Being a Billet Mother was one of the best things I have ever done. However, unexpected changes came into our lives and it became impossible to carry on. Although we no longer billet I still have lots of stories on billeting to share.
I was a Billet Mom for years and enjoyed every year of Billeting. It didn’t come without its challenges and believe me there were days when I wished I hadn’t taken on the job. But the good times more than made up for the bad experiences I had.
When I Billeted I really had no time for anything but billeting. With my busy schedule of a full time job and being a full time Billet Mother it was often difficult to fit family functions into my very hectic schedule.
FROM BILLET MOM TO GRANDMOTHER
I often joked to my husband that we had come to the age to start thinking about not billeting anymore. I was feeling more like a Billet Grandmother than a Billet Mom. Every year our Billet Son got younger and we of course got older.
When our first grandchild arrived I was still a Billet Mom. I must admit being a Grandmother frightened me. I had no idea what I was supposed to do and to be honest babies scared me. I wasn’t used to small children and the thought of holding a baby terrified me. I found a baby crying to be annoying and changing their diapers wasn’t anything I wanted to deal with.
When our second grandchild arrived we were still billeting but only for the first part of her life. After our billeting days were over we decided to downsize and move to another location. This decision involved days of sorting and getting rid of stuff that we had accumulated over the years. After numerous garage sales, auction sales, thrift shop trips and dump runs we finally were ready to make the move. Our lives still remained crazy busy. In the early years we didn’t see our grandchildren as often as we should have.
THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID19)
The coronavirus arrived and our lives were completely turned upside down. No one was prepared for such a drastic change to their everyday schedules. We went from being able to come and go as we like to experiencing lockdown and social distancing. What a change! Before COVID19 arrived we had moved and were planning for our retirement. However, this virus brought another huge change in our lives.
FROM TWO TO FIVE
Our family of two became a family of five overnight. My step-daughter and the two grandchildren came for a visit during March break. However, because of the coronavirus outbreak they stayed with us deciding it was in their best interest. They lived some distance away and we felt it was better for them to stay with us rather than travelling home.
We weren’t used to having children around, we have a dog that barks at the drop of a hat and we were just getting settled into our new place.
Our basement wasn’t finished and we have limited furniture. We do have a bed and mattress plus a couch and tv. However, it not being finished worked to our advantage as we had room for the kids to run around.
A GRANDMOTHER SAYS “WHAT DO WE EAT?”
We had two major problems with the grandchildren. What to eat and what to do? Having three meals a day was a challenge. My husband and I often grab something quick but with the grandchildren we wanted to make sure they had healthy meals all the time. Breakfast was the easiest meal of all. We would have pancakes, French toast, toast, eggs or cereal. Lunch wasn’t too difficult as we usually had a sandwich, a salad, soup, or a wrap. Dinner was the most difficult of all as not everyone likes the same thing. We on a very rare occasion would have a burger but mostly we served a full meal and no dessert. Dessert was a treat and rarely served. Potatoes were on the menu once a week if that. Our grandchildren’s favourite vegetables are cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes. They loved their fruit which included apples, oranges, pomegranates and grapes.
A GRANDMOTHER SAYS “WHAT DO WE DO?”
There is only so much you can find to do. When virtually everything is closed because of the virus it leaves us wondering what do we do and where can we go? We had to find activities to keep the kids busy. Watching television, going on their iPads, and Nintendo, where fill-ins. We tried playing family games but they got quickly bored with these. We did some baking making bread, muffins and cookies. Biking and walking became important as we live more in the country then the town. At times we had dance parties and even worked out to fitness Marshall. One night the kids even decided to put on a talent show for their family. They invited them to watch on facetime. Our grandson did tricks with our dog and our granddaughter sang a song for them on how much she missed her family. Other times we had to make up games for them to play.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and this will be the first one I have spent with my grandchildren. Their Mother always sent me a Mother’s Day message on Mother’s day. When the kids got older she always made sure that they called. This year they are here so we are planning on getting to sleep in. We also are looking forward to being served breakfast in bed made by the kids and their Grandfather. Of course we expect to be pampered for the day but will see what the day brings.
THEY CALL ME “GRAMMA”
My grandchildren call me Gramma. Before they were born my step-daughter asked us what we wanted to be called. and I said “Grandma” is fine with me. Here is an interesting article on “Ethnic Names For Grandmother” and “Finding the Perfect Grandmother Name.”
Over these past few weeks I have truly found out the meaning of what it is like to be a Grandmother. I am sorry I missed out on some of the earlier years. Those years are behind me I can’t bring them back. Now is the time to move forward and enjoy their growing up years.