Five Things to Remember When Waiting for Your First Grandchild

friday_fave_five_tamara-smallIt’s Friday and time once again for my “Friday Five.”  This Friday’s list is generated by the fact that I’m going to be a grandmother.  Our daughter-in-law, Laura and son, Jason are expecting.  If you’ve been following my blog, you know that it’s been a difficult past year for Laura and Jason.  They experienced three miscarriages very early on and, in each case, ultrasounds showed major problems with the fetus.  But now, after some genetic testing and resulting treatment for a condition that makes her susceptible to blood clots and stroke, Laura is pregnant again and this time the ultrasound is showing a healthy baby.  What an answer to prayer!   So while we wait for the arrival of this little one, I thought I’d put into words five things I’ve been thinking are wise for expectant grandparents to remember.

1.  Decide right now that you aren’t going to turn grandparenting into a competition between the maternal and the paternal grandparents. Having a grandchild to love and to spoil can bring out the best and the worst in grandparents.  Don’t see this as an opportunity to compete with the other set of grandparents.  You aren’t trying to outgive, outlove, or outmaneuver them to gain power and love from your grandchild.  Think of all of you as a team….each bringing different talents, abilities, resources, and personalities together as you unite with the common goal of nurturing, loving, and supporting this precious child and its parents.

2.  Don’t get involved in the “name game.” It is amazing to me how fraught with emotion this whole process of picking a name for a baby can be. Everyone seems to have an opinion. When we were expecting our first child, we picked out a name early on. If I had a girl, she was to be Laura Athena. “Laura” was for my husband’s mother, who had died when he was in high school and “Athena” was a nod to the fact that we had met and married in Greece. Well, no sooner did my mother get wind of the proposed name then she was on the phone plaintively saying, “You mean, you aren’t going to have my name in there anywhere?” Mom kept up the whining until we caved and “Laura Athena” ended up “Laura Marguerite.” Let your children pick out whatever names they want, and if they pick “Moondog Middleditch”…..just stand ready to offer lemonade and sympathy when the child is older.

3.  Recognize the importance of the mother-daughter bond during this time of pregnancy. Hmm, how to say this?  Well, if you are the mother of expectant papa, realize that your daughter-in-law will probably have a natural tendency to reach out to her mother a lot during this pregnancy.  It’s not because she loves you any less.  It’s just that most girls will gravitate towards their mothers during this time.  That’s how we are wired, I think, and it’s how it should be.  This is a very special time for the two of them.  The daughter is having her first glimpse into what her own mother was feeling and experiencing as she was expecting her.   You can still be there for your daughter-in-law every step of the way but give her the space to spend time with her mom.  And if you are the mother of the expectant young lady?  Well, just remember that advice is always sweeter when it’s asked for.  You might have been around the maternity ward a time or two but let your daughter discover things in her own timing unless she comes to you and asks.

4.  Have all the fun of a pregnancy without the hard work. I don’t know about you, but things have changed quite a bit since I was pregnant with my last child.  I’m discovering that there are some amazing things out there on the Web.  I’m having the fun of “googling” what the fetus looks like at 7 weeks and at 9 weeks.  I’m looking at the YouTube videos of 3-D images of babies in the womb posted by perfect strangers.  I don’t know these folks from Adam but the videos give me an idea of what my son and daughter-in-law must be seeing when they look at the ultrasound of their own baby.  I plan to follow along with this pregnancy via my own research using these incredible new multi-media tools that are available now.  This is a great way to stay connected with your kids while they are expecting, especially if they live far away.   And the neat thing is……I don’t have to do any pushing at the end of 9 months.  Whee!

5.  Use these upcoming months to record your thoughts in a journal or in letters to the baby and the parents. I still go back and read the journal entries I made leading up to the birth of my children and in the early years after they were born.  It’s the closest thing to time travel I know.  In an instant, I’m right back reliving those days.  Just think what a great gift you would be giving your children and grandchildren, if some day they could go back and read what you were thinking and feeling as the birth of your grandchild approached.  You don’t have to be a fantastic writer or have perfect grammar.  Write from your heart and you’ll touch a heart.

One last thing.  As a person of faith, I also think it is so important to pray for  the parents and the little one who is growing and developing.  What a privilege to support my grandchild in prayer.

Visit Susanne’s site to see what others are writing about for Friday’s Fave Five.

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4 Responses

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with all five of your advice faves! (As the grandma of ONE) And congratulations to Laura and Jason!

  2. Great tips! I can’t wait until one of my kids is ready to have babies and I can participate with them like this.

  3. We’re having our first wedding among my children this summer, and I’m determined not to be the type of mother-in-law pushing and nagging for grandkids..though I can;t wait!! This is really great advice.

    Congrats to Laura and Jason! Hope and pray all goes well.

  4. Congratulations on your upcoming Grandmotherhood! And to the expectant parents too! :v) So exciting.

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