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Monday, February 11, 2013

I Have Been a Grammy For a Year Now... What Have I Learned?

We grow older, do we grow wiser?  What have I learned this past year as a new Grammy?  There seems to be more options, decisions and choices to make  about child raising. There just might be more choices, in life.  When I attended college women were limited in careers.  I could be a teacher, a nurse, a counselor, or a secretary.  Few women in those days became lawyers or doctors, or sales executives. The jobs of today were not even invented then, and clearly not calling to women.  Today, unlimited choices.

The same is true for parenting.  You can bottle feed, breast feed, pump, or all of the above.  Your child can share your bed, stay in their crib, or share your room,  in their crib.  You can feed your child only organic food, prepared food, make your own, or just breast feed.  Many many more choices, and no right or wrongs, only belief systems, and lots of books to support it.

I have tried to understand and stay current on all the variables.  My mother in law, would not have liked this. I try to stay open minded and adapt.

I have learned that love and worry both expand when you have grandchildren.  I have a love and worry umbrella. It is constantly inflated to include the new baby, the future baby, and their parents.  It is ever growing, as my precious "P" is ill or unhappy.  You love more you worry more.  Grandchildren are the true addiction of choice.

I have learned that I do not rule the world. ( I already new that, I just hate to admit it.)  My pediatrician used to say, " mother's do not cause illness, mothers  do not cure illness).  This is truer when you are a grandparent watching the action unfold.

Finally I have learned to talk out my concerns, with my friends.  Their issues are my issues, and we support each other.  It is bonding with my friends and admiring their dedication and unfailing loyalty to their grandchildren, that binds us.  My friends are wonderful grandparents and I hope they are always appreciated.

I do my best, grandpa too.  I try not to interfere, and to censor my opinions.  Do I succeed?  As our late mayor used to say, "How Am I Doing"?  I try hard...  very hard,  I really do.

Write to me tell me your experiences, I would love to publish them as comments.      Judy

5 comments:

  1. Oh I really like that blog. I feel like I should send it to my Mom. (She
    > disagrees w/some of my older sister's child rearing too...she thinks
    > my older sister is always ignorning when her toddler is sick and my
    > Mom is always yelling at "S" to take her son to the dr and get him
    > meds. Her response is always "he's fine" because thats her
    > response to everything in life..."It's fine.")

    Concerned

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  2. Judy
    Loved reading your ramblings! I had to smile reading about Romper Room and remembering the magic mirror and always being told to be a good
    DooBee. As a kindergarten teacher could certainly identify with singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. (I'm sure that I will think of you every time I sing
    it from now on.) I'm going to heed your advice, and make a concerted effort to do more of If You're Happy and You Know It. The piece on gardening was very
    informative. I had no clue what the numbers on the labels meant. Most of all, as a prospective grandma, loved reading about what you've learned in the past year.
    All were very entertaining. Keep em coming!
    Phyllis

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  3. You are doing a wonderful job in your new role of being a grandparent. "P" and future baby to be are lucky to have you as a Grammy, and their parents are also very lucky to have you.
    I give you a lot of credit for trying to be open minded and for biting your tongue when needed. There has been a lot of changes since we had our babies.
    Yes, the worrying never ends. My Mom used to say that her worrying pool grew with each new grandchild, and she felt very blessed and fortunate to have them in her life to worry about and love. I wish that she was still here to share my worries about my children. I still tell her in my heart. Sometimes I comment to the kids:"what would Grandma say" or "Grandma would have been very worried".


    Thanks for sharing.
    Brid

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  4. You're doing great, whether that is recognized immediately or realized later, only time will tell.

    You have learned to be the rock: dependable, ever there, not easily moved. You are not quicksand. You are not explosive or derisive. You are a safe haven. You have learned to let your children own their "problems/challenges" and not try to take over and manipulated them.

    That is tough because we tend to do that with our children, try to mold them to our will and sense of what is right. But they are adults now. They still are influenced by those around them, within their own value system. They have graduated to become the current molders of taste, propriety, values, priority, etc. Whether they like the role or not, they are the all-powerful rulers of their domain, making their will known, their likes and dislikes into "law," and clarifying what is permissible and what is totally forbidden, even if only a few things are rejected. You have learned to step down from authority and let the new regime be in charge.

    The toughest thing about being a grandparent (or friend on the sidelines) is that unsolicited advice is really not wanted. Even solicited advice is really a request for recognition that the situation is a challenge and that you will support whatever decision they make. Stating your awareness of the tactics that they mention and of a few additional ones, stating the pros and cons, might be appreciated, as long as it is clear that they are free to decide what they will, without comments.

    The trick is to remain as neutral as you can, or even to sprinkle your statements with "I'm sure that you already know about..." or "It sounds as if you rejected...[such and such]"...so that your children know that you acknowledge their intelligence and diligence in research and that you do not think that you are smarter than they are. ...although more experienced with motherhood only because you have been alive longer and have been faced with more situations. This is tricky but true and doesn't guarantee that you are/were "right" only that when certain things happened at that time, you noticed that other thins usually followed. Your children can then conclude what they will about the evidence brought to their attention. Be prepared for their different points of view about the meaning of your data.

    It is simple logical that different people read different books, know different people, and experience different things. Ergo, they might know different things and have different perspectives. ..."DIFFERENT," NOT "BETTER." There is no value judgment or criticism intended, just a different point of view that can be accepted or rejected for now (and looked at later) or rejected for all times.

    Thank goodness, love and intentions tend to come across the most, and most children are resilient. Consistency and predictability tend to offer stability and tend to be better for children.

    But life is often unpredictable. We don't know what experiences will intrude or slither into the baby's life, who the baby will meet and befriend, who might try to bully this precious child,...etc. We can predict very little specifically, although we can make educated generalizations.

    The best upbringing is one that is not too much or too little of anything. You want the child to be strong/smart/streetwise/etc. enough to stand up to bullies, danger, illness; kind enough and empathic enough to feel for others and not be totally selfish; not be so selfless either that this kid is everyone's patsy; flexible with some things but able to stand up for the self when necessary. You want a happy, but responsible child; a serious but easy-going child when able to be.

    You want so many things, all good.


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  5. But you created wonderful children who married wonderful people. It is doubtful that they (or you) will do anything horrible on purpose. You folks can only try your best and then learn when the grammy needs to step back and be silent and hope that the parents will learn when they need to step back and be silent and trust their child to make the right choices (which is in the future right now).

    It's an ongoing journey. I wish you few storms of short and harmless durations. I'd wish you no storms, but I am a realist.

    Love,
    Barbara

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