10 Times Grandparents Are The Literal Worst

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sometimes free child care, isn't so free.




The kids are going to grandma's house for a week while mommy and daddy are away on vacation, yeaaaahhhhh!!!!

That's what I say at first.

A vacation with hubby looks so enticing. I crave time away from my kids so much that  it apparently makes me a delusional idiot. Hand my kids over to grandparents for a week? Really, mama? Are you ready for TTHHHEEEE AAAFFFTTERRRMMAATTHHH??

I said that in my best Darth Vader voice.

Scary stuff, for real parents.

If your kids hang out with grandma and grandpa for long enough - you can pretty much expect obliteration and destruction of everything you've taught your kids thus far. Your kids turn into DEF CON 5 monsters. Your kids will become needy a**holes. Manners, disciplinary milestones, chore responsibilities down the friggin' toilet folks.

Your kids will start crying, YES BAWLING over stupid stuff, all because good 'ol gram and gramps put them on a sugar-filled, carbilicious bender.

Thank you grandparents. No really, THANK YOU for making me regret my decision to leave you unattended with my children EVERY TIME.

Sometimes, it takes a whole week to get your kids back to "normal" after a grandparent encounter. Getting your babes back to reality after grandparent la-la-land is a hot mess.

And while, I'm not waging war against grandparents - cuz you know you my peeps...I'm gonna have to let you know why grandparents can sometimes...be the worst.

1. Sugar. Grandparents inebriate your children with ice cream, cookies and lollipops.



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And there ain't a damn thing you can do about it. When the kids are crashing - oh, lookie at that - it's time to go home to Mom and Dad. SHOCKER. Upon arrival - be prepared to do some serious detoxing.  Let the reality check of food rehab ensue. Kids, time for your rhubarb-raspberry smoothies!

2. They never say 'no.' Can we have ice cream? Yes. Can we watch TV and play video games for 10 hours even though the sun is shining outside? Yes. Can we go to the mall and pick out presents like it's Christmas? Yes.


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All this coming from a place of 'yes' brings me toooooo.......

3. They make you look like sh*t in front of your own kids. You're definitely the bad guy if you deny your kid a cookie, or bag of chips in front of a grandparent. They'll be all like "It's no big deal, they can have ooooonnneee little cookie."



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4. They hover. Yup - helicopter grandparents. They watch over their grandkids in ways they NEVER watched over you as a child. You feel slighted.


5. Gifts. Gifts. And more gifts. That you don't have room for in your house. Gifts for no reason. Gifts for made up reasons. Gifts that make your kids feel entitled. Gifts that go against everything you've been trying to teach your kids like that consumerism isn't cool. And Barbie doll is definite no. (Will all the millennial, feminist moms put your hands up in the air, and wave them like you just don't care!) Gawwwwddd ddaammiitttt GIIIIFFFFTTTSSSS.



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6. They act like your kid, is their kid. You put the baby down in the rocker to sleep, MEE-MAA picks her up to hold her. WTF?! You tell your kids not to play with sharp objects, grandpa gives them a demonstrative chainsaw lesson in the garage while you're cooking dinner. Grandparents think they can decide what's best for your kid. They sometimes forget, you're the parent.

7. They love their grandkids, more than they love their own kids. And while, it can be annoying, and slightly unnerving to see them pour out all this love for a little person that's not YOU. It's a very magical love, unburdened by financial stresses, parenting pressure and daily responsibilities. But for real, I don't remember my mother getting down on the floor and playing with me like that.

8. They DON'T love their grandkids, as much as you thought they would. I know, this is opposite of above. But, uninvolved nanas and pop-pops is a reality many families deal with. Many grandma and grandpas don't seem very interested at all in the grandkid thing. Not interested in visiting. Not interested in spending quality time. Not interested in babysitting them, let alone spoil them. They're off in la-la land most of the time, and when they DO come around - they fail to engage with your children in any meaningful way.

9. They give parenting advice that's 40 years old. Okay fine, the whiskey on the gums of a teething baby advice- that one works. But the rest - save it mee-ma. I'm a millennial mom with google and a Facebook mommy group for advice.

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10. They don't ask for permission. They didn't ask if it was okay to buy your daughter, who's in shoelace-tying-training mode, new sneakers that HAVE VELCRO. They didn't ask if Susie or Johnny could get a haircut. They didn't ask you if it was okay to buy a pet rabbit.
All this stuff that makes grandparents the worst to YOU, makes them the BEST to YOUR kids. Even the uninvolved grandparent. If they don't want to be around - then frankly, you shouldn't want them to be around either.

So let's raise our glasses to the bat-sh*t crazy stuff grandparents do to annoy us, and be thankful every day they are still here.

Writer's Note: A version of this essay originally appeared in Redbook

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