Guest Post: Advice For New Grandparents

I’m excited to introduce my mom, Barbara, author of today’s guest post. Barbara raised three kids, taught elementary and middle school, and is an expert on all things homemaking. H is her first grandson, and she’s taken to it like a pro. Barbara offers six fantastic pieces of advice for the modern grandma. You’ll definitely want to pass this post along to any grandparents you know. Thanks for the guest post, Mom!

1. Be at the Hospital for the Baby’s Birth

All of my friends who were already grammies told me, “Be at the hospital for the baby’s birth.” My own thoughts were, “But I’m 5 hours away!” Even though he couldn’t join me, my husband never wavered. “Be there, darling! You’ll never regret it.”
H came early, and even though I had nothing packed, I was out the door and on the road within an hour of my son-in-law’s call. What a magical and miraculous experience being at the hospital for H’s birth was! So first and foremost, be there! You’ll never regret it.
P.S. If your grandbaby arrives via c-section, as H did, the new mommy has endured major surgery. She will need lots of help in lots of ways. Being there for her is sooo important. Again, be there!

2. Pop and Bam

Pop and Bam may sound like words off of a page of a Spider-Man comic book, but actually they’re the grandparent names my husband and I created for ourselves. (Caroline’s husband Andy helped me out with Bam. It’s a combination of my name and “gram.”)
Whether you enjoy the traditional grandma and grandpa, or wish to express yourself with a new name, nothing is sweeter than to hear your precious little loved one use it.

3. Use Technology to Connect

Technology today offers so many opportunities to connect with your precious grandbaby: Skype, Instagram, video, texting, Facebook, emails with pictures included, Flickr, Twitter, Vine, photographs, or a good old-fashioned phone call! Pop and I prefer video because we can — and do — watch them over and over again.

4. Help Whenever and However You Can

Remember how exhausting child rearing was? A little help meant so much. When we visit the kids, Pop and I (and aunts and uncles!) love to chip in to help lighten Andy and Caroline’s load. The kids have learned that a to-do list on the fridge keeps us busy, happy, and out of their hair.
A little help whenever you can and however you can is so rewarding and a bonding experience for our family.

5. A Few Favorite Products That Keep Me in Touch

Andy helped us load pictures into a digital picture frame. I keep it in my kitchen and enjoy hundreds of favorite family photos as they cycle through the frame. Love it!
Embellish Your Story is a product that is like magnetic scrapbooking. This website has an extensive collection of darling photo display products that decorate a room as you proudly feature that perfect little person in your life.
My iPhone!! Can’t live without it! My little guy is just a couple of touches away. Video, email, phone, photos, and much more are literally at your fingertips.

6. A Home Away From Home

Whether you live near or far, make a comfy, workable space for the baby when he comes to visit. Travel can be discomfiting under the best of circumstances, so greet the baby with a safe, comfortable place to sleep, a sturdy high chair or booster seat for meals, and your very own loving hugs and kisses to let him know how much you love him!
Having age appropriate toys will delight the baby because they are new and different from his own. These may be toys your own babies played with that you have saved or some of the new razzle dazzle toys on the market today. H especially enjoys his Learning Walker, Baby Einstein Octoplush, and his books, books, books!
A little planning and preparation in creating a “home away from home” space for the baby will contribute to a relaxing, enjoyable family get-together for the whole family.

Handmade Hobby Horse: Wise Family Tradition

Hobby Horse

We welcomed a new nursery resident recently. Andy’s dad handmade this beautiful hobby-horse for H. What a sweet face on this little guy. I appreciate the loving details, from his mane to his ears.

Hobby Horse W

Grandpa even branded the horse with a Wise “W”. I’m a sucker for personalized gifts.

Hobby Horse Gary

Hobby-horses carry a rich history in the Wise family. In the 1930s, a farmhouse table leaf provided the raw material for the first horse. Four generations later, the family still copies the same original construction pattern. Here, Grandpa poses with three horses he made when Andy was little.

Hobby Horse Andy

Clearly, baby Andy’s ready to hit the dusty trail. Yeehaw! I can’t wait to watch my little guy ride ‘em cowboy on his own horse, just like Dad.

Etsy Hobby Horse

Don’t have a woodcrafter in the family? Etsy offers several heirloom quality rocking horses. This one, handmade by Toys2Treasures, is particularly beautiful. Every child needs a timeless toy or two.

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Current photography by Samantha Wise.