My blog has been a fabulous setting for pouring my soul on topics that are close to my heart. This post will present insight on motherhood in contrast to grandmotherhood from my perspective. In 1987 I became a mom. I was so excited about motherhood. It was something I was over confident about. It felt right and natural. Oh, I thought I was an expert already with all the experience I had with babies and children!. I became an aunt at age seven. By the time I had my first child all my siblings had established their families. I had loads of practice! Motherhood is very humbling, though. You suddenly have this little person who depends on you to provide all their needs. So many times I felt I was doing very poorly. But as I look back on my highs and lows of motherhood, I realize that I loved my children more than anyone else ever could. I believe with all my heart, Love is the greatest of all the fruits of the spirit.
1 Corinthians 13:13 New International Version: And now these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13, 7-8 New American Standard Bible: Love Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
So even though my parenting skills were not up to par, my love was always there and I hope this was enough to smooth over any harm I may have inflicted, though not intended. I was often a little uptight with my kids. A little staunch and inflexible at times. For instance, perfect attendance at school was expected.. I sent them to school sometimes when I know they felt awful. If they didn’t have a fever and it wasnt contageous, they were going to school. Maybe I should have let them have a sick day here and there. If I could go back and let little Erin stay on the couch with some hot chocolate and watch cheesy movies all day, I probably would! I wish I had opted for a messier house to make time to play more and engage with the kids. D and I expected all A’s from our kids and they never let us down. But was that too much pressure on them? Any loving parent can second guess parenting. I am now, and always have been very proud of my kids. With all my faults aside, I am most proud of the love I have for them and their love for me.
I don’t live with regret or sadness over what I should of, or could have done. There are no do-overs so you just have to live, learn and move forward. I hope my kids know I did what I thought was best.
But now maybe I do have a do-over. At least I can demonstrate I have learned from some of my parenting mistakes.. As a grandmother I am much more relaxed. If you visit on the days I have my grandboys, you might have to step over forts, leggos, blanket piles, toys and dogs. We have picnics on the porch, explore in the woods, hang out with Granddaddy at the shop, and sometimes bake brownies! Our day is adventurous and fun most of the time. Yet they still ask for their mama and are sometimes homesick for her. There is nothing like the love a child feels for their mama.
I am more careful about the tone of my voice with my grandboys. I do not want them to remember me as that crazy angry woman. Sadly, my kids may remember that side of me. Now I know that it is better to be the kind of person you want them to emulate, than to lose patience and later feel terrible and regret. At least that’s what I strive to do. But as a Grandmother it’s easier to be more relaxed. I don’t have the same stresses and burdens on me as I did as a mother. I remember how exhausted I was after work only to come home to more work. Cooking supper, doing dishes, bathing kids and putting them to bed, cleaning, doing laundry left little me time. D was there to help, but as a Firefighter he was home two of every three days. So I had only a tiny glimpse of how it might feel to be a single parent. Always having that trump card, wait till your daddy comes home was golden!
That’s why my heart goes out to Erin as she takes on the job of single parenting. This is not the what she had planned. But is doing a way better job than she thinks. It is a difficult job with two parents. Extremely difficult as the only parent
When I’ve had the boys all day and am worn out, I am often thankful to get a break as they go home. Even though D is usually here to step in to give me a chance to shower or throw in a load of clothes. I’m sure it is especially hard for Erin who is on her own. Prayers are with her as she tackles this huge responsibility and the pressures of teaching middle schoolers.
I’m so blessed to be in a position to help with the care of my Grandboys. I don’t have the same energy level of my young Betty. But definitely less stress.
I tell them they make my heart happy when they are here. And that is the honest to God truth!