Hello to all!
I am new to this forum thing so please let me know if I commit an error.
I am a HUGE Mothering fan. I began reading the magazine when I was expecting my son 22 years ago. That same son is now expecting a baby (with his fiance's help..) so I will be a grandmother in August.
I need help and advice from grandparents and parents about how to behave. I consider myself pretty non-tradtional and the soon-to-be parents seem to be buying into ALL the mainstream baby stuff. Early vaccines, disposable diapers, tradtional hospital birth, supplemental formula, lots of "stuff". etc. I did not do any of these things with my son and his sister who was born a year after he was. He was born via an unnecessary C-section so when I was expecting his sister I researched all my options and had a marvelous VBAC at home with a certified nurse midwife.
Cody was nursed for a little over 3 years, his sister for 14 months. I tandum nursed, shared a bed, did attachment parenting, did not have schedules, fed them great homemade food, delayed and carefully monitored vaccines, etc. They were rarely sick and are still very healthy. I want to educate my son and his fiance on the options and responsibilites they have as parents but do not want to be pushy or interfering. I have given them books and copies of Mothering which look like they have been ignored. Yes, I do want to brain wash them-if the media and the medical community can why can't I? Tee hee.
Any comments or suggestions will be most appreciated.
As a daughter living with my mom....the absolute best thing my mom has done for me is listened, answered a few questions, and allowed me to make my own decisions. I do not know to this day if she truly agrees with my kids being entirely unvaccinated, but she does agree with me that the current schedule is ridiculous. She herself was unvaccinated until school age, and I received the full schedule for my age, but the list was a third or a quarter even of what it is now.
She defers to me on all the serious stuff, and I let a few things go. Like sometimes it makes my life easier to allow them to eat hotdogs and ice cream with Grandma. They like it, she likes it, and what matters is what you do regularly. If they need medication though, I determine that and I determine what it is. For example, if I want to medicate a fever or not. If I want to use Tylenol or belladonna. If they need a doctor, *I* take them.
if they want to know, they'll be open to listening. If they're not open to listening and trying....as long as the child's needs are being met, as far as the child actually being fed and cared for, even if it's not the way you would do it....well, this is their turn. I guarantee though they will come to you at SOME point with a problem, ready to try the solution you have. ;) and when that seems to work...they'll be back the next time. ;)
I was the parent who got upset over all the little stuff at first....it's not fun. Life got a whole lot easier when I decided there was room for all, in moderation.
lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
My advice is to trust your son and his fiance that they know what's best for their family and child. If they ask, tell them what you did and your reasons why you did them but support their decisions for their child. You raised yours; it's their turn. In the long run, a good relationship with your son and his family is more important that whether they used cloth or paper. You don't want to start a war that you will not win and have the most to lose. And remember, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Respect their decisions even they aren't what you did. That's what my mom did when we made decisions that she didn't and that's what I do when my dds make different decisions with their children that what I made. And you know what? I didn't raise the same children that my mom did and my dds are raising different children than I did. And in different generations.
Thanks for the responses. You are both absolutely correct. I need to trust the soon to be parents and offer advice and help only when asked. They are both responsible, smart people so I am sure all will be well. I am just a bit militant about all the "crap" our culture says is normal and acceptable.
Peace to you all,
Welcome! Funny, I had a bit of a reverse.
My mother as advised of her Dr 47 years ago, FF her babies. All 4 of us. We are all here now and parents ourselves! She was very open when my SIL had her first baby 15 years ago and BF and fine with it again when I started my parenting journey. She questioned the home made baby food and the baby in bed with us. And I am sure even now, we might not agree on choices we have made, but by God she loves all of her grandchildren and told us constantly how wonderful they are and what a wonderful job DH and I do. My Dad still does. Mom has dementia so her parenting/grandparenting has changed of course. I am thankful she was there when I had my babies and watched them grow to the ages they are now. They are still quite young, but I am grieving for my baby sister who didnt have our mom around like I did 10 years ago when our first baby was born.
Of course I am speaking now as a 40 yr old with school aged kids and looking back, its easier to say how great it was! I am sort of in the same place you are- but its DH's brother and his wife who are starting their family. We are a natural family and do things a bit different than dh's younger brother. But it dosent change how much we will love this expected child in a few weeks and how we want the best for her. I know from her registry, she will breast feed, use organics, but more because its fashion since they also registered for a 4 figure costing stroller. Heck, it even comes with a carseat that latches in your car! DH and I tried to keep a straight face on that. But again, as DH reminded me, 10 plus years ago, we were also new parents and wanted all the new stuff that we of course do not need or costs way way too much. In reality, all you need are hot meals, onesies, diapers, and your boobs. But I guess we all have to learn that right? So yes, I will offer up advice when they ask, but I am pretty sure they can figure out a lot of things. Am I hoping my BIL is a great father such as my DH? I am. Will he be? Only time will tell. I plan as my ILs and parents, to let them know what a great job they are doing, how wonderful the baby is, because in reality- she is and I havent even met her yet.
I think if you keep an open mind, do the things your dil and ds love about you, this should be a great journey. I for one, just for fun told my MIL that I wasnt sure if the expecting SIL would nurse or not- that sent her into a tailspin. She nursed 9 babies. I got the jackpot with ILs when I married their son. So did your daughter in law!
That's a good point. When my mom had kids, there were no car seats. Car seat laws weren't on the books until my 3rd was 4 and we live in CA, one of the first states that had car seat laws. I turned my babies around when they reached 20 pounds (recommendation was 20 pounds or 12 months; mine were never 20 pounds before 12 months). Now it's in car seats until age 8 and keep them rear facing as long as they fit the car seat recommendations.When my oldest was born, we were told to lay her down on her stomach to sleep; 20 years later when our son was born, it was "back to sleep". Knowledge, laws, and advice keep changing.
The BEST thing my Mom ever said to me was "You know your child best, and you will make the best decisions for him/her.I will answer any questions you have, and give you advice if you want it, but this is YOUR child and you need to make the decisions you feel are right. "
Made me more willing to ask for help and advice.
My good-enough relationship with my MIL, who lives locally, is probably what it is because she respects my parenting and boundaries. She may criticize this or that, but not my parenting.
She criticized my unwillingness to register for gifts, refusal to have a baby shower (especially before the baby was born), the fact that I didn't want her in the room when I was laboring (she showed up though I directly asked her not to), etc....but she only ever says positive things about my parenting. This goes a very, very long way with me.
She openly is critical about SIL's parenting, and SIL barely speaks to her now. Guess MIL learned a lesson along the way with that (I'm her second DIL).
I will add that I am a completely different parent to my toddler (I'm in my 40s) than I was with DS1 when I was in my mid-20s. Different husbands, different me. Parents learn along the way and adults grow up into more developed adults. I was very young, in many ways, at 22.
I think sometimes the consumerism is an attempt to have some control or feelings of preparedness at what can be a scary, super unpredictable time. Give them some time to grow into their parenting. It's a crash course, and they're likely afraid and doing the best they can.
Sounds like you are on the right track and being cautious and loving and thoughtful. Keep it up, grandma!
I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brother.