My kids may have hit the jackpot with their grandparents. I consider myself lucky in that both my parents are still alive, as are my husband’s parents. In another stroke of luck, we live within driving distance (3-4 hours by car) so we can visit each other frequently. For the third and most magical of all lucky things, our parents are still married to each other, are sweet, kind and generous, and generally not crazy*. (I use this term loosely, as we are all a little bit crazy!)
These are the Top 8 Reasons Why Grandparents are the Best
1.They are a built in cheering section
You can always count on a crowd gathering to celebrate your child’s latest accomplishment. Whether its the first grade “MOO-sical”, a rainy lacrosse game, or a lost tooth, your kid can look out into the audience and know there are several family members cheering loudly!
2. They will say YES when you’ve already said NO
This one is a bit of a double edged sword, but it can be used to your advantage at times. Yes, it’s incredibly frustrating when you’ve already said no and you overhear your parent giving your child permission to do the very thing they’ve been denied. However, at its best, you can use their ‘yes’ as a way to give in without having to actually give in. Let’s say, for example, you’ve drawn a firm line about getting to watch another episode, but you wouldn’t mind if they did. You don’t want to go back on your word and break your consistency, so you involve the grandparents. “Sure sweetie, it’s grandma’s house so it’s grandma’s rules, if she says yes, I guess it’s okay, but only while we’re here.” Magical.
3. They are willing and often eager to babysit for free
I know it might seem rude to ditch your children with your house guest, but believe me, they are probably in town mostly to visit them anyway. Without you in the house, they get to be in charge and change things up for the kids (see number 2). And let’s be honest, when you’ve forked out $100+ for dinner and drinks, it just hurts to pay a teenager another $75 bucks for watching your Netflix and using your WiFi.
4. They love your kids just as much as you do
They are happy to get the daily video update of your newborn sleeping. They love to hear about the small details and other non-important facts about their grandchildren. You can never, ever send Nana too many pictures of her grand-babies. You’ll notice she tags herself in your photos so her friends can see just how adorable your kids are. It’s all out of love, adoration and pride–you should know, you feel the same way about your kids!
5. They are generous beyond measure
This is a similar to loving your kids as much as you do, but this often has a material component and it’s usually large, expensive and/or fancy. Baby needs the fancy stroller? Ask the grandparents. Toddler needs a dollhouse? Ask the grandparents. Preschooler needs a swings? Ask the grandparents. Kid needs a new bike? Ask the grandparents. Tween wants to go to camp? Ask the grandparents. 16 year old needs a new car? Ask grandparents. 18 year old wants to go to college? You get the point.
6. They are willing to do messy crafts and projects
While related to number 2, the willingness to allow glitter projects, deserves its own category. There is no way in h-e-double hockey sticks I would allow my daughter to play with glitter the way my mother does. It’s like she doesn’t see the tiny flecks of gold and silver embedding themselves into every available surface in her home. The mess just rolls off her back. And Nana doesn’t seem to mind when the Lego set has 900+ pieces. The more the merrier it seems. Things like this blow my mind.
7. They come with decades of wisdom, advice and experience
They have the perspective of already having raised a baby into a functioning adult (you!) which gives them the perspective to relax and not take things so seriously. With that type of wisdom, they know what is important and what can be let go. They can spot a fever from a mile away and they are pros at distracting the temper tantrum. Truth be told, some wisdom could use some updating though, so beware. For example, grandparents may not know that back is best for babies and toddlers rear-face until at least age 2.
8. They finally get to hear you say ‘thank you’
It wasn’t until my son was born that I finally realized exactly how much my parents loved him. I hadn’t understood, until I felt it myself, that they love me with the type of unconditional, never-stopping, forever and ever kind of love that I feel for my kids. I didn’t know how they hurt when I hurt, how they cried when I cried and how they celebrated when I celebrated. I am beyond grateful that I am able to say thank you to my parents for taking care of me, loving me and guiding me to be the mom I am today.