OT ? about Grandbabies

jennifer_in_vaMay 8, 2012

Okay, Friends. I have a question...okay, a few questions.

What age were you when you got your first grandchild?

Was it a planned/anticipated event, or one that maybe shouldn't have happened at that time?

If you didn't think it was in everyone's best interest, did you still feel connected and excited about the event, mom, and/or grandchild?

thanks in advance

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I was 19 when my first child was born, 39 when my first grandchild was born and 60 when the first great-grandchild was born. None were 'planned' in the sense that they are today. I feel connected to all my babies regardless of the circumstances or it being in their best interest. It is what it is and I love them all.....


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 7:56PM
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Jennifer I married young so I was a grandmother at 45. I was Ok with it in the beginning, but after they first arrived I was REALLY OK with it lol. I knew she was going to be a good mother and they are both excellent parents.

Now I was, and am still, extremely happy that my 30yo son doesn't have children. He is still trying to find his own path and I don't think he would be a good parent, at this point in his life.

I have a friend (60) with a son living with a girl. They dropped off the little ones ages 2 & 4 and never picked them up(drugs). She has her own business and is a workaholic and doesn't know how she is going the raise the grands, but she says she doesn't have a choice, it's either her or foster care. But she is the sole caretaker and she is concerned.

Another friend, teen (19)son living with pregnant teen girlfriend (17) and they keep breaking up. The girl threatens the son that she will leave and he will never see the baby. My friend is so afraid she will never get to know her first grandchild. She stays in contact with the mother to be but she is afraid that she is going to get very attached to the baby and lose contact completely. Very sad situation!!!

I think if my daughter had been young, unwed, no partner, I would have been very concerned about how she could afford to raise the baby. But regardless of the situation I would want to be in my grands life.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:14PM
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I was 49 when the first came along. He was un-planned and the event did put stress on the family. But when he was born he instantly stole our hearts and is a real blessing to us all. Not saying life has been easy, but there is nothing like a grand. They are truly as great as advertised.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:42PM
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My first grand was born when I was 45. Who knows if she was planned, most of all who cares. She was welcomed and is loved along with my 4 other grandchildren.
She gave me my first Gr. Grand when I was 65. Again I could care less if she were planned. I love her very much as I do my other 7 Gr. Grands and as I do the 9th that is with the angels.
I feel very connected and loved by each of them. They have their own life styles which differ from mine but over my kitchen door is a sign that reads "Nana and Papas nest--where the flock gathers" and this they do frequently.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 9:51PM
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I was 19 when my son was born, but 56 when he produced my first grandchild. I have two now, 11 and 9. My daughter and her husband have chosen not to have kids - they have cats. My grandchildren are very dear to me, although I'm not what you would call a "kid" person. I love babies up to about 6 months, and then I really like them when they're about 16 years old. That being said, I do really enjoy them, just not too often. Maybe once I retire, I'll have more time to spend with them. By then, they probably won't want to spend time with me.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:49PM
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I think I was mid forties when the first came along. The very first was born dead and the second was later considered the first, also a boy. He's about 22 now but I'd have to go check the calender. I lose track with ten + 2 bonus girls. I've always enjoyed them all and some didn't live close enough to know us well. Now that we're retired, we see them all now and then as we travel. I think the youngest is the favorite as she thinks we're all hers and doesn't acknowledge any of the others.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:23PM
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I was 60 when my first and only grandbaby arrived. She was totally unplanned by my 37 YO daughter who had stated in no uncertain terms that there would be NO grandchildren, they didn't want children, weren't going to have any, gonna live life yada yada yada......and I may as well get used to it. Well....as they say "accidents happen" and after wrapping their heads around parenthood, they have turned out to be amazing parents. She also happens to be the only grandchild on both sides of the family, the first baby born into either side in over 20 years, so she is doomed as far as being spoiled goes. LOl
The only downside is they live on the west coast and I live on the east. 4 or 5 visits a year just aint enough.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 7:04AM
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I was 48 when 1st G-baby was born, unplanned, unexpected, and shouldn't have happened at the time. Daughter was going to college at the time, and was unable to finish her Freshman year!

However, I don't believe that any baby is a mistake, since (I believe) we are all God's creations.

This G-daughter was a blessing from the start..sweet, always full of hugs and loves to spend time with her G-parents. Despite a rocky beginning for my daughter, my G-daughter gradually grew into a beautiful, talented, smart and stable 15-yr-old...a great accomplishment in today's society.

Jennifer, how about you?
I'm curious why you are asking these questions of us.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:30AM
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I really messed up our family tree. I married my dh late, so I didn't have my first child until I was 37 (he's now 11). My mother-in-law has great grandchildren older than my children (her grandchildren). So, I hope it will be another 10 years before I'm a grandmother?!! And I should be in my late 50's or even early 60's. Hopefully I can retire and help take care of them and spend more time with them, too!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:02AM
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As far as I'm concerned, when the grandchildren started to arrive was perfect timing. We are a blended family. My husband and I both had children ranging from teens to young adults when we married, and then we lost several babies of our own to miscarriages, my last at forty three. Our first grandchildren arrived when I was forty five, and as far as I'm concerned that was perfect timing.

I got to enjoy my child's and step child's pregnancies in lieu of my own, and when they were born I was still very young and active and still 'in the loop' with modern medicine and activities. The down side was I was no where near retirement, so my time with the grands had to be reconciled with my work. BTW one of the g'kids was waited for and planned, the other an 'accident'. The first two are within two weeks of each other in age.

