Today, I follow up with the second part of my wine-and-fire-pit night with my mom and my mother-in-law. Part two focuses a bit more on their new roles as grandmothers. Spoiler alert: they love being "grandma"! For more context, "S" is my mother-in-law, and "J" is my mom.
What did you think when you found out I was having a baby?
S - The best part of parenting is when your kids get married, because then you get more kids, and then they multiply and then you get even more!
J - And you can send them home! (all laugh) That I hoped that they were just like you. (Editor's note: She said this with just a splash of gleeful revenge in her voice.)
What's the best part of being a grandma?
S - Buying fun stuff that you never would have spoiled your kids with! Maybe my answers are just what I have been thinking of lately. I was just saying how neat it is that Shep has softened Kevin.
J - They're not jaded yet. That they come up and call you "Grandma." It's my name now. They're happy to see you. Not this, "Ugh, I have to go to Grandma's."
What advice did you find most helpful as a mom?
S - To make dinner time pleasant. And in extension of that, is to make any time the kids might come be pleasant. Let them know they're always welcome - and when holidays get complicated, that you're happy to have them whenever they can come.
J - Probably the most anybody ever really said was, "Just love your kids, never feel that they're an imposition." They are gifts. And - I agree with Sue about dinner time. Because I think Kassy used to say that so many kids, when she was in high school, they didn't eat together. And we always did - with a world map on the table and we discussed current events and your kids learned about Czechoslovakia.
Would you do anything differently?
S - I prayed a lot - I'd still pray. But I'd trust God more. I'd let go and let God - trust that he's in control.
J - I already said I'd have you focus more on serving others. I'd probably do more reading on health conditions, for all my kids. It's amazing what the healthcare system can do for young kids - kids are born with hearts that are backwards, or born that need to have surgeries so their intestines are inside their bodies. You think your kid is sick, but when you see other kids in the hospital, you realize they're not as sick. So you can feel a little better about your own kid.
For some context to that last question: my brother was born with four concurrent heart conditions that required immediate treatment. Hours after he was born, he was transported to a prestigious children's hospital three hours from the place where he was born. He eventually required open heart surgery. My sister-in-law (my mother-in-law's firstborn) was born with cystic hygroma and needed serious medical care for the first year of her life. In that way, they had a bit more medical worry for their kids than most moms probably ever do.
What's the best advice you've received from your mom? Do they enjoy being a grandma more than being a mom? I can't say I blame them! Watch me be a hot mess on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3.