New parents often exclaim that no one told them about the strong and complex emotions that come with parenthood. Yes, they were told about coping with labour and perhaps something about baby feeding and equipment. But it is the emotional side that is so important.
Well, the same can be said for becoming a grandparent. Of course, we all know that when a son or daughter is expecting a baby, the birth of that child will make us a grandparent. But how many of us have any idea what this will mean for us, both immediately and over time?
Certainly, I was bowled over!
I am the grandmother of two boys, now aged eight and twelve. This began twelve years ago, when my daughter went into a difficult labour and ended up needing an emergency caesarean.
At the last minute, my son-in-law had very understandable qualms and asked me to be there during the birth. So, it was into my arms that this little life was placed, my daughter feeling too weak to manage. What an amazing and wonderful moment, when all the pain and fears of labour are over and a new person has come into the world.
But just as being a mother is more than giving birth, so being a grandmother is much more than being there for the new-born baby. Quite beyond any expectation, my life has changed completely as the result of these two boys. There are new people to love, new bodies to cuddle and comfort, new minds to nourish and a whole new role to play within the family. And much else besides.
I found being a grandmother so fascinating that I decided to write a book about it, Celebrating Grandmothers. Here, nearly thirty women reflect on the joys and challenges of being a grandmother in their own words. I hope to explore these in the months to come.
This post was originally published on the website of The Grandparent Hub (https://thegrandparenthub.com/becoming-a-grandparent/)