The Joy of Grandparents and Their Important Role
In honor of Grandparent’s Day, we are talking about the role grandparents play in our little one’s life and it’s a big one!
The role grandparents play in our little one’s life can be a big one! Not only have they helped mold who we are as parents, they often provide love, encouragement and even patience. And whether or not that kind of grandparent exists in your life, it is our hope that someone steps up to the plate and enhances your life like a grandparent.
In reality, grandparents may do everything the way we want or throw in a bit of their own grandparenting style. And deep down are we not all striving for this? The day we can allow our own grandkids to have ice cream for breakfast!
So, the big question is, can we as parents facilitate some of that?
One of the ways to do that is to allow them to have their own time with the grandkids.
“There’s a relationship that is built between a grandchild and a grandparent that has to be done in the absence of the parent.”- Jennifer Walker, Episode 6 of The Moms on Call Podcast.
Even if they do things differently, their presence is more important than the details. And just in case you are wondering, grandparents are going to do things with their grandkids they would have never allowed or done with their own children. And that is OKAY!
So, they may not stick to the schedule 100% and may pump our littles full of chicken nuggets and ice cream. The great news is that even if there is a 24-hour detox from grandparent’s house, our little ones know the difference. And they distinguish that the stuff they can get away with when they are with the grands is not the same as with Mom and Dad. That said, here are a few tips for wherever you fall on your lovely family tree.
For the Grandparents:
- Respect breeds respect. Listen to your children.
- Remember, your kids are raising kids in an entirely different world. You may not be a digital age guru but what they really need is a relationship – with you.
- Their boundaries may not be yours but there is often a great middle ground that serves you, the kids and the relationship. For example:
- Moms on Call schedules: If you are not a schedule-type person, just stick to the included “Crazy Day Guidelines” noted by a “C” in Moms on Call’s Typical Day Schedules, located in the books, online courses and our new Scheduler App!
- These “C” times are for moments just like this! They may sleep a bit longer or be more alert with all the excitement.
- Have the schedule and “C” times as a guideline.
- In those first few weeks, your help with the home is helpful if your children want it. You can also offer up your home for older siblings and make it a safe space for baby, which is a job in and of itself. However, the rewards are amazing.
- Offer help. Even if they say no at first, keep the offers coming with no strings attached. If you haven’t already wiggled your way into the home those first few weeks, those repeated, no strings attached offers will keep the lines of communication open and create opportunities for when your children are ready.
Now for more good stuff, Mom and Dad this one’s for you!
- Respect breeds respect. Share and discuss what you would like from grands without feeling like you need to control every interaction. (I hovered way too much! – Jen)
- In true Moms on Call fashion, with grands, you can still have grace in the chaos!
- Put yourself in their shoes. They have awaited this day of the ‘not so many rules’ and the bit of fun for quite some time.
- Love them unapologetically!
- Let them know what challenges you face with the littles when they get back to your space and ask for their help in coming up with a middle ground that honors that you are the one raising your littles.
- Live in the present
- Your kids may return with a sugar rush but they will be OKAY! And realistically, do you even remember the fall of the rush after returning home? Or do you remember the memories you built with your grandparent instead? We hope that you do and we hope that those memories are fantastic!
To the parents who have lost their parents, or have family that aren’t so close, you are not alone!
In Episode 6 of The Moms on Call Podcast, Laura Hunter discusses her loss of her mom and dad and ways to honor the reality of missing them.
Here is one way Laura shares the connection with her kids:
“It may be something as simple as doing my roux (that’s “sauce” for those of us who do not cook as much) that takes me two or three hours to do. And as I’m stirring my roux for my gumbo, I’m sharing the story of how my mom would cook her gumbo, but that she wouldn’t just keep it for us. She was going and giving it to everybody else in the neighborhood. She was known for feeding the people in our neighborhood. And so those stories just kind of keep that memory alive, but also give our children that wisdom of knowing how things were.”
Share those scenes of goodness and kindness that light up your heart. Whether your parents are near, far or gone, they will have the things that they require.
Remember, your children are strong, adaptable, and resilient. And so are you! So, no matter what kind of grands you got, we’d love for you to join the Moms on Call community where the voices are encouraging no matter what life looks like in your house. Meet us on The Moms on Call Podcast, visit us at momsoncall.com or connect with us on social.