“The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have a common enemy.” ~Sam Levenson
I can’t speak from personal experience on this topic. I can only say good things about the positive impact that having a child has had on an already great relationship with my parents. Becoming a mom has given me a clearer understanding of my childhood, of my parents as people (not just as “my parents”) and the sacrifices they made. During my pregnancy, we had a lot of fun preparing and celebrating. It was everything I ever wanted it to be, if not more. I saw my mom in a whole new light, catching a glimpse of how much she loved us (and still does) through the lens of my own overflowing emotion.
When someone is coming from a rocky past, they have to come to terms with that history as they navigate through the emotions and decisions unique to pregnancy. Deciding what kind of parent they want to be suddenly becomes a little more complicated when the only example they have is everything they don’t want to become. At the same time, I believe that the positive experience I had is not exclusive to healthy relationships. The excitement of new life has healing properties for broken families, as well. It presents an opportunity to build a relationship on uncharted territory, where there is no past, experience or baggage. Families can embrace the new life while letting go of bitter history for the sake of the child. A new baby is a clean slate. Even the worst parents can become great grandparents. We can either become enslaved by resentment and anger, becoming bitter, or we can choose to give our parents a mulligan. We can learn from our parents’ bad example and let that fuel our drive to be better parent. We can enjoy watching our parents do everything they wish they would have done right the first time.
I’m interested in hearing about your experiences. How did pregnancy impact your relationship with your parents?
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