Recently I read an article stating that grandparents who babysit their grandkids may live longer. Of course, the article got me thinking about my parents and parents-in-law and how much they’ve done for us since having our first child back in 2016. The problem is, extra years of life doesn’t seem to come close to what we actually owe them. As parents, how do we even go about paying them back for it all? To them, time spent with our children is more than enough, but to us it’s just the beginning.
I started to think about how many times grandparents have come to our rescue.
How many times have I asked them for help with raising our children?
How many times have they picked me up off the floor when I felt like falling down?
How many times my kids have asked for them instead of me?
How many times I’ve thought about how necessary grandparents are and how lucky we are to have them in our lives?
Growing up, my grandfather babysat my sister and I every Monday. We also spent many weekends with him and my grandma at their house in San Pedro, California. Some of the best memories I have as a child are with him.
Of course, many of those memories include ordering whatever we wanted at the McDonalds drive thru, eating candy completely unsupervised, playing Nintendo for hours on end, and trips to Toys R Us on some idle day of the week. I guess you could say we were a little bit spoiled, but it’s funny that my husband has the same memories with his grandparents and great grandparents too.
Sadly, my grandfather has since passed on, but now my children now get to make memories with their grandparents,like I did once before. As things are shaping up, they will have many of the same recollections as my husband and I have as a child.
We currently reside in Tucson, Arizona. At first, we knew no one, and being a stay at home mom with a newborn can be very isolating. Despite our distance, our parents have been a consistent strength to us and became our support by making the trip to visit us on a regular basis.
Currently, my mother-in-law drives 2 hours, here and back to spend time with our sons once a week. My mother, and now recently retired father, come out about every 6 weeks to stay to play with our boys. Besides the time spent with our children, I also get a much-needed break each time the grandparents come to town.
Not only are my kids insanely fortunate, but we are too. Seriously, I’d be dead on the floor without them and here’s why:
THEY ARE SUPERHEROES
I want to go back to what I said earlier about grandparents coming to our rescue, because it’s true. As a mom, I’m sure you have felt run down from time to time. Maybe you had no one to fall back on and maybe you did. For me, my parents and parents in law have been there to help and support me when I needed them the most.
Terrible pregnancies, sick kids, sleepless nights, a much-needed day away- I have woken up to cooked meals, washed dishes, folded laundry, and fed and clothed children. How they do it all? I’ll never know… maybe it’s because they’re real life superheroes? Who knows, but I am so thankful known the less.
THEY BUY OUR KIDS RIDICULOUS GIFTS
As parents, we have to be careful how we raise our children, especially with what we buy them. No one wants to raise a spoiled brat and that’s why we have grandparents. Grandparents are totally allowed to spoil the crap out of our children by buying them pretty much anything they want.
Honestly, half the toys in this house were bought by grandparents. I can personally attest to this as my Barbie collection was bought by my grandfather because “Barbie needed all her friends.”.
Grandparent spoiling is much different that parent spoiling, and we’re alright with that.
THEY ACTUALLY WANT TO PUT YOUR KIDS TO BED
As a stay at home mom, sometimes it feels like groundhogs day around here and bedtime is always chaotic. Between nighttime, naptime and two kids, I feel like I’m putting children to sleep all day long. The great thing about grandparents, they actually want to put the kids to bed, and we love them for it.
Even though our children sucker them into one more story and two more songs, they adore that time with them, and we get a few extra minutes to be child free.
THEY GIVE OUR KIDS LOADS OF SUGAR
As parents, we are responsible for providing a well-balanced diet to our children. Although lame, it’s what we need to do to help nourish their growing bodies. Of course, since grandparents are now “off the clock” for doing any parenting, they are allowed to give our kids sugar, and I’m pretty sure it’s more than they’ll ever admit to. When our son started saying things like “Gramma cupcake. Grandma cookie.” We knew something was going on. It took some getting used to, but of course I think back to my grandpa filling us up on all the sugary cereal I wasn’t allowed to eat at home, and know it’s going to be okay.
THEY ARE THE BEST BABYSITTERS
Yes, with all the toys, candy and delayed bedtime routines, who wouldn’t want grandparents for babysitters? And as parents we love it because who else would we trust more in the world to watch our most prized possession than the people closest to us in our lives? Extended vacations, movie nights, day dates… the amount of babysitting hours grandparents rack up over the years would eventually buy them a new car if they were getting paid.
HOW MANY TIMES CAN WE SAY THANK YOU?
If years added onto their lives is what we can give to grandparents, then that’s what we will do. Give our children toys, feed them sugar, let them bamboozle you into a later nap.
We as parents need to let it happen.
These are the memories our grandparents want to share with our kids and these are the recollections our kids will have of their grandparents when they become adults. This is how our kids will learn how to become grandparents themselves one day, and how I plan on treating my own grandchildren, should I become lucky enough to do so.
How many times can we say thank you to our parents for doing all they do to show our kids the unconditional love they deserve?
How are grandparents important to your life? Share and comment below!