– What’s hard, Maria?
Her daughter gave birth last week. Both mom and baby are fine.
– Nothing of what I do, pleases her.
They new family leaves with Maria. One roof, same walls.
Sobbing transforms into convulsive weeping. A hug is chasing it away.
– It’s the hormones and fatigue, Maria. Give her some time.
– It’s so hard. None of my advice or help is well received. I raised three kids and never followed a diet, or supplemented breast milk with formula….
– Give her some time. Be there when she needs you. It will get better, you’ ll see. It’s her experience as a mom now.
…. I made a mental note, a reminder to myself and I plan to stick to it. New moms need to learn and experience motherhood the way and at the pace they feel it. It’s their body. Their baby. Their decisions and their consequences. Being a mother does not automatically and for life make you “The expert-mom”.
I’ve seen women replacing their daughters as mothers and assuming full responsibility for a while. But a time comes when the mother will claim back her role and status. Or the child will want his bond with his mother to be real. What will the grandmother’s role be then? Substituting, even if through advice only, hits back, no matter how nobel the intentions were.
Found many reasonable insights in Melinda Blau’s article “Four difficult truths about your grand children’ parents”, link here
The ultimate objective is to have happy kids, happy parents and happy grandparents. Ego’s aside, “know it all” attitude will stay on my way to grandparent happiness. There are hundreds of ways to do dishes. There are hundreds of ways to embrace parenthood. I will face my insecurities without burdening my child. Grandparenting is not about compensating for whatever I missed or skipped doing as a parent. As grandparents, we owe this understanding to ourselves and our children, who would love a role model of wisdom and family balance and happiness. This is what grandparenting is ultimately about.