We are on g'child number five now, the latest of which was born two years ago. The two kids who had the first g'kids both had babies after a long hiatus and around their fortieth years. (and one of them also adopted five more in one clump and a step g'child so we actually have a slew, no?) It was such a wonderful and joyous surprise for us. And I get the little baby and toddler experience in my mid sixties. Also just got our first great grandchild last year.

And here's the thing.......when our kids approach adulthood or are on their own we still worry and are concerned about their decisions, but we stop signing off on them. It becomes their call to make. We think we are 'vetted' because we have experience, but when we made the same decisions we were probably equally as raw and clueless. We muddled through it and they shall as well.

Anyone who is becoming a grandparent for the first time also has to decide how to interpret their role. It may not be as you had dreamed or anticipated but it's an important role and how you handle it impacts the bonds with your children and the welfare of yet a new generation. Grab the experience and make the most of it, be a rock of strength if you must, and a fountain of wisdom if asked, and enjoy it above all.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:12AM
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Since I don't have many memories of doing things with my grandmothers or staying with them, I determined early on that my grandkids were going to know me and have memories of me being with them and doing things together whether they liked it or not. Whether they remember me as Maw or Gramma Shazz (bless her heart), they 'will' remember me and be able to relate instances to their children and grandchildren as time goes by. It's family.....I've also learned grandparents can make very strong bonds with their grandchildren that last a lifetime (as with my children and my mother). Sorry to go on and on....


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:02AM
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We have a situation developing where my 23yo step-daughter may be giving us a grandchild (she's not told us yet). She's recently cost us a LOT of $$ to help in financial/legal/automobile situations, has no job, etc.

I don't know how she thinks she'll handle it on her own, and we financially can't help her any more.

I LOVE babies! My youngest is only 1 right now. But I'm having a hard time feeling anything but dread about this situation because it isn't going to work out in anyone's best interest (least of all the child's). After a less than a year of major stupid decisions, she's just made another one. [I think it may have been done as an attention-getting, jealous of the twin brother-brother-getting-married action]

It's just not a good situation. Thanks for all your input! really, it helps.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:54AM
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I was 49 when Adam arrived, a "planned" baby. Daughter was finishing law school before babies. And his two brothers were also planned. Two other family babies came a little early but again, their sisters were planned and spaced. All told, we have 8 grands. My greatest regret is that all our children live out of town and at a good distance, so we have missed all those "firsts", steps, teeth, etc. The oldest is 30, just married and the youngest is now 13 and we just had a 10 day visit with him here without his parents. I think even though we are not daily involved in their lives, we all love each other very much. I chuckle when I get a call, saying that they need an answer to something and they have to call Nanny for it.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Your step daughter may have to go through the "school of hard knocks" before she wakes up. But having a baby could change her perspective on life. You might be surprised at how she can pull her life together with this new responsibility. It's none of my business to tell you what to do to help her. But I can only share what we did when my daughter gave birth. We actually did LESS for her (other than to watch the baby once in a while.) This forced her to think for herself and the baby, and she actually matured amazingly well, finding a job, an apartment, and a full time babysitter. It tore me apart for awhile, (not giving her more assistance,) but in the long run my daughter has learned not to take advantage of me and my husband.

So, Jennifer, try not to dread the situation, and pray about it, that God will give you direction and peace in the matter.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:21PM
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We have 2 adult married sons.
Our older son and his family we are close to. Their son was also looked forward to and welcomed by family and friends. He is now 15 and very active in high school bands. We often go to his events and we have many gathering with them and friends on a regular basis.
Our 3 Grands with our younger son and his wife were all welcomed and are now in their late teens. They live in a neighboring town about 1 hour from us. For some reason, we haven't seen them in years. It is a heart break to us. We call, we write, we send gifts that include our phone numbers and sweet greetings, but there is no response.
We appreciate both situations, we consider both "gifts",
some to be enjoyed and some to worked on and hoped for. I accept the things I cannot change, I just need the wisdom to know the difference.
Jennifer, I know you are frustrated with your situation. I also know you will be a wonderful influence in the new baby's life:it maybe the baby's only good influence!
Thanks for letting me be open about this issue within my family,
Gwen in not so sunnycentralFL

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Jennifer, Gwen and anyone else who has had family issues, I know how sad it can be. Although I am very close to my two children, my husband has "lost" one of his. He has four children, two with his first wife and two with his second. For reasons we cannot determine, his second wife (who wanted the divorce and received everything she wanted in the settlement) decided to alienate his children from him. She didn't succeed with his son, but we have not seen his daughter since she was 10. She is 21 now. She dropped out of high school, moved away from home and goes from boyfriend to boyfriend. The other three kids are bright and loving, and we are very close to them. Life can be so strange. All you can do is the best you can. Be brave and maybe someday things will work out. That's what we're hoping.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Grands are wonderful, no matter how they come. I was in my early 40s,
for the first and I have Sons. I wont go into everything, but when the first DGC was coming, it was an aweful situation. My son stuck like glue though and against better judgement, married the girl. (they were very young) My DH and I have done much and spent much over the last several years to help make life better for our sweet child and the 2 that came next. We have had a huge hand in raising them thus far, and love them deeply.But things have not been great and now a divorce is in the works. It looks like we may loose them, Thier Mother is moving away with them. I am sure we will still see them on occasion but not everyday like we have. NO MATTER WHAT happens, they are a great joy, and we would do anything in the world for them. They know they are loved, and I am not sorry for one moment that I have them, only that I might not!!!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 2:55PM
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Gwen, If it was me and my child lived an hour away and I hadn't seen them in years and didn't know why, you can bet your bottom dollar I'd be sitting on their doorstep, invited or not, to find out why! I don't care how old they are, I'd want some answers! But, that's just me.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 3:03PM
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