Home > New Grandparents > Advice On Adjusting To The Arrival Of Grandchildren

Advice On Adjusting To The Arrival Of Grandchildren

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 13 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Family Traditions Childhood Nutrition

By the time that they become grandparents, many people have established a number of regular routines and family traditions and may be quite comfortable in their daily lives. Suddenly, with the birth of a grandchild or two, everything changes. The key to happiness is being able to adjust to the changes that life brings, though, and grandparenthood is surely a time of change!

Goodbye, Calm and Quiet!


Once the kids are grown and out on their own, many parents enjoy the freedoms that they are suddenly afforded. No longer restricted by the schedules and demands of their children, empty-nesters can revisit the hobbies of their youth or use their spare time to develop new hobbies and interests. Social activity (not related to their kids' school or athletic events!) increases and folks are free to eat what they please, travel, and schedule their lives according to their own preferences and whims. Couples may even find that their love lives heat up a bit once they are able to dedicate their time and energies toward one another, rather than focusing on the needs of their children. Then without warning, all of that newfound calm and quiet may quickly be replaced by the pitter-patter of little feet (remember those?)and more noise and mess than have been the norm for years. Getting reacquainted with grown-up pastimes may make some people uncertain as to whether or not they welcome the disruptions that grandkids will bring. No doubt, the addition of grandchildren is sure to make life a little messier and a whole lot noisier, but the pay-offs are enormous.

Go with the Flow


If they take a few moments to think back to their earlier years, most people can remember how difficult it was to meet the demands of their growing children while trying to please their parents and in-laws, as well. Although new grandparents may have gotten into the habit of taking their meals at certain hours or running errands on specific days, when grown children and grandchildren visit, the schedule may need a bit of adjustment to accommodate naps, playtimes, or other childhood routines. When grandparents display a flexible attitude, they are sure to win the appreciation of their children, who most certainly have a lot to handle already without trying to get their youngsters to adjust to Grandma and Grandpa's rigid schedules.

Happy Holidays


Holidays can pose unique difficulties, especially when grown children are trying to make time to visit both sides of their families in only a short span of time. Often, adjustments need to be made in the times or locations of family get-togethers in order for everyone to be able to attend. For example, while Grandma and Grandpa may have hosted Christmas at their house for years, with dinner being served promptly at six, it is important for them to consider that their children's families are likely to have several stops to make or may even prefer to begin hosting the event themselves. A reevaluation of existing routines and traditions may be in order so that everyone can enjoy getting together with a minimum of fuss and stress. By choosing to be accommodating, grandparents can make life easier for themselves as well as for their families.

Hello, Craziness and Noise!


So, we've established that with grandchildren comes an upheaval of daily routines, along with an increase in noise and mess, but what about those promised pay-offs? As experienced grandparents will attest, the rewards of grandparenting far outweigh the real and perceived challenges. Grandchildren are sources of limitless joy, providing grandparents with all of the pleasures that they remember from the times that their children were growing up, without the work, worry, and responsibilities of parenthood. Mum and Dad might have to worry about childhood nutrition, appropriate bedtimes, and how much time that the kids can spend playing video games, but grandparents are simply in charge of fun. Only a grandparent could get away with saying that chocolate cookies are healthy snacks for kids - after all, there are eggs in cookies, right? And chocolate comes from cocoa, and cocoa is a bean, right? So from a grandparent's point of view, chocolate cookies are practically health food. After a healthy snack, of course, kids need exercise. When Grandma and Grandpa are in charge, healthy exercise for kids may mean running through the house or jumping on the bed. Now who said that playing with grandchildren isn't as much fun as engaging in grown-up pastimes?

