Ever-present Grandparents: The Good, The Bad & The Boundaries
One of the things that my husband and I are often saddened about is the fact that our children don’t have grandparents in their lives with whom to spend time with.
For either reasons of death or distance, either physical or emotional, my kids just don’t get to spend weekends at granny’s house, or get to hangout with grandpa. We don’t have the support of either for long weekend getaways or even just a couple of hours.
And now that they are in school, they hear about other kids and their visits from their grandparents, and how they are spoiled and catered to. I see the grandparents come to the schools for pick up, or plays or other celebrations. I see them comes for holidays and birthdays and special dinners. Our kids? They just have us.
And that sometimes makes us sad.
But is it really all bad?
I guess I often forget the horror stories that often exist too. Like the mother in law who is intrusive and overly opinionated. Or the father in law who just doesn’t like the husband.
I recently heard about a grandmother who was so upset about her grandson’s long hair, despite their parents wanting it that way, that once entrusted with the care of her grandson, she walked straight to the barber shop and had it all buzzed right off!
In moments like that, I have to wonder, are we really all that bad off in not having grandparents around? Granted, I would love to have my mother alive and seeing her grandkids grow – but my mother wasn’t crazy and she respected and loved my husband.
I just don’t know if I could do it, for the sake of my kids. I don’t know if I would even want to spend time with an overbearing mother- or father-in-law, just so that my kids had a Nana and Poppa to hang out with. Especially, because I don’t have to now. Ever.
All in all, we just don’t really know what other situations these seemingly happy families have to deal with.
Like the mother of the boy [who received grandma’s haircut] said about her intrusive mother after the incident, “Well, she does help care for our son and is of great help to us when we need her.”
To me, that would be a huge pill to have to swallow in exchange for support and I’m not sure it would be worth it.
Hopefully, when my husband and I become grandparents, we won’t be on the bad end of this spectrum, but just in case, we’ll make sure to travel tons so that we are missed enough to be welcomed and not feel the need to intrude.
We just have to make the most of what we do have, the family that our boys do get to see every now and then and who love them tons, and not lose sight of the fact that sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side, no matter how much free babysitting is involved.
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