We're in the middle of a bit of a holiday, split between both sets of Grandparents. The first half coincided with one Grandad's birthday, so we decided to through a 'Welcome to the World, Charlotte' party at the same time. It was just a BBQ on a lovely Sunday afternoon with a couple of dozen of my friends, their kids and a few of my Mum and Dad's friends.
It all went very well - though the over-stimulation from being passed from person to person, lack of daytime sleep and very hot temperatures equaled a pretty rough night. Charlotte wouldn't sleep for any more than 2 hours at a time, and I fed her each time she woke - which meant about four feeds in the night, more than she'd get in the day. I won't be doing that again in a hurry if I can help it, and have taken on board several suggestions of trying cooled boiled water when it's especially hot (despite advice to the contrary from various health visitors).
It is very lovely being down at my parents' where there are twice as many hands on deck to help out. Plus a lovely big house and garden to calm Charlotte down in. And in still trying to get her to sleep properly in the day, she's taken quite well to sleeping in the pram or car seat in the outdoors...
|catching flies in the garden|
... there are a couple of downsides though. As her maternal grandparents dote on her so much, I've become something of just the 'milk bar'. All I seem to do is feed her, then one of them will want to play, or have a cuddle, or take her for a walk. I barely see her other than attached to my breast or when the hard work to get her to sleep starts. At one point, my Mum passed Charlotte over to me and said "here's your 'other' Mummy" - to which I didn't quite know what to reply I was so taken aback.
I do get the impression from them sometimes that I'm not doing it 'right' - whatever that is. When me and C's Dad use tools like White Noise to calm her down, or question using cooled boiled water to quench her thirst - and various other differences that creep in over a 34 year span of 'new rules' and ways of doing things - I get the odd look or slightly disapproving comment. All I can say is that I am doing what I think is best. There is no right or wrong, but it does upset me at times.
They always see the best bits of Charlotte. The beauty of being a Grandparent is it comes without quite so much stress and anxiety of being a first-time parent. If they think back 34 years, I'm sure they might just remember that it wasn't all smiles, gurgles and happy playtimes for them when I came into the world. They were coupled with concern, tough nights, trying anything to calm me down and stop me crying. But decades on all that gets forgotten, and - happily - replaced with just the fun, fond memories.
I guess what upsets me most is that I'm still bonding with Charlotte. I'll readily admit I'm not fully there yet. I don't yet feel the overwhelming, unconditional love - that's not to say I don't love her. But her Grandad and Grandma are there - in spades. I wish I was. I'll get there.