We’ve been lucky to have both our mothers in town for a good visit with Mia. Both Granny (Aaron’s mom) and Grammy (my mom) were amazingly helpful. They did dishes, cleaned our house, did laundry, cooked, and provided great support and lessons for us. Oh, yes, they also spent just a little time holding Mia! 🙂
Here are just a few of the things we learned from our mothers:
- Have patience and remain calm: They never showed any signs of frustration or seemed bothered or concerned when Mia was crying. New parents often start to question their own parenting abilities and think something is wrong with baby or with what they (the parents) are doing during fussy spells. Not so with grandmothers!
- Distraction and bribery (AKA positive reinforcement) are the keys to parenting. The former already has been and will continue to be immensely useful. We already knew the ceiling fan was the number one distraction in our house, but we learned other tricks, too, like singing cool songs and making funny sounds. I imagine positive reinforcement will become more and more useful every day, as Mia gets older.
- Its OK to let your mother-in-law clean your bathroom.
- Let your children be who they are and make their own choices, even if it means you have to wait several weeks to visit your new grand baby.
As many of you know, we wanted to have a few weeks of just the three of us after Mia arrived. Some thought we were crazy or foolish to go this route (that is, no ‘help’ right after Mia’s birth), but we’re glad we had some alone time to kind of figure things out on our own. We felt that no matter how helpful anyone is, we won’t have them around all the time, so we needed to find our own way (we’re still working on that). This is a very personal choice and I am sure it varies widely from couple to couple. I certainly appreciate our mothers for being patient, restraining themselves from an immediate visit, and allowing us to do things our way. But this is nothing new. They’ve always let us be ourselves, and I think that is one of the greatest gifts (and lessons) of all.
So here’s to our mothers! Thank you for loving us the way you do! We still have lots to learn…thanks for helping us along.
We’re looking forward to more visits with Granny and Grammy, visits from the rest of Mia’s grandparents (they’ll be here in late November and early December), and video-chatting with all the grandparents. And looking forward to more lessons…I’ve heard they are repeated until they are learned.