This edition has a slightly different focus - my good friend Nikki shares her experience of becoming a grandparent (she is indeed too young and therefore is a very glamorous one)! and she also shares why "It's nothing you have ever experienced before"
Everyone tells you that becoming a Grandparent for the first time is like nothing you have ever experienced before, but when pushed into the actual details of ‘why’, can’t seem to put it into words. I am going to attempt to do that for you here…...
Being a Mum of two children seemed to me to be a whirl of repetitive, yet different days. The days always contained an element of;
and were sometimes punctuated with a hospital/dentist/doctor visit and as they grew older, a variety of schooling and taxi services.
As I look back, these toil intensive years were punctuated by fabulous moments, that at the time I may not have appreciated.
Cuddling up one very rainy Sunday afternoon in bed, drinking fizzy drinks and eating delivery Pizza whilst watching videos. Only happened once, kids were about 10 and we still remember it now.
Going on holidays and having wonderful days out – running on the beach at Granny's house in Wales in coats and wellies in the rain and coming home to an open fire and chocolate. Again, only happened a couple of times, but remembered by all.
I was SO excited to be a Grandma. How lovely to have a little one in the family again – he is the first Great Grandchild for my own Mum, we haven’t had babies around for quite a few years and now we were expecting the next generation….........
Nothing prepared me for falling completely, utterly and madly in love.
Not something I was expecting at my age - but I felt and still feel that deliriously happy feeling that I had when I first fell in love in my teens.
The moment I held him in my arms, I was utterly lost. The way my heart misses a beat every time I see him. It is like every moment with him is one of those fabulous moments I was talking about. When he is coming over for the day or night, I make sure that everything is done – ironing, cleaning, work etc so that I can just be with him - I don’t have to fit everything in around him. I didn’t have that luxury as a parent because everything was so busy. But being a grandparent is different, of course I'm still busy, but busy in a different way.
The other thing that is different is responsibility. I am not responsible for him, I am responsible to him and that makes a massive difference to my role in his life.
It isn’t up to me set the boundaries and teach the rules of life, although of course I will make sure he does all the right things when he is old enough; my job is to love and be loved, to support and offer help (when asked for) and empathy.
It’s like a second chance to be a parent and do it really well this time now that I am older and wiser and have learnt that time is the most precious thing we all have.
So to the new parents - Something magical happens when us parents turn into grandparents, so I am begging you to be a little patient with us as Grandparents – we may not understand the difference between a Bugaboo and an ICandy, and we may not understand that it is safer to lie them on their sides than their backs. What we have discovered however a capacity for love we didn’t know existed before.
It’s not that the love we had for our own children wasn’t immense, this is just completely different and it is all consuming!
And to new Grandparents - Don’t give unsolicited advice. My daughter now shares the daily challenges with me because I have learnt not to automatically do this. When he was first born she was reluctant to share, because she feared I would offer advice or solutions rather than empathy and understanding and thankfully we were able to have a conversation which has helped me to understand what really she needs from me.
I know that I will be Williams slave for the rest of my life! I will be thrilled by every achievement and I will drop everything for a chance to be with him. I hope we are the best of friends always. I hope we will share secrets and read picture books, and cook and paint and garden and go for walks together.
I want all of our memories to be impractical, loving, mad, fun ones, filled with adventures and delicious shared experiences that we won’t dare tell his Mum and Dad about!!!!!
There's a quote that says "A grandchild fills a space in your heart that you never knew was empty" That about sums it up!!!! Becoming a Grandparent has most definitely made me a better person when I am with him and I hope that ours will be a relationship that will enrich his life forever, as well as mine.
It is the best feeling ever. Fact!