|Nicholas turned one today!|
One year ago today my oldest daughter gave me the most amazing gift ever, my first grandchild! I've thought a lot about this marvelous first year of Nicholas' life. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching my daughter be a mother. I love hearing the little voice she saves just for Nicholas. Her face lights up just talking about him. This year has given me a wonderful new appreciation and respect for her.
Here at A Nurturing Moment I work with a lot of young moms - some younger than my daughter and some older. I see many amazing grandmothers come in with their daughters and grandbabies. Most of the time, the grandmother is incredibly supportive of the daughter.
Sometimes, however, I will see a mom who is truly upset because her mother (or perhaps it's her mother-in-law) doesn't think she's doing a good-enough job. I decided to address this issue with a few "Grandma Rules" because it is heartbreaking for the new mother. She really longs for her own mother's approval. Sometimes it's so bad that the new mother feels she has to put some distance between herself and her mother (or mother-in-law.) That just leads to more hurt feelings, misunderstandings and perhaps ugly words.
Whether you like it or not, if you're the grandmother, then your job is to support and encourage the mother. Maybe she isn't doing things the way you would do them. SO WHAT??? This is her baby! You had your turn at being a mother, now it's her turn. She is the expert on her baby, not you! Your job is to support and encourage her. If you disagree with something she's doing, it's fine to gently make a suggestion, but then leave her alone. You raised her to be the woman she is, so have some confidence in her abilities!
|After 24 hours of labor, Sarah got her epidural and felt great!|
- Childbirth: I am a huge advocate of natural, unmedicated birth. I had a bad epidural experience and three amazing natural births. Sarah, on the other hand, was all about getting that epidural. She woke up in labor at 3:00 am on May 1 and had progressively stronger contractions throughout the day. We headed to the hospital around midnight. After a horrible night of labor (with her mother who was there to support her snoring loudly on the pull-out bed next to her), she really needed the relaxation the epidural afforded her. It was her choice, and she had the birth she wanted. I was thrilled for her!
- Breastfeeding: I'm a IBCLC and nursed all my kids at least two years. Sarah wanted very much to breastfeed, but because Nicholas was 7 weeks premature, they didn't get off to a good start. But boy could she pump! She pumped religiously for him for 4 months. At that point she was just ready to be done. I told her how proud I was of her for giving Nicholas 4 months worth of liquid gold.
- Nighttime Parenting: From the time Sarah was 6 months old (and we discovered Dr. Sears) we co-slept. All of our babies were in our bed and we loved it. Nicholas slept in his parents' room for the first few months after he came home, but then they moved him upstairs to his crib where he slept through the night quite well. There were certainly nights when he was in their room, but he seems to really like being in his crib. My daughter is the expert on her baby and knows what he needs.
|Nicholas was just 3lb. 6oz. when he was born|
and spent 5 weeks in the NICU.
Grandmothers have several very important relationships to nurture.
Spouse: The first and most important is with grandpa, if he's in the picture. Those who are blessed enough to have made it 25+ years in their marriage need to continue cherishing and building that relationship.
|I love being with my daughter and grandson!|
If your son is the new dad, you need to recognize that your daughter-in-law probably has a special bond with her own mother. Allow her to invite you in; don't push your way in. Be there to support and encourage, but don't try to manage their lives. If you do, you may find that you cause serious damage to your relationship with your son.
Grandchild: This is the fun, wonderful relationship where you get to indulge, love and maybe even
|Grandbaby snuggles rock!|
If you follow these simple "Grandma Rules," you'll find yourself surrounded by children who really appreciate you and grandchildren who absolutely adore you! After all, Grandma Rules!!