My kids love hearing stories about from when they were babies- I think they think it’s a little magical to hear stories about themselves from a time they don’t remember and seems so far away. One of the favorites that they love to hear retold is the story about how my mother-in-law stayed up all night, holding my sleeping daughter. “Why didn’t she put me down?” my daughter would ask, while laughing at her silly Grammy- to which I reply, “She said she just couldn’t stop looking at you”. We all have a good laugh about it but, in my head, I’m thinking how I got a full night of sleep that night and didn’t have to worry about my daughter at all. I’m thinking how she came to my rescue after nights and nights of little to no sleep and how grateful I am for a grandparent that loves a child so much she stays awake all night just to watch her sleep. My kids are very lucky- they have 4 sets of grandparents who would do anything for them. But my husband and I are the truly lucky ones- grandparents are the best asset we possibly have in our parenting arsenal and below is my list of just a few of the reasons why, especially when you have a new baby.
- Wisdom: Oh my, they have so much wisdom. Let’s be honest, first-time parents don’t know anything and books will only take you so far. Grandparents help to fill the gaps in what we don’t know and teach us about things we didn’t even know we needed to know.
- Support: Like my example above, they give us so much support. The example above is just one of many ways we got support during those early months after our first child was born. And this goes further than helping with the baby, grandparents can offer emotional support in a comforting way that only a parent knows how to do.
- Babysitting/Breaks: It’s so hard to leave your new baby in the hands of a sitter- this is another huge reason why grandparents are so amazing. Not only will they typically babysit for free, but you can rest easy knowing that they are in the best possible hands that they can be in. So, whether it’s for an hour to grocery shop alone or overnight to go to wedding out of state (yes, this happened when my daughter was 3 months old) it’s a truly amazing and much-appreciated gift!
- Fun: As the babies grow up, the help that grandparent give evolves into something different, but just as important. They offer fun without the worry of sticky hands or cleaning rooms. They offer adventure in the form of camping trips and messy S’mores. They offer sewing and baking skills, lazy pool days and “just one more” of everything. They give the fun that parents can’t always give in the name of parenting but wish they could.
- Love: So much love. They give love to new fathers who are sleep deprived and new mothers who are crying because the baby won’t sleep. They give love to teething babies, temperamental toddlers and fighting siblings. They give love to their children as they watch them learning to parent and love to their grandchildren, even as they sleep.
What was/is the best way your child’s grandparents helped you as a new parent? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!