Finding out I was pregnant was a mixture of shock, fear and joy. Sharing the news with family was exciting and a journey they wanted to be a part of and celebrate. Baby gifts, discussion of baby names and a baby shower soon followed. The first trimester went slow, second trimester went quick and the third trimester flew until the due date. Even though we knew that the due date is an estimation, we still kept wondering is today the day? Texts, Facebook messages and phone calls from family and even people we hadn’t even seen in months and years, happened regularly, which then added to my post date anxiety. Eventually, our son was born healthy and everyone couldn’t wait to meet him.
The tricky situation happened within the first week when I got a congratulations card from my mother and her husband ending with ‘love grandma and granddad’. This was a massive shock to me and my husband assuming he be called his actual first name as I called him. He had only become part of the family in my adulthood (30s), so he wasn’t seen as a father figure to me. I was torn because I didn’t want him to feel excluded, but I believed it was an earned title for being a father to the child’s parent. In some ways it also felt it diluted my own fathers title who was also called granddad. Maybe, it became a bigger deal because we where starting the trend of family member’s titles with ours being the first child in the family. It just felt uncomfortable and a discussion I was not prepared for postnatally. Unfortunately, our view wasn’t shared and it caused a family argument. I am glad to say that the argument was resolved, and did result in us agreeing to the title ‘granddad’.
Having the first baby within a family sometimes doesn’t prepare you for the situations that aren’t always foreseeable. In hindsight, we should of had a proper conversation during my pregnancy before I was totally sleep deprived, with hormones all over the place and heightened emotions. I just assumed my son would call him what I called him, his name. Talking to others, there tended to be a total mix of opinion. Some people automatically thought he would be given the granddad name, some sharing the same view as myself that unless he was apart of my childhood it didn’t seem right and some that could see both sides.
If I was to be completely honest, it still feels a little uncomfortable to me because it doesn’t feel natural. I am sure I will get used to it as my son grows older. It helps that he does interact with my son and is trying to build a relationship with him. You maybe thinking why did you allow him to be called granddad if you felt uncomfortable? In all honesty, after some time to think I could see both sides and a child can never have too many people that love them and want to be involved in their life. The biggest learning curve for me is to never assume and never talk about sensitive topics when you are a hormonal sleep deprived new mother.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? What did you do?
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