On Giants' Shoulders

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I Still Think About This So I Ran It Again

You might notice that I've put a link to an older post here. I did it so that it could be linked from Jennifer's Et Tu site. It's supposed to be my representative post, and somehow it seemed pretty representative for me. It's about family, it's about giant's shoulders I'm standing on, it's about the past and the future.

I've had a little over a year as a mother-in-law now and I certainly hope that I'm doing my own mother-in-law proud. I'm certainly trying to. I think my new son-in-law probably has made it somewhat easier for me than I may have made it for my own mother-in-law. Unlike the characters on sit coms who complain about their in-laws there's no complaints here. I had a wonderful set of in-laws and I have a terrific son-in-law.

Today at our LLL meeting we talked about the ways in which the grandparents of new babies made things either easier or more difficult. It was interesting because the stories were all so very different. One mom, who had a very difficult delivery and recovery was blessed to have her own parents move in for a month and do everything except feed the baby. Another mom talked about how her father had defended her against criticism from his wife (not her own mother), and how proud he was of her for following her own instincts. There were some complaints about grandparents who'd tried to interject uneducated advice, but for the most part the moms seemed to understand that the advice came with good intentions, but from an uninformed perspective. I asked them what would be most helpful from grandparents, one said she'd like her mom to be more open with her, another said educating themselves about the facts about breastfeeding and babies sleep needs. They all reiterated over and over how important it was for grandparents to trust the instincts of the parents and not undermine them. One even had a book to recommend for me to read before I write my "pamphlet for grandmothers." Overall it was a fun meeting for me because I was getting some real insight into what the needs of these particular moms were, but also what the needs of the moms of this generation are. They aren't totally different from the needs of moms of my generation, but there are some new wrinkles. I was amazed to find how many of the moms were dealing not just with parents and in-laws, but with step parents as well. That really did seem to complicate the picture a great deal, and it's something I had not thought about as I began to approach the topic.

I wish sometimes that I could sit and talk with my mother-in-law again and ask her how she managed to be such a wonderful support despite the fact that she hadn't nursed her own babies. Perhaps it really was because she attempted to be an intuitive mother despite the fact that she bottle fed and despite the fact that she had no modeling for being a mother-in-law. I'm not sure how she managed, I only know that standing on her shoulders I hope I can approximate what she did.


At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Krista said...

Hi Liz!
Krista here from church. Found your blog via "Owl of the Remove" and was wondering if I could email you about info for home schooling, since I know you're involved with that locally. Do you have an email that I could contact you at?

Thanks! Hope to hear from you!

At 1:53 PM, Blogger Liz said...

Actually, the fastest way to catch me is at Facebook since I check that more frequently than my e-mail (I'm very lax about checking my e-mail some days. Simply look me up and put in a friend request. The big advantage to that is that I can also refer you to some of my homeschooling friends who are also on Facebook.

At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Krista said...

Thanks, Liz! I will need to get a Facebook account - I'm not on that at the moment, so as soon as I get it set up, I'll look you up!

Talk soon,


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