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First time grandma

(19 Posts)
DebT1964 Tue 10-Mar-20 21:15:41

Hello, I just became a grandma on Sunday, March 8 to a beautiful baby boy! I am so excited and love him so much already, but am having feelings of anxiety and sadness a bit. I know this is silly - he's not my child - but I want to spend every second with him and I question how my daughter and son in law will be as parents. I feel like I want to question everything they've done so far and it's only been days. They left the hospital today so I'm not going over there - I just told her if they need me to come watch the baby while they want to nap or whatever they need let me know. I'll just give them their space to get used to their new family of 3. I just am struggling with why I'm feeling this way, he's not my baby after all....

Tangerine Tue 10-Mar-20 21:24:51

I'd let your daughter and son-in-law find their own way. Unless you have genuine and real concerns, I wouldn't interfere with how they bring up their child.

I hope you enjoy your grandson and I wish him all the very best.

tanith Tue 10-Mar-20 21:28:34

Understandable but you need to reign in your feelings right now. Give them as much space as they need and wait for them to ask for help. It’s hard to realise that it isn’t about you now its their time.

Grammaretto Tue 10-Mar-20 21:44:37

I can remember that feeling so well though it is many years ago when we first became grandparents.

I found I was able to let them get on with it but just watching them change before our eyes into the new roles as parents was very strange.

We live quite far away so I couldn't just go round. I would have to stay for several days at a time.

Congratulations on your beautiful grandson!.

Scentia Tue 10-Mar-20 22:13:05

Congratulations on your new grandson. It is a scary time as you look at your children and think, how will they manage. But, manage they will, just as we did, if you have done your job right, your daughter will be a great mum. You must let them learn how to be parents just as you need to lear how to be a Nanna.

Luckygirl Tue 10-Mar-20 22:21:37

Hold on there! Your daughter and son-in-law will do it their own way and you must stand right back!!

Do not offer to go and "watch the baby" for them. Offer to roll your sleeves up and cook and clean and wash so that THEY can spend time with their baby!

It is good that you have realised you must stand back - but maybe you also need to persuade your brain that this is not your child and not your responsibility - you had your turn - it is theirs now. Do not just bite your tongue - but do something positive - praise and encourage and boost their confidence.

I think your logical brain knows what you should be doing, but you are overcome by the emotion of a new baby. There is so much joy for you to have on the years to come - if you remember that it is Grandma joy and not parental joy. We have a very different relationship to our GC than we did to our own children - different, but still a joy. Take delight in being a grandma, rather than a mother. Congratulations on the new arrival - just enjoy.

DebT1964 Tue 10-Mar-20 23:18:26

Thanks to all for the great advice, I appreciate it! smile

Starlady Thu 12-Mar-20 06:23:24

Congratulations on your new grandbaby and becoming a first-time GM! Please know it is not unusual for GMs to be concerned about how new parents are doing things. There's new info and ideas all the time, so some of what they do may be the exact opposite of what we would do and it's scary. Please trust them to have the latest knowledge and to make the choices they feel are best for their child.

Also, I think it takes time for some of us to adjust to being "just granny" after we were used to being the mum/parent. Very wise of you, IMO, to give the new parents some space while you get used to your new role.

I don't see any harm in offering to watch baby, as long as you're willing and able to do things their way. Yes, some couples would prefer if you (general GP) would offer to do laundry, etc., but some really welcome a babycare break after a while (I know I did, as much as I loved my DD). Besides, you (personal) already made the offer, so now, I agree you just have to wait and see if they take you up on it. If not, please accept that fact graciously, and maybe ask if there's something else you can do to help.

Most of all, when you do get to see baby again, please just enjoy and don't try to evaluate what the parents are doing.

Starlady Thu 12-Mar-20 06:24:03

Oh, and glad you appreciate our advice!

Liz46 Thu 12-Mar-20 09:14:35

When I was at her house, I asked my daughter if she would like me to clean her kitchen so that she could have a sit down. The offer was well received and (unfortunately) she still enjoys me doing this!

