I know it’s hard. It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do; trusting the care and well-being of your baby to someone else, even if it is a grandparent. You want them to have a relationship with grandparents, but it is just so hard to let go. I’ve been there. I carried my babies and I birthed my babies and I was sure in those early weeks of motherhood that there was no one else in the entire world that could keep my babies safe like I could. The very thought of leaving them with someone else filled me with dread and fear and guilt and all of those emotions that are thrust upon new parents as if parting gifts from the hospital. I want you to know that you are not alone. Your heart now lives on the outside of your body, as they say, and trusting it in the hands of another is a giant step for any new parent. If your child is lucky enough to have a relationship with grandparents close by, they are the best place to start. Here are a few tips on how to take the leap.
They’ve Done This Before
I know you think that things have changed. You remember how thirty years ago our parents let us ride around in the front seat of cars without restraints and how we slept on our bellies while covered in ‘deadly’ blankets that could have suffocated us without a sleepbag in sight. You’re right; things have changed. Your parents know that, too. They won’t rub whiskey on sore gums and they won’t forget to puree the organic veggie medley you’ve prepared for his dinner. They will cuddle and love and take care of that baby just like you would because they adore him as much as they adore you.
Your Relationship Needs This
Before you were parents you went to dinner and movies and you spent time lazing on the couch and chatting about your future. You had dreams and ambitions that kept you going. Now, you’ve shifted all of those dreams and ambitions to your little one. You no longer imagine what your future might bring, but instead imagine theirs. While this is wonderful in some respects, it is dangerous to lose yourself completely in parenting. Your child deserves a parent who will continue to dream and grow as a person. Your child deserves a parent who adores their spouse and does not forget to spend time alone together doing things they love. This includes working on your relationship and never forgetting how important your marriage will be to your children. They will look to you for guidance. Will you have a strong and happy relationship to show them?
Your Children Deserve this Relationship
I know you think you are everything that little baby will ever need, but I have news for you. There will be times when you annoy the heck out of them and they will need a safe place to go and talk about it. Let their grandparents be that safe haven. A trusted family member outside of the immediate family will offer your child a reprieve from you and your rules, even if just for an evening. To be fair, you might be ready for a break, too.
If you start early enough, you’ll foster an amazing relationship between your children and their grandparents, and when you need a night alone they’ll be just as excited to go as you’ll be to drop them off.