When my daughter got married, she and I went to a Bridal Convention in downtown Phoenix. At the entrance, she was given a tote bag that said “I’m the Bride.” I was given one that said, “I’m the Mom.” My grandson was born a couple months ago and I’m still waiting for a tote bag that says “I’m the Grandma.”
In that tote, I’d like to find a manual: “How to Be Grandma.” I could use a few tips because just like parenting didn’t come with a user’s manual, neither did grandparenting.
Missing my grandson’s birth
My grandson came at the beginning of the COVID lockdown here in Arizona. In fact, we’re fairly sure my son-in-law was the last expectant father allowed to stay with his wife during delivery. It was early in the pandemic and no one knew just how contagious it was.
My family decided to err on the side of caution: my husband and I were introduced to our first grandchild at a distance of about 10 feet. For the next couple of months, we were heartbreakingly absent from their house, except for meal and emergency grocery deliveries, following the state’s quarantine recommendations.
Early bonding with a baby is paramount – we missed out on that for the first few weeks of the baby’s life. It was devastating.
On the positive side, it was probably a blessing for the young parents. Without grandparents hovering around, they were forced to depend on each other, pediatric advice and Google searches to get through the first few weeks of newborn care.
Had there been a manual for grandparents, I wonder if it would have included tips for grandparenting through a pandemic?
Becoming Grandma in a COVID-world
Finally, we all started to find what we were comfortable with regarding COVID precautions and snuggling my grandbaby.
Bonding came easily. Babies are easy to love – especially one of your own. And babies easily return that love at 1,000 percent.
Now, even though we’re still experiencing some aspects of the pandemic, life is pretty much back to normal. As the retiree grandma, I’ve been blessed to be the babysitter two or three days a week. It’s been such a joy! His mom and dad are home much of the time (working from home) so I’ve been able to enjoy lots of quality time with the whole family and share in his early milestones.
Now with the transfer of East Valley Moms, I’ve seized another opportunity — to be a regular contributor to the blog. So send this link to your mom, your grandmother, or any other seasoned-citizens who might be interested in hearing one grandma’s take on grandmothering, pre-and-post pandemic.