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!
6. Can you pretend you believe her when she insists your toddler is “perfect” all day when she’s there?
That’s so weird that he’s crying. He didn’t cry all day or fuss or anything until you got home.
7. Will hearing the words “he never does that when I’m here” whenever he randomly acts up make you fly into a blind rage?
8. Can you carry off the illusion that you make all of your baby’s food from scratch?
My mom insists my daughter hates pouches, even though she sucks them down in 30 seconds flat. I get the side-eye if there are no fresh veggies prepared.
9. Do you mind if she changes the nap schedule and puts them down minutes before you get home from work, ensuring that you will be up all night again and your tedious existence will continue in a sleep-deprived stupor?
10. Do you have any other options? Like, any? Any at all? I mean really rack you brain, do you?
(photo: Everett Collection/ Shutterstock)