Are you rushing around, preparing for the holidays and counting the minutes until you can hold the new baby? As a sandwiched boomer, you’re already squeezed between kids growing up and parents growing older. But now that you’re a grandparent, you get to take a bigger bite.
Some say you don’t experience perfect love until the birth of your grandchildren. Others describe this as an opportunity to slow down and savor one of life’s most precious gifts. But you may have mixed emotions, feeling both excitement and apprehension. Perhaps you’re not sure what to expect from the baby, your children or even yourself. Here are suggestions for new grandparents, as well as reminders to you veterans, about how to make the most of it:
Be helpful. Think about how you can lend a hand to the new parents. And offer to run errands, do a night feeding or baby-sit. You will get closer to your grandchild as your kids feel less stress, more relaxed and grateful.
Enjoy the process. Don’t worry about the stereotype of ‘grandparent’ because it doesn’t have to define you. You can enhance your self-image without taking away all you have created over the years. And don’t forget you already know a lot about new relationships.
Don’t give advice. Whatever comes to mind can stay there, unless you’re asked. Make any feedback open-ended and nonjudgmental. Remember how you felt when your mom or MIL shared her opinion about how to raise children?
Tell us the best tip you got as a first time grandparent, and log on Thursday for more practical ideas. Enjoy your family this holiday week!