How to Welcome a Grandchild Into Your Life
Welcoming a child into the world is a period of adjustment for all involved. Not only will the parents be experiencing a range of emotions, but becoming a grandparent is a big moment for you, too. You’re bound to feel excited and overjoyed in anticipation of the new arrival, but it’s also normal to feel worried or even sad about this new phase of your life. To help make the transition as smooth as possible, here are five tips for welcoming a grandchild into your life and becoming the best grandparent you can be.
Be Supportive From the Start
Now’s the time to dispel any negative thoughts you have about your son or daughter’s spouse and try to quiet your concerns about their relationship. Whatever your opinion on their choice to have a baby, there’s no going back now. The expectant parents are likely to have enough worries of their own. So, they’ll need you to be positive and supportive.
If you’re concerned about their finances and you’re in a position to help, offer your support. Even if it’s only in the short-term… it will appreciated. Alternatively, you could help them with a single purchase like a stroller or crib. Physical and emotional support is important, too, so offer to lend an ear or drive them to prenatal appointments if you can. Just be careful not to don’t overdo it and make them feel crowded.
Show the Right Amount of Interest
By all means, keep track of the baby’s development and ask about antenatal appointments, but don’t make the pregnant mother feel smothered. While you may only be told after the mother has been 7 weeks pregnant, there is no need to bombard her with information. While you can direct them to reputable resources such as Pampers, you should do so casually. This is important advice for when the child arrives, too, as some women don’t want any visitors at all in the first few weeks. Learn when to show an interest and when to curb your enthusiasm and take a step back.
Respect the Parents’ Boundaries
However excited you are about your new grandchild, remember that the parents’ decisions are final. If they ask you not to tell other family members their news, or they don’t want you to start shopping for baby clothes yet, respect their boundaries and don’t challenge them on their choices. Similarly, the birth is a unique and personal experience for the mother, so don’t push your expectations on her or expect her to do things a certain way.
Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t offer to provide childcare or quit your job on a whim. You never know how you might feel when the baby arrives, or how your situation might change. If you’re not prepared to give up your freedom to provide childcare or babysitting duties, state this now so there’s no conflict or disappointment down the line.
Try to Repair Family Relationships
If you and your spouse are divorced, chances are you’ve had to keep things civilized in view of your kids, but there could still be lingering tension. Now that your children are all grown up, and there is another child on the way, now is the perfect time to repair damaged relationships in the family so you can present your new grandchild with a united front.