Learning to Be a Grandmother

Your daughter has just announced she is expecting a baby. It is your first grandchild. You are ecstatic. Wonderful, congratulations, but before you get too carried away you have to realise it’s her baby. If you think of quitting your job or buying a larger house, you may need to check with her first. She may be thrilled to have you at her side every moment. She may think you are the best mother in the world and she is expecting you to be the best grandmother. That is where the problem lies. You have to learn how to be a grandmother, not a mother again. She needs to learn to be a mother, too.

You have to learn to step back and let her make her own choices about the way her child is raised. Don’t worry too much though, because you have been a good mother and your daughter will probably raise her child much the same as you raised her. Give her a chance to experiment a little and you will both discover your method is best. Now is the time for you to be supportive but not intrusive. Let your daughter know you love her and trust her and she’ll do you proud.

Your daughter will certainly love a little help and advice, now and then, but if you start taking over, or if you criticise or pick at everything, she will begin to feel like a failure. She will feel she has to be supermum with a perfect house, perfect husband and perfect baby. If you are honest with yourself, you will remember that it is impossible to have everything right all the time. And why should you or your daughter feel that supermum is necessary. The most important thing is to enjoy every precious moment with the new baby. Therefore, a little help if requested, otherwise just enjoy time with the newborn, and your daughter, of course.

If you feel the other grandmother is being too pushy, wait for a little while before you say anything. Give your daughter a chance to work it out herself. There is a good chance the other grandmother is feeling much the same as you. It’s hard stepping back and letting someone inexperienced raise your grandchild. Trust your daughter to handle things herself and when she needs your help, she will ask. Just make sure she knows you’ll be there when she needs you.

The best part about being the grandmother is you never have to be the bad guy. It’s a grandmother’s job to enjoy her grandchild. Leave all the work and discipline to the parents. You’ve done your part to raise perfect parents, now enjoy being the perfect grandparent. Just remember like beauty, perfection is in the eye of the beholder.