The Joys of Becoming a GrandparentBlog
posted September 26th 2018
I am mum to David and Hannah, step-mum to Ryan, mum in law to Vickie, step mum in law to Natalie and potential mum in law to Chris!! I am also step-grandma to Lily and am known as Nain, (which is Welsh for grandma - and pronounced ‘nine’ ) as she also has two other Grans. We usually look after Lily for one day per week. David and Vickie are expecting their first baby at the beginning of October and we will also have that baby next summer when Vickie returns to work. I married Dave in February 2017 - a week after turning 60. This is a second marriage for both of us. We met as teenagers, went our separate ways and had families of our own and then met up again a few years ago. For the past 24 years I worked as a teaching assistant, supporting SEN children. For the last 14 of these, I was solely working for a local authority providing support for autistic children in mainstream schools across the borough. I retired in July 2018 and am beginning to find new ways of filling my days. Apart from starting to write blogs, I have recently been offered a post as Volunteer Cat Care Assistant for Cats Protection, which I am really looking forward to. We have our own little cat, Inca. I enjoy quizzes, reading, knitting, baking, visiting gardens, going to the races and would love to live near the sea.
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Over the last months I have encountered some new experiences – having a new baby in the family, retiring and now…attempting to write my first blog! As a catchphrase from a popular comedy series says…I hope you will ’bear with!!’
I thought that becoming a grandparent was not going to be one of life’s landmarks for me.
Neither of my two children showed any signs of marrying or starting a family. My son reached 30 and, although he had a very lovely girlfriend, they were perfectly happy as they were. My daughter was in her late 20s and -again – had a boyfriend of some years standing, but they were living in a nearby town and led busy lives.
I was with a new partner, Dave (having divorced my husband of 30+ years) and his son was in his mid-30s and showing no signs of settling down.
But life has a way of throwing curved balls at you!
Both sons married in 2016 within 2 months of each other. We knew it was unlikely that my new daughter-in-law would have children – doctors had told her this because of her medical/gynaecological history. Dave’s son boldly stated that by the time WE married in February 2017, his wife would be pregnant. And so it turned out! Dave’s daughter-in law was 6 months pregnant when she was one of our marriage witnesses.
Lily arrived after a very traumatic birth, in May 2017. We travelled over to Northamptonshire where she was born, within a few hours of receiving the lovely news – and were cuddling her late that afternoon when Mum and she were allowed home. I was so pleased that all had gone well and she was safely here – but as I held her, much as I knew I would come to love her, I wondered if the feelings would have been more intense if she had been ’blood of my blood.’
We share the childcare of Lily with her other grandparents ( 2 more grandmas and one other grandad) and she is truly a lovely little girl. It is great watching all the developmental stages again, laughing at the funny expressions she pulls, seeing her own little personality develop. We feel a greater anxiety about having her than either of us did when our own children were little – but also feel more relaxed about things like her refusing foods, getting clothes dirty etc.
Last Christmas was extra special even though Lily was too young to really appreciate what it was all about. Just having a young baby in the house at that time of year when all the family get together reignited some of the wonder of Christmas – and I know this will increase year on year as she grows up.
This Spring my son and daughter-in-law called round and, when all the family were present in the living room, gave us the unbelievable news that they too were expecting. The pregnancy was only 9 weeks along at that point, but they could not keep the secret to themselves any longer – and had also considered that, if the worst happened and the pregnancy failed, they would need our support to help them cope.
I am pleased to say that all has gone well so far and there are now only six weeks to go!! It has been an unbearable wait at times. – especially in the early weeks – fingers and toes are now firmly crossed for the safe arrival at the beginning of October. I am looking forward to having a new born in the family again…and cannot wait to meet them. Future blogs will chart his/her life experiences – and ours too! – and although many of you are grandparents of some years standing, I hope others who are new to that world will experience our journey alongside us.