I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer; I love my mom. I realize how lucky I am to be able to have a family member help me with childcare, thus greatly reducing my expenses. I realize how lucky my kids are to be able to be around their grandma this much. What else do I need to cop to so I don’t sound like an ungrateful ass? Whatever it is – all of that. I realize all of that other stuff I’m forgetting, too.
Can we commiserate now – those of you who are as lucky as I am and have your mom around to watch your kids? Are you losing your mind, too?
It’s not uncommon for moms and daughters to have slightly strained relationships – adding the element of childcare just magnifies everything that annoys you about your mom by a thousand. You really need to go to your Zen space, let things go, let her win – whatever. If you’re considering using your mother for regular childcare, you should really ask yourself a few questions first.
1. Are you okay with constant criticism?
You look tired. You’re packing that for your lunch? Are those new pants? I like your other ones better. Nothing like a few passive-aggressive remarks to start your day.
2. Do you mind if the person watching your child has the incessant need to prove your child likes them more?
I’ll be back tomorrow, honey! Don’t worry. Oh, she’s crying! Look! She doesn’t want me to go!
3. Is your self-esteem fully intact?
4. Do you mind throwing all the rules and boundaries you set for your child out the door?
He wouldn’t eat anything so I gave him some milk. I know you told me not to replace his meals with milk, but he wouldn’t eat anything!
5. Do you have the time to clean your house spotless every day before she comes over?
You really need to oil your dining room table. And look at all the dust on the TV!