Tag: Grandmother

The Impact Of A Grandmother’s Love Lasts A Lifetime

Many grandmothers hold a special place in the hearts of their grandchildren as they provide so much of that extra love and attention that children adore. The connection between a grandmother and her grandchild can last a lifetime and that rings true with me.

A strong, fearless, happy, loving and a beautiful person who is always looking to help others is my definition of a heroine. These qualities are some that I admire in a person and growing up one woman encompassed all this and more. I called her Avó which means grandmother in Portuguese.

15577681_1120070118090782_56669811_n
Grandma Lurdes doing her favorite hobby, crochet.

I always wrote about my grandmother, Lurdes, as my heroine in many of my school assignments as she inspired me to be a better person. Even though she lived an ocean away in Azores, Portugal, I still felt such a special connection to her.

I first officially met my grandmother when I was two years old. My parents took me to Portugal to introduce me to my family there. Of course, I cannot recall many of those memories but from what I am told, I loved every minute of it. What I do remember was her love, smile, laughter and all the grandma hugs and kisses. There was just something so very special about her.

15571306_1120069688090825_1476372085_n
My grandmother Lurdes with a two year old me in Sao Miguel, Acores.

After that trip, it took a really long time to go back. However, we always called and every year my grandmother always made sure to call me for my birthday. She never forgot, no matter how many grandchildren or great grandchildren were in her life.

At the age of 17, I managed to save enough money to book a trip to see her again. This time I went with just my little sister who was 10 years old at the time. My sister didn’t have the opportunity to meet our amazing grandmother yet so this was her first time. The beauty of this trip was my ability to remember it.  

I was so happy to see my grandmother again and hugged her so tight! We talked as if there was no ocean that kept us apart and I just felt at home in her heart.   

On my trip, I remember her telling me how her heart would ache seeing all the children without socks in her village and when I told her that I had brand new socks that I could give, she started to cry with joy. Seeing her with so much joy to be able to help those children felt so great and special. She turned to me and said, “I knew there was something extra special about you!” My heart fluttered with her words as she is the one who inspired me to want to be a better person.

During our whole trip she was so loving, caring, and always made us laugh. Of course, she allowed us to have a little more freedom than we would have had with my parents around. She also made sure that we had the time of our lives, but isn’t that what grandmothers are for! 😉 

At one point of our trip, she showed me a doll that I had left there when I was two. I couldn’t believe she kept it all this time and it still looked great! My grandmother then told me that she took really good care of the doll for me. She washed the doll’s hair and clothes to keep it looking new. I told her how thankful I was for her doing that for me all these years and she said, “She is my Melanie and I had to take care of her.” My heart stopped and I told her to keep Melanie. I couldn’t take it away from her as she sincerely enjoyed the doll. She was just SO sweet!

img_20161213_174246

When my trip came to an end, I knew in my heart that this would be my last time to see her. We both held each other really tight at the airport and we both started to cry. She turned to me and said, “It is perfectly ok to cry as we know this might be our last time together but know that I will always be in your heart!”

On September 22, 1999, I was the first one in Canada to receive the call that my grandmother had passed away at the age of 88. I remember that a little piece of me shattered that day as she meant the world to me. But in my heart of hearts, I knew she would always be there. My doll did return back to me as it was my turn to care for her and I call her Lurdes.

Letters from my grandmother to me. Now they will be treasured forever.
Letters from my grandmother. Now they will be treasured forever.

I admired my grandmother very much and a quality that I admired most was her compassion and kindness to everyone around her. Everyone that knew her, loved her and always had kind words to say about her. My grandmother was accepting of who people were and she never had anything bad to say about anyone. The love she exemplified was felt by all and she had a way of always looking at the bright side.

She is truly missed by all who she has impacted with her genuine kindness. She will never be forgotten and always remembered for the amazing person that she was.

15577592_1120069671424160_2047496366_n

Knowing the relationship that I had with both of my grandmothers, I know how important it is for my daughter to have those relationships with her grandmothers. I want my daughter to know who her great grandmother was and to be inspired by her own grandmothers’ love.

