Do Grandparents Make the Best Babysitters?
I recently dropped off my daughter at my mom's house for the weekend so I could have a little kid-free time with my hubby. Nice, right? Only my mom managed to completely UN-potty-train
-train my kid in the process. That's right: In the course of two days, my previously well-disciplined 3-year-old was suddenly pooping in her pants and waking up at all hours of the night.
My daughter has been potty-trained for eight whole months, and just like that, my mom flushed all our hard work down the toilet. When I went to pick my daughter up, I overheard my mom actually encouraging her to "just go in the diaper." Um, excuse me, Nonna?! Do you know how many hours, how many soiled pairs of pants and gummy-bear bribes it took to get that kid to do her business in the pot?! Now, it's all gone in a flash. It's been a month and I still can't get Amelie to go in the potty. She actually asks for the diaper, and if I refuse to get her one, she just poops in her undies. Gee, thanks, Mom.
My kid's sleep schedule, which my husband and I spent years ironing out, has also completely gone kerplooey. She's going to bed late, waking up three or four times a night, and getting up at the crack of dawn. Naps
are now a thing of the past. I really don't think I can live through another "cry it out"
Supposedly, grandparents make the best babysitters, and kids are less likely to be injured on their watch, according to a recent study
. To which I said, "Yeah, right."
Sure, I can trust my mom to return my daughter to me without so much as a scratch on her head. But that study leaves out a whole other side of babysitting by grandma. Grandparents
seem to have this "my way or the highway" approach to caring for their grandkids. I don't know about your parents, but my mom just can't stick to the schedule
we've worked so hard to create for my daughter. We've written the rules out for her, emailed them to her, verbally gone over them with her—done everything short of tattoo the list across my daughter's tiny torso—and she just won't stick to them.
I know I should be grateful to have the free, trustworthy babysitting proffered by my mom. I should be thrilled that I can occasionally leave my daughter and take off for a carefree weekend. Not everyone has that luxury and I'm very lucky. But I often wonder if it's worth the price. If I get my kid back with all the hard work of the past year undone, is it even worth it? Why bother relaxing at all if I'm just going to have to face triple the work when I get home? If I need a sanity break, I think I'd rather grab a cup of coffee for 45 minutes every once in a while rather than have my daughter spend long weekends at Nonna's. At least I know she can't do too much damage in under an hour. Or can she?