On March 2 at 3:39 pm at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ, my first grandchild Leah Catherine was born, seven pounds and seven ounces of pure rosy pink joy! All seemed well at first, but a few hours later, she had difficulty breathing and wound up in the NICU, where she remained for eight days. Thankfully, Leah recovered fully and is now thriving happily at home.
As new parents, our daughter Katie and her husband Steve were completely unprepared for this. Yet through it all, they showed remarkable strength and resilience, which never wavered despite their exhaustion and anxiety. I was amazed and admiring of them both. After watching my daughter rise up to face this experience, I have no doubt of her readiness for motherhood!
But am I ready to be a grandmother?
I’ve thought a lot about the kind of grandmother I want to be. I want to be the kind who showers the child with unconditional love. Who creates magic memories laced with laughter and hugs. Whose home is a warm haven where a child is cherished for who they are, on good days or bad. A home where prayers are said, and dreams are encouraged. Where mistakes, messes, and misbehaviors are handled gently and quickly forgotten.
And how do I mother my daughter now?
I want to be there for her with the right kind of love and support. To avoid adding my own unnecessary pressures or unrealistic expectations to her life, especially around family gatherings and holidays. To keep from offering my unsolicited opinions or advice on parenting…I know this will all be easier said than done, and I will be tested at times!
What I know for sure is that love and faith lies at the core of all of our best behaviors. But can I commit myself to manifesting that love in the way that this new family needs?
Let’s hear from you – what are YOUR experiences? As women of faith, how have you influenced your families in positive, Godly ways?
- If you’re a mother, what is/was most important to you in the way your mother or mother-in-law related to your children?
- Were there things that were difficult or upsetting? How did you manage them?
- If you’re a grandmother, what are you doing to create special relationships with your grandchildren? Your son or daughter and their spouse?
- What mistakes have you learned from? What pitfalls should be avoided, in any of these important relationships?
- Are their things your own grandmother did, that you’ve carried on in your family?