Her hand was gripping mine while she labored in the hospital bed. I knew her hand like I knew my own. Every freckle, every wrinkle, every vein had been memorized. She was my firstborn and everything she did was magic to me. For years I trimmed those precious nails and agonized over every little hangnail she had. And now here we were struggling in anticipation together and gripping hands while she herself brought a child earth side.
There is no way to prepare oneself for this experience. In a way, this was what I had been preparing her for her whole life. What I didn’t do was prepare myself. This precious new grand baby came into my world and I was clueless about how to embrace my new role.
Most of us will eventually become grandparents. Although it’s not something most think about on a daily basis, at some point it happens. Days of cleaning little fingerprints off windows and tirelessly picking up toys strewn across the living room are gone. Those days quickly turn into teen years of running kids to practice and instilling how to make good choices in our soon-to-be adult children. Before you know it they move out and use all those skills you taught them to start adulting. All of these things I felt I had been prepared for. I knew they were coming and I planned accordingly. Becoming a grandma, in all its magnificent glory, is something I was absolutely unprepared for. Therefore, I am choosing to share my experience with others who are in the process or have just become new grandma’s so that we can bond over the failure’s and the successes that lay ahead.
When my daughter announced I was going to be a grandma I was so overcome with joy I could barely sleep at night. I had all these dreams about what he would look like and what fun experiences I would share with him. I thought about how well he would sleep and how much he would be loved. I didn’t think about how he belonged to her and how if he slept at night wasn’t for me to worry about. I didn’t think about how SHE would be the one making the choices and losing sleep.
My elation in the hospital quickly turned to a little bit of sadness as my daughter took my precious grandson home and she settled into her new routine as a mommy. Without me giving her all her direction. Without really needing me to survive. I felt a little pang of jealousy as she told me about her afternoon taking MY grandbaby to the other grandparents. All the things I had completely disregarded in my preparations for this grand baby.
Don’t get me wrong – the good FAR outweighs the bad. I was just caught off guard by the flood of new emotions upon arrival of this most perfect little human.
So listen closely, friends, becoming a grandma is magical in every sense of the word. You might love that baby more than you feel like you should, but that wee tyke doesn’t belong to you. That sweet love bundle belongs to his momma and daddy, and the boundaries are hard to remember.
What you CAN do is snuggle his brains out when given the chance, FaceTime that little slobber bucket every single day, and learn all the fun new ways to enjoy your new role. After the initial shock that the baby doesn’t belong to you this grandma gig is literally THE BEST! Have fun with it!
Here’s to a whole new level of incredible.