How old should Grandparents be?

Here’s the deal with this post.  I was recently drawn into a online WAR discussion on another blog that sadly, I can’t quit going to. I try really hard but something keeps drawing me back.  I won’t give it’s name but those of you that can’t help yourselves either know where I’m talking about.  

The subject was “Grandmother to young for Toys R Us Coupon.”   Apparently Toys R Us offered grandparents 20% off toys for their grandchildren so Linda Peters wanted to get something for her grandchildren.  She was told upon trying to purchase that she wasn’t old enough to use the coupon.  In letters you need a magnifying glass to read, the coupon states it’s for grandparents who are over 50.  Linda Peters was 49.

Okay, that’s all very fine and well and if Toys R Us wants to operate that way, it’s their store.  Right??  Well, I just couldn’t help by commenting that had it been me, I’d have walked out of the store. I was a grandmother at 42 and was very proud to be one.  I had Jason when I was 19 and Toby when I was 22.  I was married and I thought “respectable.”  They were both in their early 20’s when they had children.  All very fine and good???

This is were the whole post got out of control.  One woman went on and called all people who were grandparents before 50 “ghetto trailer trash!”  I kid you not.  I made one more response and never made another comment.  There were hundreds by the time it was over.  Name calling and saying we “condoned” kids having kids and we “let” our 15 year olds have kids.  Yes, I kid you not.  

First of all, back in my day if you didn’t have children before you were 30 you were considered an old maid.  Doctors warned women to not wait past their 30’s to have children.  That “older” women had more trouble in pregnancy and there was more of a chance to have something wrong with the child.  My grandparents got married in their early 20 and had five kids.  My own parents were in the early 20’s when they had my brother and I.  Think back even further that our great grandparents were in the teens.  People got married as young as 15 way back then and it was no disgrace.

I got so hurt by that woman’s comments basically telling me that me, my parents and earlier generations were “ghetto trailer trash” and even wondering exactly what that even means.

I know that the age has changed and women are waiting now longer to have babies but how can you name call people for the way it was generations ago and how can you be that bold to name call like that in the first place?

How old were you when you had children and how old were your parents when they had you?  What do you think of the Toys R Us conglomerate for making such a bonehead choice as to put an age on a coupon for grandparents to use?  I mean me personally, I don’t need a coupon if I want to buy something for one of my grandchildren but to me, it’s the point of it.  I may have had one of them and had seen the coupon and might have thought it would be something fun to do with them and let them go pick out something but that would have made me furious had I done that and then not be able to use it.  It’s just the point that I was a grandma and not 50 yet.  I would have left the toy and gone to Target or Walmart and never stepped foot in Toys R Us again.  I still may never shop there again.

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27 Responses to How old should Grandparents be?

  1. Amber says:

    Wow… that is one hell of a story. Talk about ridiculous! The toy company is telling us what age is acceptable to be grandparents?

    Bizarre. Completely Bizarre. And… to boot that people judged others by calling them ghetto trailer trash? Im trying to wrap my head around that conversation.

    At the end of the day Joy, you have to remember that there are people who are ignorant out there. Honestly, nothing like the net to show who they really are too.

  2. holeycheese says:

    My mom was grandmother at 44.. and I know lots of people even younger that are alredy grandparents.
    I think that’s a stupid thing.. Ok that they wouldn’t believe that a 25 year old is a grandmother.. but a 40-year old.. that is not so unusual. Just like a 50 or 60 year-old is not necessarily grandmother.
    Why don’t they just trust people..

  3. SanityFound says:

    This is just sad and sick

  4. mssc54 says:

    Just a few things.

    First Toys R’nt Us missed this one. I mean the younger the grand parent the more grand children they MAY have… depending on the size of their trailor.

    Secondly I think the people who think a woman is trash if they are a grandmother before the age of fifty are closet racists.

