Finding out you’re going to become a grandparent is pretty exciting and I’m used to people saying that being a grandma is “the best”, but I don’t think I’ve ever really heard people say what actually happens when you become a grandma. Or maybe I just haven’t listened closely enough! For me, becoming a grandma has been overwhelming. Overwhelming in a good way, that is!
There are two main things that “happened” to me when I became a grandma.
The first thing was that my mommy instincts kicked right back in. Holding, feeding, burping, diapering…all of the essential baby care tasks came back in an instant. I was so surprised. My youngest child is almost twenty so I thought for sure that I would be out of practice. But I guess it’s like riding a bike; once you’ve learned, you never forget how. The same goes for caring for a baby, apparently!
The other thing that happened when I became a grandma was that my heart grew bigger. I have three children and with each one my capacity to love increased. It’s a natural occurrence, I’m sure, instinctual, perhaps. But the birth of our newest little grandson has made me feel a bit like the Grinch when he has his epiphany about Christmas and experiences a change of heart toward everyone in Whoville. The story says that his heart grew three sizes and that he had the strength of “ten grinches plus two”. This is exactly how I feel! The birth of this little has filled me to the point of bursting! I feel a bit giddy and have noticed an increase of energy and a lightness of heart.
I think that one of the reasons that becoming a grandma is so amazing is that while we are raising our children, we forget. We forget the initial flood of love and emotion that occurs when they are born because raising children is hard work. While they are growing up we are dealing with their emotions, hormones, attitudes and everything else that goes with it and the “new parent euphoria” wears off. When you become a grandma, the euphoria comes back. And I have a feeling that it lasts longer for grandparents than it does for parents.
Perhaps it’s because, generally, grandparents aren’t responsible for raising them. We influence our grandchildren, for sure, but the pressures of parenthood aren’t heavy upon us. We are free(er) to simply enjoy (and spoil) them!
The other evening, as I was holding LittleMan, Girl2 teased about how I’ve been since his birth. Well, I can’t help it! When she has children, she’ll understand. And when she has grandchildren, she’ll marvel at her heart just as I marvel at mine now.
Becoming a grandma has been one of the best experiences of my life and I hope that as the grandchildren grow I will remember to enjoy every moment with them and to be a constant source of support for their parents. Like I said, raising children is hard work. But as a grandma, I am older so I have a reserve of information, wisdom, and patience!
We are blessed by our children and doubly blessed by our grandchildren. That is the truth of it. It’s what happens when you become a grandma; the blessings abound! The anticipation of LittleMan’s birth was nerve-wracking but his arrival has been overwhelmingly amazing!
We’re excited to watch the grandchildren grow and as they do, this Nonnie will continue to share about the amazing adventures of becoming a grandma!