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You’re Going to be a Brand-New Grandparent! Are You Ready? – Chrys Howard
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You’re Going to be a Brand-New Grandparent! Are You Ready?

You’re Going to be a Brand-New Grandparent! Are You Ready?

What is smaller than a breadbox, fits perfectly in your arms, and keeps you from getting anything done?

A new grandbaby!!! 

First, CONGRATUATIONS! You are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. The greatest thing you didn’t know you needed is about to enter your life. 

A new grandbaby is God’s way of waking us up, energizing us, and giving us meaning and purpose in the second half of our life. And, did I mention, they are so much fun! The love, laughter and life lessons that await you are not even something I can put into words. You will just have to experience it for yourself, as I have done for over twenty-five years now. And, with six new great-grandchildren, I am getting to do it all over again! YAY ME! 

But I’m writing this to the first-time grandparent. What do you really need? How can you be prepared? 

Do I need a baby bed, a stroller, a baby monitor? So many questions and the product list is endless. For any product, I say, buy, borrow, or thrift shop what you can, then don’t worry about rest. If you are in a position where you will see your grandchildren often, it might be wise to invest in a car seat once they are past the infant stage. Car seats are so heavy and hard to move from car to car making it worth it to have your own. Other products can be added as you see you use them often enough to warrant the purchase. New parents tend to “pack it all” in the diaper bag, so the “things” you really need will be provided. I do keep diapers and wipes in a drawer in my living room just so we don’t have to dig in the diaper bag if the kiddos stop by, but even that isn’t necessary. 

So, other than “things”, how can you be ready for this amazing new adventure? Here are five of my “be ready’s” to help you on your way to the best job in the world—being a grandparent. 

  1. Be ready to give up your mama crown (you are no longer in charge). Bringing a baby home that you have very little control over is a hard job for us mamas. After all, we know how to do this thing, right? Yes. Right. But this baby isn’t yours, it is your daughter and her husband’s or your son and his wife’s baby. As a mama for many years, giving up the crown can be a hard transition, but you can do it. Trust me, there will be plenty to do without having to be “in charge” of this new baby. Sit back and enjoy the journey. Let mom and dad do the worrying. You’ve had your turn at that job.  It’s time to put on the grandma crown and accept your new seat at the table. 
  2. Be ready to sacrifice some of that newfound freedom. For some, you will have had ten years or more without littles; for others, grandkids will come before all your kids are out of the house. In any case, you’ve adjusted to a new life that didn’t include sippy cups and diaper bags. Now you are back at it. The newfound freedom you had become accustomed to might take a hit. My advice is to stay involved in the things that interest you (grandkids grow up too and then what?) and keep the date nights with your spouse going but be willing to give up some of the free time for a much bigger cause—your grandkids. Trust me, there’s not a tennis match (and I love tennis) that is better than snugging a new grandbaby. This is the beauty of being the grandparent, it’s a volunteer job. There will be time of all of it.  
  3. Be ready to learn something new. Somehow, we managed to raise our babies without a baby monitor, a sleep sack, swaddling clothes, an Owlet (what?), or a sound machine. You will, no doubt, recognize some of the baby equipment that the new parents in your family are collecting like a pacifier, diapers, blankets, and bottles, but new parents are higher tech than we were, and their “requirements” reflect that. Be ready and eager (they love eager) to learn about “what’s new” and then use the “what’s new”, even if you’re not convinced “what’s new” isn’t better than “what’s tried and true”. The new parents, who are trying to figure this all out, will appreciate you being willing to learn and use the things they deem important on their new baby. Trust me, embracing the ideas your new mom and dad are going with will go a long way to ensure you have a great relationship for years. And, you might be surprised, and find all these “new things” are valuable, after all.  
  4. Be ready to share. That new grandbaby, the one that you are immediately in love with, has another set of grandparents who are just as “in love” as you are. It’s been a while since you’ve had a “sharing” lesson, but now is the time to refresh your sharing skill set. It helps to embrace an “attitude of gratitude” that this new child has so many who love him/her. Be mindful of this attitude as you hear about the things the “other grandparents” did for or with the new baby and let your face reflect a happy heart. Nothing stops a relationship from growing quicker than signs of jealousy. Trust me on this one too, there will be plenty of baby love to go around. Once you have two or three grands, all the help available is greatly appreciated. 
  5. Be ready to be embrace the grandbaby you have, not the one you dreamed about. This new grandbaby might be coming to you from a situation you don’t know much about or understand. Perhaps this new baby doesn’t have a daddy in the picture, or this new cutie-pie comes from another country and doesn’t look like anyone in your family or this new little lovebug has been conceived by new medical technology. It doesn’t matter how or why this baby joined your family, it is now yours to love and mentor. And trust me, one more time, it won’t matter. You have enough love in your heart to overcome anything you thought was weird or different or strange or confusing. A new baby is simply a blessing, nothing more. Embrace this new blessing with your whole heart. 

I hope this helps you first-time, brand-new grandparents. Shellie and I are here to help. If you have any questions, just drop us a note.

Hugs, Chrys

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