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On Becoming Grandparents
Old 09-29-2014, 08:55 AM   #1
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On Becoming Grandparents

We've heard it for years, "Wait till you become grandparents!" We tended to discount it somewhat, thinking the fervor must surely indicate the lives of those making this claim had been somewhat dull. Ours, by contrast we thought, was replete with exciting adventures and challenges. Sure, we'd welcome becoming grandparents, but it certainly wasn't going to slow us down.

Oh boy was I wrong. Our first grandchild is expected within the next couple of weeks, and I am beside myself with excitement. I'm actually dreaming about it, and during daytime hours get hit with regular jolts of adrenaline over what is to come. We've already rearranged our travel schedule for 2015 to ensure lots of grandbaby time between traveling jaunts.

Because we are ER'd, we will be stepping in for both the birth, as coaches, and the first four to six weeks of care. My DD's husband is currently overseas on assignment with the military, not expected to arrive home until about two months after grandbaby arrives. As sorry as we are about his delayed arrival, we are thrilled by the opportunity to be such an integral part of grandbaby's arrival.

Would love to hear of other's experiences with this change of life, particularly those of you that never imagined it would rock your world as much as it has/did.

Edit: And did it create changes in ER behavior? In our case, we've already reallocated some of our annual travel funds to include family vacations starting about two years out. We've provide the housing and they simply show up. Again, surprised by how immediately we moved to making this allocation change.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:25 AM   #2
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Congratulations! We are still waiting, and not holding our breath, as no immediate prospects in sight, since neither of our kids is married. I can imagine however, what a wonderful thing it is to be a grand parent.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:37 AM   #3
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One of the best things to have ever happened in my life and I know DW agrees. We are very active with our two grandkids ages 6 and 8. Dance recitals, baseball, soccer, basketball, karate, football, fishing, vacations, etc. I always kind of pooh, poohed the idea of being a grandparent but it has changed my life for the better. Kind of like icing on the cake of life.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:10 AM   #4
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Our first and only grandchild (boy) just turned 1 year old in August. My wife and I are blessed in that my daughter and her husband only live about 3 miles form us. We were fortunate enough to experience my daughters entire pregnancy, and we were able to assist her in any way we could when she asked. Our youngest child is 24 years old so it had been quite some time since we "baby shopped". OMG.....things have sure changed. We had a ball going to the big chain baby stores and just checking out the current technology in child raising. There's about 300 different kinds of formula now, and most baby swings you plug in your iphone and they move to the music. Whatever happend to the swings that you cranked the handle and they rocked back and forth! My wife and I are still working but have very liberal jobs when it comes to time off. We can pitch in and help whenever needed and are happy to do so. We love him very much and look forward to seeing him as much as we can. We can't wait for t-ball and soccer and whatever else he's involved in. At the end of the day when we're a little tired, it's nice to know you can give him back to his parents!

Mike
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
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Retiredandfree, your daughter and in-the-wings grandchild are mighty lucky to have your love and assistance! Your SIL's service is most appreciated. Keep us posted with a little photo of the new one upon arrival if you like.
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Old 09-29-2014, 10:47 AM   #6
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We've always remained pretty close with out two kids but the grandchildren really has further cemented it. Unfortunately they both live overseas, DD with 4 and DS with one that is currently one day overdue! He and his wife are in states to have the baby as opposed to Africa, but it's Chicago so we'll visit in a week or two.

As we age we really do enjoy having them as a part of our lives, but with them overseas it's an expensive and time consuming effort to make that happen. DD with 4 came over in April but it's a real effort with that many. So we're just glad we can make the trips. If I had one thing I could change about retirement it would be that our family could be more geographically close. Unfortunately, given DD husband's finance career in London, even when (if) they do return it would likely be NY or Chicago area, neither of which offers much appeal to us. DS has made his career in overseas engineering in Africa, but now that has a child is trying to figure out how to eventually move the tribe back here.

Grandchildren are great; all the joy of kids without the hassles!

If grandchildren has changed anything for us, it's about travel. As we make this journey from here to London and Africa 2x a year, it has sort of diminished our relish for other vacation travel. We got the grandkids before retirement, but it has still changed the attitude on travel. We can afford to do the bucket list places like Australia and NZ, and obviously have the time since retired, but it's sort of a ...meh... don't want to go so bad as to add more 30 hour flights this year to go do. So in our case, it has bent our travel plans by absorbing our tolerance for long trips.
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:00 AM   #7
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I have two grandsons . They are my heart & soul . They live in new York State while I live in Florida . I usually see them twice a year which involves flying then a two & a half hour drive but it is totally worth it .I wish they lived closer but that is not going to happen .My daughter said to me "Mom you do not have to get them everything ". I said "I am their grandmother and I 'm allowed to spoil them as much as I want ".
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:33 AM   #8
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Maybe give the Clintons a call?
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Old 09-29-2014, 11:52 AM   #9
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[...]Our first grandchild is expected within the next couple of weeks, and I am beside myself with excitement. I'm actually dreaming about it, and during daytime hours get hit with regular jolts of adrenaline over what is to come. We've already rearranged our travel schedule for 2015 to ensure lots of grandbaby time between traveling jaunts.

