When my first grandson was born, nearly 10 years ago, I was going through so many emotions. Happiness because he is an angel from the moment he took his first breath. Worry – is my son ready to be a daddy? Will he be able to handle everything that comes with being a dad? He left college to take the responsibility by the horns – because deep down he knew he was going to be a single parent. It may not have been the ‘right’ decision at the time, but it has proven to be the best decision for my grandson.
Life changed for my son, and he has been a wonderful father, a single father who went from sole custody for years to fighting the system to retain custody, to knowing his son ain’t going nowhere and won’t be in harm’s way any more – at least as long as he can help it. And my grandson flourishes.
But it has been difficult. I have tried to help as much as I can, and although at times I may feel like I did too much, and probably did, I know my son appreciated it.
But again, it has been difficult for him. He had little or at times, no life outside of work and his son. Then a little over a year ago he reconnected with a high school sweetheart after years and much distance. A nice girl. A girl he fell in love with all over again, but a girl with three kids of her own. Add in my grandson, now there are four children, soon to be five children and another adult that my son is responsible for. My son’s future is what worries me. He has been working so hard and struggling with one child, and now here is taking on the responsibility of three more, and another adult with a baby now on the way.
When he informed me that he is going to be a daddy again, to a little girl in April 2013, I was speechless. Personally, I don’t believe he is ready. With the economy the way it is, raising one child is difficult. I wanted to be happy in that moment. I could not. I saw him working so hard to give his girlfriend and her family everything they needed (and wanted) and saw him being crushed and oblivious to it all.
I saw his challenge grow immediately. His credit rating went downhill after all his hard work to get it to a decent level. His pockets were emptier. He was stuck between hearing me moan and groan about how he is handling life choices and being in love and wanting to make his new family happy – at all costs. I felt he was ‘in’ this alone, and he didn’t care.
I tell him that to be in love, to share a life, means to share everything – including responsibility. I didn’t feel he had that yet, and sometimes still don’t. I saw others being more important rather than the family as a unit. I saw that there was no help, and it concerned me. It still does. He is under a lot of pressure…pressure to keep his family happy. Pressure to keep his family fed, housed, clothed. And then there was the pressure from me.
What? Me pressure him. You bet! Sure he is not in it alone. He does have his girl. But my two cents, whether he wanted to hear it or not was that love don’t pay the bills. One person cannot do this. I know. I struggled with two kids and did have a second (and sometimes third income). They have one. How in the world can you move forward with your life and make sure your children have the life they deserve?
Get another job? He hardly has time to sleep. He is active at work. He is active around the house. He hardly has time for friends. But that is what happens when you have one child, much less five to take care of, and a girlfriend that wants to be happy too. Not everyone understands this. Not everyone is ready to be the responsible one. He does and he is. He doesn’t resent the choices he has made. He struggles. But we all do, don’t we.
So I will worry, but I will never worry if he is ready to be a great father – he already is!
I will continue to watch, and of course, be a proud mom and probably still say things he doesn’t want to hear because he knows I don’t hold back – good or bad – and yet I will be there for him – albeit not as much as I used to. I have to understand that there are two adults in the equation, and I am not one of them. They have to figure it out together – and hopefully they will.
But as the time moves towards the birth of my second grandchild, whom they have named Serenity Jade Kidd, I will add some happiness in there. It won’t be a fake smile. It will be tears of happiness as well as tears of worry. After all, I am his mother. I am the Oma. If I didn’t worry, I would not be a very good at either, would I? And although this is my second grandchild, technically I will now have five – three boys and two girls that will call me Oma. I have my work cut out for me as well.
So yes, I am going to be a Oma again, but I started this journey being a mom to an awesome son who has made me proud and who I hope knows that his mother loves him beyond all else – even if I seem to be a meddling know it all.
Keep him and his family in your thoughts and wish him luck, will you?