Being a mom versus a grandma comes with different responsibilities and expectations. If you’ve had the privilege of playing both roles in this lifetime, you know about their differences firsthand. Mothers tend to have a closer relationship with their children since they’re with them almost 24/7. Raising a child takes a lot of work, so that’s where grandma comes into the picture.

Grandmothers have been critical in parenting and ensuring family stability for thousands of years. Traditional communities around the globe revere the grandma since she represents strength and matriarchy. She is the glue holding the family together, bringing her wisdom and life experiences to the table.

While moms are usually the primary caregivers, grandmas also step in when mothers need a break. When parents go on vacation or need a babysitter in general, the grandparents usually fulfill that role. So, even though moms and grandmas have differences, they both work together to keep the family going.

Research Reveals Three Key Differences Between Being a Mom Versus a Grandma

Below, we’ll go over these key differences in more detail.

1 – A grandma gets to enjoy their grandkids without the mothering obligations of raising them.


This doesn’t mean moms get the short end of the stick here. However, it’s no secret that mothers have many responsibilities when it comes to raising children. Between changing diapers, waking up in the night to feed them, and caring for them in general, raising a child requires sacrifice and patience.

The grandma in the family will offer a helping hand whenever needed, but she’s not the primary caregiver. As such, she gets to enjoy the relationship with her grandkids more since less stress is involved. Children normally associate their grandma with fun, memories, and comfort and look forward to bonding with them.

Grandmas sneak sweet treats like cookies and candy and tend to spoil their grandchildren when they visit. The role of a mother undeniably requires more boundaries and rules to instill discipline. Of course, moms always make exceptions occasionally, but they keep their children in line. It’s tough love, but necessary so the child grows up knowing right from wrong.

So, in general, grandmas are a bit more lax with their grandkids and can enjoy them without financial obligations and time constraints. Moms have a more significant burden on their shoulders because they’re shaping their children, which comes with great responsibility.

2 – A grandma will offer wisdom to moms still learning the ropes of parenting.

A grandma is a wellspring of wisdom, with many life experiences that she can pass on to her grandkids. When a child gets a cold, she knows ancient remedies and healing techniques that a mom may not know. Because she’s been on the planet much longer than her child, a grandma can offer parenting advice or “hacks” to make things easier. Any mom would take the advice of her elders if it enriched her child’s life.

In addition to parenting tips, the grandma offers her grandchildren pearls of wisdom. Life lessons such as the golden rule and staying true to themselves become a normal part of visits with their grandkids. Grandparents get to pass on their legacy to their families, offering valuable and sacred wisdom to guide their life journey.

Plus, children who have a close relationship with their grandkids tend to fare better, according to a study of 1,500 children. The research found that kids with actively involved grandparents had fewer behavioral and emotional problems.

So, grandparents aren’t just there to ease the strain of parenting – they also shape their grandkids’ mental health in significant ways.

3 – Grandmothers get to relive the experience of mothering, bringing a renewed excitement.

While new mothers haven’t had the experience of raising a child, a grandmother has fond memories of it. So, when her child announces she’s pregnant, of course, the grandma is filled with excitement and pure joy. She can’t wait to hold her precious grandchild in her arms just as she did with her own child.

There’s something about how a grandma’s face lights up when her grandkids visit. You can tell that being in the presence of her family brings happiness unlike anything else. Many elderly people suffer from loneliness, so seeing their grandkids and grown children offers much-needed social engagement. Not to mention, they get to relive the joys of parenting, as we said earlier.

They may find a renewed sense of purpose in helping to raise their grandchild since women naturally have that maternal instinct. It’s quite rewarding to care for a child, as you’re helping to ensure they grow into a healthy, strong adult. A grandma plays a crucial role in this process, and it’s ingrained in her DNA to support her family.

The grandma may not play as direct a role as the mother, but she’s still an important piece of the puzzle. She’s the backbone of the family, providing support and resilience in the face of adversity. When grandchildren come into the picture, she’s excited to pass down her wisdom, love, and joy to another member of the family.

Grandmas get to bake and cook for the little ones, read stories, put them down for naps, and give them way too many hugs. What grandma wouldn’t be excited about those life-changing experiences?


Final Thoughts on How Grandmothers Differ from Mothers

Grandmas and moms are fundamentally different, though they both have important roles to play in raising a family. Moms are more directly involved in parenting, while grandmas are in the background to offer support if necessary.

The grandma gets to relax and enjoy the company of her grandkids more, while the mom must take on all the responsibilities of parenting. That’s not to say she isn’t thankful for her children, but it’s a physically and mentally demanding job nonetheless.

Overall, the grandma acts as the protector and bearer of wisdom, while the mom plays the role of nurturer and disciplinarian. Both of these roles are crucial to raising a well-rounded child.