I’m not going to lie.
When given the news that we were going to be grandparents, it provoked mixed emotions.
Yes, we were thrilled and relieved that my daughter had conceived so quickly and easily, even though it meant cancelling our just booked holiday, that now clashed with her due date.
However, despite being in our sixties, despite a hefty proportion of our friends having been grandparents for quite a while, despite my daughter being in her mid-thirties, we still couldn’t help but think that surely we weren’t really old enough for all this, were we?
And what should we be called? Grandma and Grandad were our parents, not us, right?
It didn’t help that my son-in-law’s eighty four year old grandmother, soon to become a great-grandmother, insisted that of course I wouldn’t want to be called Grandma as it made me sound much too old. She’s always been known as Nana, but even though Nana and Nannie seemed friendlier,they just didn’t feel right for me.
For now, I’ve stuck with family tradition and gone with Grandma , but truth be told, I’m still trying out various options, and in the end, I’ll settle for whatever my grandson chooses to call me when he’s a bit older. If the Queen can live with little Prince George calling her ‘Gan-Gan’, then I guess I could too.
It definitely took my husband most of Lauren’s pregnancy to get his head around the whole idea of us joining the grand-parenting club, but once the baby arrived, he took to his new role like a duck to water, as I always knew he would, although he still stubbornly refuses to accept any of the conventional titles such as Grandad, Grandpa, or Gramps (my personal favourite), and has gone for GD instead. I’m sure his grandson will figure out his preferred name for himself.
Once Leo Luca Michael Roberts made his appearance, I discovered what everyone had told me was true – holding your grandchild in your arms was like no other feeling, and I adored him from the very first second.
I’d always been determined that I would be a hands-on granny, but was aware that it’d be a tricky balance, resisting the urge to take over or interfere, while wanting to give as much help as possible.
I’d been warned by numerous friends that I’d have to bite my tongue very hard at times, and of course that has proved to be the case. How my babies survived being put to sleep on their tummies, or not having the latest all singing all dancing car seat or buggy or crib I’ll never know…
I’ve also been told that it’s easier when you’re dealing with your daughter, rather than your daughter-in-law. I have three daughters but no sons, so I’m not in a position to comment, but what I can say is that I feel comfortable giving them the benefit of my honest opinion when asked.
And that’s the crux of the matter. When they ask for our help, we willingly give it, but part of responsible parenting is letting your kids stand on their own two feet and learning from their mistakes.
And one thing I have learned since becoming a grandparent is that doesn’t change, even when they’re adults with babies of their own.