    Thirdly… Joy… you’ve got to learn how to have a bit of fun with these types. For instance…

    “Ghetto Trailor Trash you say? How dare you! I’ll have you know that our manufactured home is in a gated community. My particular home is a triple wide. Can you imagine the skill it takes to piece three sections of a premanfactured home together? Not just anyone can do these larger homes. It takes a crew of four or five of highly skilled craftsman. Our home is nestled nicely between a lovely retention pond (we like to call “The Lake” and the local storm water drainage gully.

    As a matter of fact on days that have heavy rain we go down to the bank of that storm watter drainage gully and just wait for some very nice pre-owned toys to float on by. We make it a family affair… me and all the grands down there in our rain gear. It is so much fun watching the excitement in their little eyes.

    You wouldn’t believe the number of soccer balls, volley balls, beach balls, tennis balls, base balls, softballs, and raquet balls we collected. I mean we really have balls.

    On weekends we set up our yard sale. My goodness, people come from far and wide to just look at our balls and be in awe of our good fortune.

    So you see Ms. Judge Mental there is nothing at all trashy about our gated community, premanfactured home on “The Lake.

    If you were to come by and visit perhaps we could have a quick game of DODGE BALL!”

    Something like that. Heck have fun with the twits. 🙂

    Gosh I crack myself up sometimes.

    PS: Feel free to modify and cut and paste if you want!

  5. kwoneshe2 says:

    Mother was 15 when she had my sister. She was 29 when she had me, I was 18 when I had my son. I’m 39 now, and could have easily been a grandma at 35 or 36.

  6. mssc54 says:

    On a more serious note;

    When we were married in 1972 my bride had just turned 17 on March 10th just before we married on May 4th. So she wasn’t even 17 years old for two months, I was 19.


    We were married for six years before the birth of our first daughter…. but it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.

    I was clogged up and had to have some plumbing work done. Next month.. vwalah! Baby on the way!

    Each of our bio-daughters were 4 to 4 1/2 years appart. We didn’t plan it that way that’s just the way He designed it.

  7. nikki says:

    This is unbelievable!! I wanted to have my son when I did. I won’t be an old lady holding on to a walker when they graduate!! My Mom was 23 when she had me and 19 when she had my brother. My oldest sister will be a grandparent for the first time at 38!! Yes remember my niece(who just got married sat.) Things happen, sometimes on purpose and sometimes on accident. It does not however make you trailer trash!! I hate that term. I used to live in a mobile home park and it was very nice. Another stereotype!!!! That really surprises me about Toys R Us. I can’t imagine what my mother would have done. Some snide remark and left the store. That’s what I would have done. Oh wait until I tell her this story!! I wonder?? Do these close minded obnoxious women come to this blog? Just in case they stubble upon here I’d like to say this to them, when your kids are graduated and out of the house you’ll be in a nursing home…I’ll still be young enough to enjoy the rest of my life!!!

  8. SKL says:

    First of all, I prefer to believe that Toys R Us had an oversight and realized in retrospect that they had been really stupid. I am sure that if it occurred to them that they were discriminating against grannies under 50, they would have changed the coupon to, say, a senior discount or something. At least, I am giving them the benefit of the doubt on that.

    As for grannies under 50, I happen to remember my granny’s 50th birthday. She was a granny at 37. My mom was married at 17 (not pregnant) and had her first at 19. My dad recalls that she used to cry because it took her so long to conceive, she thought she might be infertile! Imagine that today. Times do change.

    My mom’s grandkids were slower about coming. Oldest son was married at 26, if I remember correctly, and his step-children started calling my mom “Grandma” when she was around 45, but she didn’t like it much! She felt 50 was the right age for “her” to be a granny. Her first bio grandkid came along when she was 49, and by then she liked the idea. (But yeah, still too young for Toys R Us!)

    I, on the other hand, am 40 years older than my daughters. I did not plan it that way – it was God’s plan. I would have been thrilled to make my mom a bio granny before age 50 if that had been God’s plan for me. Frankly, I have to say that 40 is pushing it to become a first-time parent unless one is in above-average health. But then, who am I to say? If God sees it differently, so be it.

