Dealing With Being Preggers: Just Where Do Grandparents Fit In?

The role of grandparents in a baby’s life

3 min read
Hindi Female

In one of her TV shows, the queen of kitchen innuendo Nigella Lawson remarked that if given a choice, she’d jump straight to having grandchildren instead waiting while her children grew up and then dilly-dallied about giving her some grand-kiddies. I’d venture to say that my mama thinks alike. But I only discovered this when, soon as I got married at the ripe old age of 27, she started first gently wondering, then plainly asking, then pressing, sweet-talking, cajoling and eventually laying on the perks to get me to start procreating.

The perks? Well, the first was a bald “don’t worry, you just have a baby and send it to India, I’ll bring it up for you”, which got a #facepalm reaction from my husband. A kind, gentle soul, he would genuinely like to have a meaningful relationship with his child. Weird, I know, but he wouldn’t budge. So we settled for her coming over to London to help me look after bubba. But as weeks pass and the prospect of becoming a parent looms near and clear, my husband and I are finding that we spend more time wondering how we’ll cope with mama than how we’ll cope with our precious first-born.

The role of grandparents in a baby’s life
When the mommy-to-be was a baby herself. (Photo Courtesy: Simrat Ghuman)

Before you think I’m the biggest ingrate on the planet, let me explain. In Punjab, (or The Poonjab as the goras say), she runs a school as well as a gynaecology practice, is on the board of a local college and a civil judge, and is in effect the chief operating officer of the Ghuman household. Imagine an army major qualified to deliver babies, who whips things into shape and has delightful culinary skills. In contrast, my husband and I live in London suburbs (zone 2, if you must know, but really, it’s like the countryside!), with no dogs, no car and no one for her to boss around. Oh and no TV either. But how have you not killed yourselves already with boredom, I hear you ask. Well, duh! that’s why we are having a baby – it has a solemn responsibility to bring meaning and purpose to our lives, no pressure lil one.

I’m also hoping that the baby will work its magic and bring mama and I closer, breathe a new understanding into our relationship - #wishfulthinking! Coming to the baby, all my family is fervently wishing for a baby girl, who’ll boss me around. But that right I think will always belong to mama. My husband regularly subjects me to “Just you wait till your mama comes – she’ll put you in your place”, while my father loves pointing out that I’ve been receiving this threat all my life, starting with my grandparents, then my teachers and now my husband. In a few years, I’m sure my child will be threatening me with, ‘Wait till I tell Naani what you just did.”

My mother can’t wait for that day.


A recent conversation with Darling Husband:

DH: I’m buying a camper van.
Me: WHAT?! (deep breath) Do elaborate please
DH: When your mum arrives to help look after the baby and takes over the house, I’ll park the van at the end of the garden and go live in it.

(Simrat Ghuman is Head of Communications and Marketing at Anthemis Group in London. A former TV journo, she made a discovery this summer that she was making a baby. She is chronicling her experience in a series of blogs, titled Dealing With Being Preggers, for The Quint.)

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Topics:  Pregnancy   Parenting   Grandparents 

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