I’m honored to be part of the INDFamily Blog team and am certain I will learn just as much form all of you, as I share with you, who I am, and what I am learning.
I grew up in the city — New Orleans. Dad trained race- horses and traveled a lot. Mom was always home with us and that really meant a lot growing up. Graduating from a Catholic all-girls’ school, I married young and pursued my dream of becoming a mother, myself. I was fortunate enough to stay home with my two daughters, Brooke and Raven, when they were little. I cooked and smocked and sewed and gardened, and was room-mom and did all those “Stay-at-Home Mom” things, which filled my days with much joy.
Sixteen years later, I found myself a single divorced mom, a part-time cosmetologist, and an undergrad student pursuing a degree in education. Those were really tough times for us but with the help of family and the grace of God, we managed to not only survive but to thrive.
In 1997, I met Jude Broussard on my first blind date, ever. He was tall, handsome, a great dancer and we had a lot of fun together; but what really had me fall in love with him was his genuine love for my children. When a man shows up at your door with $200 worth of laundry baskets and organizational items because you and your teenage daughters had a meltdown about the laundry, he’s a KEEPER!
So, after 4 years of dating, Jude and I were married and our blended family life began. There were, of course, ups and downs but always the well being of our children came first. The girls are grown now and our nest is empty, most nights — except when the grandbabies are over.
Our transition from parents to grandparents came in 2010 when Carter Matthew was born. I remember when our daughter Brooke was expecting and we learned it would be a boy! While my husband Jude, AKA, Poppa, was envisioning four-wheelers and rough-housing with his soon-to-be “little buddy, “I was returning all the tutus and frilly frocks I had bought, convinced it would be a girl, and replacing them with monogrammed jon-jons I could slip by Carter’s mom and dad that would not be considered girly! Me controlling? NO way!
Carter came in a package deal with his two precious sisters, Chloe and Anna Claire, who entered our family at the ages of 3 and 4. Thus, our little blended family was expanded and so was the LOVE. It’s been three years of grand parenting — one amazing ride — which gets more and more fun all the time!
So seriously, how do you go from IN CHARGE Mom and Overzealous Step-Dad to Backseat Grandparents? For us, it’s been a transition, and luckily our daughters are patient with us. It’s challenging to go from parent to friend, and we work on it daily. I think the thing that works best for us is open communication and creating the space to be honest with each other instead of harboring hurts and resentment. Sometimes, we’ll say, “Just tell us if we are too overbearing!” And they do! We laugh about it but Jude and I can both be real control freaks and I’m a recovering worrywart — all out of crazy love for our babies, you know!
When Carter was born I left my position as director of Lafayette Education Foundation, because I knew my family needed me. I currently help my husband Jude in our health insurance agency, Acadiana Benefits Group. This affords me a flexible schedule so I can help our family where needed.
So to bring this full circle, with so many working moms, I think grandparents are relied upon to fill in, be the back up singers and honestly, we feel so blessed to be able to do so. I think what I am learning is that giving our children the space to parent their own children, their way, is every bit as important to their development as it was to feed them and nurture them when they were babies. I’m actually enjoying my backseat ride as long as I don’t try to backseat drive!
‘Til next time,