Grandparenting can change once you become a widow.
Baby-Sitting – Your grown children may think that you don’t have a life of your own and so take it for granted that your available to babysit any time. You love your children and grandchildren but sometimes you feel like you are being dumped on.
You need to set some boundaries and with love talk about your feelings. Let them know that you love to baby-sit but that you also need more time for yourself. Give them a schedule of the days and times that you are available.
You will want to get out more and start having a social life again so ask them to give you a twenty-four hour notice when they need your help. Also, have the courage to say no if you have already made plans.
Changing Traditions – For years, your grown children and grandchildren have been coming to your house for Easter dinner, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas but now they want to celebrate in their own homes. They feel it’s time to start a new tradition of you going to their house. It’s fine with you but it’s also another change and it hurts.
You need to accept that there are going to be changes and new traditions but the main thing is that you are part of them and they are not leaving you behind. Just think of all those meals that someone else will cook. It’s time to pass it on to your daughter or daughter in-law and enjoy the family times no matter where they are celebrated.
Marrying Again – You have starting dating and when he proposed you accepted but you are worried about what your children and grandchildren will think.
Just tell them straight how happy this guy makes you feel and assure everyone that you will remain active in their lives. Sometimes the adult child strongly objects to the marriage and it can result in hostility and even disconnection within the family.
It’s not easy so do not move too quickly and just let everyone slowly get use to each other. Understand that grown children sometimes worry that their widowed mother is spending money and time in a relationship that they don’t think will last. If you find a second love I am happy for you both and I wish you a long and loving life together.
Grandchildren not visiting – You have grown grandson’s that were close to their grandfather and since his death they just don’t drop in like they use to. You wonder how to get them to visit without laying a guilt trip on them.
Grown grandchildren start to drift away to their own lives and often don’t even see their own parents as often as they use to. Keep a memory journal for your grandchildren with stories and pictures of their grandparents and of times spent with them while they were growing up.
It’s a loving thing to do and when you give it to them they will know how much they are loved.