How can I raise my kids without any grandparents? Is it possible for them to become well-adjusted, happy, successful young men without these relationships in their lives?
These are the questions that I ask myself over and over. I still have yet to find the answers.
My mom died in 2000, when I was just 14 years old. My dad passed in 2004, a month after my high school graduation. My husbands father died in 2005, and afterward, his mother moved to Texas, some 16 odd hours away. My oldest son is now 4 years old, and he has never got to meet her. So, pretty much, my babies don't know their grandparents, and quite possibly never will. They do have my husband's grandparents (their great-grandparents), which I am eternally grateful for, but they certainly don't get to see them as much as they should.
This certainly is not what I had envisioned when I was young and I thought about having babies. My babies would take their place behind their cousins at my parent's house, staying the weekend, eating popsicles and playing in the yard. They would bring home tons of unneeded toys and clothes, and stuff their bellies with cookies and chips and pop. I would buy tacky little "world's best grandma" mugs and tee shirts for holidays, and my parent's Christmas tree would be filled with popsicle stick reindeer and cotton ball snowmen. However, this is not how things turned out.
Instead, my boys have their aunts & uncles, who they love to no end, especially their aunt "Nanny", who I am pretty sure they would move in with if they could! "Nanny" has become kind of their surrogate grandparent, and Tater clings to her like no one else. I still can't help but feel that I'm giving my kids a raw deal. My brothers and sisters have lives, and kids, of their own, and we are all just too busy to see each other as much as I wish we could. I also hate to burden my brothers and sisters with my children, even though I know they don't mind. It's not their job to be my kid's grandparents.
I feel so guilty that my kids will have no memory of my parents. My nieces and nephews, they all were born before the deaths of my parents. Even the youngest one, was an infant when my mom died. She will have pictures of them together, and memories of her grandpa when she was a toddler. My kids will have none of that, not even a picture for me to show them and say "this is your grandma holding you when you were born." Sure, I can show them pictures, tell them stories, but really, will that be enough? Will their be a hole in their little hearts where their grandparents should be?
I feel in some way, that everything I do is overcompensating for the lack of family in my children's lives. Yes, I had my first baby when I was 20. I wanted to have my babies young, so they would have a better chance of growing up without anything happening to me. I don't want to leave them without their parents. We're all they have.I try to take them as many places, give them as many experiences as I can, things that my parents would have done. Birthday parties? they are a huge deal to me. Christmas? the presents are ridiculous. I'm subconsciously making up for them not having grandparents to buy them things and do things with them. I don't want them to feel like they are missing out on anything, but I know they really are.
Is there a way for me to make peace with this? I'm not really sure. I would love any suggestions or ideas that anyone may have to help me. I know that things could be much much worse for my boys, and that two parents, and aunts and uncles and cousins that love them are more than many kids have, and that's what I have to remember.