When our first grandchild was on its way, both my husband and myself were naturally very excited and full of anticipation about all sorts of things from “will the baby be alright”, “what would he/she look like”, how would my son and his wife cope as first time parents. We knew we’d love our grandchild whatever, but what I didn’t anticipate was the deep overwhelming love I had for this little bundle! He was the most perfect being in the whole world and meeting him for the first time was a most special moment. Each time I enquired how my gorgeous little boy was, my son would reply “I’m fine mum thanks”!
Two years later, our second grandson was born. Again a perfect, beautiful baby boy. The love we felt for our first grandson and still do, was replicated and every time I held him I couldn’t stop kissing him. This still applies six years on!
A few months ago our daughter gave birth to a little girl. Due to complications I worried that perhaps something might be wrong with the baby. We knew the she was a girl and we were delighted, particularly as we already had two stunning boys. We needn’t have worried; she was a healthy weight, perfect and so beautiful, like her cousins. We adore her. Like her brother, my daughter always replies to the question “how is my beautiful girl” with “I’m good mum thanks”! My grandchildren were now the centre of attention whereas previously it had been my own kids. Although I knew I would always treasure our little ones, it came as something of a revelation to find that the love I had for them was as strong as the love I had for my own children.
Until it was pointed out to me, I didn’t realise that in the rush to see and cuddle my grandchildren, I’d almost wrestle my kids to the ground to get to them. An outing in the pushchair became a race to get to push them first. Good job the kids have a sense of humour.
Like other grandparents, we spoil the little ones behind their parents’ back when we get the chance! If I had any advice to parents, I would say try and be tolerant and don’t object when grandparents do this. We don’t have them full time so the time we do spend with them is precious. We are lucky enough to have children who believe their kids’ lives are enriched by grandparents and encourage us to be involved. Try and remember that although you as parents are the centre of your child’s world and love him/her like no-one else, don’t underestimate a grandparent’s feelings. Another piece of advice, if circumstances allow of course, is to be completely fair and give equal access to both sets of parents. Not to do so could cause resentment and might not be in the best interests of the child.
As grandparents, though, beware of the inclination to criticise or interfere in any way. Remember the professional advice given to new parents these days is totally different to when our children were babies. For example I was advised to put my own children on their tummies to sleep. Unthinkable nowadays.
In conclusion I am very aware that not everyone’s circumstances are the same. However, I personally love being a grandma and would go to the ends of the earth for my two gorgeous boys and my beautiful little girl. In fact we have on two occasions, when my grandsons have literally been at the other side of the world where they temporarily live. So, make the most of the support grandparents can give, be patient with any differences and remember, we didn’t do such a bad job in bringing you up!