As far as in-laws go – I hit the jackpot. Like literally I won a million dollars that has set my kids up for the future. You see I married an amazing man, and with this amazing man came not one, but two sets of parents – and they are both amazing grandparents to my children, and an extraordinary help to me.
My parents have both passed on, but I firmly believe their guidance led me to find this fantastic family that I now call my own. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our ups and downs, but they are all incredibly wonderful human beings, and they have embraced grandparent-hood with great determination and finesse.
I often read on Facebook mummy groups’ women bagging their in-laws, or getting annoyed at them for wanting to spend too much time with their kids. To an extent I can relate, when my first-born came along, I was determined to do everything on my own. I didn’t want advice, and I sure as hell didn’t want help … because I would be a natural. Needless to say, that way of thinking nearly led me to cracking point!
So here is my advice to parents-to-be: Let your parents and in-laws play a big part in your children’s lives! Some times you have to ask for help, sometimes it’s offered, but if the opportunity is there, reach out and grab it and never let it go. Trust me, all parties involved will be glad you did!
Grandparents Need their Bonding Time
I never wanted to burden my in-laws with having to look after my children; after all they were my responsibility.
My mother-in-law picks my boys up from daycare on a Wednesday afternoon and keeps them until Thursday afternoon when I pick them up after work. Both my husband and I felt guilty for putting this burden on her.
I contemplated putting them in Daycare for another day, but this deeply hurt my mother-in-law. After all, this was her time and I was going to take this away from her. The boys loved their day with their Ma-Ma, and as it turned out, so did she. Don’t get me wrong, I knew she loved spending time with the boys, I just felt like it was too much. However, she wasn’t just helping me; she was bonding with her grandchildren and making memories of her own. These memories, I have no doubt, my children will remember for the rest of their lives.
Just as much as we try to smother our little ones, getting as many kisses and cuddles in as we possibly can before they turn that age when they don’t want us to show them the same level of affection, so too are their grandparents.
A healthy bond between grandparents, children and grandchildren can be extremely beneficial for all. Having spoken to many grandparents, the sentiment all seems to be the same, they have a new level of understanding and a totally new appreciation for their children. It really is a magical connection, and time spent with their grandkids will undoubtedly give them a new lease on life.
Parents Need a Break
Let’s face it, bringing up children is hard. It can be frustrating and arduous at times and that’s why we sometimes need a break. Take some time out to rejuvenate and miss the hell out of the little buggers, because it’s almost guaranteed, from the moment they leave the house, your heart will be aching to see them again, even if they are only gone for an hour.
As I write this blog, my two babies are in Tasmania enjoying a 5-day holiday with their nanny and poppy. I cried when I dropped them off at the airport (nanny and poppy came up to get them) and I’m dying for a cuddle, but this morning I enjoyed a kid free breakfast at a café … All. By. Myself! It was bliss, it was exhilarating and it was exactly what I needed. Tonight my husband and I will go to the movies, and tomorrow a walk and massage, but I can guarantee, come Tuesday we will be sprinting to get on that plane and get to Tasmania just to cuddle and kiss those precious little babies of ours.
Most Importantly – Your Kids Need to Bond with their Grandparents
Grandparents provide their grandchildren with a love just as strong as a parent child relationship. They have their best interest at heart and grandparents can be great role models for their grandchildren.
Not to mention, they will teach your children about your family history and provide them with a sense of cultural heritage. On top of all this, grandparents tend to have more time and patience, helping with your child’s development and learning skills.
Overnight stays at the grandparents will also help them to be more independent, and introduce them to new environments outside of the family home, making it easier for them to adapt to new situations and environments as they grow.
I totally respect that some people unfortunately don’t have a strong relationship with their parents or their in-laws, but for those who do, make sure to let them in and spend time with their grand-babies.
Establishing a strong bond with the grandparents is teaching your children to have strong family values. In today’s world of technology, it really doesn’t matter how far apart you are, you can always stay in touch. Remember, you too may well be a grandparent one day, and you will want to have the time to bond with your own grandchildren.