My oldest daughter is expecting our first grandbaby this summer. I am so excited!
As we’ve discussed plans for me to visit, help, and spend time with the baby, we’ve had one minor detail to work around: I still have a house full of kids at home.
The large age span across many children has presented a few challenges for our family over the years. It became even more apparent when my oldest daughter left for college. Every call with her (when I had free time to make one) seemed punctuated by interruptions from kids, pets, or whatever else needed my attention at that moment. When she lived at home, I could grab quiet moments here and there to connect with her; it’s been so much harder now that she is a state away and I still have so many responsibilities here.
My next daughter will be graduating high school this year and going to stay with her sister for a while. Beyond that, I have another daughter who has summer camp responsibilities, water polo and preparations for senior year, a son starting on the freshman football team, and then a 7yo, who pretty much still needs Mom around. My husband is a great help, but travels frequently for work, so it’s hard to know who’s going to hold down the fort while I try to spend some time with my daughter and grandbaby this summer.
First world problems? Definitely. But it’s just interesting to reflect on what my vision of being a “Grammie” has always been, versus the reality. I had always envisioned being completely hands-on, being there for all the milestones and events, helping my children in any way they needed with their own kids. I never thought through the dynamics of our own family’s situation, that having 5 kids across 13 years might make that ideal more difficult. Then you add a state or two between us all, and that certainly doesn’t help.
We have some logistics to work around, that’s for sure. And I will need to get creative with the ways I stay involved in my new grandbaby’s life. This is such an exciting time, and I want to capture every moment of it that I can!
What is the age range of the kids in your family? Do you find yourself straddling different roles as you try to parent and support them?