I just came across this article about how much mothers need support - being a mother is incredibly demanding, but mums may feel they have to say "I'm fine!" when asked.
Maybe this should be on Mumsnet!
If you are a grandparent now - how easy is it to support the mother of your grandchildren? What is the best way to approach this? I think this can be very challenging for grandparents and I know that it can cause terrible rifts in families which can be heart breaking.
I am trying to remember being a new mother, and what would have worked for me. As a new mother I felt unsure of myself and also that I did not want the older generation to tell me what to do.
So, I have these ideas now I am a grandmother - not easy to follow - but what do others think?
As a grandmother, I think it's best for me to start from being open, and listening to understand, only advising if asked to, and giving help when it is welcomed freely. If I do give help - ask first, so the mother does not feel I am trying to 'take over'. Try standing in the mother's shoes rather than what I may feel 'entitled to'. If I want something - like time with a child - ask ,but never demand, or sound as if I'm feeling hard done by - as this leads to defensiveness and can go further to become an ongoing unacknowledged battle. A grandparent will never win this battle and it hurts everyone, including the child or children.
It can be challenging territory - mothers don't want to be told, by implication, 'I don't think you are doing very well! But never fear - I am her to help!"
I want to say too that I know mothers of young children can be very defensive and unreasonable (and so can anyone else of course) and that is very hard on grandparents. But as grandparents, we can only choose our own attitudes and behaviour; younger mothers and fathers are responsible for their own behaviour. We have to focus on what we can actually do ourselves. What do others think?
Applegran Sat 13-May-23 11:19:29
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