By Judith Frizlen
Some things don’t live up to their hype. Retirement for example. You hear how wonderful it is, but what is rarely mentioned is that the transition from work world to home world is not without its challenges.
When I made this transition, I realized that a lot of my interpersonal and intrapersonal needs were met through my job.
For example, at work, I got feedback about the value of what I was doing in the world and how well I was doing it. It gave me something to work with and work toward, fodder for interpersonal growth.
Then there were the intrapersonal needs that were met. By that I mean the routine socializing that happened, the checking in about the weather, clothes, activities around town and more. I could go home satisfied that I knew who I was and something about a group of other people, too. Working outside the home kept me from seeking this information from my husband when he came home from a long day at work.
Over time, I replaced what I got from work in new ways and stopped relying so heavily on my husband. Then another transition came along. This one, I am happy to say, is living up to the hype.
Have you ever noticed how gaga grandparents are about their children’s progeny? Having a newborn in the family, I can now say that I get it. Grandchildren come with the joys of children minus many of the challenges. It’s a reprise in parenting without sleep deprivation. Nothing like showing up to hold a newborn after a good night’s sleep, knowing another awaits me at the end of the day. I also don’t have a lot of extra laundry or worries, for that matter.
The phrase “all shall be well” is a mantra that experience has taught me is true. Things have a way of working out. It’s a long game approach, a perspective that often comes with age. The child will grow, the house will get cleaned, and eventually everyone will get a good night’s sleep. I say that with full confidence now that I have grown children, a clean house and a well-rested body.
Granted, we are still in the honeymoon phase with our newborn grandson, but clearly we are witnessing a miracle. He is beautiful and I will prove it to anyone who wants to see a picture!
He managed to arrive on his due date, so he is brilliant, at least with regards to timing. In addition, he is good at eating, eliminating and sleeping. More evidence of how wonderful he is.
My husband and I have a new topic of conversation around the dinner table. How was your day often involves a report about the little one. The other day, my husband mentioned that he held the baby for 30 minutes during lunchtime. Amazed that he sat still that long – not the newborn, my husband – I was delighted for both. I could plainly see my husband was touched by the experience.
I’ve decided to visit in the afternoons, to hold the baby while the parents do what they want to do, which may be sleep, work out or take a shower. What task could be more important than holding a newborn? Even when I put him in the bassinet, I stay riveted watching him sleep, gurgle and stretch while his mother walks the treadmill in the background.
Then at the end of the day when my husband asks how my day was, I have a report I sense we will never grow tired of sharing. Guess what our grandchild did today?
Judith Frizlen is a writer, mentor and new grandmother. Her website is www.judithfrizlen.com.