5 Things I Learned From Having A Child And Grandchild 15 Months Apart

5 Things I Learned From Having A Child And A Grandchild 15 Months Apart

Julie Sanford

I had a baby boy later in life (at age 41), after having two girls in my 20s.

I certainly didn’t plan for life to work out this way, but I found myself unexpectedly divorced in my mid-30s, and I remarried when I was pushing 40.

My new husband had never been married or had kids, so I came to him one day with my cuckoo idea of us having a child together, to which he replied “I’m cool with it either way.”

I went ahead and took that as a “Hell yeah! Let’s do it!” and set up an appointment with my OBGYN.

I knew that I would definitely need some help in the fertility department since I’d had help even when I was in my 20s.

Long story short: It worked.

My girls, who were 21 and 14 at the time, were less than thrilled. They have since warmed up to the idea thankfully, but having been the only children for that long, they seriously thought I had lost my damn mind.

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I told my oldest (who was already in a committed relationship) that I only had one request. I asked that she please give me about a five year head start if she decided to have kids of her own. I believe my exact rationale was “so it won’t be weird.”

When her brother was only six months old, she called to tell me she was pregnant. And you guessed it — it was weird.

Here we were with a new baby in the family, and now there was another on the way.

It’s actually ended up being mostly super-awesome, in spite of my fears.

Here are a few things that I’ve learned about myself/life/etc. along the way:

1. It is far better to be mistaken as the mother of both children than the grandmother of both children.

Both have happened. I much prefer the former. It’s an interesting mind-fu*k though, as I vacillate between “I should try to be more trendy so I can relate to the millennial moms in my son’s class,” and “I probably shouldn’t wear this Metallica shirt to pick up my grandson.”

2. Picking out your grandma name when you have an infant son does very interesting things to your psyche.

Am I an old mom? Am I a young grandma? Am I even sane? For the record, I went with “Gima,” pronounced like Gina. Because there was one thing I knew for sure. And that is that I sure wasn’t ready to be someone’s “Memaw”!

3. Grandchildren can make excellent playmates for your own children.

Who knew. One of the really cool things about this unusual situation is that my son, who obviously had no siblings even remotely close to his age, now has a nephew to play with. When my grandson was born, my son referred to him as “Nephew Baby.” They are now five and six, and have graduated to just calling each other by their first names, but I am waiting for the day when my smart-ass son demands to be called “Uncle.” Haha!

4. You will never recover from your husband (or anyone for that matter) calling you a “GILF.”

No. JUST. NO. *shudder*

5. Having a grandbaby is magical, no matter when it happens.

No, the scenario wasn’t what I had initially envisioned, but it played out exactly the way it was supposed to. And let me tell you when that little guy looks at me, and smiles at me exactly like his mama used to smile at me, it gets me every time. He’s absolutely precious, and I love him to bits.

So would I do it all again? You bet your ass I would.

It’s been so fun taking “the boys” to go do things, and being able to share this whole experience with my grown daughter.

Our little family is unique. And I wouldn’t change a thing.