    So today, as in all ages, some young, inexperienced people are deciding what is the right age range to have kids. 100 years ago, if you didn’t have kids in your teens, you were a loser. 50 years ago, you were doomed if it didn’t happen in your 20s. Now we are thinking 30s, and more and more people are intentionally pushing it further than that. Isn’t it interesting that mere humans think they know what’s best for the cosmic plan of the universe? Ultimately, people must realize that the only life one can even partially determine is one’s own. If any of us does a great job of that, it’s a tremendous accomplishment, in my opinion.

  9. thegoddessanna says:

    My mom had me at the age of 22 in 1982 – neither extremely early nor extremely late at that time. Twenty years later, I gave my mom her first grandchild (I was pregnant at 19, barely a month past my 20th birthday). That made her a 42-year-old grandmother. Her second & third grandchildren were born 3 years later, a month before my mother’s 45th birthday. My inlaws are 2 and 7 years older than my mom – so while my FIL might be considered a young grandparent like my own mom, I guess my MIL is closer to “grandparent age” since she’s in her 50’s.

    Yes, I got pregnant at an early age, before I was married. It doesn’t make me trash, nor does it make my mom trash for being 22 years older than me. Heck, my own grandmother had her first at 17 (a year after she was married), and her mother was not quite 16 with her first child (married at 15, and this is turn-of-the-century, rural America).

    Let’s think about the reverse for a minute. A woman has her child at say 30. That child has her first at 40, because she waited. Grandma is now 70, and if she’s lucky, she might live long enough to see the grandchild enter high school. Say that child also delays her parenthood for 30-40 years, her own mother might not live long enough to appreciate her own grandchildren!

    My grandfather was there when I was married, and has held his great-grandchildren. My husband’s great-grandmother held her great-great-grandchildren (my kids) before she passed. I have benefited much from having so many other generations around – and it’s neat to think that my mom will still be relatively young should our oldest have children in her 20’s – and I’ll be young enough to interact and play with my own grandchildren.

    Toys R Us seriously missed the boat with this one. And while a grandmother at 28 is something to wonder about, a grandmother at 38 is not. But with math skills the way they are today, I’m not surprised most Internet-denizens would not know the difference.

  10. Just a Mom says:

    I think Toys R Us messed up with this coupon. They should have just offered a senior discount instead.
    My mother had me when she was 40 back in 1971 so she had the opposite problem. Growing up everyone thought she was my grandmother. I had my 1st child at 21 and yes I was married.
    I have a friend who is a grandmother at 37. She had her daughter at the age of 15. Her daughter got married and had a baby at 22.

  11. Sue says:

    My parents were in their early 20’s when I was born, I know for a fact my grandmother was wed at 16 and her first child came not long after. I was 20 and 24 when I had my children which puts both sets of grandparents under the age of 50 at the time.

    I think TRU was just dumb in their coupon and should have had it a senior citizens discount instead. I also take offense to the trailor trash term b/c I do live in one, but it’s not in a park, we own our own land and we own our own home. At the time it was cheap and easy and we could afford it. For everyone who thinks all who live in a trailor are dumb, uneducated, poor, and stinky can kiss my ass:) But, I’m sure the lady who made the comment has some great story about her life and shares her wealth with the needy!

  12. Joy says:

    Sue, you used the word “lady!” She is not that. It doesn’t matter what I say, she slams me for something. She called me a “dumb butt” the other day. Great wit huh????

  13. nikki says:

    YOU GO SUE!!! I think your home is beautiful and so is your land and you’re right they all can kiss all of our asses!!! Joy~ A dumb butt??? Really??? Wow how old is she???

  14. Tony Sidaway says:

    It’s definitely a bad idea to get into an argument with very ignorant people. If you have a first child at 24 and that eldest child has a child at 24 then you’ll be a grandparent by 48, even though 24 is far from too young to have a first child by any sensible standards.

