As a new generation of moms, we often hear how much better it is to be a grandparent than a parent (often from our own parents). The truth is, parenthood doesn't end when your adult children give birth. As a parent you still totally have to show up for your kids, especially when they have kids. That fact was never more obvious to me than when my mom showed up for me during my labor and delivery. I can't imagine it's easy for moms to remain level-headed and present during their grandchildren's births. It's a totally different world than having your own kids, and they have to worry about their kid and their grandkid, but my mom handled it like a seasoned champ.
I imagine there are a lot of different ways that mothers can show up for the birth of their grandchildren. In my case, leading up to my firstborn's birth, my relationship with my mother was on challenging and uncertain ground. Times of stress have been historically difficult on my relationship with my mom, so it was unfortunate that there was a tremendous amount of stress in the year prior to the birth of my first child. In that year I finished graduate school, started working with survivors of rape, struggled with severe depression, lost a house to foreclosure, and moved into a temporary studio apartment with my partner of seven years (and our two cats). Even in the unlikely event that my mother's year was stress-free, that's an awful lot for any mother-daughter relationship.
And still, despite all odds and evidence that would have pointed to a contrary outcome, when it came down to it, my mom showed up.