I have three great kids that mean the world to me. I spend my days and nights loving them, taking care of them, disciplining them, worry about them, and planning for their future. There is love, pride, fun, stress, and of course guilt involved at times. It is a very fulfilling job yet the responsibility involved can be a little overwhelming. Which school? Vaccinate or not? Is this really a bribe or merely a positive reinforcer? Organic or not? You know what I’m talking about. You just don’t want to do anything that will send them into lifelong therapy where they always seem to blame their MOTHER!
My newest hypothesis is…wouldn’t it be great to be their grandparents for a little while! I know it sounds weird but think about it. I’d be carrying around a bag of fruit snacks without thinking about the red dye or artificial corn syrup. I’d be buying the “cool” toys regardless of their absent volume control or the lofty price tag. If there’s a dirty diaper to be changed I could just volunteer to change it and be a saint for offering. When a big issue came up, I could offer advice and possibly feel some relief that I’m not the one making the final decision. I could be the one that they complain to when mom is “so mean.” I would still love them with all my heart and would jump in front of a bus for them without hesitation.
Of course I’m just being silly. I would never want to wish this experience away and frankly our parents have earned the right to be great grandparents. I just think that my kids would be better off if I took a step back every now and them and looked at them through grandparents’ eyes. There would probably be a little more laughter and whole lot less stress. It reminds me of when my son came upstairs at Grandpa’s house and said the cat bit him. When Grandpa looked a little puzzled and told him that the cat doesn’t bite, he quickly responded “Well he does if you push him off the couch!” Grandpa wasn’t concerned about him pushing the cat. He just found great humor in my son’s matter of fact response and the silly look on his face.
I remind myself now that “much of what children do is childish,” (Dr. Sears) and when I look at a behavior like potty training, I say to myself “she won’t be wearing that pull-up in college, right?” It seems to put things into a better perspective for me when I actually remember to do it.
My children really are funny and wonderful little people and I don’t want to take this time for granted. I’m blessed to be their mom and I look forward to the time (far, far, away of course) when I am a grandparent and I can spoil them and give them back. I would have earned it by then, right?