My grandma experiences
Our only grandchild was born Christmas Day of 2006, 3 weeks early. At that time, our daughter and her little family lived 10 hours away. Within a few months, they moved to within an hour of us with DSILs career move.
I know it is easier to be the grandmother of my daughter's child as far as helping out and being appreciated for what I know and do. She was my baby once, and she knows that I know how to manage a baby from that and from watching me with her brothers. A future (hopefully) daughter-in-law will not be as aware of my mothering skills and how I make decisions. But even with my daughter, who is a wonderful mother, I find some of her parenting decisions are different from the ones I would make and have made in the past.
What do I do? I keep my mouth shut. I remind myself that there is more than one way to raise a child and handle things successfully. If it is a case of being able to offer a helpful suggestion in child rearing when there is a problem, I do so gently. DD is the mother, and it is she who will decide what to do in the long run. If she does not want to use my suggestion, that is her right. I honor it.
Together, we may brainstorm if there is a dilemma. But she is the mother, and I am there to support her. I love to have her visit with our grandson and to visit them. I babysit for her and help give her a break in her day, something I never had and would have loved when I was a busy young mother.
We have bought a portacrib for visits here, and I have dug out the baby blankets I saved and some favorite toys and bought others.
It is interesting to see the greater knowledge pediatricians have about babies now compared to the 1970s. She is appalled at learning that I made myself drink a large wine cooler every day because that was the advice then. Mothers smoked around their babies and during their pregnancy before the Surgeon General's Report, and no one thought anything of it. Fish of all kinds was fine to eat, and we could have a few drinks or colas or cups of coffee with no concerns. Diaper rash was just that, but now they see the different causes and treat them accordingly. Disposable diapers were new and leaked horribly. And we were told never to lay a baby down on its back and always on its stomach.
Now the second baby is due this fall, and we are excited with all the changes we will be accommodating. In the meantime, I love to see my DD mother her son with such love and skill. He is darling, and proof of her good mothering skills and loving heart. I trust her and support her. She is the mother and she takes the lead. And her DH is a wonderful father too.