Advice, Grandparents, September/October

First-Time Grandparents

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Becoming a grandparent is both exciting and daunting since there is a lot to consider (and even more to be excited about). Dr. Pamela “Pam” Martin, weighed in on her wants, wishes, and advice about becoming a grandparent. She is a teacher, a dermatopathologist, a ballerina, as well as an avid traveler and reader. You could name anything and Dr. Pam has probably tried it or been there at least once. 

In October, her eldest daughter, will be welcoming a son. This means Dr. Pam can cross one more thing off her list: grandparenting. “I’m just so excited, I’ve never seen my daughter so happy. I’m happy for her. She’s had a healthy and smooth pregnancy so far,” she shares.

While she is very excited and overjoyed that her family is growing, she does have some anxiety regarding the new addition–the same anxiety that many new parents have: will the baby like me? However, with her experience as a parent, Dr. Pam isn’t too worried.

“I hope this little baby likes me because he is a boy and I’m a bit of a girly girl, but I did have a son so I had a little bit of practice. Grandparenting seems fun because you have a lot of experience with children already,” she explains.

The real excitement comes with the prospect of sharing her favorite activities with her grandson. Plus, with him around, she gets the perfect excuse to act a little silly out in public. After all, who’s going to be judgmental when she’s taking an adorable tyke out to explore this strange and beautiful world? “I love the park, and I’m excited to go to the zoo with him and watch movies. I love kid movies because everybody lives happily ever after,” explains Dr. Pam. “I feel very child-like in my heart, and when your kids become adults, they don’t want to act childish anymore. So now I get to be child-like again by playing with my grandchild.”

When it comes to how the new baby will change her life, she expects to keep her heart and mind open toward the future. Like many grandparents, she understands that her life is going to revolve around spending as much time with the new baby and future grandchildren as possible.

“I have a feeling that I’m going to be making excuses to see him. I look forward to the day that I can take him somewhere. My kids were good travelers, and I’m looking forward to packing him up and seeing where we could go together,” she shares.

As for the role she wishes to play as a grandmother, she just wants to be present and a source of fun. She noted that she would do anything her grandson asks; do handstands, backflips, and whatever else he requests to remain entertained. 

Of course, being a grandmother isn’t all about fun day in and day out. It’s important for grandparents to keep the new parents’ feelings and time in mind. While they appreciate you coming over and spending time with them and the grandbaby, they need time to bond with him or her as well. 

Dr. Pam herself notes that she does know how it feels to be a first-time parent and that relatives, even close ones, do need to be tight-lipped with advice (and sometimes light with their assistantance) unless it’s asked of them.

“I’m going to do the best balancing act of being there but not being too involved. I really do want to give them alone time and privacy because I remember what it was like wanting to spend time alone with my babies,” explains Dr. Pam.

Ultimately, like many first-time grandparents, Dr. Pam is excited about the changes, the ever-expanding love, and the day-to-day excitement that comes with welcoming a little one.

“My life changed so much for the better when I became a mother; you wonder how you can ever love another child, and then you have more and your heart just grows,” says Dr. Pam. “I’m sure it’s the same for grandchildren, too.”

There is something truly wonderful about watching your children love and cherish their babies the way you loved and cherished them as they grew up. If you’re a first-time grandparent, you have nothing to fear. It’s a magical experience full of moments you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

By Sarah Batrous

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