Grandparents – you know we love you.
We cherish your relationships with our kids and we often can’t quite express how much we appreciate your help.
Really. We do.
(You knew there was a but…)
There are some things that we wish you knew.
Some things we wish you would remember. Just a few teeny little rules and hopes we wish you would take to heart. So, in the interests of the motherhood I am going to take one for the team and set it out loud and clear.
All the while hoping that nobody is offended cause you know we love you. Right? And I do need a baby-sitter next weekend…
1. Advice is fine bite the criticism back.
Our parenting styles are sure to be different and I am interested in what you have to say (maybe not the 20th time you say it) but I don’t need your condemnation. I don’t need to be told I am wrong and that you know the right way to do it.
Tell me your way sure. I might try it, but I will probably give it a go my way anyway.
2. Don’t discipline my kids unless you know I am okay with it. Any doubts. Back off.
Unless its explicitly clear that you can don’t discipline my kids. Don’t put them in time out without my permission, don’t take away their toys and never, ever spank them unless you know I am totally okay with it.
You are grandma. Not Mama.
3. If I ask for my baby back don’t take it personally. I just want my baby back.
You will have plenty of time to hold him, but right now I am a new mother and I just want my baby back. It’s not about you.
I just want. My. Baby. Back. Now.
But then, and yes there may be a then, especially if it is baby number two or three and I hand him to you take him - quick.
I am a new mother and an emotional wreck, just follow my lead.
4. Just because your son was interested in something doesn’t mean my son will be too.
They might be father and son but they are not the same person.
This applies to my parents too. Just because I loved hula hooping and eating peanut butter from the jar doesn’t mean they do. If fact my kids hate peanut butter. It makes them gag.
5. Don’t sulk or try and manipulate your child or my children.
If my three-year old doesn’t want to kiss you goodbye or sing your “I love granny song” then deal with it. Don’t take it personally. Kids are kids remember. Sulking and pouting and coo-ing that Granny has hurt feelings just makes you look childish and leaves them confused.
And just like when you were a parent there will come a time when your grand kids don’t want you at every soccer game or assembly. They won’t want me either. We both need to be okay with this.
(But I am allowed to be a little less okay because I am the mum.)
6. Respect my rules.
Despite what you dreamt, despite what you think a grandparents job is not to spoil. A grandparent’s job is not to relax the rules. It’s not okay because, “That’s what grandparents do”.
Just check with me first. I will probably be okay with it. But I might not. My kids my rules. Just as you didn’t want to raise an entitled brat neither do I.
7. Don’t forget to have fun with your grand kids.
Play with the piece of plastic junk you bought them. Push them on the swings. Get down on your hands and knees and do the damn play-doh. Cause truth be told I am exhausted. Please play with them.
WATCH these parents find out they are about to be grandparents. Post continues after video...
8. But back off occasionally too.
There are times it is good to just sit and watch. Times when it’s good to let them be kids with their toys and their friends.
9. Offer to help with the housework sure. But never fold my underwear.
Sweep the floor – wonderful. Wash the dishes – awesome. Drop in a meal – thanks it can go in the freezer.
But when it comes to making the bed I share with my husband or folding the undies I wear in front of my husband, no thanks.
10. You might not see your grand kids as much as your dreamt but it doesn’t mean you aren’t an important part of our family.
Families are complicated.
Try not to be personally slighted if things haven’t worked out exactly how you planned. Maybe you don’t see us every Christmas. Maybe we don’t ask you to baby-sit enough. Maybe we ask you to baby sit too much.
Try talking to me, just because I am constantly complaining how busy and tired I am doesn’t meant I don’t have time to listen.
11. Enrich us with your history.
That’s your role. As well as loving us. Let us learn about you and from you learn who we are.
Teach my children your history – their heritage. Help them taste it and see it. Help them be it.
Because we do love you.
What do you wish grandparents knew?