  15. Joy says:

    Who decides what “sensible standards” are Tony? Back when I had my kids as soon as you got married you had children. I had both my kids before I was 24 and that’s they way it was done. People are waiting until they are somewhat older now but that’s not how it was back then. So now how can people say it was the wrong thing to do when doctors told you not to wait? 30 was considered to old back then. I can remember women in the 30’s getting pregnant and having to go for amniocenteses.

  16. Joy says:

    I’m not sure how old she is Nikki. She said she waited to have kids till she was mature and I told her she didn’t wait long enough!!! I know I shouldn’t have but she insults me all the time. I can’t even tell you why I go there anymore. I’m really good for a long time but I just find myself back there time after time.

  17. Tony Sidaway says:

    Joy, I apologise for not making myself clearer. Although I chose my words poorly I meant what you said: that 24 is a good age to have kids. Many first-time parents are considerably younger.

  18. Erin says:

    I rarely shop TRU and that doesn’t help me any! My in-laws were in their mid40s when our first was born. My brother who turned 50 yesterday has a 2-year old grandson and a daughter who is 29! My DH’s grandparents became GREATgrandparents in their 60s. That arbitrary age is ridiculous. I had my first child at 25… I thought that was YOUNG and was surprised to hear it really wasn’t. Guess it’s just another reason to shop smaller stores!

  19. Elena says:

    So convenient to pass judgement on someone’s life based on a surface detail. I was just thinking the other day about how you could make two lists of the details of my life, and one would make me look like “trailer trash” and the other would make me look like a member of the “respectable mainstream,” whatever those labels mean, anyway.

    I admire you, Joy, for trying to inject some depth and reasonable understanding into this person’s blog. But don’t let them talk that way to you! Your wisdom and kindness is too valuable to be assaulted like that.

  20. Joy says:

    Thank you Elena. What really bothered me was with one single comment, that post changed completely from what it was really about. It started out about the coupon and turned into something so ugly.

  21. joanharvest says:

    I was 20 when I got married and didn’t have children until I was 30. That was my choice. I could have chosen to have a child right away but I didn’t. There would have been nothing wrong if I had. My daughter will be 30 soon and still doesn’t have children. That, again, is her choice. Though I wish she and her hubby would get it on so I could have grandchildren. I’m sick of waiting but it is not up to me.

    I’m jealous of anyone with grandchildren no matter how old they are. I know 20 year old moms who are wonderful and loving and great. This whole “trailer trash” thing is crazy. Whoever would even think that about a young mom or grandma is a dumbass and needs a good caning. Tell me where to go do it.

    The coupon is another thing. I think it is bad business on the part of the store. I for one won’t shop there anymore. Not that I ever have but if given the chance I won’t. So there!!!

    My daughter’s best friend ) I consider her my second daughter) lives in a trailer with her hubby and stepson and if anyone ever calls her trailer trash they will have to deal with my cane.

  22. Joy says:

    Oh Joan, you really crack me up!!!

  23. Wow, that’s crazy! I think that 50 is a bit of a stretch. My mom had me when she was 21 and I’m married now. If I have a kid before I’m 28 or while I’m 28 (which will be 9 years from now), my mom will be 49.
    I think that was ridiculous and whoever said that was plain ignorant.

  24. Eric & Tessa says:

    I’m way late on this convo, but I can totally see why you got upset! Some woman criticize just to feel better about themselves. They cannot face their own problems or are deep down mad at themselves for their own life failures and take that anger out on others. Since I learned this, I just let criticism and negativity from others go because I know they are only hurting themselves. No one can take your inner peace unless you let them.

    Good blogs Joy! Interesting!

  25. Eric & Tessa says:

    The customer should always be right- that was bad business the store brought on themselves

  26. Kristin says:

    I can’t believe that Toys R Us did that. I am a mom of 2 girls. My oldest is 3 1/2 and my youngest is 10 months. My MOTHER is 49. 🙂 I am almost 29. Very similar to your story, she was married at 18 and had me just a few years later. Still married to my dad and they love being grandparents. I hope that more people read this story! I am going to post a link to your blog on my blog! Thank you for posting this.

  27. Joy says:

    Thank you Kristin.

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