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
@Biological Mom - it is entirely up to you and your biological daughter to decide between you what your biological granddaughter should call you and how you will be involved. I think the best approach is to say 'I am there for you - but because of our past situation I will go along with how you wish me to be involved'. Leave the decisions respectfully to your daughter. I think you'll also find that once the baby is born the relationship between you and your daughter will change naturally and organically without you having to force anything. Once a grandchild comes along, the emotions are very powerful from both the mother and grandparent (in a good way) - it might be the making of you all. I hope so. Just be generous, kind and loving and things will work out fine. You are right when you say this is all about the new baby not about you. Best of luck.
AilsaB - 14-Jun-18 @ 9:36 AM
Hello - the daughter I placed for adoption and I (her 2 sisters and my husband as well) now have a relationship with is having a child.She is married and he is adopted too (the husband).The relationship remains healthy which is a blessing.We don't see each other as often but I guess that's how it works. ;) I feel too young for this (45) and I struggle.I know it's not about me, so here goes: I am not sure how to " be involved" and I am not sure what to expect in terms of what kiddo will call me.Has this kind of scenario come across your archives before?I would love any insights on how other "biological" parents have handled similar happenings???? Even if it hasn't happened, I would love constructive feedback! Thank you for your thoughts!
Biological Mom - 13-Jun-18 @ 3:46 PM
Grandma - Your Question:
My son and his fiancee have just had their first child, both sets of parents first grandchild. We live on the same road as his fiancees parents, and I felt quite hurt that during the pregnancy they visited his fiancee's parents nearly every day, but we were only visited once a fortnight. Now I do appreciate that girls are closer to their mothers, i.e. emotional support, when it came to the birth her mum was asked to be a birth partner along with my son, which I understand. The birth was quite straight forward and they were allowed home the same day, which didn't give us the chance to see our grandchild in hospital, when I asked if we could see him when they got home, we were told yes but only through the car window. His fiancee's parents and her siblings have all been to visit the baby during the day (mum doesn't work) but we have been told not to come as it's too much in a day. I work full time and can only visit in the evenings or at the weekends. I feel left out and not sure why, I did broach the frequent visits to his fiancee's parents and why they didn't come over to us, and my son took it the wrong way and thought I was being jealous. I feel hurt when every day I have to pass my sons car parked on his fiancees parents drive, six doors away, knowing that I won't see them (and now the baby) until our fortnightly visit is due. When we visit my son and his fiancee at their home, it feels almost as if the thought is 'what are you doing here' when the door is answered. No information is volunteered as to how the baby is and I have to ask if I want to know anything, even then it's almost as if I'm in the wrong for asking, such as 'why are you asking all these questions' I'm not sure how to handle this, I'm trying to be upbeat, but the reality is I'm crying inside. We have had no arguments or anything like that, and they both know that we would do anything for them.

Our Response:
. I'm sorry to hear this, it must be very difficult for you and I'm sure many paternal grandparents will be empathetic towards your situation. There really is little you can do, except to perhaps have a tentative word with your son, to see if their are any unspoken issues bothering your son and his partner. I have included a link to the Grandparents' Association here which may offer advice and support. I hope your situation manages to resolve itself soon.
ProudGrandparents - 12-Aug-15 @ 2:42 PM
My son and his fiancee have just had their first child, both sets of parents first grandchild.We live on the same road as his fiancees parents, and I felt quite hurt that during the pregnancy they visited his fiancee's parents nearly every day, but we were only visited once a fortnight.Now I do appreciate that girls are closer to their mothers, i.e. emotional support, when it came to the birth her mum was asked to be a birth partner along with my son, which I understand.The birth was quite straight forward and they were allowed home the same day, which didn't give us the chance to see our grandchild in hospital, when I asked if we could see him when they got home, we were told yes but only through the car window.His fiancee's parents and her siblings have all been to visit the baby during the day (mum doesn't work) but we have been told not to come as it's too much in a day.I work full time and can only visit in the evenings or at the weekends.I feel left out and not sure why, I did broach the frequent visits to his fiancee's parents and why they didn't come over to us, and my son took it the wrong way and thought I was being jealous.I feel hurt when every day I have to pass my sons car parked on his fiancees parents drive, six doors away, knowing that I won't see them (and now the baby) until our fortnightly visit is due. When we visit my son and his fiancee at their home, it feels almost as if the thought is 'what are you doing here' when the door is answered. No information is volunteered as to how the baby is and I have to ask if I want to know anything, even then it's almost as if I'm in the wrong for asking, such as 'why are you asking all these questions'I'm not sure how to handle this, I'm trying to be upbeat, but the reality is I'm crying inside.We have had no arguments or anything like that, and they both know that we would do anything for them.
Grandma - 10-Aug-15 @ 3:29 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ProudGrandparents website. Please read our Disclaimer.