Everything for Grandparents
by Janice Celeste
There’s nothing more glorious than wanting to spend quality time with your grandchildren but then again, sometimes you just don’t really quite want to.
I became a grandmother at age 48 and I love every second that I get to spend with my beautiful granddaughter, but I’ve done my time and I would like to visit my grands on my own terms.
This doesn’t stop my daughter and her husband from asking me to babysit and I must admit most times, I jump at the opportunity. ChildTrends, a research center that studies children, reports that almost half of all grandparents routinely provide some type of child care.
I honestly don’t mind watching my granddaughter but if it became a reoccurring theme, I’d have to put on the brakes. Here are some tips to spend time with your grandchildren on your own terms:
- Boundaries. Have boundaries and rules. Your children can’t just drop children off whenever they want. It must be planned in advance unless it is an actual emergency.
- Contract. If you agree to provide daily child care, put it in writing with pickup and drop off times. Be clear on what the child’s parents must bring, including lunch, diapers, change of clothing, etc.
- Send photos. If you are watching the grandchildren so their parents can get away on vacation, be a great caregiver and text photos on your phone and message the parents daily.
- Babysit on-location. Even better, arrange to go with your adult children on vacation and babysit on-location. I’m not talking having a family vacation here, but this way you can enjoy some new scenery and the grandkids too. Also, arrange to have some time to yourself on this semi-getaway.
- Be sitter #2. You shouldn’t be the only babysitter. The parents should have a regular babysitter and you should be the backup sitter, and it should be up to you to decide when you want to be the first choice.
ChildTrends, a research center that studies children, reports that almost half of all grandparents routinely provide some type of child care.
Setting some boundaries at the beginning of your grandparent tenure will assist in you maintaining your own lifestyle while keeping everyone happy.