Being a new gramma, I need advice,

grammabApril 30, 2007

I'm not a young gramma but I am a newish gramma. The best thing about being 60 was that I was finally a gramma, except for the fact we were 1700 miles apart. My son, wife and grandson are now moving back to our home state in just about a month and will be staying with my daughter-in-laws parents for a while, this is about a 2 hour drive from us. The little 2 year old grandson will be coming 'home' about 2 weeks before his parents make the long trip. The maternal gramma works partime so she will be in need of a sitter, there was no question that we would welcome him with open arms and get some grandparenting time in. Things seemed all set until I spoke to my daughter-in-law the other night. She is worried that there will be a lot of seperation anxiety and thinks another change will not be good for him. So instead of us driving the 2 hours, get a little re-aquainted with him and bring him home with us, she thinks her mother should bring him to our house and stay 2 or 3 days and then leave.

I really think this is her mother's idea and I'm not sure how to react to this suggestion. I know the little tyke is going to miss his parents but I'm not sure if saying good bye to the maternal gramma will be good for him either.

We just want to be able to spend some good gramma and grampa time with our first grandson, and I would appreciate any advice anyone could give me.



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Grammab, I am sure there are good reasons to send the little boy "home" two weeks early, but I am sure it is a very bad idea. Two-year-olds NEED to be with their parents. No matter how well he knows his grandmothers, he will miss Mommy terribly. Let me give you some examples.

Some background: I, too, am 60 (in December). I have six kids. The youngest two daughters are 22 and 25, and live nearby. Ann in particular dotes on her nieces and spends as much time as she can at our house when the little ones are here. She is the favorite aunt.

I am a hands-on Grandma. My oldest GD will be four in two weeks. She is CRAZY about Grandpa and me and Aunt Ann and always anxious to stay at our house, but after one or two nights (if we're lucky), she needs to go home to Mommy and Daddy. It's not brattiness (she's not a brat) or boredom (we do anything and everything she wants to do, and Aunt Ann is amazing), it is loneliness for Mommy and Daddy.

Another granddaughter was two in February. I have been babysitting her all day every Tuesday since she was six weeks old. She has spent many an over-night in our home, and she and her parents eat dinner at our house every weekend, but she, too, gets sad and lonely for Mommy and Daddy after one night.

Her little brother was born this week, so, as planned, she stayed with Grandpa and me for three days and nights while Mommy was in hospital. First day and night were wonderful. Second day, she was visibly lower key and asked about Mommy and Baby often. She was also a little weepy. That night she couldn't sleep without waking every hour or two (something she never does), and Day Three she cried frequently, no matter what we did. Taking her to visit Mommy was not an option, but late in the afternoon I took her back to her own home. It was amazing what a difference it made. She was back HOME, even though Mommy and Daddy weren't there. She was able to stay in her own bed among her own things. She still asked for Mommy constantly, but her mood was much improved.

If it is at all possible to keep your grandson with his parents, I think it is the right thing to do. I have six kids and made only a couple of moves, but no matter how difficult, the kids stayed with us. None of my grandkids live near us, so we drive at least one hour, (to babysit on Tuesdays) or two hours just to visit, or five hours for an overnight or two. The grandkids love being with us, want to be with us, it is a complete joy, but they still miss their parents after a surprisingly short time. There is no substitute.

Don't tell me he's used to daycare or any other reason, such as the difficulty of the move and the length of the drive, etc., or that it is a good time for grandparents and him to get to know each other. I know everyone means well and his well-being is the highest priority, but, believe me, it will be very painful for him. Perhaps you or the other grandmother can go your son's house to provide care there and travel back with the family.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 11:13AM
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I agree with shermann, separating him from his parents for two weeks will just devastate him, I can't imagine what his parents are thinking. If possible, someone should be out "there" with the family, keeping him out and entertained during the day, but he can still have home and mom and dad when he needs them. Those two weeks will bond him to you more than you can imagine. He's going to be so confused and withdrawn and grieving if he's sent away from home for two weeks with strangers. He won't understand why and I imagine it will break your heart to see him so sad.

My DD, SIL and beloved grandson (19 months) are moving to Texas next month, 1600 miles from me. It's killing me to lose them, they are so close now. I will watch him this weekend while mom flies to Texas to meet dad and look for a place to live. It will be for 2 1/2 days and I think that's about the limit. I see him at least twice every weekend for many hours and we go off on lots of adventures, but he needs to touch base at home with mom or he starts to get anxious. I'm staying at their home while I watch him, and we'll be busy during the day, but I expect evenings and bedtime will be tough for him, and we'll have to snuggle a lot and there will be plenty of tears.

I've warned my daughter that the next few months will be very difficult for him, she should expect acting out, whining, etc. I think moving is much harder on young children, they have no reference point and no understanding of why their familiar world is suddenly gone.

You grandparents should do everything you can to help this little guy, but he should always be near his parents.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 8:55PM
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