Monday, October 14, 2013

Obligations of Grandparents

I've touched on this before, how lucky we are to have my parents living nearby.  it's nice to have Grandparents, and its definitely something we wanted for our children.  My own grandparents died when I was 7, and I didn't even know my father's parents at all since they died before I was born.  My husband's Grandma just passed and I'm still devastated about it.  So, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love that my daughter gets these experiences.

However, with closeness comes complications.

1.  The obligation to visit.  We live 45 minutes away and anytime we want to visit friends in the area we feel an enormous obligation to visit our family.  Even if we wanted to go see a play, go to the fair or have a wedding, we still feel obligated to visit the family

2.  The obligation of equal time.  Not only do my parents live there, but Working Dad's parents do to.  In fact the total distance in time is about a 5 minute car ride.  Which means that it's neigh impossible to visit one without feeling guilty about not seeing the other.

3.   The obligation of respecting their home.  We have certain rules in our home.  Behaviours we are trying to teach, things we want EG to learn.  My parents have a pool in the backyard.  Or as my sister puts it 'a quick and silent death trap.'  My in-laws have a lot of stuff.  Like, we may be bordering on hoarding lot of stuff.  They have great toys for EG, but don't you dare try to wander in another area.  Or try to pull a book off the table for fear of starting an avalanche.

4.  The obligation of respecting their parenting.  This one is the HARDEST!  They raised me.  I know, they raised me and my sister.  Which means that of course they know how to raise a child.  Forget about raising her, they certainly know how to watch her.  But it's SO HARD!  She's my kid.  I want things done my way.  No, you can't put her on her tummy to go to sleep.  No, she's no longer drinking from a bottle.  No, I don't want your old crappy umbrella stroller that you've held onto since I was 3.  But then they say "but we raised you."  What do you say to that...

I try to remember that they love me.  They love her.  They love us.  What do you do?  Any advice?  Seems like I'm not alone in wishing to make it a touch easier...


  1. Is it anything like he pressure to follow their advice and example when it comes to your marriage? I get that all the time, even when dealing with a small issue or disagreement. My mother or grandmother will tell me to do things that I would never naturally do, and when I don't follow that advice they feel like it's a personal attack against them.

  2. It's just the same, only a bit harder I think...You don't leave your parents to 'babysit' your marriage the way they have actual physical authority over your kid. But yes, I think it's very much the same.


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