Obligation or Bonus?

I’ve been a Labor and Delivery nurse for 34 years.  When I graduated from nursing school in 1976, I was 4 months pregnant with Hudson’s daddy.   During those years of helping women bring their precious little gifts from God into the world, I have had the occasion to observe some pretty interesting family dynamics. 

The one I want to relate here is about grandbabies and their grandmothers.    I can’t tell you how many women I have been around, including personal friends and co-workers, who evidently feel it is their kids’ obligation to make them grandmothers.   I have heard statements like “it’s about time they made me a grandma,” and “I told my kids they’d better get busy and make me a grandma.”   Now I wanted to be a grandma as much as anybody, but long before my children were out of grade school decided that if THEY decided to have children, thus making me a grandma, it was a bonus.    As they grew older, we had this discussion.    I made it very clear that it was their choice, not mine, whether or not they would become parents.  Having a baby to make your own mother happy is about the worst reason in  the world, in my opinion.

Because that’s what happens first:   they become parents.    Only after that happens, grandparents happen.

My daughter-in-law, Hudson’s Mommy, and I are very close.   She has known from the day they became serious as a couple that there was going to be no pressure from us about  where they choose to live, what they choose to do as careers, and a number of other things, but also whether they would choose OR NOT to become parents.   

Lucky for me, they wanted very much to have a family, and worked hard at it.  It was no bed of roses, and maybe that is part of why Hudson is so very precious to us.   I suspect it’s only a small part, however, because every time I see that sweet face with that big grin, my heart melts…how could it not?

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