Last week I found out that my daughter was pregnant. She is twenty-three years old and just graduated from college in May. My husband and I have recently gotten the “grandparent bug”. When we see babies, we sigh and say to each other, “I think I am ready to have a grandchild.” I should be elated, overjoyed, ecstatic. I am happy, but that was not my first reaction. Myfirst thoughts were denial, embarrassment and confusion. Why? Because my daughter is not married.
Call me old-fashioned, but I had really hoped to be a mother-in-law first. She is in a serious relationship and has said that her plan has always been to marry first, have children later. Things don’t always go as planned. She seems to be okay, even excited, with this turn of events. Of course, she has had time to adjust to the idea. There is still no rush to get married. I would like my husband to push for a shotgun wedding. Call me old-fashioned.
We ask ourselves as parents many times, where did I go wrong? How come we didn’t get a manual when our children were born? I beleive that as a parent the best we can do is simply to do the best we know how. To spend time with our children, to read to them when they are young, to encourage them, and to simply love them. Each child is different. to know what works best with each child is challenging. What works for one might not work with the other. Teaching them the difference between right and wrong. Hoping they will make right choices as adults. There is such a fine line between being too much of a friend and too much of a disciplinarian. Being a parent, in many ways, means denying yourself.
I know times have changed, but when my daughter was sixteen she declared to the world that she was “saving herself for marriage.” That changed. In today’s society, unwed pregnancies are not only commom, but accepted. I am thankful that my daughter is not pregnant at sixteen and living at home. My daughter is a wondeful daughter-the best I could ask for-and friend. We both look forward to spending time together and enjoy many of the same things. I love her so much.
Am I just being selfish for the way I feel? God’s greatest blessing is children. And so I bite my tongue. Another part of parenting that is so hard to do. I am getting used to the idea. I did some baby shopiing this weekend. Call me old-fashioned.
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