The impact of my grandmother’s love will last my lifetime as it has helped shape who I am today. Thank you Avó and I know how much you would have loved to have met my daughter and to love her as much as you loved me.

15571357_1120070144757446_1371772420_n

Hug your grandparents a little tighter as they are such special people.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

       Momma Braga  
13913885_530825167118224_7639627179234124854_o

Advertisements

Advice for New Mommies From A Village

To all the first time mommies, welcome to the world of parenting! I am sure you have read tons of books and articles of what to expect when your bundle of joy arrives. You may have even heard the ups, downs and maybe even the ugly from family and friends. All of this information can be valuable and may assist you at some point. But please remember that every child, parent and situation is different so your desired results may differ. That is in all honesty!

So I decided to dedicate a piece with some new mommy advice for all you amazing new moms. First off, great job! You have brought life into this world and you are trying your very best to provide and love your baby with all that you have. You are doing one of the hardest jobs in the world where you don’t get financial compensation for, the hours are long, there are no designated break times, you don’t get recognition for a job well done and your little boss is very demanding! But the rewards are SO much more than all that. So now, seat back and breathe because you ROCK!

Hopefully I still have your attention and that you are intrigued with what comes next in my new mommy advice article. This time around I decided since it takes a village to raise a child, I would ask some amazing moms in my village on their advice to share with all of you.

The question I posed to them, was what advice would they give to new moms or what they wish they knew before becoming a mom and the results are in. The beauty of this advice is that it comes from women of all ages and at different stages of their life. Each one has had girls, boys and even twins so we have a great mix of advice. Enjoy!

My offset piece of advice is….Don’t be a hero. Accept help. Ask for help. Use your village to assist raising your child. You’ll want to do it all yourself, it’s a modern societal need to succeed without help. But you’ll need it. As much as you don’t want to admit it, you’ll need the help. Let them hold the baby so that you can shower, nap, or go to the grocery store alone! Accept the help. And use their help to do something gratifying for yourself. You deserve it.
Colleen, Mother of 3

Don’t worry if your child walks or talks after others. Every child develops in their own time. You cannot spoil a baby with love.
Karen, Mother of 3 & Grandmother of 5

Listen to your instincts. Do what you think is right for you and don’t worry about everybody else.
Debbie, Mother of 1

As mothers, we all have fears and doubts and we all want to do what’s best for our children. Nobody knows your baby better than you do, so trust your instincts. What worked for another mom and their baby might not for the both of you. But do network with other mothers as parenting is one of the toughest but most rewarding jobs you’ll ever experience. To hear what other mothers say, know that your feelings are the same as many, and share stories will help ground you and guide you in your new role called motherhood. It’s a job that keeps on giving, frequent routine changes, learning new things, and reaching new limits and expectations. It’s a journey that travels many paths and mysterious corners lay ahead. Just know to be flexible, and live it to the fullest, because it’s your journey with your baby, a story that cannot be rewritten, but one you will always cherish.
Amber, Mother of 2

My advice would be on breastfeeding. People say, “It’s the most natural thing in the world” but it’s actually very difficult at times. You will get frustrated, you will cry, the baby will cry and you will wonder if they are getting enough. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I bought a couple of sessions at a local breastfeeding clinic to get help and we stuck with it till she was 16 months (with some supplements and eventually baby food). Don’t give up, unless it just cannot be done. And then don’t feel guilty! Anyone who ever said, “don’t cry over spilled milk,” has obviously never pumped.
Michelle, Mother of 1

I wish I knew how wonderful baby bucket car seats were. We started off with a convertible one but now we have both. So convenient especially when he falls asleep in the car.

Before baby arrived, we prepared some food and stocked up on cans of soup, frozen veggies, and fruit for smoothies which was a life saver. Some of our family and friends brought us meals, groceries and gift cards which were very much appreciated! The best present for new parents (and Starbucks!)