Gummie Sun 15-Mar-20 16:07:01

My grand babies are both 22 months now and I’m still stunned by the overwhelming love I have for them. Part of me is so jealous that they are my daughters and not mine. But they are hers and she and my SIL are doing a cracking job raising twins.
I decided to relish the grandma role, and to be fair sometimes it’s nice to come home and not have the exhaustion they have to manage.

anonymous44 Wed 25-Mar-20 07:14:28

Congratulations on grandmahood. It's a good sign that you recognize he isn't your baby. You sound lovely and well-intentioned. I don't know if a perspective from the other side (mother of the first grandchild on both sides) would be helpful? If not, please disregard.

@Luckygirl is a very wise woman. Years later, I still remember there were two times my mother visited during the first few months when, instead of holding my baby, she cleaned my house. It was so appreciated. In contrast, I remember when other grandparents would practically shove us out of the way to get to the baby. Anytime we tried to parent our own child, they hovered, questioned everything we did, and interfered. Their visits were all about themselves getting a grandchild, like a shiny new toy, and nothing to do with being truly supportive to either us or Dd. I dreaded their visits, sadly, and our relationship with them never recovered. I wish I could've told them that DH and I needed them more than ever, but not in the way they wanted to be needed. We did not need anyone to take over our baby. Instead, we needed support so we could learn to take care of our own baby. To this day, they still struggle with backing off, and accepting that Dd is not "theirs". Their possessiveness and overbearingness with Dd has led to us having a much more emotionally distanced relationship with them than I ever imagined. And that includes Dd's relationship with them. Thankfully, I don't think this will happen to you, as you are actively restraining yourself from the problematic behavior I described. Good for you for having that insight. Rest assured, it will pay off , and I know the parents appreciate it :-)

Maybellex Wed 25-Mar-20 09:08:51

Hi since you posted the world has shifted again on it's axis.
How are you managing with your new grandchild now. I felt the same when my first one was born was in was warned about the strength of feelings i would have but didn't quite believe it. Missing my grandma cuddles so badly and she is missing me. My other daughter is due to birth to her 1st child and I don't think I will be able to see him, help out. That daughter was 10 weeks early and I was very ill see her for 4 days, then had to leave her in hospital. So very distressing.

grannysyb Wed 25-Mar-20 09:18:10

Some years ago when I was a fairly new Granny I sat next to a man at a dinner party who told me that he and his wife were expecting their first grandchild. I said that the important thing to remember was not to give advice unless it was asked for. He said his wife would find it impossible!

Izabella Wed 25-Mar-20 09:31:04

Surely not a good time to visit during lockdown?

Hetty58 Wed 25-Mar-20 09:38:15

DebT1964, 'I question how my daughter and son in law will be as parents' I'd say, 'Stop that right now!'.

They will do it their own way, not your way - and there are many different ways, not one right way!

Why are you offering to visit? Where in the World are you? Coronavirus is everywhere, isn't it?

endlessstrife Wed 25-Mar-20 14:22:29

It’s all very overwhelming when you get your first grandchild, and I remember having this urge to do everything at once, but you absolutely must stand back, not that we’ve got much choice at the moment. Any hint of interference could set you back, possibly for ever. Use this enforced isolation to really think this through, so you can be the best for them once this crisis is over. Congratulations by the way.

agnurse Thu 26-Mar-20 00:28:02

One thing for first-time grandparents to consider: obviously there won't be any right now, but some areas offer grandparenting courses. These are intended to bring GPs up to speed on practices that have changed since they had their children. Examples include putting babies on their backs to sleep, feeding on demand, and proper and safe use of car seats.

It's not that you did a bad job raising your children! You likely did the best you could based on standards of the time. But as we learn more and understand more, we do better.

endlessstrife Thu 26-Mar-20 09:47:58

I’m not sure it’s better now. I’ve seen my grandchildren not sleep half as well as my children did. I think this sleeping on their backs has a lot to answer for. The babies are visibly not as relaxed as on their fronts. That’s been our experience, and the same for many people we know. Of course, it’s not going to be a problem for everyone. Things change all the time, and parents have to do the best they can, with help when it’s asked for, and not before.