I 'Lost' My Parents the Moment They Became Grandparents & It's Very Bittersweet

grandparents
iStock

The excited anticipation that surrounded the arrival of my first child was palpable. Aside from my husband and I being over the moon, our families were also brimming with excitement. For my parents in particular, it'd be the first time they'd get "promoted" to grandparents.

  • My relationship with my parents has always been tumultuous, but, overall loving.

    There's been many times my parents have been there for me and later for both my husband and I. As with any family, with love comes a bit of heartache, and while I grew up knowing at their core they do love me, they've had some toxic parenting moments that have left a lasting impression. 

  • Advertisement
  • It's an unspoken truth in my small family, which is why I think they saw my baby as their "second chance."

    Whatever my relationship with them was, I was whole-heartedly excited that my child would have a great, happy relationship with them. I knew they'd love their grandchild something fierce, and from the moment our baby come into the world I was proven right. 

    They second they locked eyes on our baby, they were in love. 

  • Watching them grow into their role of all-loving, ever-spoiling grandparents is a true blessing. It's something many new parents get to witness.

    Without a doubt I have immensely appreciated every moment they've snuggled, fed, and loved on my baby. I know asking them to babysit is some of their most cherished times, and it's so helpful knowing there are people on this earth who love our kid as much as we do. 

  • But there's a quiet loss that can come with watching your parents grow into grandparents. 

    I've called my mom a few times a week since I moved out of her home, and the tradition hasn't changed since I've had a child. However, the conversations have. It often goes a little something like this:

    'Hey mom! How's it going, what's new?"

    "Hey honey," she'll begin and proceed to tell me about her day or week, depending when I call. I engage with her, ask questions at the right time, all the normal things you do when calling to check in with someone. 

    When she's done, she'll ask; "How's my baby?"

    I proceed to tell her that my baby is doing well, or is sick or whatever, and then ... nothing. She doesn't often ask how I'm doing, or if she does, it's entirely related to my kid. Every now and then she'll ask, but more often then not, when I respond with anything outside my kid, the conversation dies on the vine. 

  • There is minimal interest in seeing me without my kid, as well.  

    And for the most part, I understand it. My kid is just so very easy to love. With one smile or giggle an entire room can be captivated. And when I gave birth, it felt like the earth shifted. The love I feel for that little one isn't quantifiable or easily put into words. It also something I can't fathom changing. 

    But it seems that something changed for them when I became a mother. Perhaps they are swept up in the beauty of a new precious life. Or maybe they feel like I'm "fully cooked" and are confident enough that I am good on my own. But the truth is, do we ever stop really needing our parents? No matter what our relationship is, I feel like on some level I still need active reminders. It feels incredibly selfish to admit, and in no way am I jealous of my child ... I just always imagined parents' hearts grew with each addition, rather than be eclipsed. 

  • While it is a beautiful thing watching the bonded love between and child and their grandparent grow, for some of us there is a loss. 

    I don't feel alone, per se, but there is a loneliness.

    If you're expecting a grandbaby, all I can say is while you're loving on that new precious life something fierce, don't forget the life you created. They need their moms and dads too, now more than ever.