If you had a chance to do it all again, would you stay home with your children instead of working? That is not an uncommon feeling. And now, for a growing number of retirees, becoming a Granny Nanny is their second chance at parenthood. Only this time, they get to take care of their grandchildren.
On the surface, this might seem like the ideal situation. You get to lavish unbridled attention on your grandchildren. Mom and Dad get to work without worry or guilt. They have the assurance that the children will be well taken care of. And what’s even more important– they are loved.
To top it all off– Granny Nanny works for hugs and kisses.
That would be just how it is, at least in a perfect world. One Mommy Blogger shown a little light of reality when she wrote:
“My poor in-laws had to suffer with a kid who wanted to nurse exclusively, rejected bottles and wouldn’t sleep without being rocked. I know they worked incredibly hard to take care of her. They would tell me stories of laying her in a bassinet while one sat on the floor on one side and dangled a rattle over her while the other one sneaked a bottle in her mouth from the other.
As she moved towards toddler-hood and began to eat regular food, they wanted to spoil her and took her out for fast food almost every day. This caused her some distress and she and I would suffer through tantrums for hours every evening.
This was a difficult topic to broach with my in-laws. She was under their care, in their home and we didn’t pay them for their services. I truly believed that they just wanted to spoil her and give her the grandparent treatment. But because they were doing daycare for us, I expected them to take on a care provider role instead.
Almost 10 years later looking back I can see the error of my ways. Having my in-laws take care of both daughters was wonderful on one hand – the girls formed a deep bond with their grandparents.”
“The girls are as comfortable at their grandparents’ house as they are at home.”
There really is a difference between being a good parent, and being a good grandparent. One of the reasons is that we grandparents can break the parenting rules, like a bit of overindulgence.
However, when we assume the role of care giver, we have one foot in the parenting role and the other in the grandparenting role.
I’m not so sure that turning Grandma into a paid employee is the answer either. One thing is for certain, clear communication is an absolute must. On both sides.