It’s Tough To Hear, But It’s True :: Grandparents Have Earned Their Opinions
I’ll start by saying that this article is written with a humble, grateful heart. When I think about all that my parents have done to foster the growth and development of my daughter, I cannot help but form tears of thankfulness and immense appreciation. It has been a journey to get to the place of sincere recognition for my parents’ efforts, and I write to hopefully help others feel the same.
Let’s start from the beginning.
You see, I was almost thirty-two when I had my daughter. Well settled into my career, financially responsible, educated, with a promising future, my life was on a path towards executive leadership and all the perks that came with power. Until it wasn’t. While my resume was glowing with accomplishments, my personal life was a mess, and my relationships were just a reflection of detrimental ways that I coped with teenage trauma. This pregnancy wasn’t planned, and I was not in a relational situation that was healthy by any stretch of the imagination.
But I was 32, and otherwise in a good place, and not keeping the baby was never an option. That being said, I wasn’t in a place to emotionally be a single parent. Ready or not though, it was coming.
My mom and dad stepped up in the most incredible way, showing a Christ-like love unlike anything I’ve experienced. They never judged me, and although they were both working full time, they made themselves available to be a true extension of me for my daughter. They picked my kiddo up from school, fed her and bathed her on evenings where I worked late. They smothered my daughter with kisses and kindness, instilling values and care when I needed them most. They brought my daughter to Knock Knock Museum and on play dates to Chee Chee’s Playroom. They visited parks and zoos and deli’s without asking for a penny from me to help. Reading books, singing songs, reading bible stories, cooking special meals, and implanting education as a priority, they did it all.
My (now) mother-in-law did these same things for my husband’s daughter as well. Providing daycare, nurturing, quality time, and never-ending love to the grandbaby while my husband worked. Selfless sacrifices that my husband can never repay, that’s what my mother-in-law did for her grandbaby.
To this day, there are moms and dads around the globe who gave tirelessly and selflessly to help raise grandchildren. Our parents never ask for anything in return, and their love seems to have no end.
Our parents do, however, have opinions about our parenting. Our parents have concerns about their grandchildren, worrying about the well-being, growth, and development that we are able to provide. And our parents express these things to us. When these things happen, in the moment, we could take it personally as a jab about our own parenting skills. If this occurs, do me a favor. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and remember that your parents don’t owe you anything when it comes to rearing your children. It’s a privilege to have our parents love our children as their own.
Our parents have earned their opinions, and we ought not be too haughty in arguing against their words. Instead, consider the following:
- Think about the sacrifices that your parents made for you. And for your kiddos. Thank your parents and recognize the value that your parents bring to your family’s life. And most of all, remember – they have put in the work, and they have earned their opinions.
- Listen to your parents and let them speak. If they are concerned about your child’s diet, or sleeping patterns, or school work, or habits – listen, listen, listen. You may not agree and you may feel attacked, but at the end of the day, it’s not about you, it’s about your kid(s).