Somehow as I was looking at stamped card designs I happened across a series of blogs about becoming a mom. As I grow day by day closer to becoming a Grandma, I struggle with how to be good one, and especially now, how to be a good mother in law. My daughter in law is wonderful but she is more of an introvert and a private person than I am now. I want to be supportive but not overbearing, kind and helpful but not pushy…I think it can be a hard line to draw.
I also am concerned for her mental well being. It is overwhelmingly difficult to become a new mom. And despite the glut of information on it, which honestly probably make it all worse, it is not something you can learn except by doing. I will never forget how bad I felt when Kara told me she felt I was pressuring her to keep breastfeeding and that she just couldn’t do it anymore. How upset she was with me. I still feel bad to this day that she felt that way, that instead of supporting her as best I could I was making her feel guilty. I don’t think I was but if she felt I was that’s all that counted.
I so want to be a big part of my grandchild’s life and to support their parents in whatever they choose. I just hope I can walk that very fine line.
These words written by Kate Kole in her blog, Thirty On Tap, really resonated with me. I hope they help her in her journey of motherhood and I hope I can remember them as I learn to be a Grandparent and help my son and his wife learn to be parents.
“There is no right way – and – there are a lot of good ways.”
Because the truth is, there isn’t a perfect path to motherhood, the same way there isn’t a perfect path to life. There’s so much conflicting instruction in existence in the form of “you need to do this, and dear God, unless you’re trying to ruin your child’s life, don’t do that.” And, I imagine that much of it is well-intentioned. But what I need right now, more than a list of dos and don’ts, is grace and reassurance. Less competition, more encouragement. Less comparison, more support. Less expert advice, more real-life wisdom. Less shame, more “same, girl, same.”. I want to hear that there isn’t one magical way to master motherhood, and to know that I, and all the other first-time moms like me, will find our way – far from perfect and good enough.
I’ll keep reading and I’ll keep trying and I will keep learning.