Becoming Nanna

Becoming Nanna

Becoming a grandparent can change your life in wonderful ways. Monica has worked at Mater Mothers’ Private Brisbane for over 20 years but recently took on a new role, as nanna.

This Sunday, Mater Mothers’ Hospitals will celebrate Grandparents Day, thanking grandparents for their love and support of Mater babies. And there’s one new nanna who is finding out every day just how special is it to become a grandparent.

Three months ago, Monica’s daughter Aliese and her husband Brendan welcomed a baby boy Arlo at Mater Mothers’ Private Brisbane. As the first grandchild for Monica and her husband Gerhard (Opa), it’s safe to say Arlo is very much doted on! He also has lots of babysitters with Aliese’s three sisters never far away.

Becoming a nanna for Monica was an exciting time as she patiently waited for the news of the arrival.

“I work on Level 10 of Mater Mothers’ Private Brisbane and Aliese was on Level 12. It was very hard not to pop up every couple of hours, but I knew they needed time to be together as a family of three,” Monica said.

“I was able to visit on my morning tea break and after work though, which was very handy.”

Three months on, Monica visits her daughter and grandson at home after work most days for cuddles.

“It’s hard to go straight home these days and not stop in for a catch-up. I have a cup of coffee with Aliese or hang out the washing; try and help out in some way. But I just love it. It’s my favourite part of the day,” Monica said.

“Arlo changes every single day.”

When asked about the best thing about being a grandparent Monica found it hard to decide.

“When I pick that little man up it’s so special,” Monica said.

“It’s also good to see Aliese and Brendan become parents. They work so well together as a team and I love to see that. It just works, whatever it is they’re doing, they’re doing a good job of it. They have both fit into this new role as parents so well—they are so relaxed and so is Arlo.”

Arlo has added a new dimension to the entire family.

“He is just so special,” Monica said. “As a family we have dinner every Monday night and now Arlo comes along too.”

Monica says the one thing she has learnt since becoming a grandparent has nothing to do with the baby.

“I try and wait to be asked for help or advice. I want to be there to help and support but it’s Aliese and Brendan’s time now. They’re the parents,” Monica said.

“Things have changed so much since I was a parent. Being around newborn families every day I have been lucky enough to stay up to date mostly. But we do need to be re-educated.”

Mater Mothers’ Hospitals’ Grandparent’s classes are perfect for just that.

If you or a grandparent you know has questions about what’s different, or would just like a refresher, Mater Mothers’ Hospitals’ antenatal classes for grandparents are a great way to learn about current baby care trends and the information provided to new parents.

The free classes, held monthly on a Thursday, offer a casual environment to discuss changes and ask any questions you may have with our experienced midwife facilitator. Topics covered include dressing and wrapping, sleeping, crying, feeding, safety and supporting the new parents.

Class information

Time: 9 am

Date: Monthly on a Thursday

Location: Level 5, Mater Mothers’ Hospitals, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane

For more information on antenatal classes at Mater Mothers’ Hospitals, including the grandparents class, please phone 07 3163 8847.

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