I actually thought taking care of a toddler while working from home, managing household chores, supervising a maid, and managing to keep the active baby entertained would be a do-able thing for me. Ha. I know there would be zillion super women across the globe doing their duties right at this moment, possibly much more than the above-mentioned chore list of mine, but I am no super woman or supermom. Just an ordinary girl (okay, woman!) who thought she could manage all.
But thank God for grandparents!
My little boy, who has just begun recognizing faces, has fallen in love with his paternal grandparents. In fact, every morning when grandpa/ma sing shlokas (Indian prayers) and songs praising God, my li’l boy is all ears, smiles and happy shrieks. Do note, that this hour is the time I get to have a peaceful cup of tea, while watching his antics and go over day’s to-do list in my mind. Someday’s I also get enough time to make myself my favourite breakfast.
I have lived a few days (spouse, me and li’l one) with my toddler and I know that he’s quite an active cub. And as he grows older, learns to crawl, speak, express his needs, it is getting tougher for just me to handle him. There’s no shame in admitting that mum’s need help too. I certainly do. If I have to keep myself going through the day, then I need breaks from playing mommy. A few minutes of being just me is possible only when someone I trust completely can keep my baby and his activities going uninterrupted and that’s where grandparents come in.
Having lived with both sets of grandparents after becoming a mommy, I know that they have answers to all common baby troubles. They are
better far better than Google, not to mention the personalised information they can share on some parenting or baby issue. I have come to see grandparents as the family historians who can add a rich sense of family tradition to a child’s life. Likewise, there may be times when your parenting sensibilities clash with grandparents’ but there’s harm in hearing out the argument. Parents still hold the final call but an experienced voice of a grandparent is worth pondering over. Their style may be dated, perhaps but never something that will cause your child any long-term harm.
Earlier on, when my baby was a few days old, my parents helped me get used to the idea of being a mommy. My mother showed me how to learn the act of patience with an active baby who would not sleep beyond few minutes and from my father I learned that there can be no compromises where baby’s needs are concerned. “Only the best for the baby,” he says. I agree. Behind every parent there needs to be a person who communicates to that parent that he/she is doing a wonderful job. That most obvious person is Grandma and Grandpa.
Just knowing that my child is safe & happy with my parents or his paternal grandparents is a huge relief. And a lot less stress. Plus, I get to be a normal human being for a few minutes/hours. Bottomline, grandparents (both maternal and paternal) can play a very important and formative role in the lives of their grandchildren and also a significant role in supporting parents as they raise active children.