" and then the grandparent's last name. As a member named Amy explains, "My kids call my husband's parents 'Grandmom Brown' and 'Grandpop Brown."
But a more creative approach to naming that special person in your children's lives seems to be increasingly popular. Here, members share three good strategies for what to call— oh you know, the one formerly known as "Grandma."
1. Let Your Child Create The Name
Heather M. was intent on having her kids call her mom “Mema,” until her son decided to create his own variations. ”I say let him develop his own name for grandma,” says Heather M. Her son’s creations: “Mamam,” and “Mamee.”
Sherri C. says her daughter goes for the short and sweet name she created for her grandma. “She calls her grandmother ‘G Ma,” she says. "My kids' grandmother is called "Granna" and she loves it," says Trish. "My nephew couldn't say Grandma and it came out Granna and it stuck. A younger version of Grandma."
Judith T. says: "Your baby will mispronounce whatever name you try to get her to use. That can become her own personal name for her grandmother. My children called their grandparents (my in-laws) Mum and Pawpaw because that is what my firstborn, their first grandchild, came out with when he tried to say Gramma and Grampa."
Amber's daughter "is quite imaginative and she changed my husband's parents' grand names on her own. She calls my husband's mother Nama, also another suggestion."
2. Choose an Affectionate Term
If you’re going to come up with a new name for ‘Grandma’ you might as well get creative, suggests Lisbeth R. “Why not a "cutie’" name of your own like Roro, Roey, or Romi?” she asks. Heather N. and Adria H. agree, suggesting “Neenie” and "Glamma," respectively.
Many Circle of Moms members are looking for affectionate terms and have come up with names like “Gammie,” or “Mom-Mom.” "I came up with Nini (pronouced like knee-knee) [and] she loves it, " says Amber. In a member named Atesha's house, Grandma's name is "GG."
3. Mine Your Ancestry
Many families pick a name based on their ancestry. Angie B.’s kids use the Spanish name “Abuelita,” for their grandma. Sharlene C.’s family uses the Russian word: “My mother-in-law is ‘Baka’ (pronounced Bucka),” she says. “She is Russian and my husband and his brother couldn’t say babushka when they were little, so it has stuck through the generations.” “Nuna,” a German version is the name, is what Faith H.’s kids use. And Natasha D.'s kids call their grandmother 'Oma,” which she says is Dutch.
What do your kids call Grandma?
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