It must be pretty difficult to be a grandparent. Your family begs you to come around and visit, and then the minute you arrive, everybody’s rolling their eyes, huffing and puffing, and texting their friends from the closet. In effort to make visits less awkward and more pleasant, I thought I’d share some suggestions to the grandparents of the world:
1. Coming To Help With The Kids Does Not Mean You Went On Vacation: When you call and say, “I’d like to come visit and help with the kids,” I’m assuming you’re actually coming to help with them. That doesn’t mean sleeping in and asking me to drive you around so you can, “pick up a thing or two.”
2. None Of My Kids Or My Husband Are Named, “The Other One.” If I thought it was your failing memory I’d forgive you, but you only seem to forget the name of one of my children or my husband both of whom you have lovingly renamed, “The Other One.”
3. You Have The TV On Louder Than At Best Buy. It’s okay that you have the TV on all the time. But you have the TV on so loud, I have to be treated for Tinnitus when you leave. Turn it down so you can actually hear my kid saying, “Turn it down, Grandma. My eardrums are new.”
4. Please Don’t Ask Me What’s For Dinner During Breakfast. How about we make a deal? I guarantee you will never miss a meal. You can even have seconds. And you promise to stop talking about food every single moment of the day. How can you be hungry? We just ate.
5. Stop Texting! You’re Worse Than A Teenage Girl. I’m not exactly sure who you’re texting all the time, but since you’re only in town for a few days it’d be super if my kids saw more of you than the top of your head.
6. Help Yourself. You’re probably trying to be polite, but when you sit in the kitchen and wait for me to serve you it makes me think you’ve mistaken my house for a hotel. It’s not. If you can walk, you can serve yourself. Trust me, you won’t offend me.
7. Clean Up After Yourself.I’m thrilled to have you visit, but I spend enough time cleaning up after my kids. I don’t want to add you in to the mix.
8. Please Don’t Hoarde Food In Your Room. Fewer things are more unsettling than finding candy wrapper and banana peals under the bed. Leave the food hoarding to college girls and just eat in the kitchen like the rest of us
9. Don’t Tell Me I’m Uptight. I appreciate all the fabulous comparisons you constantly make to how you raised your kids to how I am. But trust me, your parents said you were uptight too. You just couldn’t hear them over your very loud TV. If my kids were unruly, you’d say they need more rules. So why throw the stink eye my way every time I try to keep some order in my house. I’m trying to raise nice kids. How about some support?
10. If I Put My Kid In A Time Out, Don’t Go Hang Out With Him! You can do almost anything in my house except undermine me. So when I ask my kid to take a break, don’t go take a break with her.
11. It’s Not Funny When You Teach My Kids Filthy Words. It was so cute when you taught my 3-year-old to say, “I have to go take a piss,” until she sent to school and said, “I have to go take a piss.” Cool it with the potty-mouth, Grandpa. You’re making me look bad!
12. When I Say We’re Leaving At 9, I Mean We’re Leaving At 9. I know it’s been a while since you had to live life on a schedule, but life with kids involves detailed scheduling that rely on us being on time.
13. Carseats and Shampoo Are Not Optional. Part of you coming to help means me not having to worry more about my kids when they’re with you. So if you can’t figure out how the car seats work, just ask. And if you don’t know where the soap is, ask about that too.
14. Watching The Stock Report Together Is Not Spending Time Together. If you volunteer to spend time with the kids, how bout doing something with them that doesn’t involve you watching a TV news program that totally bores them to tears?
15. Put On Some Clothes. There’s Children Present! I want you to feel at home, almost. You may walk around in your boxers and ill-fitting bathrobe at your house, but don’t do it at mine. We don’t want to scar the children.
See, aren’t you glad we cleared that up? Now you won’t be the only one enjoying your next visit and I won’t need therapy afterwards!
Related post: 10 Tips For The First Time Grandmother
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