Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Grandma Effect

I am very lucky.


I have the good fortune of having my mother live with us.

She takes care of the kids when I am working so I don't have to pay daycare.

And we try to take care of her.

Time and time again though, she usually does a better job of taking care of us.

My house is always clean.

The lady actually enjoys cleaning....

My sister and I did not inherit that gene.

When I am working, dinner is 10 minutes from being on the table the minute I walk in the door.

She often sends me out when she thinks I need a break.

She lets me nap when she knows I have had a rough night with J.

She stays with J and lets me go out with M when she sees that he needs my undivided attention.

She even does B's laundry which I always tell her NOT to do.

If the man can't get the clothes into the basket he does not deserve to have clean clothes provided for him.  I’m just sayin…

M loves her.


She lets him do all kinds of fun stuff.

Play on her computer.

She made Christmas cookies with him when he was 18 months old.

She takes him out for walks in the rain so he can splash in puddles.

She takes him on bus rides just for fun.

She takes him to the park.

She lets him press all kinds of buttons.

Yep....he loves her.

So here is the kicker.

I hate it when I have to be the disciplinarian and he cries for her.

It kills me.

It makes me feel like I am not the primary caregiver.

Parenting at the best of times is the hardest job anyone will ever do.

I try very hard every day to be good enough.

And I hate to feel not good enough.

To feel like I am failing




Tonight M didn't want to leave Aunty Sam's.

He loves it there.

He was thrashing madly as we tried to put his coat and boots on.

Finally I just scooped him up sans boots and carried him to the car and buckled him in.

He was screaming bloody murder.

He screamed the entire 15 minute drive home.



Half way home he was crying for his Grandma.

In the house he was crying for his Grandma.

Grandma is sleeping over at Aunty Sams tonight.

No Grandma here kiddo.

My heart was a mess.

Do I not spend enough time with this child of mine or is it that he gets to have all the fun with her?

What is it about me at times like this that makes me  so repugnant.

And is it silly that it makes me jealous that he wants her?

These are not new feelings.

I noticed it in and around the time I was pregnant with J.

Mom would tell me if M woke up in the night that she would tend to him.

I would hear him and I would try to waddle my whale like ass down to his room.

I would see Grandma rocking him back to sleep.

If that didn't work she would take him into bed and they would sleep.

One night I got up and got to him before she did and he was upset that it wasn't her.

In a period of a month M had become accustomed to her night time cuddles.

So I started getting up with him again.

Cuddling him in the night if he needed it.

Whispering the sweet nothings that mamma's whisper in their babies ears.

And he started to need me again.

Or is it that I needed him?


What I think you are going to say is this:

Every child rebells against their parents.

Every child knows how to push their mothers buttons.

No one can replace a childs mother.

Even B who was reading while I wrote said: " Could you imagine if it was you that stayed behind and not Grandna....Holy Sh*t we would be in for it!"

But sometime I have doubts.

Doubts that I am giving him every little piece of me that he needs.

Doubts that he will grow up and that I will be his favorite person.

Am I even supposed to be his favorite person?

I'm not trying to compete for anyones love;  never have, never will.

I can only be me.

Maybe it's because I didn't grow up the way M is.

I didn't have a Grandma around 24/7.

Heck I hardly ever saw them before the age of 10.

So I can't relate to his love for his grandma. 

That's not to say that I didn't love mine, I just didn't see them often.

But I wish that I did.

I have cousins that saw Grandma and Grandpa every holiday and I always felt that they had a stronger bond with them then my brother and sister and I ever had.

So through all of this random, feeling sorry for myself, pity party rambling I only have this to say.

I thank God that my Mom is here with us.

Some people should be so lucky


  1. You are lucky, my mom lives 6 hours away. But I do see your point when M cries for grandma. That's tough. But isn't it nice to know that he is so close to someone who is so close to you?

  2. You are very lucky. My youngest cries for her Daddy when she is upset during the day with me or being disciplined. Even though he is her father, I still get upset about it. I am the one home all day. I am the one up in the night. Yet, she does it every time. I do think it's to push buttons and all of the other reasons you said. It just hurts a tiny piece of your heart each and every time they do it. It makes you doubt yourself. Which, in the end, makes you a better mother.

  3. Holy crud this is tough. I can't imagine how wonderful it is to have someone take so much of the load, and how tough it must be to feel accutely that you've been usurped (no knocks to grandma, of course.)
    Does he cry for you when grandma disciplines? That's all I have for you, and I know it feels like a small consolation, but is this like crying for one parent when the other says something a child doesn't want to hear?
    It must be hard to know you're lucky, to appreciate that you're lucky, and to see the HUGE glaring "but" at every turn. Because that "but" is real and painful.
    Hugs. There are no right decisions. A boy who's loved by at least three adults is really freaking lucky, though. REALLY.

  4. Yes my Mom rocks. And in all fairness he does cry for me when Daddy or Grandma do the disciplining. I think its just that piece of me that wants sunshine and lolli-pops all the time.

    And Nap...sometimes that "but" is more than painful.

  5. So here's the thing. When you become a grandparent you have a "get out of jail free card" so to speak. You get to learn from your mistakes and not actually repeat them. You get to give without spoiling. Disipline without being the bad guy. You get to love on a different level. Not the fierce, protective, crazy, am I ruining my child kind, but the fun, energetic, always proud, never disapointed kind. I have to tell you I'm really kind of looking forward to that.(not that I want to be a grandma anytime in the next 20 years) but some day. and for now you can bask in the realization that YOU taught him the ability to love and be loved. Be proud Mama!

    Oh and I am pretty sure you need to include me in that list. My nephews are sooooooo easy to love. XOXO

  6. Seriously Sam...You should have heard him.........

  7. First of all thanks.You are a great mom.Michael knows it.Yes all kids know what ,when&where to push.Look at yeasterday,how he cryed when you left for a littel bit.He is 2 & thats what thay do,right up to the teens.XOXO