As a new grandma, do you have mixed emotions, with feelings of eager anticipation yet some trepidation? Perhaps you’re unsure about what to expect – from the baby, your adult children, the co-grandparents or even from yourself. What follows are some suggestions for grandparents-to-be, and reminders for you veterans – honor your children, stand up for your own needs, and make the most of this unparalleled opportunity.

Enjoy the process. Don’t worry about the old stereotype of “grandparent” because it needn’t define you. You can add to your self image without subtracting all that you have created and gained over the years. Allow yourself to accept and take pleasure in your insights about yourself and your relationships.

Be helpful, especially in the beginning. Think ahead about the ways you can assist your children and offer to do them even if they are not your first choice – run errands, do a middle of the night feeding, baby-sit early on a weekend morning. You will feel closer to your grandchild after putting in the effort and your children will be more relaxed without having to do these extra chores.

Take note that July is Sandwich Generation month – we honor this cohort that includes some 20 million Americans. Share your stories as we celebrate the love of family and immeasurable personal sacrifice of those who are caught in the middle.

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