A grandmother claims she has been mistaken for her daughters because people just can’t wrap their heads around how old she is.
We’ve all heard the classic romcom line ‘wow, is this your mum or your sister?’ when someone gets introduced to the parents, but most of the time those flattered mothers know deep down that they don’t really look the same age as their child, no matter how much they wish it were true.
For one grandmother however, this same cheesy line could be said with genuine interest, as she looks so young that people often have mistaken her for being the same age as her daughters.
Yarrellys Ruiz, a paralegal from Tampa, Florida, often goes out with her two daughters, who are 23 and 21 years old. The three are regularly thought to be a trio of sisters.
Yarrellys fell pregnant when she was 16 years old, and now, at just 38 years old, she is a mother to three and a grandmother to two.
She is in a long term relationship with her partner Francisco, but often receives messages from men who are similar ages to her daughters, as well as comments from people who are shocked to learn she is a grandmother.
Speaking about the comments she gets, she said:
People always think I’m younger, in my twenties. They assume my granddaughters are my children.
I get a lot of young guys trying to message me on Instagram or Facebook. They’ll tell me I’m beautiful and can’t believe it when I say I have daughters their age.
We recently went clubbing for Latishka’s 21st, and her friends couldn’t believe I was her mom. We were all dressed the same with our hair and makeup done – people just assumed we were a group of friends.
When they were younger, too, I’d pick them up from high school and their friends all thought I was a cousin or older sister.
Luckily, I’ve never received any negativity about my looks, and my children are very complimentary.
People will overhear my granddaughters calling me Nana, and say, ‘No way are you their grandma. I thought you were in your twenties.’
I love being a grandmother, but I still like looking glamorous, getting dressed up and going out. The only difference is I have two extra babies to love.
My granddaughters are such a blessing. The love I feel for them is immense. They’re a part of my children, who are my world.
I think a lot of grandmothers would kill to be mistaken for being in their twenties, rather than for being born in the twenties.
When she first became pregnant, Yarrellys revealed the news to her family by writing a letter. When her daughter became pregnant 19 years later, she broke the news the same way.
Yarrellys spoke about the judgements young mothers often get.
People can be very judgemental of young moms – assuming your life will go a certain way, but I proved everyone who was negative wrong.
I finished school, got my own place, worked two jobs and went to college. I did it right, and I wanted that for my children too.
Yarrellys also pointed out that she was no ‘typical grandmother’ – she has a soft spot for red lips and smoky eyes. As someone who mostly gets greeted with ‘what’s all that black stuff around your eyes?’ during family gatherings, I can confirm that Yarrellys is correct in saying that she’s not a typical grandmother.
She revealed her secret to maintaining a youthful, explaining she didn’t like to wear too much product.
I don’t like using skin products, as the chemicals can be too harsh. I don’t have a regime as such, but I use coconut oil on my skin every day and witch hazel as a toner, as it’s more natural.
Although I do makeup for other people, I don’t spend much money on products for myself.
Despite the lack of products, Yarrellys went on to admit she does use botox injections twice a year, but says it’s for health reasons.
I have one injection every six months, just in between my eyebrows. It’s for migraines and nothing to do with the aesthetic benefits. I know it’ll help me look younger, but that’s not why I do it.
I can imagine a few more ‘typical’ grandmothers would be very envious of Yarrellys, although if they’re anything like my grandmother, they probably wouldn’t know how to access this article in the first place.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.