"When a grandparent watches their grandchild, it's not babysitting."
That's what my mother reminds each time she watches one, two or all three of my kids for any reason -- which is often.
She recently retired from a ridiculously impressive number of years working in education, and she did so, in part, to spend more time with family.
Well, that and the fact that SHE EARNED IT by working her arse off her whole life in the name of little and little big people and growing their minds while tending to their little hearts while advocating for them at every opportunity.
And, ever since R-Day, while summer was in full swing for me and my crazy brood, she was itching at the chance to help and support me, however, that looked on any given crazy day.
And, so, with each cry, statement, subtle hint or whisper for help, she jumped -- with a smile on her face, love oozing out of her heart and brownies ready to be baked -- at the opportunity (yes, she would consider it that) to chat with, cuddle, play games, joke with, cook, feed, bathe and watch movies with her adorable, occasionally misbehaving little grandbabies.
And, because she is such a fixture in my kids' lives, whenever they do visit with her, they don't want to leave -- like legit, practically kicking and screaming their preference to stay with her than their own birther.
Now there have been numerous articles (I even wrote one myself) thanking grandparents for stepping up and in when it comes to supporting their kids by way of helping with their children.
But, this, well, it's more than just an acknowledgment of "thanks" to my mother; it's a reminder to other mothers, like me, to stop feeling guilty for hinting at the need for, directly asking, or even begging for help of any kind, especially from your favorite person in the world...your mother.
Who better to help you than one who has been where you are?
Who better to help bring up your offspring than the woman who made you hers?
Who better to lean on when your kids have been leaning into you nonstop?
There is no one better.
Because there is no one like a mother, who is now a grandparent who genuinely and wholeheartedly believes that when a grandparent watches their grandchild, it's not babysitting.
Nope, it's just her, doing what she does best...mothering.
NOTE: My mama would NOT be pleased with me if I included her picture, so instead you get a pic of the ones she won't ever "babysit," only love.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.