What were we thinking! promote confidence and reduce distress in parents with a first baby

Becoming a first time grandparent

By Jane

Becoming a first time grandparent

My first grandchild, Liam, was born last November on a snowy night in Chicago.

Susannah (my daughter) and her partner David have been living there for five years and I must admit, I nearly drove off the road when they rang me earlier in the year to tell me their news. After that shriek of excitement, I began to worry ...

How would 'my baby' (now 32!) manage to be a parent? Would I remember what to do with babies? Would I be unbearably bossy? How much would my memories of being a struggling, isolated young mother interfere with my behaviour as a grandmother? Would my experience as a parent colour my expectations of what Susannah’s experiences would be?

On a more practical note, as babies rarely arrive on their due date,  I wondered how my husband and I would decide when to book flights for. And more still, whether we would we stay with Susannah and David in their tiny apartment or arrange accommodation elsewhere. Would my daughter want help with scrubbing the bathroom floor or with holding the baby during the day or at night?

My husband responded to the news she was pregnant by buying a sturdy stroller, and my son, an application for membership to the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Then one night, two weeks before the due date, we were woken by a ‘ting’ on the iPhone with a photo of a beautiful dazed mother and baby. Our grandchild was one minute old, and there were tears and love at first sight.

And just like that, some of my questions were answered.

Posted in:  Late pregnancy  A new reality  Grandparents