Dream Parenting

I am sure all of us had dream parents in our minds. We would have also compared our friends parents with our parents and tell them, how much you wished your parents were like them, for giving more freedom or giving so much pocket money or etc etc.

Dream Parenting

Now that we have  become parents, we want to be the best mom or dad in this world. I too have dreamt and want to give and teach the best to my daughter. Unfortunately, whatever I want to give goes through another filtering set of parents.  Guessed it? Yup, I am talking about the grandparents.

They are there to help, but at times harm the way we take care of the kids. I am sure most of you would have faced it at some point or the other. It starts with the child-birth. The name you want to give your child, to the one grandparents decide upon seeing the stars. It doesn’t end here, but continues as the kid grows. When you want to feed ‘Dal‘ to kid, they say it produces gas, ask us to give ‘curd’. When you think of giving ‘curd’ they say, child might catch cold, so don’t give curd. Any amount of talking doesn’t help.

How many of you have handled this? What do you think is the best way? What to do when grandparents take up the role of parents? I am sure we can’t tell them, “you took care of your kids, let me take care of mine” directly.

This is what I do. Whenever they say something superstitious, I would explain them the logic and science. I want Bunty to know and understand things and rituals rather than blindly follow them. Bunty’s grand parents thought giving “Vasambu” ( in Tamil, don’t know the English equivalent) would only bring in right speech or smoothen the tongue, and will bring clarity in child’s speech. I had to take them to the pediatrician and explain the wrong consequences of giving it to the baby. They were against feeding the baby the Colostrums, again the nurses in my maternity ward came to rescue.  At least, I know health wise I can trust on the doctors and they would advice in-laws about the latest medicines and things to be followed which are more effective.

But how to tackle the statements like, ‘ I have brought up three kids of my own, and 2 other grandchildren”. Hmmm, nothing just don’t reply, ignore. Recently, I have started facing this confusion of amma and nanamma (Father’s mother in Telugu) in my life. I have all of a sudden become mummy instead of amma. My kid gets confused between amma and nanamma. I am still working on it.

At times I feel bad, as my kid is with them all day, and sleep with them in night too without coming to me. They (in-laws) have acted as her parents in my absence. But again, ours kids are always ours. They come to us when they are happy, giving a tight hug, or come crying for assurance. We are always there for them as ever. Let me assure all parents facing this problem, nobody can ever take our place, the invisible bond of love is always there.

That’s the specialty of motherhood.

Children and mothers never truly part –
Bound in the beating of each other’s heart.
– Charlotte Gray

Anusha Balaprasad is an Architect by profession working for a Govt. organization. Living away from her husband because of job locations, she loves writing, painting, reading and cooking (occasionally). She likes roaming around and window shopping, but now unable to move even an inch outside, because of her daughter, Bunty. She tries to capture her antic on her blog.

  • Once you leave your kids under grandparents , most parental decisions are to be relinquished to them too as they are with the child maximum time. That is only fair,na?

    • hmmm .. at times it becomes kind of deal too.. :).

  • My sister is in same situation as you, only she leaves her son with her/my mom. So my mom is showering all her wisdom on the little boy. But some of the things are pretty harmless and not worth fighting. All said and done the list of pros of leaving the kid with grandparents are much more than cons.. Far better than leaving the kiddo with a creche…

    • yes, leaving them with set of grandparents/safer hands can be traded with the unintended problems :).

  • “I have brought up three kids of my own, and 2 other grandchildren” the comments to which the best option is to not reply, I have heard it from my Grandmother to my mother when we were kids (she did not like it much then) and now I hear from her (my mother), my granny and my MIL.
    The point is every one around (including me) thinks they know best about bringing up a child 🙂

    • yes, everybody wants to give the best to the child and think they are the best.. :). no solution for that though.. 😛

  • While we mothers change with the times for our children, the grandparents are unable to change the way they brought up their kids. So, there is constantly some comment or the other !!
    While my mother or mil are ok with my upbringing, some things like these – leaving the hair loose or not wearing a bindi or not wearing a kurti or why always jeans – are a case of constant complaint to me….I just ward it off with a smile !!!

    • yes, i did face it when i was a teenager, my mom too used to ignore their comments. she would ask me to behave they way my grandparents wanted when i visited them, or else i was just myself at home.

  • I am so glad that I spent most of the formative years of my children away form grandparents. That helped me a lot.
    I dealt with interference directly. “My child, my ways. You keep out of it.” Having been with me all the time, my children turned to me even when I disciplined them rather than be mindlessly ‘pampered’ by grandparents. Actually I am so, so very much grateful to life for letting me bring them up on my own.

    • that is so nice Shail.. now Bunty has learnt that she would get things from her granny, if i say no to her. smart kids, learn from very young age how to gets things done.
      i also find, what is “wrong” for their kids( when they were just parents), suddenly becomes “ok” for their grandchildren.

  • I am sure this must be highly irritating at times when you may not be able to do things that you may have thought for your child… but on the positive note it may turn out good for the child to have the best of both parents and grandparents.. 🙂

    • yes, it is heart wrecking too.. but its just that kid is safe hands when you are out..

  • When a child spends more time with the Grandparents than the parents, it is only fair to think that they imbibe more of the GPs point of view. As long as it makes them a better, brighter person, I imagine there is very little that one can, and should, do about it. With me, my kids adore their GPs to bits. So I conveniently ‘unhear’ what I don’t want to follow, and do things my way without any clashes 🙂 …. but the flip side is that I leave them at a daycare.

  • recently i have learnt this art of ignoring .. but certain things which are not be followed the way GP have taught, i try to correct it on weekends.

  • I can understand your situation, Anusha. My kid was with my parents for a year. There were things which differed from my beliefs about parenting. So for some I convinced them and some things I ignored too. Agree with Desi Traveler, I knew that my child is in better hands when compared with the option of leaving him in a day care!!

  • I know what you mean! Some things, like the colostrum etc are hard to ignore! You may have to decide what you want to argue against and what you should let go!
    I am not sure if keeping kids with GPs is better than daycare, but then, I have an excellent daycare; one which does what I want them to, and which gives my child lots of mental stimulation and socialization, which I doubt a GP has the energy to give! Sorry, I know that sounds sacrilegious, but that’s how I find it!

  • Hi Anusha,

    Living in a joint family 24*7 this is the problem I also face and the worst thing is they contradict themselves time and again and you just can’t argue with them. My in-laws are not just fixed in their views they are pretty rigid about their views and have uttered the same words minus the grandchildren part, as my son is their first grandchild.

  • SJC

    Sometimes we feel wish grandparents were together and i had not to keep my kid in a day care. Its their age to get spoiled and get selfless love. I admit its not easy to adjust in a joint family for well educated ladies like us but if we see the positive points when we need privacy and some time for us to hang out ladies party or whatever then they come to rescue :). Guess it always like that those who dont have realise the importance of it! Lets discuss something positive. Our children are future readers of our blogs!