Add up all the times your children’s grandparents have stepped in to save the day and it’s easy to see they have an uncanny ability for making this parenting gig just that little bit easier.
At Babyology we see grandparents as the ultimate rockstars – they’ve raised their children and now play an integral part in helping modern day mums and dads get it done.
We’ve compiled a list of the most common times grandparents have really come to the rescue.
1. On call babysitting
Whatever the emergency – family member needs to go to hospital, pet needs to go to the vet, work has moved a deadline forward or you and your partner just need a date night – grandparents are usually our first port of call when it comes to securing a last minute babysitter for our little ones.
Who else can we feel comfortable calling with little to no notice to look after our most precious priorities? And who, other than grandparents, will likely change their plans to accomodate?
My husband and I went through two rounds of IVF last year and, when we got the call to say all the hormone levels had aligned and we needed to make a three hour trip to have an embryo implanted, my in-laws were only too happy to change their plans to mind our son.
2. Last minute costume masterpieces
Hands up if an Easter hat parade, book week dress up or Halloween preschool party has ever snuck up on you! When the costume inspiration cupboard in your mind is bare and the shops are closed, who you gonna call? Grandparents!
That’s right, most grandparents seem to possess this unmatched ability to make something out of a whole lot of nothing. Maybe we will inherit that skill as we age too? (One can only hope!)
3. Play presence
As children grow so too do their activities and interests. This means more sport events, school items, award assemblies, graduations and possibly even dance or music recitals.
We all try to strike the right balance between being present for these special moments, yet still working so we can afford for our kids to have the opportunities that allow them to achieve these special moments. But no parent wants to imagine their child growing up without a familiar face in the audience and this is where grandparents really do save the day.
I remember feeling like an absolute star as a kid when I looked out and saw my entourage of grandparents cheering for me at a dance concert. As a mum, I now understand how much this would have helped my mum, who worked three jobs to give me every opportunity she could and often at the expense of her own attendance.
4. Routine rumble
Parenting is hard and unrelenting at times and, as much as we love our children, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the challenges. When baby is just not sleeping, when your toddler just won’t eat and routine seems a distant hope or memory, a visit from grandma or grandpa might just be in order.
While, at these times, it can be hard to accept help because it somehow seems like you’re admitting you can’t cope, grandparents come with nothing but love – love for your children and love for you.
5. Homework helpers
Don’t let the digital divide fool you, nothing beats good old fashioned experience and grandparents bring that in spades. My nan left school to start work when she was just a 13-year-old but I often went to her for help with my homework and she was a huge influence over my love for telling stories.
Often it isn’t the sum or sentence on a page that matters but the lessons learned in between, and grandparents have a subtle way of making homework applicable to life – perhaps because they have lived a lot longer.
We would love to know how a grandparent you know has saved the day.