Happy Mother’s Day!

happy_mother's_day

In honor of Mother’s Day today, let’s take a minute to think about exactly what it takes to be a mom.   You would think it’s easy; have a child, right?  It could be, but there are so many other ways that you can be a mom.  There are step-moms, aunts, sisters, team moms, and the neighbors who help take care of you when you need it.  There are so many different ways to be a mom that there is no definition and we should celebrate all the women that have such a huge impact in our children’s lives.

I believe that being a mother is the most difficult job in the world.  You need to be all things to all of your kids at all times.  That means when one is happy and one is sad, you have to be happy and sad at the same time.  When one of your children is in pain, your whole being is in pain.  Each one will be going through something different and you have to adjust to each circumstance. Continue reading “Happy Mother’s Day!”

As a Grandparent, You Should Know…

So now that I’ve been a grandparent for a little while, there are a few things that I’ve learned and a lot more things that I need to learn.

First of all, I still think the most important thing that I can do as a grandparent is to just BE THERE.  I want my kids, when they are parents, to know that I’m always going to be here to support them, in whatever capacity they need.  I will babysit, I will provide words of advice (when asked for it and once in a while when I’m not asked), and I will provide a sympathetic ear.  However, I will also develop my own relationship with my grandbaby outside of that he has with his parents, family, friends, etc.

As a baby, there’s not too much that you can do other than hold and cuddle him, make sure that he’s safe, and love him.  I figured that’s easy enough; I can do that.  As the days (and nights) have gone by, I have been forced to realize just how much older I am than I was since I last had a baby.  Things have changed and there are things that I need to brush up on.  I mean, I knew things would be different, of course, but didn’t realize quite how much things have changed.  I asked about the big things, but figured I could certainly get by without too much new information.  I actually found myself being as nervous watching my grandson initially as I was as a mother and wished I had brushed up a little earlier just to be more comfortable.

On the issue of safety we, as grandparents, need to know how many things have changed, some significantly, since we were parents ourselves.  It’s up to us to make sure that we are aware of all the current safety standards and recommendations when it comes to our grandchildren.  That means that I have to read, take a class, and/or ask questions to ensure my grandson’s safety.  Do we know the right way to perform CPR now?  Do we know the correct practice of feeding/sleeping nowadays?  It’s up to us to make sure we do.  Of course the parents, themselves, should provide us with the information that is critical, but they also assume we know this stuff and I’m sure they don’t always feel comfortable telling us what to do.  The point is that it’s our own responsibility to make sure we’re keeping our grandchildren safe.  I bought a book on children’s development and look forward monthly to the growth that I can expect to see as well as issues that may come up.  I recently came across a website devoted to children’s issues hosted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (www.healthychildren.org) and am using this as a resource as well.  Not only is there a lot of information presented on children’s growth, safety, and family issues, but it also includes helpful apps, newsletters, symptom checker, and e-magazines.  You can check on your grandchild’s growth or address any concerns that you may have from newborn all the way through to them becoming a young adult.  I’m looking forward to using this resource and others to stay up-to-date on what to expect and to get news on anything that changes.

The being there and loving part of having a grandchild is the easiest part of all!  The best thing in the world is when my grandson’s face lights up when he sees me!  My heart just melts and everything else in the world just fades away.  When I sing to him and he stares into my eyes with a look of wonder on his face, all the worries in the world couldn’t pull my attention away.  I like to feel like we already have our very own special bond and I’m so excited about the upcoming years when we can hang out together and do our own thing.  I will, because it’s my thing, bake cookies with him and let him sit on the counter and make a mess.  We will go out in the yard and find bugs and learn to be kind to them.  I will read him stories and give him ice cream.  We will have our own special relationship, one that is separate from anything else and I just couldn’t be happier!

 

What IS Comfort Food, Anyway?

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comfort food

Who doesn’t love comfort food?  Comfort food is simply the food (or foods) that make you feel better when you think about them; it comforts you.  They are particularly handy to make when you’re stressed, sad, or anxious because it makes you feel better.  If you’re happy, they make you even happier!  It makes me nostalgic.

I said something about comfort food one day when my kids were younger and they didn’t believe there was such a thing.  They insisted that I made it up.  I had to prove that the phrase “comfort food” was a real thing and that other people knew about it too.  They’re convinced that we make things up to tell them; I’m not sure why.  It’s something to do with me telling them about the eyes in the back of my head when they were little. Continue reading “What IS Comfort Food, Anyway?”

Parenting & Letting Go

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journey

This time of year makes me so nostalgic.  Summer turns into fall, school starts, and it’s that time of year when you find yourself letting go of your baby.  Depending on your age and your situation in life the circumstances will vary but you will find yourself having to let go of the most important thing in your life and it doesn’t matter if it’s your first, your third, or your tenth child; it feels the same way each and every time.

When your baby turns into a toddler and starts exploring the world around her, you have to let her do it.  You have to not only let her do it, but encourage her to move away from you, to move toward other people and other things in order to learn about her world.  You have to trust other people with the most important thing in your life. Continue reading “Parenting & Letting Go”

Becoming a Grandparent!

So you’re about to become a grandparent!  Congratulations!

I have waited years for this to happen to me.  Most of my friends are grandparents already and I’ve anxiously awaited the exciting news to happen to me.  We all know that this is the crowning achievement of being a parent ourselves.  No matter what else our own children do, how accomplished they are, how smart they are or how funny they are, it all comes down to this.  THIS, my friends, means that you finally get to stop being just a parent.  You can now be a certified GRANDPARENT.  This is when you can stop worrying and stop being the responsible one.  You can stop advising your own kids and gently(?) reminding them of what they’re supposed to be doing and simply enjoy.  Yep, with a grandbaby, you don’t have to worry about any of that.  It’s parental bliss.  Somebody else can do all the heavy lifting while you sit back and enjoy the good stuff.  You get to spoil them, kiss them and hug them, fill their tummies with cookies and other good things to bribe them into loving you and then send them home for their temper tantrums, sleepless nights, and the number of other fun things we had to put up with as a parent.  Ahhh, the time is near!

Wait…is that a worry?

Continue reading “Becoming a Grandparent!”