Stef, Jesse, and the four kiddos are finally at home in Maryland in their own little beds tonight. It’s been a long two weeks for them. That’s the longest the kids have ever been away from home.
It’s no great secret (to those who’ve been reading my blog for awhile) that I’ve struggled with the whole “grandma” thing, which I’ve felt I suck at. And many of you have responded that to have your grandkids visit only rarely (once a year for us) turns your daily world (routines) upside down as well. I’m one of those people who desperately needs routine in my life. So I am very appreciative of your comments. You made me feel tons better.
Interestingly I realized something during this visit. I found I was really enjoying Ethan (6) and Liam (4), and it dawned on me I’ve been in this place before! The truth is I sucked as the mother of a baby/toddler. When Bran would cry I would immediately panic and feel totally inadequate as a mother.
Part of that, I’m guessing, came from the fact that I didn’t get to hold Bran for three days after he was born. I was sicker than a dog with toxemia and was in the hospital for ten days. In fact, I never changed his britches until the day we went home! How do you bond with an infant under those circumstances? And “bonding” with your baby immediately upon giving birth was all over the mommy news in those days. Unfortunately I ended up having a C-section so I wasn’t even awake.
Years later when we were having our home study done to adopt, the social worker laughed when I told her about my fear that I hadn’t bonded with Bran when he was born. She laughed because Bran (then 8) was curled up on the couch in her office with his head in my lap sound asleep… But the thing was, once he began to talk and could tell me what was wrong (was he hurting, hungry, scared…), my confidence level did a flip-flop. And I think I was a pretty good mom thereafter..😀
So after getting outside myself and observing my behavior with Ethan and Liam as opposed to Caleb (2 1/2) and Lydia (1), I realized the same thing was happening with my grandkids. I can’t begin to express the relief I felt knowing this was NOT because I really WAS a crappy grandma. All of a sudden my stress began to lessen, and when we kept the boys (all three) last night we had a wonderful time.
This visit had it’s ups and down, with two drop-ins at Urgent Care for earaches and strep, but all in all I’d say it was the best time we’ve had with the kids. (Though we always have a great time when we visit with them in Maryland. Their house is SO much bigger!) And we’re excited because they’re talking about moving back here. When that comes to pass I’m pretty sure we’ll acclimatize to having them around pretty quickly.. 😀
Just want to say thanks to all you “Lamaze” coaches out there who helped me keep breathing through this visit! You’re the best!. 😉