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If you are lucky, very very lucky your children have a grandmother (or two, or three) who is warm and loving and wonderful. Who can kiss booboos almost as good as you can and who also gives fantastic hugs. And above all who thinks that your kids hung the moon and the stars.
Most of all though, a good grandmother knows that in the story of her grandchildren life, she's an important supporting character but she's not the star. Who always respects what the parents say and decide, and who never mutters under her breath "they didn't do it that way in my day".
This is never more important than right when your baby is born.
The In-Laws group in our community is fielding questions from a new grandmother-to-be who is determined to be a good grandma right from the start. In her own words she doesn't want to be "annoying" and is looking for advice on how to be a help and support when her daughter gives birth, and right after.
Here then are 7 pieces of advice she's getting:
1) "Make sure Mommy and Baby and Daddy get bonding time without anyone begging to hold the baby. Basically, be the Gatekeeper."
2) "Asking how you can help and also mentioning things that you would like to do, like the dishes and adding, is that ok with you? As in letting her know she is still queen of the castle and all you want is to help."
3) "Ask the parents to be for the names and numbers of all their friends and anyone who has ever offered to help them. Call all these people and set up a meal and chore train to start as soon as baby is born."
4) "Also, if your daughter snaps at you for something-remember she might be under a ton of stress at the moment and you're a 'safe' person to snap at. Please, please, please don't be hurt and don't take it personally."
5) "Saying encouraging words like you are doing a great job and the like are nice too."
6) "When you visit, your job will be to take care of the mama and the house if needed. Trust, she will appreciate having someone there who is not plotting to pry that new baby from her arms. Just keep her fed, hydrated, and throw a load of laundry in the machine and you will have her undying gratitude."
7) "Don't give advice unless asked for it."
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.