Parenting v grandparenting

This blog is a bit off piste, but I hope relevant.

As we all know no-one tells us how to parent, there we suddenly are holding this immensely small human being in our arms, a nurse waves us off the premises, and we are just there, on our own!

The months leading up to this monumental event, have been about buying lovely little things, tiny socks that you think will never fit anyone, pretty bunting and cot mobiles. Many an hour can be filled, rubbing your tummy whilst almost purring at the nursery.

In reality it is a bit different, we bump and bounce from one crisis to another, baby wont sleep, baby wont feed and the baby seems to be able to wake the dead in the early hours of the night.

I fell asleep on many occasions whilst feeding my baby, I woke up as the bottle hit the floor. All that sterilising and there it is in the dust!

I had no idea how to be a parent.

I think I may have almost managed it now though, as my boys are in their late thirties and early forties, well almost managed it.

The truth of being a parent is that basically we learn on the job, we make mistakes, loads of them, but we do our best.

So that is attempting to be a parent, what about when we become grandparents.

Oh goodness, here we are again.

The difference here though is, we have actually learnt a few tricks along our parenting journey.

Of course, our own children don’t think we have ever been parents.

Every generation will do things differently and it can be painfully difficult to watch the ‘new’ way of bringing up baby.

Just take the child led weaning, gosh I had many a nervous breakdown watching my grandchildren holding carrots, bigger than themselves, gnawing at them, how do they eat them with no teeth?

Apples similarly used to make me break out in a cold sweat.

Apparently those gasps of air are not the little one chocking just a high reflux, at this point I needed oxygen myself.

Why on earth am I writing this blog?

It is at these times that we have to remind ourselves, that yes, we have been there, worn the T.shirt, but that was then, this is now and there are different ways of doing things.

It isn’t that we did it all wrong, after all as far as I can see my boys grew up ok, it is just things change.

The role of a grandparent, if you are privileged enough to see your grandchildren, is one of support. To give support when asked, not to wade in, wait to be asked.

Never judge, remember, those mistakes we all had to make?

It is at these tricky moments that we must keep thinking and saying my mantra,

“Think your own thoughts, don’t speak them.”

About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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