My biggest fear as a new grandparent 101



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As my first grandchild’s birth approaches, there’s one thing I worry about the most when it comes to my grandparenting abilities. It’s something I hear my grandparent friends talk about a lot and it’s almost what makes or breaks you as a grandparent: how fun and hands-on you are.

Now, I’m the first to admit I wasn’t the most hands-on mother. I was in a car accident in my teens and as a result had chronic leg and knee pain, making it difficult to run around after my kids. What made it worse was I secretly liked having an excuse, but did feel terribly guilty for years. My husband left me early on when the kids were born so in between cleaning and cooking, I had no time. My daughter’s niece has the most fabulous grandparents (her husband’s parents) – they pick her up from sports and attend every weekend, they babysit every few nights, they have basically shifted their lives around for her.

When I asked my daughter what she thought would happen when the baby was born, and how much I’d babysit, she said “Mum, would you really want to?”, and I got a bit upset. But then I realised, I hadn’t ever been the hands-on parent, and who’s to say I would change my ways when the baby came? I didn’t like swimming at the beach, I’m not interested in sports, and I like having a nap at the 3pm pick-up time.

With that said, I desperately want to be a good grandparent. I want to love them and I want to be around them, I just am scared of what might happen if I’m not the grandparent I see everyone else as – the fun, always-there person who kicks a ball or gets down in the dirt. Will my contribution as a grandparent be noticed even if I don’t have that attachment style?

I look back to my own grandmother, who never worked and never drove. She was not willing to go out of her way to see her grandchildren, instead waiting until Christmas for us to visit. She would only ever make me biscuits as a gift, never teddies or dolls. A hard woman, yes, but I do have those fond memories.


So I wonder today, should I be worried about potentially not living up to what a ‘typical grandparent’ is? Or should I just try my best and be upfront? Is being different OK?

Guest Contributor

  1. Just enjoy this precious little person… Asmuch as you can….talk to him/ her…. Sing to him/ her….. Read stories…. Tell him/ her you love them… Never stop… Build relationship w this precious little person… You won’t regret it…. It will bring you great Joy!!!!!!!!!

  2. I welcomed being a mother…I was just afraid of not being a mom and wife all at the same time…I did well I suppose since I am still close to our 2 kids and celebrating 40 yrs of marriage…and as far as being a grandparent…my husband and I went nuts…twice…and its the greatest gift in the world…be present…be loving…enjoy!!!!!!!

  3. No problems. It was just another great stage in our lives as the evolution of being parents and grandparents unfolded. Our grand children have given us a lot of happiness.

  4. My precious Grandson brings me Great Joy……
    I see him pretty much weekly….. We laugh… Play … On his I Pad…. In the yard… We chatter….we just So enjoy one another….
    I have to put the work in though… Make an effort….
    And the most glorious thing…. He says ” I lova you.. I lova you” its music to my ears…..
    I am very blessed Nanni Kaye…..

  5. I am about to meet my 10th grandchild mid December. I am very fortunate to be close to my daughters and watch my grandchildren grow on a daily basis.

  6. There is no correct grandparenting ‘style’ just as there is no correct parenting style. You are who you are and as long as you love the child that love will be returned. Who cares if you’re the one that runs around after them or the one that’s quietly there ready with a lap and a book. Your daughters attitude will change too as what she imagines her life to be after baby will be very different from the reality. Be there waiting and ready to step forward if needed. It will be ok.

  7. I very rarely see my grandsons, as my daughter doesn’t want anything to do with me, but when she needs a babysitter, she lets me know and I can’t say no as I want desperately to see my grandsons, I do it for the children not for my daughter

    2 REPLY
  8. You will fall in love with them as soon as you see them. I had to work as soon as my children went to school and always felt guilty about this. When I had my two grandchildren I had the time to look after them as there parents worked and I had more time and money to enjoy them. I loved every minute of looking after them. They are young adults now but they never leave my husband or I without telling us they love us. Grandchildren are a second chance, enjoy them

  9. Everything will fall into place. Do what you think is right for you. Always tell them you love them. My grandson says ” i love you grandma, absolutely’……we play marbles..we do everything he wants to do..including going on the bus…with nowhere to go..just being on the bus back and forth. The only problem is i could not sleep when he is on a sleepover….i end up just watching him in his sleep..his angelic face…his innocense and i pray that he be given a good life when i am gone. My only wish for him. He is autistic.

    5 REPLY
    • You are one lovely grandma ! They don’t need possessions , they need love, affection and time spent with them . No wonder he loves you absolutely !

    • Just love them…hold their little hands when you can. Give them a thousand kisses or a million kisses till they ask you why you kiss them so much…my answer is always…’ because i love you and you are my biggest diamond’. This grandson is now 13. I see him only about twice a year since he was a baby because they are far away. The only gift he request when i asked him what he wants for Christmas or birthdays is my brownies..a whole recipe for him and for dinner when he visits is my spring rolls. How i love him….13 years old and towering over me at 6′..i am his ewok..ha ha ha

    • U are doing wonderful job family lucky to have your love and support and u know how that flows back to u never forgotten

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