“Grandma is my best friend”
“If you can’t do it, Grandpa can”
Those precious words are more sacred than anything else you’ll ever hear.
Grandparents are the most treasured relationship we can hope our kids will have.
If your kids are lucky enough to have their grandparents in their life, let that relationship grow every single day.
Unfortunately, so many of the people around us wish they had their parents here to know and love their kids and didn’t get that opportunity.
Our parents drive us crazy sometimes. That’s inevitable. We will drive our kids crazy too. It’s just how it goes. It’s not about our relationship with our parents though. It’s about the developing relationship they have with our littles that deserve their own special bond.
Something amazing happens when we have kids. We get to see our parents in a whole new way. We see their admiration for our children and the admiration are children have for their grandparents.
When my brother had his first child, who was my parents first grand child, I would hear my parents tell people how being a grand parent was the best thing that ever happened to them, how much they loved it, and how it’s the highlight of their lives. I didn’t get it. I was like, Are you serious right now? Wasn’t being a parent supposed to be the best thing that ever happened to you…you know, having ME?
My parents would explain to me that it was a different kind of love. It’s because they got to see their children turn into loving adults and give life to another generation. This generation that they got to just give lots of love to but didn’t have the full responsibility of parenting them.
The love and comfort grandparents give their grand children is magical. It’s something that cannot be duplicated.
The day I found out I was pregnant was less than 2 weeks before Christmas. I thought of so many different cute ways to tell my parent and thought maybe I should even wait til I went to my first doctors appointment to tell them. Who was I kidding? I could NEVER wait to tell them! Maybe just keep my distance from them so they didn’t figure it out or I wouldn’t spill the beans but that too, would NEVER happen.
Right after I told my husband, I got on the phone and told my mom and dad. They were SO excited! So excited that my dad announced it to our extended family on Christmas Eve when he was sworn to secrecy. I later found out, he also told another hand full of people as well. He was just too excited for his grand child that was on the way. My mom was that excited too but she’s much better with secrets and she was probably a little more conscious and protecting over the fact that the pregnancy was still early and there’s always risks.
Through out this pregnancy, my parents followed along with the growth of this child. We would look forward to learning the week by week development and changes with this growing miracle. We would watch the videos of this little bean grow. They didn’t miss one step of the process.
They cared for me and nurtured me as I grew week by week. Nursing my first trimester sickness, massaging me through my growing pains, cooking for my baby cravings, and helping me prepare my nest for my baby who was soon to come.
At the end of my 36th week pregnant, Pano was ready to make his big debut. I called my parents somewhere around 6am. I told them I had contractions all morning and would be going to the hospital because I thought I was going into labor. I told them to wait for my call because I could be wrong or it could be a long time even if I was starting labor.
When I arrived at the hospital, they were there. They told me it didn’t matter either way because if I was wrong then we’d all go home, and if I was right, they’d be there the whole time. I was right and they were there for the whole 29 exhausting hours. They never left my side. Not for one minute.
They comforted me and coached me through every labor pain. When it was time for delivery, my dad was right on the other side of the curtain, and my mom was right by my side helping me through my difficult delivery. She wiped my face every time I threw up, fed me ice chips, cooled my body down with cold wash clothes, and held my hand through my fears.
She encouraged me the whole time as I pushed. And when my sweet love finally came out, my dad came back from the other side of the curtain and cut his umbilical cord.
They have been with my baby since before he took his first breath, when he did take his first breath, and almost every day since then.
Their relationship already started before he could even decide to have one because they started it as soon as we discovered his existence inside of me.
My husband unfortunately couldn’t be home with us the first few weeks but my parents came to my rescue and spent every day with me.
I’ll always be grateful for that. I’ll cherish this memory with them for my whole life.
There will be no rules for my parents when it comes to my child. They will never have to ask to see him, spend time with him, or how to be with him. I want their relationship with him to be as organic as possible.
The rules we have at our home may be different than when he is with his grand parents and that’s ok. That’s what grandparents are supposed to do. They’re supposed to let them play a little longer, make a bigger mess, eat another candy.
I know that my Pano is in the best care when he is with his grandparents. I don’t have to tell them rules because I know that they would never put my child in harms way or let him act any way that would compromise being a good boy. That’s all that really matters right? Keep my child safe and make sure he’s a good boy. They will be lenient with things that as a parent maybe I wouldn’t be, but they would never let him behave poorly without disciplining him.
I will never take away my parents joy of being grand parents.
We tend to get so caught up in our own ways that sometimes we do this to our parents without realizing it. We make them walk on egg shells and that’s not right. Sometimes it’s because of our spouse and that’s something that is probably an ok time to step up and demand a better resolution to make everyone feel comfortable.
My husband unfortunately didn’t get to have his mom on Earth to witness him be a dad. It’s a void I know is consuming to him. He wishes so badly that his mom could be a part of our sons life, spoil and love him, teach him and influence him.
I know other people first hand who lost their parents shortly after having their children and would do anything to have their parents here to love and be loved by their children.
There’s all sorts of reasons why some people don’t have their parents in their child’s life. If you’re lucky enough to have yours in your life, let that relationship grow without boundaries.
Our parents are the closest people to loving our children like we do.
I know this could be a blog topic all on it’s own but in this particular subject, let’s talk about (the elephant in the room) in laws. Most people have some sort of hang ups with their in laws. It’s not their fault. It actually makes perfect sense. Two strangers from two different homes, upbringings, etc. fall in love and become one. Now that’s supposed to mean that the families are supposed to see eye to eye on everything? Or we will like everything our in laws have to say or do? That’s unrealistic.
Put your own issues with your in laws to the side and keep them close to you for the sake of your child.
My father in law happens to be a pretty cool dude. He doesn’t ever really get involved in our marriage, he treats me well, and most of all, he loves his grand children. He isn’t going to be the grand father who wants to have the kids over for the weekend or come over to my house every day but I never have to question if he loves my son. I know he does. You see him light up when he has his grandchildren in his arms. He’s got six grandchildren and still makes all of them feel loved and has a different relationship with each of them. He didn’t act like it was old news when mine was on the way after he already had a hand full of grand kids. His excitement and love was just as much.
I am realistic that he isn’t going to be as comfortable to come over every day and hang out with me and the baby when my husband is working. I know that he’s more reserved and in his own routine. I don’t get mad at that or try to change that. I just go with his lead and try my best to see him often. After every doctors appointment during my pregnancy, I’d call or text him and update him on the growth and wellness of the baby, invited him to big appointments like finding out the gender or the 3D ultra sound, and advised him when I was going into labor.
He knows that our door is always open to him, he is always welcome over or invited to things that we do. It’s ok if he doesn’t want to come but I never want him to feel that I only care about the relationship between my child and my parents only.
Give your in laws the same chance to have a bond with their grand child. It may be a different bond on each side of the family but know their strengths, focus on them, and grow off of that. You also know their weaknesses, try your best to sweep it under the rug, and move forward.
We are the ones who start a relationship between our children and their grandparents. The grandparents are the ones who have the decision of what to make with it, and our children are the ones who will gain or suffer from everyone’s efforts.
If you feel like you haven’t gotten to that place yet with your kids grand parents, what can you do to make their relationship stronger?
If it’s strained because of something with you all as adults, can you come up with a way they can see your kids still?
Give your children the gift of love from their grand parents. And give your parents the gift of your children’s love. There’s so many others that don’t have that blessing.
Find joy in all of your journey,
Leanne, Spoiled Milk