We are really lucky to live close to my parents and that my kids get to see them all of the time. Honestly, that's one of the main reasons we moved to a red state to begin with. (No offense, mom and dad). As much as I love going to "grandma and grandpa's house," which is my son's favorite place on the planet, there are struggles every mom knows when she takes her kid to their grandparents.
We go to my parents' house at least once a month. I love the break and being able to spend time with my parents, who are actually good friends, too. However, the struggle is real. A different environment often means different behavior. For my kids, that generally means that they either test boundaries and see what they can get away with. Seriously? Did you seriously draw on the floor with crayons? WTAF? You are seven, not two! Or, they are perfect angels and make me seriously wonder if my mom has magical powers. You ate everything? Everything?! At home, you only eat cheese. I don't understand. What black magic is this? They happily eat foods they would never even try at home and then I get to hear about how yummy grandma's mac 'n cheese is for days. And I'm not going to even get started on baked goods and ice cream. I can't compare.
When are we going back to grandma's house, mom? The struggle is real. Here are some struggles every mom knows when she takes her kids to their grandparents.
My Mother Is Freakin' Mary Poppins
I have no idea how she does it. Maybe it's that kids are always better behaved for everyone other than their parents. Maybe it's magic. Maybe it's that she bribes them with presents and candy. Either way, I am not complaining. Seriously. Teach me your ways.
My mom always has fabulous baked goods, ice cream, candy, lemonade and all of the things they never get to have at home. While I know sugar doesn't actually make kids hyper, the excitement of rare treats certainly does, and the "grandma let's us have cake for breakfast" comments get old really fast.
They Eat Things They Never Eat At Home
My kids seriously will try foods at my parents' house that they would never try at home. Does she pay them? How is this possible?
I know they always have good intentions, but sometimes helpful parenting advice and suggestions sound like criticisms and less like help.
"Mom, I know you are a great mom, I was there, remember? Let me do things my own way, OK?"
It's OK to have different rules at different houses, but it really throws a wrench in our routine at home. We have four freaking kids. The struggle for sanity and continuity is real and ongoing and nothing short of taxing. So a different bed time, screen time rules, and routine can really make things madness when we get back home.
Different Discipline Strategies
While, we are more "you don't have to eat it" parents, my folks are more "clean your plate or you can't have dessert" grandparents. That's OK but, again, our kids are not used to different rules and discipline and throw the occasional fit when they don't get their way.
When Your Kids Make Messes Or Break Stuff
"Come on, you are totally making me look bad, and mommy can't afford to replace an antique tea cup from 1935. Sorry, mom."
"You were potty trained by 16 months. Or was it 6 months? Anyway, what's the deal with your toddler? Do you want me to try?"
I swear, the age at which I was potty trained, learned to read, and met other milestones gets younger every time I ask my parents about them.
When It's Time To Go Home
My kids never want to leave. Tantrums from even the half-asleep youngest, who is bound to fall asleep in the car, anyway.
Hearing About It Until The Next Trip
"When are we going back to grandma and grandpa's house? Can we go tomorrow? Please. Please. Please."