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Grandma Envy

My diagnosis of breast cancer increased the risk factor for my sister Carla.  Fortunately she’s had no problems.  But now the tables are turned.  Carla  got married and had children way before I did; and she has identical twin granddaughters–which puts me at much higher risk for developing a newly identified medical syndrome called : Grandma Envy.

grandma, grandmother, grandchildren, Beckham, J Lo, nanny, childcare, midlife, midlife women, featured

Based on cutting edge medical research, Grandma Envy has not yet been widely reported in the media. I happened to come across a description of this condition in a very obscure medical journal.  Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Grandma Envy (GE) is a newly documented physiological and psychological condition with clearly recognizable symptoms.  Generally the typical GE patient is female, and over the age of 50.   The sufferer will often approach (sometimes even aggressively) small children, particularly infants, often holding them against their will.  Occasionally GE sufferers will find themselves involuntarily browsing in stores that sell baby items, or engaging in fantasy involving their imaginary grandchildren.  They are also highly likely to whine to their adult children, husbands and friends.

Due to the increasingly higher age of mothers, this disease is on the rise; some scientists estimate that as many as 85% of all women over 50 will develop Grandma Envy at some point in their lifetimes.  Treatment options are limited, and researchers are trying to develop a vaccine.  As yet there is no known cure.

Sounds pretty scary.

Then I read another news item–not in a medical journal.   Apparently Jennifer Lopez is having difficulty finding and keeping a nanny for her twins.

And then it hit me:  match up the desperate women wanting nannies with the desperate women wanting to be Nanas.

Mrs. Doubtfire was a figment of Hollywood’s imagination but the millions of women afflicted with GE are real.    My concept would not only help fight the growing epidemic of GE, but it would simultaneously solve another growing epidemic.  Because J-Lo is not the only star having nanny trouble.  Apparently Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have a monopoly on the premium nanny market, leaving people like Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry in the lurch.  Not to mention all the new mommies who are not Hollywood celebrities.

This is a win/win situation all around.  For the movie star too busy to check out references: no problem.  Just check out the nanny’s kids and see how they turned out.   Your new nanny will be able to tell the difference between a waffle iron and a curling iron.   And a mob of paparazzi is a pushover for someone who’s already raised teenagers.

The wannabe Nanas win, too.  It takes the pressure off their own kids while giving them valuable hands on grandparenting experience.  They also gain new status in their communities, score free tickets to the latest Matt Damon movie, and travel all over the world in a glamorous lifestyle that beats watching their husbands watch the golf channel.

I’ve never been obsessed by infants.  But I’m thinking of applying to be the nanny for those adorable Beckham boys.

Read more from Darryle Pollack on her blog, and check out her website, WHOA Network

Darryle Pollack

Darryle Pollack is a founder of the WHOA Network.

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Travels with Tam

Thursday 12th of December 2013

If she cannot keep a Nanny, you can bet there is a good reason! I do not suffer from GE in any way. I have a 26 year old daughter, 23 year old son, both thankfully unmarried and not ready for children. But they do have significant others. If I have grandkids, they will learn to snorkel before they can walk, because they'll need to visit me on a dive boat!


Thursday 12th of December 2013

Sounds like you will be a fun grandma whenever it happens. I had kids late in life and would never want my own kids to become parents too soon. Still that doesn't prevent me from feeling the envy!

Anne Parris

Wednesday 11th of December 2013

My sister will get her first grandchild next year. I may have to re-read this then, but I'm not quite ready yet.


Thursday 12th of December 2013

Ah, I had zero symptoms till my sister became a grandmother. Good luck; and I'm betting you'll start feeling the itch too. Keep me posted!

Helene Cohen Bludman

Wednesday 11th of December 2013

Thank goodness! There is a name for my affliction. I'm a GE sufferer although I try not to pour too much guilt on my three adult children who seem to be in no rush to do their part to cure my disease. Is there a support group, perhaps?


Thursday 12th of December 2013

My symptoms have actually improved over the last couple years but tend to flare up when friends become grandparents for the first time. Sign me up if you find a support group. haha

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