If you're lucky enough to have supportive parents, you know the important role grandparents can play in the upbringing of your children. When my daughter was born, my mom came over regularly so I could heal. She taught me how to make newborn life easier and provided unwavering support and comfort to both me and my family. My dad stepped up his game after my son was born. He came to babysit just so I could run to the gym, and now he takes my kids to and from school. Recently, I asked moms to share the one thing that makes their parents the best grandparents and, based on the responses I received, it's kind of hard to choose just one thing. I guess it's tough to pinpoint exactly what makes grandparents so great, but the fact that they love us and our children unconditionally is probably the foundation of their greatness.
Grandparents can truly be your kids' best friends, and I know my grandma was mine. When my grandmother was alive we spent a good majority of our time together. At some points in our lives, my immediate family either lived with her or she lived with us. She was the person I told my secrets to and I knew I could share whatever it is I wanted with her without any type of judgement. She taught me how to be confident and how to use my voice and unapologetically take up space. She was my role model as well as confidant.
My children are close with their grandparents, too. They visit often, babysit, and sometimes cook meals specifically for my kids. My son is actually obsessed with my dad and my daughter adores my mom. Both of my kids love going to grandma and grandpa's house, where my in-laws spend the entire time playing with them and tending to their every need. I know I am incredibly lucky for my parents and in-laws and so are my children, and it turns out I'm not the only mom counting her blessings:
"They love my children like they are their own, fiercely and protectively. They adore them and just when I think they are exhausted, they ask to take them for the day."
"They always have sweets. They always think your children aren't 'plump' enough and need to feed them way more than necessary."
"My mother-in-law has unlimited patience when it comes to my children. Also, she manages to spoil the children and at the same time not undermine our authority as parents. Also my dad never criticizes us and never gives unsolicited parenting advice, just comes and plays with the children. I think being there for the children unconditionally while not demeaning parents in any way is at the top of my list."
"Just had my third [child], and the love and help that my parents and my mother-in-law provides are unbelievable. Before I went back to work my mom tried to get to my house by 6:30 am just so I could get at least a couple of hours of sleep. She does this even though she needs to get ready for her own job later in the morning. My dad tries to stop by after work just to see the baby and hold her so I can pump. My mother-in-law is at my house almost every day for few hours so I can run out to the store and make dinner while she is playing with the baby. It is unbelievable how helpful they are. But also that they love doing it. They can't go a day without stopping by and seeing the baby. My oldest has a very special bond with my dad, it's amazing to see them communicate."
"My parents do everything. They cook for my daughter, take her for walks, clean my home, and babysit when I go to work. They are always teaching her new things and taking time to just be with her. They send me pictures and videos while I'm at work and offer their constant support. They are just the best. I don't know what I would do without them."
"They are always available when I need help with my daughter, especially if she gets sick and needs to stay home from daycare."
"I'm sure there are some who are going to say their parents play and help with the kids by taking them for a few hours or days, which is 100 percent accurate. But I think the fact that my mom can recognize and appreciate my children for who they are as individuals and she can appreciate that they are children, makes her exceptional in my book. The kids and their thought process often gets lost in the moments when my husband and I try to guide and teach and run our household for the family. My mom always lets them be kids without spoiling them. My mother can see what I often can't and has a way of seeing what I miss and bringing it back into my view."
"Their unwavering support. My mom will drop anything to watch and love on my babies."
"My parents are the best generally, but they are absolutely the best grandparents. It's because no matter what the weather is or time of day or how busy or tired they are, they will literally be at my door in minutes if I need them. They will bring whatever we need, they have sheer joy in just seeing us and seeing their grandkid smile. They come over, even if it's for just 10 minutes to say hello and drop off fruit or just anything. They put [my son] before themselves. Whatever they enjoy they call and say they want to bring for him to enjoy. It's amazing, I always hope and wish that I can be even half of who they are."
"Their love for my daughter is immeasurable and they can't get enough of her. I'm not allowed to have a babysitter. Even after a full week of work, it is their pleasure to babysit so that my husband and I can go out in the evening. They would actually be offended if I asked anyone else to babysit."
"I had a rough delivery that required a lot of postpartum care and follow-up surgery two months later. Every single day my husband had to work (from March to June, minus two weeks off), my mother came over and helped me, often as early as 6:45 am. She did our laundry, prepped dinners, cleaned, helped with the baby, drove me to doctors' appointments, and took me out for errands or lunch so I didn't lose my mind at home. My father is in semi-retirement, so he works two days a week. However, on his off days, he also came over to do whatever we needed. I could list all the things they've purchased for our daughter (all of her nursery furniture, for starters!) but their time has meant the most of all. I am so thankful for them."
"My mothers unending support. She uses her sick/vacation time to watch my daughter on Wednesdays and whenever we need her she drops everything to come spend time with my daughter. Her time with my daughter is incredibly special to her and she loves every moment she can get with her granddaughter."