Because we are ER'd, we will be stepping in for both the birth, as coaches, and the first four to six weeks of care. [...]
Congratulations! Being a grandparent sounds very rewarding in many ways, and I am so glad that you are enjoying each moment of your impending grandparenthood so much.

I would trade grandparent stories with everyone, but I just have one child, and she and her husband don't want kids. She is 36 now, so if they are going to change their minds they had better hurry!
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Old 09-29-2014, 12:06 PM   #10
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What I notice is how much of an expert on baby care new Mom's are today. My best talents were walking & rocking so that Mom could get more sleep.

Now that they are older I just focus on fun stuff like going to the zoo, the children's museum, the park.

I love them dearly.
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Old 09-29-2014, 12:24 PM   #11
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Having grandchildren is fantastic. We have two, spend a lot of time together, and DD puts a lot of effort into making sure we have a strong, positive relationship with them.

Some of the more underrated aspects of being a grandparent are being able to say things like:

We're leaving now.
The diapers need changed.
Would you please do something about this.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?
Are you sure you want my advice?

When our granddaughter is being especially challenging there is no better feeling on this earth than to lean over and whisper into DD's ear "she reminds me so much of you when you were that age".
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:23 PM   #12
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No kids, so no grandkids either. As a write DW is babysitting the two grandnieces and last week as a result of this thread I ordered an erector set for the older one's birthday. I didn't know they still made erector sets. The older one loves math so there's a good chance she'll be an engineer.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:59 PM   #13
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Enjoying these responses, thank you so much for sharing.

Regarding those with no grandchildren on the horizon - we were perfectly content with our adult children/no grandchildren arrangement prior to this. There is much to be said for enjoying time with your adult children and indulging in shared adult interests. If it had stayed that way I'm sure we'd have continued to be happy as clams.

For those that travel many, many miles to stay close with grandchildren - I think there must be a special place for you reserved in the great beyond. Given our SIL's military situation, this could certainly be in our future as well at some point, but we'll deal with that if/when.

Regarding financial impact of a 'new' generation, one of the first things I did was to check our financial documents and make sure we'd included a provision for future grandchildren (we had), and then take a look at our budget numbers and make sure the fund we label as "Gifts" appeared adequately large (I think so, but time will tell!).
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:02 PM   #14
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...and then take a look at our budget numbers and make sure the fund we label as "Gifts" appeared adequately large (I think so, but time will tell!).
You need to label that line item correctly: "Spoilage".
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:07 PM   #15
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You need to label that line item correctly: "Spoilage".
Touche!
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:18 PM   #16
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I am typing this as my husband and I travel in a van with my daughter and our five grandchildren. We are on a 9 day trip to various parts of the country to visit museums and have fun. So our vacations have definitely changed and we love every minute! They are all seasoned travelers and range from age 3 to 12.


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Old 09-29-2014, 09:42 PM   #17
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Congratulations! I am over the moon with my 2 granddaughters. They are 6 yrs old and 6 weeks old. My son-in-law was in the military when my DD was pregnant with the first one, and I went to doctor's appts with her, ultrasounds and I was in the delivery room when she was born. DD and grandchild moved back from CA and lived with us when her DH was stationed in Afghanistan. He got out of the Navy after 6 years and they moved back home. They bought a home and we moved them this past weekend. My part of the moving them was watching the grandchildren. They live about 5 miles from us. Life is good!
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:55 PM   #18
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No kids, so no grandkids either. As a write DW is babysitting the two grandnieces and last week as a result of this thread I ordered an erector set for the older one's birthday. I didn't know they still made erector sets. The older one loves math so there's a good chance she'll be an engineer.
In our area it is Legos! There is even an Lego's Engineering group in the metro area. The Silicon Valley we are not but in many ways we are Silicon Valley north.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:02 AM   #19
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One of the best things to have ever happened in my life and I know DW agrees. ..................................... but it has changed my life for the better. Kind of like icing on the cake of life.
Yes, this.....................in our case we got an immediate promotion from geezers to grandpa/ma , an elite circle with lots of similar stories. The 2 grandmas did a sales job on the kids that nobody else could be counted on so until she gets accepted into their chosen daycare, we are alternating babysitting duties.

So every 2 wks or so, we fly down (and the others drive) 400 mi south.
In our case, it's up at 4AM Monday for the flight down and then back Fri at 9PM for the wkend to tend the lawn/mail , then back again on Monday.

Never liked to "waste" memory storage on the camera SD card so never took videos. Now that the granddaughter is 1.5yr+ and developing every wk, I only take videos and when we are on our 2 wks off-duty, we watch and laugh at those to carry us through those 2 wks.

So congrats to the future grandparents. Get prepared to lose your former lives and your hearts too. And as one former president recently said to another: Grandpa, be prepared to be the lowest person on the totem pole.

That's ok too since it will be higher than you were before. Enjoy your new life!
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:15 AM   #20
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No doubt. Grandparents are the best.
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