Did you ever sing the rhyme “first comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage” when you were young? That may not be the way things always happen in today’s world. Being a mom, that’s how I have always dreamed my daughters would do it. They would grow up, go to college, find the love of their lives, get engaged, married, then have babies in that order.
As a parent, we have hopes and dreams for our children. Some will happen, some won’t. The biggest lesson for a parent is to realize that once we have raised our children, it is up to them to make their own decisions, mistakes and live their own lives. Regardless of what we think, they have a right to live the life they choose in the order they desire. A parent’s job is to guide them, offer suggestions, then step back.
Our lesson as a parent is to let go and enjoy watching them blossom into the person they will become. This lesson is probably one of the hardest you will ever learn as a parent. If our children fail, we believe it reflects how we parented them and the values we set. We might also feel judged by our parents, family, and friends if our children make mistakes or decisions not aligned with the norm. We must remember these opinions, beliefs, or feelings are things “we” might feel. We cannot pass these on to our children. Life is a journey, and we must each walk our path.
My daughter told me once, “Mom, you raised your children; you don’t get to raise mine.” Once I stopped and thought about the depth of her words, I was stunned. She put me in my place and proved to me she was the woman I raised her to be. My daughter had gone to college, met the man of her dreams, and gotten married. They both had careers, traveled, bought a home, and planned to start their own family. I would be a grandma and in the traditional order.
I am far from old-fashioned, but it feels good to know that some of the values I instilled in my kids they felt were reasonable. I also learned that not everything I believe is their cup of tea. My children like to ask me why I did this or that, and I answer as honestly as I can. I think it’s a great learning experience for them as much as for me. I was a much younger mom than they will be, and that makes a difference. I can point out things I now see that I should have done differently. I can suggest they learn from my mistakes, but I also know they will have to learn many as they go.
I want to be an amazing grandma, and I will look at what my parents and grandparents did or didn’t do and learn. I will be there for my daughters, sons-in-law, and grandbabies, no matter what happens. I will stay in my place and realize I had my turn, and this is theirs. I will watch from the sidelines with pride. I will be the ear when my daughter is exhausted and needs her mom. I will remind my son-in-law that I will always be there when he needs a babysitter so he can take his wife out to dinner. I will be the arms for my grandbabies to snuggle.
Life is ever-changing and exciting. I am blessed to be so close to meeting this new addition to our family. I know my daughter is going to make the best mom ever. That was the same thing my mom told me before I had my girls. The story continues.
(a poem found on Pinterest)
I am a Mom to a Mom to be
I was once in your shoes
A long time ago
My waistline expanded
Obscuring my toes
I couldn’t sleep the night through
Making trips to the loo
All the kicking and squirming
It turned out to be you
When you made your entrance
I howled and complained
but we bonded forever
That magical day
Now I am the Mom of a Mom to be
You’re adding a twig to the family tree
The stork’s on his way, and my heart’s overflowin’
My baby is having a baby of her own
The grandma is going to be me
I’m the Mom of a Mom to be
Soon your labor of love
Will bring its reward
A strong little voice that will not be ignored
And I know where you’ll be
Between midnight and three
Singing sweet lullabies in the nursery
When you’re holding your baby
So precious and new
You’ll fall head over heels
Just like I fell for you
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