GaGa Sisterhood was founded by Donne Davis, a grandmother who has made it her mission to help grandmas connect with each other and explore what it means to be a grandma today. Ever since she became a grandma in 2003, she has found inspiration and reassurance from other grandmas by discovering that all the joys and challenges she was experiencing in her new role were “normal.”
Over the past eight years, she’s had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of grandmas who share the same passion for their grandchildren as she does. These people have inspired her with their creative energy and motivated her to delve deeper into understanding this fascinating time in our lives.
Besides writing regularly for her blog, she also writes a monthly newsletter called the GaGazine and monthly newspaper column called The Go-To Grandma for Parenting on the Peninsula. She is a contributor to The Art of Grandparenting, a funny, touching, informative collection of essays, stories and tips by 20 grandparent authors. In her chapter, How to Become a Go-To Grandma, she’s written seven strategies for developing lifelong meaningful relationships with our children and grandchildren. Donne recently contributed a chapter called “Four Generations of First Born Daughters,” about four generations learning how to get along. This is part of a new anthology – Wondrous Child: The Joys and Challenges of Grandparenting.
Her two granddaughters have been her favorite playmates. Their lively imaginations have constantly reignited the child in her and allowed her to share their sense of wonder. When Donne is not playing with her granddaughters she enjoys yoga, Zumba, hiking, journal writing, meditating, singing, and gathering family and friends together for celebrations.
The mission of the GaGa Sisterhood is to:
- Explore what it means to be a grandma today—both the joys and challenges.
- Share wisdom and resources that enrich our family life.
- Inspire each other with creative ways to stay connected with our grandchildren
Multigenerational Living is a Growing Trend
Last year 6.6 million U.S. households had at least three generations of family members living together, according to the census. That’s an increase of 30% since 2000. Fifty years ago it was common for three generations to live together, says Niederhaus. But over the past five decades the American family has shifted to the “nuclear family” with mom, dad, and kids living in isolation, creating the challenge of who will care for the children and the elderly.
“One way to meet both these needs is for families to return to pre-World War II living styles where extended families lived in close proximity to one another,” says Niederhaus. “Grandparents could help raise their grandchildren. Then, later in life, they would be nearby to receive help with their own care, if needed.”
Niederhaus and Graham have written a comprehensive guide to understanding the benefits, practicalities, and challenges of multigenerational living. They give advice on how to start a conversation with your aging parents about living together, who should be involved, and deciding whether it’s even a possibility.
The authors were motivated to write the book after dealing with their younger brother’s deteriorating health, his long-term care and premature death at the age of 45. Visiting him in the nursing home left them questioning how the sick and elderly are cared for in our society. They thought there must be better, more compassionate ways to care for family without such separation and isolation.
Managing Multigenerational Living
Niederhaus interviewed 100 families across the U.S. to learn how they managed multigenerational living. Their success stories illustrate that proximity andprivacy are two key words to think of when you begin the process of deciding what type of housing to use for extended family living. Ideally, they suggest a separate entrance and kitchen for the different generations.