Our new house is about fifteen minutes away from my parents’ house – much closer than the 45 minute drive it used to be. This is great for all sorts of reasons, but it is especially great because it means my parents can help us out with child care when Mike and I need it (date night, woo hoo!). However. Now that my parents are going to be playing a MUCH more active role in Annie’s life (most likely an almost-daily influence instead of once a week), I’ve realized that the fun things they have let Annie get away with probably shouldn’t be allowed anymore.
Don’t get me wrong… my parents are awesome and they do so much for us, and Annie thinks they are the bomb. But they are grandparents – they’ve paid their dues with my brother and me, and it’s their turn to be the good guys. They let Annie do all sorts of things they never would have let me do – like chew with my mouth open, snuggle on the couch past my bedtime, and play with fire. OK maybe one of those is an exaggeration.
The problem lies with when Annie is back with us after spending time with my parents. She waltzes back in and expects to get her way all the time, and then throws a fit when we say no. Picture this – I’m sitting on the couch watching my stories, and she marches up to me and shouts, “ELMO! ABBY!” At my parents’ house, this wouldn’t happen, because the TV would already be on a non-stop Elmo/Abby loop. But at my house, I tell her “Nope! Mama is watching Mario Lopez talk about Pippa Middleton!” Next thing we know, Annie is flat on her back screaming about the injustice of it all, and I can’t hear Mario. Everyone loses.
I filmed a Momversation recently where I talk about some of the silly things my parents let my daughter get away with. I know there are tons of you out there who have been in similar circumstances, so here is my question: How can my parents be active in Annie’s everyday life AND still get to enjoy the perks of being a Grandparent WITHOUT turning her into a spoiled brat who won’t let me watch my stories?! DISCUSS.