10 Commandments for a New Grandma


 Woman holding babyThis year, I get to become something I thought I might never be, a grandmother! To say I’m over-the-top excited is an understatement. Of course I have already chosen my grandma name—CeCe. My nieces and nephews call me “Auntie C” so it just seems like the right choice.

I have already designated one rod in the guest room closet for the cutest outfits just waiting for the right time to be worn. And I’m also scouting for the equipment that every grandma needs at her house, like a portable crib, high chair, baby gates. . . well, everything and anything I can think of (I may or may not have researched “vacations with grandkids” already).

But, more than anything, I want to be the grandma that my son and his wife can count on to be there when they need me and to be out of their business when they don’t. To help me up my grandma game, I turned to my fellow contributors and friends for some advice, and this is what they offered.

10 Commandments for a New Grandma

1. Love your grandbabies by supporting their parents and treating them with kindness, respect, and love. We all have so much love to give and receive; it’s an unlimited resource.

2. Honor the wishes of the parents even if you don’t agree (think feedings, screen time, etc). Keep in mind that they know what they’re doing, even if things look different from how you did them.

3. You’ll never regret keeping your mouth shut, so be careful about sharing opinions, especially unsolicited ones.

4. You can never hold a baby too much, so never tell the parents that they will spoil their babies by holding them too much. That’s not a thing.

5. Call before dropping by and be sure to ask if it’s a good time. And don’t overstay. Even better, if you are stopping in for a visit, ask what the mom wants/needs from any store/drive-thru, etc., and pick it up.

6. If you’re visiting and you would like a cup of coffee or something to eat, get it yourself and clean up when you’re done. Of course, you should also offer to get whatever the mom might want as well.

7. Offer to fold the laundry or do the dishes when that newborn grandbaby arrives. That new mom wants to hold her baby more than you do, so let her snuggle while you take care of the daily grind.

8. Offer to babysit when they are ready for a date night, or just bring dinner from their favorite restaurant and babysit at their home if they are not ready to leave the baby.

9. Talk to the parents about what is needed before purchasing clothes, toys, or anything. In my family that new grandbaby will have four sets of grandparents, so I’m imagining that overbuying could be a problem.

10. Be respectful of the parents’ plans for spending holidays and be the flexible option. I just want my family to have time together, and I do not care if it is on an actual holiday or another day. Time together is what makes memories for those grandchildren. (See, I’m already expecting more!)

Such hope and joy accompany the arrival of a newborn. I cannot wait to meet my new grandson in just a few weeks! His arrival will change me and my entire family; and, it will even change my name! Once he’s here, just call me “Cece.”

Previous articleHow a Shattered Shower Door Saved My Sanity
Next articleA Birmingham Mom’s Ultimate Guide to February Events
Chris L
Born in Wisconsin, Chris moved South with her family, first to Richmond, Virginia, and then to Birmingham when she was 12. She loves being a girl raised in the South, and her only remaining Midwestern traits are a love for the Packers and a fondness for bratwurst. In 2010, Chris reconnected with Christopher, a former Birmingham-Southern College classmate, after a random meeting in the cereal aisle at Publix. They married in 2011, not realizing that they were bringing together a perfect storm of teenage angst with their three children. Today, Chris is the center support that keeps the seesaw of her family balanced, leading a blended family of three young adults and enjoying an empty nest. Before the pandemic, most days were busy managing client relationships for a corporate event production company, but after six months of unemployment, she has become the parish administrator aka “the church lady” for her church. When she's not working, she loves reading a rich historical novel, volunteering with her sorority, and planning their next wine-tasting excursions.