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Mary's Moments Blog Post

Grammy’s Guide – To Say or Not to Say

I have this “sudden” realization all the time … I’m still learning every single day.

You would think that after being on this planet for 55 years, I would know pretty much everything I needed to know by now—but it seems that learning will never be complete.

One of the things I have been trying to learn … without as much success as I would like … is to let people talk about their feelings and problems without trying to find a solution for them. As soon as someone says there is something wrong in their lives or businesses, I genuinely want to come up with a way to help fix it.

For years, I’ve listened to people talk at length about the problems they were facing. I would then try to help them solve based on what they told me and the words they used.  Sometimes I wouldn’t offer any advice at all because I realized they needed to solve a particular issue themselves and nothing I would have said would have helped anyway.

That approach was easier at work or in the business environment.  It’s not always that way in my personal life. Sometimes when someone tells me about a challenge they’re facing, it’s like I can’t help but try to find a solution, even though I know both of us would be better served by letting them just talk for a while.

I have come to learn that ultimately, what many people want isn’t a quick fix to their problem—it’s empathy. It’s the empathetic style and not necessarily my problem-solving approach.

Now, I know some of you may be empaths through and through, and I wish those skills (because empathy really is an extraordinary skill) came naturally to me. But it’s definitely something I’m learning to incorporate more and more each day.

I have learned so much over the years from books and audios (yes I was quite the self-help junkie). But it seems like I still have a long way to go.

As I sit here, my heart swells with emotions I never knew existed until this very moment. I have been blessed with the most precious gift of all: becoming a grandmother.

There's something magical about witnessing your own child step into the role of a parent. It's like watching a flower bloom before your very eyes. But amidst the joy and wonder, there are also moments of uncertainty and doubt.

I remember the day my daughter first held her son in her arms, her eyes filled with a mixture of awe and exhaustion. In that moment, I saw her transform from a carefree young woman into a fierce protector, willing to move mountains to ensure the safety and happiness of her little guy. 

But with the joy of new parenthood also comes its fair share of challenges. The sleepless nights, the endless diaper changes, the constant worry whether you're doing everything right.  As a grandmother, it's both heartwrenching and heartwarming to watch my daughter navigate these uncharted waters, to offer a listening ear and a comforting embrace when the road gets tough.

Becoming a grandparent for the first time has been an adventure.  It's a whole new world filled with unexplainable joy and love. As I embrace this role, I'm learning that being a grandparent means finding balance between offering support and respecting boundaries. It's a delicate dance of showering my grandson with affection while also allowing his parents to take the lead. And while there may be moments of uncertainty as I navigate this new journey, the love I feel for my grandson is out of this world.

There are moments when my eagerness to help and my genuine concern leads me to offer advice, sometimes without realizing that it might not be welcomed.  It’s not out of malice or a desire to control, but rather a genuine intention to lend a hand.

To say or not to say........

Though my daughter and son-in-law are often understanding; on reflection, I’ve come to recognize that perhaps there are times when silence might serve better than words.  Learning to discern when to speak up and when to hold back is a lesson I’m continuously working on. 

Understanding that sometimes the best support I can offer is simply being there to listen without offering my own views.  I must admit-this is one of the hardest things to do. 

Having been through this a couple times myself, I would like to save them some struggles. 

However, I need to remind myself – this is my daughter’s journey now together with her husband.

I know that I am not alone in this arena, there’s a theme amongst friends who also have grandchildren.  We have been assigned cute but implicit names such as “the you shoulds” or the “suggestionators”.

I need to focus on this new role in a different light and just enjoy the moments.

My sweet grandson is a ray of sunshine.  It’s amazing to see how fast he’s growing and learning every day.

He’s already moving around on the floor and wants to be on his feet exploring his surroundings.  Reaching for everything in sight with those tiny little hands.  His giggle is infectious – it’s impossible not to smile when he laughs. And watching the grown-ups do the monkey dance while making the strangest, silliest sounds just to hear that laughter over and over again, is quite a hoot!

He’s a social little guy, always eager to interact with people.  Watching him discover the world around him fills my heart with so much joy.

Although the intent of this poem is meant for new moms, I took note of the message for myself as well (that everything is just fine):

In the world of parenting - we often wonder, Am I getting this right, or making a blunder?

Does he sense the love that I share? Is he sleeping well, eating without a care?

In his little bed, is he warm and snug? Is it okay to need a break and give myself a hug?

Worries sneak in – am I making him late? Is it my fault if he’s not walking straight?

Hungry or need a change, does he let me know? Is it normal to miss him when to dreamland he goes?

Should I smile all the time and hide the frowns? And the big question – lift him up or lay him down?

Have I told enough stories, sung enough songs? Am I doing this right, or have I gone wrong?

Comparisons creep in, doubts start to play, But if I step back, there is another way.

I see how I comfort with a stroke of his hair, The joy in his eyes when he finds me there.

I don't need to feel guilty for a little “me-time”, Because, outside looking in, everything is just fine.

I tell stories at bedtime, I lie down till he’s dozed, His eyes light up, and my worried heart slows.

I can handle his tears, conquer my fears, Because, in the end, for him I do cheer.

I shouldn’t feel guilty for a little “me-time”, Because, outside looking in, everything is just fine.

On his face, the love is clear, And that, my friend, is enough, I swear.

As he settles in bed, and I in mine, I whisper to myself, "Mommy you're doing just fine."

Most new moms find their way just fine when caring for their babies. They often rely on their instincts and what they learn about their own baby's needs. No one understands a baby like their mother does. Moms pick up on cues from their little ones, like when they're hungry, tired, or need a cuddle. Even though it can be overwhelming at first, moms gradually learn what works best for their baby through trial and error. They develop a unique bond with their child, understanding them in a special way that no one else can. So, while advice and help from others are valuable, a mother's intuition is often the most reliable guide when it comes to caring for her baby.

Now here’s a thought… my baby soon to be 30 years old has a baby – wow!  Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my head around.  The years fly by.  But I am so grateful to witness her blossom into the amazing mother she was meant to be. Grateful for the chance to be a source of love and support as she navigates this new world.

So here's to my daughter, the sleepless nights, the endless cuddles, the tears of frustration and the moments of pure joy.  

And as for this Grammy – it’s never too late to embrace curiosity, no matter your age. While it's challenging when you care and love so deeply- guiding through the twists and turns - navigating the delicate balance of when to speak up or stay silent is a role I that I will try to get better at through love and wisdom, supporting my family every step of the way.


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