So, you’re going to be a grandparent!
The first image that comes to mind is that angelic little bundle wrapped in pink or blue gazing up at you. A new life. A new little someone to spoil with time and things you couldn’t give your own children.
When the news arrives, be happy
While learning of a pregnancy should be exciting for prospective parents and grandparents alike, the news isn’t always welcomed: for instance, when it involves teenage or unmarried daughters or young couples with limited income. Whatever the circumstances, remember that your response to the news can color your entire relationship with the parents and grandchild, even before that child is born.
Bringing a new life into the world should be a joyous occasion for a couple, so be happy for them. And be happy they decided to share the news with you. Be positive. Remember, aside from being excited, the parents-to-be probably are nervous and scared. Your reassurance will bolster their confidence throughout the pregnancy and birth.
Two tips for having it go smoothly
The news they’re sharing is a fact, so now is not the time to question if they’ve thought this through. Certain questions are better left unasked: “Can you afford a child? Do you have room? What about your job?” All imply a lack of confidence in the prospective parents. Instead, ask questions they’d rather answer, such as “How are you feeling?” and “When is the baby due?”
In the case of an unexpected pregnancy—especially between unmarried parents who don’t live together—you might initially feel angry and want to blame them for being irresponsible. If your daughter is the mother-to-be, you might feel foreboding about how the pregnancy and birth might adversely affect her life. You might be embarrassed to tell your friends. And, selfishly or not, you might worry about what role you’ll be asked to play. Resist reacting in a way you might later regret.
To limit the risk of offending the expectant parents, always be sensitive to the situation considerate of the parents’ wishes.
When to share the news
After you’ve heard the news, you immediately pick up the phone. Who will you tell first?! But wait a minute: This is the prospective parents’ news, not yours. There may even be very specific reasons they want to withhold the news.
- A teenage girl, for example, probably wouldn’t want her friends to find out.
- Those with medical problems or a later-life pregnancy might want to wait out the first trimester—when most miscarriages occur. Better to wait to tell someone you’re pregnant than to have to explain a miscarriage.
- A new assignment, promotion or relocation might be adversely affected if pregnancy news is leaked prematurely.
- The parents-to-be might want to choose the time and place to talk with an older child, or one from another marriage, about the future sibling.
To limit the risk of offending the expectant parents, pause to consider their wishes, and give them a chance to tell family and friends when they’re ready. It is, after all, their good news to share!