I love my grandchildren in a way only a grandparent can understand. I loved them from the moment I first held them in my arms. But sometimes, sometimes being a grandparent can be tough...
It’s not the moments when you look around and your once tidy house looks like the latest storm has just passed through (a storm with sticky fingers and paint!). Not the moment when you have to play sleeping beauty for the umpteenth time with exactly the same dialogue. It's not the moment when your grandchild climbs onto your aching back to be carried around the garden again. And it's Not the moment when you’re sitting watching Peppa Pig at 3am because they can’t get to sleep with a snotty nose. These are the easy times, the best times!
grandparent guilt... is good
The tough times are the times when after working all week you choose to spend the weekend catching up with friends you’ve not seen for months instead of visiting Legoland... again! Curling up by the fire with a book rather than traipsing round a muddy park. Or using your annual leave to explore a new place with just your husband and not being available to babysit – that’s when grandparent guilt hits!
It can start like a leaking tap – drip, drip. Reminding you with every glass raised and every page turned that you’re missing a precious moment – drip drip, drip. Or it can hit you like a crashing wave, knocking the air from your lungs when you see the photo of them dressed like a slightly bedraggled bunny for the school play that you missed because you couldn’t take time off work.
And through all these times I have begun to realise that grandparent guilt is good! It means I care! It means I love!
a love that's my whole heart
I have my whole heart invested in these little beings. We will make our own adventures even if it's not every weekend, make memories which I hope will live long in their hearts after I'm gone. I will continue to carry them when their legs are tired (well until mine give up!). See them as often as I can and make sure they know how very much they are loved.
Grandchildren do not have to be your entire life, this doesn’t mean you love them less it simply means you are more! I am more than a grandparent: I’m a mother, a wife, a sister, an aunty, a daughter, a friend. The trick is finding that balance.
I may not be the perfect grandparent but I never will be, because no one is. But I’m doing my best and that is more than good enough.