My husband and I recently had dinner with friends who let it slip that they are expecting. A million things flew through my mind that I wanted to tell her, but I contained myself. As we discussed details and dates, and watched videos of them breaking the news to the newly-appointed Grandma, I looked over at my friend’s mom (who happened to be with us and fawning over my daughter) and realized that one of the biggest changes my friend is going to experience in the coming months is not something physical. She is going to be lucky enough to watch her mom become a grandma.
I know not everyone is fortunate to have a great relationship with their mom. Historically, my mom and I have battled over pretty much everything. Probably because we are too much alike, both stubborn and hard headed. But a shift occurred when I had my oldest daughter, and I understand now how mothers and daughters can be best friends.
My mom is the first person I think to send pictures to. She never gets tired of hearing about the smallest moments of the day, and she wants to know every detail of what was eaten, how naps are going, and whether my kiddos are “regular.” She fully embraced the craziness of cloth diapers, watched and helped while I struggled with breastfeeding, and when I had my first cold after my oldest was born she instructed me to sleep and I woke up to homemade soup and a spotless kitchen.
When my daughter needed a biopsy and my husband couldn’t make the appointment, my mom refused to let me go alone, and made sure my daughter got enough hugs and kisses to last her weeks. And when the biopsy results came in and my daughter had to go through weeks of strong antibiotics, I fearfully cancelled a planned sleepover at nana’s house so I could oversee the last few days of her meds, and all my mom said to me was “Of course baby girl, that’s just what good moms do.”
My mom LIVES for the weeks my daughter’s school is on break so she can have her. She loves when my husband and I go on vacation alone, and I know she (as well as my stepdad) get a little depressed when their house is empty again. I never have to pack a toothbrush, or toys, or special food, because they are always stocked up.
I’ve surprised myself too. I thought I would be hesitant to ask for advice. I prepared myself to stand up for my decisions if my mom gave me a hard time. And my husband and I discussed less travel if it was too hard to leave our kids. But the truth is, I wouldn’t trade the time my kids get with their nana for anything in the world. I watch them together and it doesn’t ever matter how much junk food or TV time my mom allowed. It doesn’t matter what time they finally went to bed. My mom has found her rhythm as a grandparent, and who am I to stop her?? And when I get the chance to spoil my grandkids and take them for the weekend (or a week, if my daughters let me) I plan on following in her footsteps. And I can’t wait.