Friday, September 4, 2009

How to be a mama AND grandmama?

Seems all my posts lately begin with a deep sigh, a pause, then a moment of considering...hmmm. At least that is what I am doing as I sit and feel my fingers on the keyboard in preparation for typing out my thoughts (now you have the visual, too).

As much as my darling daughter is feeling her way on the unmarked path of being a mom, I am fumbling around, trying to figure out how to be a Grammy. Again, no manual - what is with this?! And my natural instincts guiding me?! I simply have none - I don't know how to do this. Oh, I get the cuddle the ridiculously adorable grandson bit - that is really easy. But the how to listen without advising (yeah, I know, as a coach I am supposed to be well trained in that) (but this is so personal and close), how to offer opinion without sounding like telling, how to let her find her way without rescuing? I am at a loss. I just want to help...

And I do have advice, I want to tell her how to do it and I do want to rescue her - that is the mom part of me. Sheesh. Just like my amazing son-in-law (acronym SIL - just figured that out, ok, I am a little slow) observed during the middle of a less-than-comfortable night with babe, "I didn't know it would be this hard". Uh huh, that is it in a nutshell - being a parent is not for the faint of heart.

And I think (ohh, I notice that I don't even want to type this), just like I had to bite my tongue, sit on my hands and manage my heart in watching my daughter grow up, I have to let them figure out this part too. They are already incredibly dedicated parents, committed to the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of their son, ready to sacrifice and surrender to this process. Surrendering to a new life - to all the spills and thrills and sleepless nights. Accepting the tears and boo-boo's as well as the smiles that light up the world and laughter that is surely from the angels.

My role is to stand aside; to be available but not intrusive; to honour their willingness to take on the responsibility and to be gracious when they ask for help. We are all learning how to be.


Anonymous said...

Yes indeed!

Ruth said...

That's it, Caroldiane. You already figured it out. It's the daily practice that comes hard at first. But you will get very good at it, I believe. I look forward to the role myself one day. I had to go through something similar when daughter hooked up with boyfriend-fiance-husband. How to share what I've learned and not tell her what to do? It reminds me of what my poetry teacher said about writing poems: show, don't tell.