Our daughter-in-law delivered her baby on Thursday. We now have a new member of our family – a sweet baby girl named Annabelle!
My daughter informed me that I’m now Grandmomma to four! These three years since my first grandson was born have been quite a transition for me. You might think that becoming a grandmother would come quite naturally, but for me that was not the case.
Transitioning from Momma to Grandmomma has come with many new emotions. Add questions about what love and responsibility look like in my new role, to the already tiring and flooding feelings of menopause: hot flashes – sleepless nights (not from babies needing a feeding, but from my estrogen dominant hormones!) – a newfound sense of being less needed 24/7 by my own little ones – and you have a recipe for some depressing and confusing thoughts!
What is a woman’s role once her children don’t really ‘need’ her anymore? What service does she render to society, especially after spending the last 30 years raising children? Yes, I still have ten years to go, but those will be so easy compared to the last few decades!
I have to adjust to having more ‘me’ time than I can stand. I should have time to do things I couldn’t get done before, but my hormonal brain is a bit “fuzzy” (said like Meg Ryan in Who’s Got Mail!).
What is my role to my grandchildren? How much can I teach, train, reprove, or cuddle them? Will my adult children be offended thinking I might be trying to mother their children or prove a point?
And for a new question recently posed in our home – what happens when my adult child lets their child do something that we don’t allow in our home? Hmmmm? Something new to consider while we still are raising our younger ones!
I’m not trying to create problems that many of you may never have, but just sharing honestly some of my experience. I’m sure you’ve heard older adults say things like, “Grandparenting is so much more fun that parenting!” This always makes me smile kindly at them, while inwardly knowing that nothing in this life will trump being a mother!
Grandchildren are the crown of old men,
And the glory of sons is their fathers. Proverbs 17:6
But, God is always growing and teaching us, and these last three years are not an exception. Although they may be awkward, I’m loving the lessons! And in recent months, God has given me a gift. The gift of new perspective. And this new view has made me grateful for this next phase of my life.
Somehow this fall, as our families were camping and all the grandbabies were with us, something clicked with me and I was able to cuddle, squish, and smooch them just as if they were my own babies! I was suddenly able to see these little people as the next ‘layer’ in my love for my own children! God helped me to see the next chapter in my life, my next role in this ‘play’.
So be encouraged! Know that God has a beautiful plan for your life – like a painting in process!
– We begin life dependent – needy for love, instruction, and protection.
– We move into independence as we become adults (never from God, of course, and hopefully we stay connected to parents and siblings!).
– But then there comes a shift from independence back into dependence when we marry. Two independent persons connect and create a healthy dependency on one another’s love, skills, and personalities to build a beautiful, stronger unit – family.
– This unit is now ready to take on the challenge of creating new life – raising new, little people needy for love, instruction, and protection!
– Now this is where the picture gets completed! As our children move forward in this cycle of life, we become part of an extended, multi-layered, multi-generational family.
God’s great plan uses our roles as mother and grandmother to lead, teach, protect, share life’s lessons and God’s love with this legacy that we call Family! We really can enjoy the journey.