To Grandma’s House We Go
Today we’re talking about grandparents. More specifically why parents NEED to send their kids to grandma & grandpa’s house. The benefits are countless, but I kept this post to around 2000 words for your convenience, so I list 5 for you today.
They say it takes a village to raise a baby. I say otherwise. I mean, I say it takes a tribe, but that might just be my cultural background shining bright. We’re also discussing a bit about why it takes a village… or as I put it, why it takes a tribe to raise a baby. A modern tribe, with a little First Nations cultural influence.
The Mom who Sent her Daughter to Grandma’s House
A little while back there was a large hullabaloo about a mom and dad who sent their daughter to Grandma’s house every weekend for a sleepover. This brought the out the mommy warriors who deemed this mother selfish for trying to get rid of her daughter any chance she could get so she could party.
This mother is a model, the father I am unsure of occupation. The father was left out of the conversation nearly every time and it was mostly assumed that this mom went out partying while her daughter was away.
This. Blows. My. Mind.
Talk about judging a book by it’s cover and stereotyping! No one knows who these people are, they are probably amazing parents and this little girl is being shown she is loved and has many places to turn when in need. I’m here today to discuss why I think this story was blown way out of proportion.
Or, at least, we’re talking about why I think children NEED to have regular scheduled overnight visits with the grandparents. When possible to organize that is. I know not all families are lucky enough to have grandparents still, too. It take a village to raise a baby. Or, in our case, a tribe. Children need to have experience in the world away from mom and dad. Maybe consider an Aunt or Uncle stay over.
I often refer to my ‘Tribe” in vlogs and while writing. It’s a name I’ve given to the group of people I hold close to my heart. They are part of my world and have an impact on my growth, and those around me. It’s my team, community, or village. I call them my tribe.
A Little Cultural Influence
In First Nations culture, children are considered the nucleus of the community. They bring joy and hope for the future, energy and opportunity to learn and grow. Not just for themselves, but all those who interact with them.
It isn’t uncommon to go onto a reservation and see children running in the streets from one yard to the next, calling out to Aunti, Uncle, Cousin, Grandma/pa… there is even the slight chance they are calling someone Uncle who may not be actually related to them. That’s because all grown ups are meant to care, protect and teach children.#itTakesaVillage or in this case, it takes a tribe to raise a child. Creating our tribe #ourRADhouse Click To Tweet
Aunti’s and Uncles
Aunti’s and Uncles, they are important parts of the community. A teacher, a mentor, a guardian, a leader to point them in the right direction, to steer them back on the correct path to a happy and fulfilling life. Someone who not only will demand respect from the child, but also give it in return to them.
You want to know what the best thing about building your tribe? You get to choose who is in your community. You get to personally hand select who you want to influence your family and life. Unlike your family, who you are born into and have to learn how to get along with, you get full control over the Aunti’s and Uncles that you bring into your tribe.
Tribe Member Examples
- Babysitter/day care workers
- Mom & Dads friends
- Play mates
- Swim class teacher (or other)
- Religious group leaders/friends
- Community support workers
- Emergency response workers
- Family members
Just because you can choose your tribe doesn’t mean you automatically exclude your own family members from it. My mom is very much a part of my tribe. She has a special place in the tribe, a little higher placed than everyone else simply because she’s related by blood. It takes a village people! She’s been around the block, several times over. I need some of that in my village.
While all village members are important, Grandparents are special because they are one of the only other people in the world that will love your child as unconditionally as you. Now, I can’t be sure on this, because I’m not a grandparent. But from observation, it seems like a sound statement. In my family at least.
They’ll spoil your kids in the best way, with the best intentions, and will, hopefully, always have your back. Grandparents will listen, offer advice, babysit, and create a special bond with your children. A special bond every child should get the chance to experience if they can. The benefits are countless, but here are my top 5 reasons why parents need to send their kids to visit Grandma and Grandpa at least once a month.
5 Reasons why Grandparents should have overnights with Grand kids
- Trustworthy I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that your parents are going to be some of the most trustworthy people you can leave your spawn with. Considering you’re their spawn, you know what they are like. I mean, I know they’ve possibly been out of the game for a couple years and gotten used to the #ChildFree life, but parenting is like riding a bicycle. Only, the bicycles keep getting upgraded with new safety rules they may need to be briefed on. Just saying.
- Free Time Hello, when do moms ever get free time? As a stay at home mom, if I get free time, it means I’m neglecting something. Like my son. Meaning he’s watching the screen which makes me feel like an icky mom. BUT. When Gregory is with Grandma, I know my free time is safe from being steeped with guilt. You can check out some ideas to fill your free time with below.
- Building Relationships What better way to help your child understand relationships and learn how to build one than experience one? It’s a fact that parent-child relationship building at infancy is very important. The bond mom and dads create with baby set the tone for relationships for their entire future. But children also need to learn how to behave and bond with others too. This is where Grandparents come in. They are safe people you can trust to help set the tone for relationships. The more loved a child feels, the more open and confident they will be in life.
