Grandparents often give the best advice! Today I’m sharing four pieces of advice we received from Chase’s grandparents – my parents and in-laws – in honor of Grandparents Day, coming up this year on Sunday, September 11. I’m teaming up with Hallmark for this post and would love to hear about any words of wisdom you’ve heard from the grandparents or great-grandparents in your life!
After Chase was born, I found myself on the receiving end of more advice than I could handle. Everyone has thoughts, opinions and words of wisdom to share when it comes to transitioning into life with a newborn and raising a child. Without a doubt, the piece of advice I heard most frequently centered around cherishing the time with your little one because it passes by in a flash.
It’s a piece of advice I truly took to heart and one I think about every single day. When I look back on pictures of Chase when he was a month old I am shocked by how small he was and how sweet and cuddly our baby was when he was a newborn.
Now that we have an energetic toddler on our hands, it’s hard for me to believe the baby phase is over!
Having Chase has made me feel more present than I ever have in my entire life. Watching the world through his eyes brings me so much joy and I feel like there are moments in every day that make me want to push pause and stop time in its tracks.
Of course some of the advice I received after having Chase was advice I took with a grain of salt while other words of wisdom truly stuck with me and shape the way I approach raising our baby boy. Four pieces of advice I received that I think about on a regular basis came from Chase’s grandparents – my mom, dad, mother-in-law and father-in-law.
With Grandparents Day on the horizon next month, I am teaming up with Hallmark today to celebrate grandparents and share some of the best advice I received from Chase’s grandparents below!
Advice from Grandparents
- From My Mom:
“When you find yourself doubting your mothering skills and worrying about your baby, think about how you would feel if you didn’t have other mothers and other babies to compare yourself and your baby to… How would you feel then?”
My mom is a nurse and is often my sounding board whenever I find myself worrying about Chase, my mothering skills and anything else related to raising a happy and healthy child. Whenever I feel insecurities arise related to Chase or my mothering abilities, I think about this piece of advice from my mom.
Though I already know and believe that comparison is the thief of joy, it’s hard not to look at other mothers and think they know everything and they’re doing everything right while I am over here taking my best guess and hoping everything turns out well. Remembering my mom’s advice helps me take a step back from everything and look at Chase from a different point of view.
If I had no growth charts, no walking 10-month-olds and no incredible eaters to compare my little guy to, how would I think he was doing? Fabulous. He’s energetic, happy, animated and so incredibly active. I know in my heart he’s doing so well but sometimes I need to take a deep breath and remind myself that there are no perfect mothers out there but there are a heck of a lot of really good ones.
When I start to compare Chase and myself to others, it never makes me feel better, so remembering to focus on my baby and being the best mother I can be is most important.
- From My Dad:
“It’s hard being a baby.”
My dad said this simple sentence when Chase was only a couple weeks old and it stuck with me. How hard must it be to not be able to express in words exactly what you want? How hard must it be to not be able to get exactly where you want to go without stumbling or falling? How hard must if be for you to rely on everyone else for every little thing?
This simple statement from my dad shifted my perspective and helps me practice patience toward my son. Of course I still get frustrated, but when I stop to think about things from Chase’s perspective, it’s helpful and makes me realize he is just doing his best to communicate, learn and grow in the best way he knows how. Sometimes that involves tears and screams but I just try to give him love, support and patience and remember it’s hard for him, too.
I was reminded of my dad’s statement again last April when this article began popping up all over the internet. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re finding yourself frustrated with the little one(s) your life: It’s Hard For Them, Too
- From My Mother-in-Law:
“Always be honest, truthful, consistent, loving, respectful and fair. Live by example and listen to everything he says. Be available and make learning fun. Love your family, celebrate big and little wins and cherish each day.”
When I think about the way Ryan talks about his mother, one thing that always sticks out to me is the way he describes her mothering style when he was younger. She has such a vivid sense of imagination and her advice to “make learning fun” is clearly a piece of advice she took to heart when raising Ryan. It’s something I hope to do for Chase and even though he’s only one, I do my best to teach him things and show him new things in a way that’s entertaining to a toddler.
We sing lots of songs, dance, make silly noises, raise our hands all over the place and explore the world around us every day. I’m truly shocked on a regular basis by how much Chase observes and already knows from some of our repetitive musings.
When Ryan and I got married, Diane once said “if you can communicate about everything, you can work your way through anything.” Communication is such a pivotal part of my relationship with Ryan and is something I hope flourishes within our family as Chase gets older. I know he won’t want to share everything with me but it is my hope that he will know he can always come to me for support, love and comfort.
- From My Father-in-Law:
“Make every day an adventure.”
My father-in-law loves the outdoors and it’s something he definitely instilled in Ryan. Thankfully being outside and exploring new things is something Ryan and I both love to do and it’s something that we love to experience with Chase as well.
Right now Greg’s advice to “make every day an adventure” is something I think about all the time because I see Chase respond and thrive to the time we spend away from the home. Even if our “adventure” of the day is grocery shopping or hanging out with friends for a pool play date, these small experiences seem to truly stimulate Chase!
I think joy is contagious and I really try my best to bring enthusiasm and excitement to the table for Chase every day. We practice waving at new friends and clapping when we’re at the grocery store. When we’re on a walk with Sadie, we’ll often stop so Chase can touch leaves or crawl in the grass. “Adventure” at this stage in Chase’s life isn’t anything wild and crazy but I think that’s sort of the point of Greg’s advice. Find adventure and excitement in the small things every day.
Celebrating Grandparents Day
Two days ago, Chase and I popped into Walgreen’s to pick up Hallmark cards for the grandparents in his life from the highlighted Grandparents Day section. I feel very fortunate because we will actually be celebrating Grandparents Day with Ryan’s mom and grandma – Chase’s grandma and great grandma – in Sarasota this year!
It already feels like a treat knowing we’ll be able to hug them and give them their cards in person in less than two weeks! There’s something so special about seeing Chase with his grandparents and his great grandmother. Knowing how much they love and adore him and want the very best for him means so much to me.
Even though we live 6 hours from my parents and 11 hours from Ryan’s family, Face Time, texts, pictures and cards keep us connected and I’m so grateful to have family in our life who love our little boy so completely.
Happy (almost) Grandparents Day to the grandparents in our life and all the wonderful grandparents out there!
Question of the Day
- What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve heard from a grandparent or great-grandparent?