Help! I'm a Granny
Two years ago, I made the generation leap and became a granny to my adorable little grandson Ted, my eldest son Joe's little boy. Becoming a granny was in equal measure quite a shock (I was only 43 and it seemed like only yesterday that Joe was being peeled off of my legs by his infant school teacher because he didn't want to leave my side) and an absolute joy! Seeing my own little boy (OK 26 isn't that little, but he'll always be my baby) becoming a father and making a life of his own in the big wide world, really puts the passing of time into perspective. Ted's arrival into our family came when my own youngest child Freddy was only 3 years old, so I was juggling being a mum to my own little one with becoming a granny. So I was never going to be the old school Nana, sat in her rocking chair knitting baby blankets for my grandbabies. Instead, the generation gap blurred and we all muck in together in our big, crazy and exceptionally wonderful extended family that is filled with love and laughter!
Finding out that you are going to be a grandparent and making that mental transition into your new role can seem a bit daunting at times. Knowing how best to be supportive and offer advice without interfering can see you walking a fine line at times. Defining your role, especially when there is another Nana on the scene, who in our case lives in the same town as my son, his fiance and Ted, who gets to see them much more than I do as I live 2 hours away, can take some soul searching. Wanting to be more involved is difficult when distance is part of the equation. But I know that the part I am playing in my grandson's life is every bit as valuable, and the relationship I have with Ted is becoming more and more rewarding as he gets older. Having Ted and Freddy close in age gives me a special bond with my future daughter-in-law, as we can relate to being mummies together.
For anyone else going through the same experience and becoming a first time granny, the book Help! I'm a Granny may prove an invaluable companion. Written by newspaper columist and agony aunt Flic Everett, it is a comprehensive guide to becoming and being a gran, written in a friendly, light hearted and informal way. It's like sharing your worries, your guilt and your jealousy with a friend. The real life stories make it feel very personal.
It is laid out in easy to navigate sections with practical lists, true stories, quizzes and instructions. Some of the chapters did seem a little like teaching your granny to suck eggs, but I am still a mum to a little one so haven't forgotten how to feed a baby, tackle a tantrum or pack a changing bag. But if it has been years since you were a hands on mummy, the bitesize advice may prove invaluable. There is also a dummy's guide to technology that own my mum would find really useful, explaining the pros and cons of social media and apps for staying in touch.
The quizzes are quite fun. It turns out I'm a 'Cool Gran' and a 'Rebel Granny'...I'll totally take that!
Help! I'm a Granny would make a great gift for any soon to be grandparents or would make a useful, easy reading handbook for yourself when you find yourself about to be a gran. It makes you feel like you are not alone and gives you some different perspectives on the emotions, responsibilities and joys of being a granny!
Publication date: February 19th 2015
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