~~~As Above So Below ~~ Be True to Oneself ~~~

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Baby Boomer Dilemma: Grandma or Nana?

New baby boomer grandmothers need to be aware that they may be asked what they want to be called.  It can be quite a surprise if it is an unusual custom to them.

I speak from experience as a new grandparent.  I am from the States and my grandchild was born in New Zealand (which is where I am presently).  Much to my chagrin, I was asked which I was going to be, "Grandma or Nana?"  I stumbled around verbally, and used the excuse that I didn't realize I had a choice in the matter, but I would have to decide.  I was asked numerous times before I decided.  I went with Grandma and my nickname.

After a little research about this question, I have realized there is no pat answer.  Traditionally in the States we are called Grandma.  Personally I never knew I had a choice in the matter, I just figured whatever the child could speak is what I’d be called, and then as the child grew older it would be “Grandma first or last name,” and that would be that. I prefer having a choice in the matter. I like my nickname best, so that is what I chose. I love the term “Nana,” but always pictured the English being attached to it - like in the Peter Pan story. 

Some say it is a family preference.  That appears to be common. Whatever has been in a family as far as how grandparents are called on both maternal and paternal sides holds steadfast. Others leave it to what the person wants to be called, which is smart if a divorce was present. Still, it can merely boil down to where one lives. The local traditions are followed, and some of the names:
  • Nanagrandma
  • Grandmanana
  • G-ma (less traditional)
Whatever your situation, be prepared for the dilemma so it won’t be too ponderous.  Oh, and know you can probably change your mind as the baby grows into childhood, teen-hood, and beyond. 
Boomer Galaxy is a blog from a baby boomer, about this baby boomer era and all it's relations.