Monday, September 12, 2011

Some Unsolicited Advice for Martha Stewart

Let me just say that I am a big fan and I love your show. I have daydreamed about living in your tasteful home, your prolific garden, and your gorgeous kitchen. I frequently visualize myself mixing complicated French fruit tarts in your minty green bowls.You’re so talented and very creative.

I hated that you were sent to jail, I admired your strength and internal fortitude to just do it without whining. I cheered your comeback and watch your show whenever I can. In other words, I have your back when I hear you being badmouthed.

This morning I was just fooling around, googling lots of different subjects, but I suddenly noticed all the articles about you, Martha Stewart, becoming a grandmother. Apparently last March, your 45 year old daughter, Alexis, had a baby girl by surrogate. Martha, you were on a business trip when the baby was born so you didn’t see your grandchild until the baby, Jude, was 3 days old.

I’m guessing (based on what I’ve read about their relationship) that Alexis is a little entitled. I watched the TV show Alexis had with her girlfriend where she and her friend made fun of you following your programs. It was produced by your production company so I’m assuming they had your permission. It was horrible and embarrassing, but Alexis must have made some money off of it.

I think, Martha, that your were probably not an easy mother, I get that, but I see trouble in your future so I’m offering my help. You have your area of expertise and I have mine. My area is being a grandmother. I have 4 grandchildren under 7, three girls and one boy. I even write a blog called, to document my experiences with my babies. As I've said, I’m an admirer and also a grandmother with some experience now; I have some advice if you would like it. Yes? Read further. No? I still love you and my feelings aren’t hurt. Well maybe a little…

1. Your daughter was going to return that big box full of embroidered baby things you gave her and buy herself something. I have a sneaking suspicion that Alexis is going to use this baby as some kind of weapon against you. Back off with buying stuff until later when your daughter settles down. It’s the way of heartbreak, honey. Don’t let her break your heart over stuff. Maybe Alexis wants some presents?

2. Martha, you said you don’t want the baby to call you ‘grandma.” Are you kidding me? First off, the baby will call you whatever she can pronounce. I was “Dama,” then ‘Bama,” and finally “Grandma.” Just wait. You can decide when she finally gives you a name. It is the baby who will probably name you.

3. In a few years, Alexis is going to want some time off. Also it may not be years, probably weeks. Just wait. Your daughter is doing this alone so she will need you. Just let her know you will be there to help.

4. Something Alexis needs to hear: Your mother and your daughter will have their own relationship that has nothing to do with you. You don’t own your child, Alexis. You do have the right to limit things, but geez, give your mother a break. Grandmas do get to spoil a little, like staying up a little later, extra ice cream. For God’s sake, lighten up a bit. Both of you.

5. Martha, let this little girl decide what you do with your time together. When she starts to walk, just follow her. She’ll adore your yard and plants, the outdoors. Make her little boats to float in rain puddles. Make simple cookies. Have some songs she likes and sing them all the time. Do bring her books like Alexis says, but you’ve always valued handmade stuff. Make some books with her. Get out your sewing machine. I made my granddaughter a revamped Barbie RV that was so fun to do. I make paper dolls and pear tarts. In other words, do stuff together if you can. It’s so fun you won’t believe it.

6. You have all the money in the world. Cut back on your work so you can spend time with this little girl while she’s still under 5. You will never regret it. I promise.

7. I think you may be a person who is really hard on herself, Martha, but this little girl will absolutely love you beyond reason and love you for just arriving on her doorstep, before you even do anything. You won’t believe how that feels. Talk about unconditional love. Even if you make mistakes. Just enjoy this baby.

8. The purity about being around small children is that it is just like meditating, you are just in the moment with them. This time is magical. Don’t miss it.

9. And Alexis, I know that it took me a long time to view my mother as another woman with needs and faults, etc. This period is really important for you, your mother, and your baby girl. Remember this: the more people who love and share their lives with your child, the better. It will only enrich her experience of the world.

So, that's it, Martha. I wish you smooth sailing as a grandmother. It's really the best thing. Except, now you have one more person to worry about, fret over, lose sleep about, and hold in your heart every day. If you need any more advice, just call.