I didn’t realize how many diapers a newborn baby goes through, especially a boy! Ask for different sizes of diapers for shower gifts or gift cards are great!
Kailey, Mother of 1

If you go on vacation and leave your baby with the grandparents, provide them with a sleep schedule. This will help when you return as it will keep them on a normal sleep routine.
Julie, Mother of 1

I wish I had the knowledge of how to deal with a premature baby as my son was born prematurely and was very underweight. He stayed in an incubator in the ICU for five days and it was difficult to leave him there. I was unable to hold him for the first 2 days of his life and he had to be tube feed. There wasn’t a lot of information when I had my son 24 years ago and I wish I had the information as it would have helped me cope and better understand. It would have also taken away a lot of stress that I was feeling. The first month of having him home was difficult. For instance, it would take him 1 hour to drink 2oz of formula and for a new mom that is hard to see. My advice is to access and get the information that you need to help you. There is so much available and don’t feel ashamed to get it as it can help you.
Linda, Mother of 3

My advice would be to not listen to everyone as all moms are all different and to do what you think is best for your child and no way is the wrong way. It’s your way and no one can say it’s wrong. In the end, you’re the mom and you do what you feel is right for your child.
Jennifer, Mother of 2

Everyone will always try and prepare you and give you all their baby advice. Here are my top three: When your baby first comes home, just do what feels right, you will surprise yourself on how your natural mommy instincts take flight; Your capacity to love will grow bigger, not just for your new little one but also with everyone around you. Being a mom makes you be the best you and you will want to share that with others; and lastly, chores can wait….take a nap! I had this vision in my head of always wanting to be caught up with laundry, dishes, cleaning, groceries, etc. and you know I never did get my super mom award so just take it easy, rest when you can. Not all the time though of course.
Carla, Mother of 1

Follow your instinct. If you don’t feel is right, then go with what you feel. You will get over inundated with advice, but you know your child best. Follow that intuition.
Katie, Mother of 2

What I wished I would have done was to nap when my baby napped. Also to have trusted my gut instinct as a mom’s instinct is usually right and not to worry so much. My advice is to not worry about house work and it will get done when it gets done.
Norma, Mother of 1

Asking for help doesn’t make you less of a mom, trust me, it takes a village to raise a child (and that saying rings true 6.5 years later). Life’s new change has brought so many new (and unknown) obstacles and we need to remember we don’t need to overcome them all on our own. Reach out to those who have experience for advice, support, etc.

Don’t be afraid to lean on daddy for support. Or ask grandma, aunty or uncle to tag in once in a while (if and when possible).

Not many people are fortunate to have family close by, so connect with other mommies in your community. Make your community your family.

It really does take a village.
Marissa, Mother of 1

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on enjoying your kids, rather than worrying about what they’re wearing, their haircuts or whether their food is always perfectly nutritious. 2. If you show your kids that you trust them, they’ll learn to trust themselves and make responsible choices. 3. Don’t suppress their creativity and autonomy. Get out of their way and let them try scary stuff. That’s how they learn. 4. Talk to them about absolutely everything. Don’t protect them, because it’s better if they learn about death, sex, etc through you than their friends.
Karin, Mother of 3 (includes 1 set of twin girls & 1 boy)

You need patience in abundance. It’s ok to make mistakes, it does not make you a bad mother. I think that’s one of the biggest things. We are all, secretly, judging ourselves and other moms. And not always in a bad way. You got your kids in swimming and ballet, well then I probably should do the same. Or, you see how a parent reacted to a situation and you think it was awesome and you want to adopt the same thing with your child. I guess the one thing I can say is that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes as parents. It’s totally ok. As long as you wake up the next morning, new day, to try it again. We learn by practicing.
Susie, Mother of 2

Hope you enjoyed this piece full of inspiring advice from some inspirational women in my village of awesome.

At the end of the day, continue to do what you feel is best for your child. No one could ever really write a book about your particular child but you sure can! Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga