What’s a grandparent to do when they’re not getting a much longed-for grandbaby for the holidays? Sadly, many young people are choosing to delay or not have children. This leaves potential grandparents longing to see a new generation in their family. While there’s no way to insist that our children provide us with Grands, there are some ways we can fill this empty spot in our hearts. If you are facing the holidays with no babies in sight, then here are some suggestions:
Ideas for Coping With Not Getting Your longed-for Grandbaby
- First and foremost be careful about how you share your needs and wishes with your children. Having babies and raising children is a huge life commitment and responsibility. If your children are adamantly against making this commitment, then pushing them into it could turn out poorly. If it’s only a time issue holding back babies, and there are long-term plans for children, then be patient. Hard as it may be, there may be other ways to fulfill your desire to enjoy the company of young children by “substitute” grandparenting for others.
- Reach out to friends for opportunities to join in on their grandparenting experiences. Perhaps you can set some regular times to join in activities and enjoy the company of young people who are already a part of your extended relationships.
- Check-in your community to see if anyone is coordinating “Adopt a Grandchild/Grandparent” activities. As families become more spread out geographically or have disconnections from each other, more community groups are trying to connect young people with substitute grandparents who can fill the role of older and wiser mentors.
- Check with local Boys and Girls Clubs for activities you might volunteer to join. Maybe you have skills that would convert to a class offering that would be welcome.
- Local schools may be interested in having grandparent figures present to help in classrooms. Call and ask. Schools require security checks. Volunteers are always appreciated but security for children is important and school officials must do their best to protect their young charges.
There aren’t a lot of easy answers for waiting for your longed-for grandbaby. Individual choices and decisions affect the family dynamic in so many ways. Our best way forward is to choose hope. Always and look for creative ways to fulfill the emotional needs and joys of grandparenting until they become a reality in our immediate family.
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