Are You Mistaken For a Grandmother?

Parent, not Grandmother
Parents, not Grandfather and Grandmother

Grandmother or Mom?

Sitting in the food court area at Sam’s Club, a gray-haired gentleman walked by and asked, “Taking care of the grandson today?” Was I really just mistaken for a grandmother?

I froze. How would I respond? My son was blissfully unaware this encounter involved him. Should I say, “I am not his grandmother, but I am his mom?” My husband saved me from my dilemma and responded, “No, this is our son.”

The man who did not introduce himself ignored Ralph’s comment and went on to talk about babysitting his grandkids. He then smiled and waved goodbye.

After he left, I said, “That was awkward.”

As many women tackle careers and chose to marry late in life, the trend to have children later in life is on the rise. Therefore, these encounters are probably not so rare. So, I should not be surprised by them, but I am.

The Statistics

As USA Today reported, “births among women ages 40-44 have been rising since the early 1980s and kept rising in 2017, even as the overall U.S. birth rate fell to a record low, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its latest report. Births in women older than 45 held steady.”

My life reflects these statistics. I met my husband in my late 30s, and we married when I was 39-years-old. My son, Samuel, was born two weeks after my 40th birthday. At this point, gray hair did not tease my temple, nor did my laugh lines appear prominent.

The Take-Away

Fast-forward fourteen years, and my age is showing in many unwelcomed ways. This must be apparent as the above encounter is not the first time we’ve been mistaken for grandparents. So, how do I answer these not so surprising encounters?

A couple of times, I’ve smiled and explained that my little guy is actually my son. One lady nodded and shared how a relative also waited later in life to have a child. During a different encounter, a woman nodded and then was silent. I did not press the issue.

I’ve often wondered if I should take the easy way out and simply nod, not acknowledging my status as a mom. It would be easier, but not truthful.

As a late in life mom, I should embrace this season of life and be proud of my status. Laugh, smile, and express my joy of raising my precious little guy. The next time someone asks me if I am my son’s grandmother, I’ll say, “No, I’m his mom,” and smile.

Are you in the same predicament, have you been mistaken for a grandmother? How do you handle similar encounters? Comment below, I read each one.

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Evelyn Mann
Evelyn Mann is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Tampa, Florida raising her special needs son, Samuel. Her son was born with a rare form of dwarfism called Thanatophoric Dwarfism and is only one of a handful of survivors. He is fourteen-years-old and has exceeded medical expectations. Evelyn is an author of a memoir, Miracle In My Living Room: The Story Of A Little Mann. Her new devotional is called Thriving Through Your Trials: Devotions of Miracles, Faith & Prayer. Her popular blog is found at She receives inquiries from around the world asking about her son’s miraculous survival. Follow Samuel's amazing journey at


  1. I am also a “late” mother. My son was born when i was 41 eventhough he was born early, he is now 3 and doing great. My husband and i met and got married later in life. But it was all worth it.

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