- Memories I have tons of memories with my grandparents. Riding bikes with my Grandpa Frank to the ice cream store during the summer. Winter Christmas in the snow at Grandpa and Grandma’s, combing the beach for shells and wildlife with Grandma for her crafts I will one day recreate in memory of her, gardening and looking through my GG’s beautiful paintings… These are memories that make me smile and remind me of a simpler time. You have some too, hopefully. As do your parents, give your children the chance to create these memories that will make them smile when they think back to their loved ones who may have passed.
- Growth For both the child, grandparents and for you as a parent. This is a new stage of life that everyone should get the chance to learn to navigate. Gregory, my son, needs to learn how to survive in a world while I am not by his side. My parents deserve a chance to be grandparents and enjoy the fruit of their labour, doing the ‘fun’ part of parenting while leaving the parenting to me, the parent. And I need to learn to let go of my son. Holy crap, as a SAHM, he is my entire world. I need to grow as a person and have the time and space to do so or I will get depressed and then I’m a bad person, not just a bad mom. I need to believe and understand my son will not die when I am not by his side and work through my anxieties of watching my son or myself walk away and know that we’ll meet again soon and we’ll both be better people for it. We never stop growing, but we can’t grow if we are stuck in the same situations every day. We need to create a rift in the norm, intentionally make ourselves uncomfortable so we can learn how to better manage life.
What is Free Time Again?
Parents, do you remember what it is like when you weren’t a parent? Within days after giving birth I couldn’t remember my life pre-motherhood. I could not, for the life of me, figure out what I did with my life, my time, my thoughts. So when it comes time for me to have free time to myself, I’m all like ‘what is life?’.
I fell into a postpartum ‘what is life’ funk, it took me a long time to figure out what I enjoy and what hobbies interested me in my new phase of life. So, while I list what activities and ideas I enjoy or have tried, the key for me to get out of that funk was to keep finding free time and experimenting what I did in that time.
I love having free time. Not so that I don’t have to be a parent and have a break. But so I can indulge in an activity I enjoy, that rejuvenates me and helps me feel like a real person with goals, aspirations and accomplishments. This is a big deal for me as a SAHM. I don’t have a career or schooling to set my goals and say ‘You’ve done great, here is a certificate, paycheck or promotion’.
I usually have nothing to show what I accomplished at the end of the day other than a messy house. Most people don’t look at a messy house as an accomplishment.
Everything on my blog is clearly based on my personal experiences, and in my experience, feeling accomplished at the end of the day makes me feel really good. Makes me feel like I can take on tomorrow. In fact, it makes me look forward to waking up tomorrow. We all need more days like that. Where we look forward to living, expressing ourselves, making progress in life.
Accomplishment can come in many forms, activities and opportunities are endless. Here are some activities and hobbies I have tried out that you may enjoy filling your free time with.
Some of these make you feel accomplished at the end of the day. Some will make you anticipate waking up in the morning, and others will have you doing self care. Expand your horizons and try many different things. The world is your oyster… or something like that.
60 Things To Do During Free Time
- Go for a hike
- Explore outside
- Go for a drive (Mini Road Trip)
- Do a face mask
- Give yourself a mani/pedi
- Have a bath bomb/sea salt bath
- Lotion/massage your body
- Kon Mari your wardrobe or house
- Start a blog
- Work a second job (one for joy, not for money yes it’s a thing)
- Clean your house
- Pet your… pet
- Walk the mall/ go shopping
- Bake something
- Take a nap
- Dance in your living room
- Sing out loud along to your favourite tunes
- Paint/draw something
- Write something/ Start a journal
- Sew Something
- Call a friend
- Drink something/ Eat something
- Learn something new
- Take a class (martial arts, arts & crafts, fitness, educational, etc)
- Buy a Groupon and do it
- Go out with some friends
- Make a new friend
- Facebook friend purge
- Social media following purge
- Movie/ TV series marathon
- Read a book/ Audio book
- Rearrange your furniture
- Try nail art
- Try calligraphy
- Try photography
- Start a scrapbook
- Watch YouTube videos
- Scroll Tumblr
- Pin(terest) EVERYTHING
- Try a new hairstyle
- Try a new makeup look
- Go geocaching
- Go canoeing/kayaking
- Go beach combing
- Volunteer for something
- Plan a vacation/stay-cation/ to travel somewhere
- Learn a new language
- See a show
- Play a word game (crossword, Sudoku, word search)
- Do a puzzle
- Learn to play an instrument
- Pick wild flowers
- Find motivating quotes/photos/inspirational material
- DIY something
- Plan a party/potlach/get together
- Go foraging
Before you Go
So there you have it, 5 reasons why children need to visit their grandparents and 60 things you can try out during your new found free time as a parent. You’ll feel guilty when your kids first leave you, but as parents, we need remember we are people first. We need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.
If you’re looking for some hikes around Vancouver, check out Cypress Falls, Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge or Lighthouse Park. If you’re up towards Squamish, check out the Stawamus Chief. Are you more East towards Hope? Check out the Othello Tunnels. Getting out with my son to these places was me time, and ‘us’ time.
Not all ‘me time’ needs to be ‘free time’. Once you find out what activities you enjoy, don’t hesitate to include your children every once and a while. Let them into your world, show them who mom and dad are. Let them know you are a person with interests that they can use as a healthy example of how to strive to live when they are parents.