“Takeover” or “Playdate” grandparents?

family dynamicAre you lucky enough to have parents (or in-laws) who are hands-on with your kids, giving you a much needed and well-deserved break? You know, the type who swoop in and let you hightail it out of there. I call them the “Takeover” grandparents. Or do you have the type who visit your kids and watch you do all the work while they sit back and enjoy their precious “dividends?” In other words, are they “Playdate” grandparents who benefit from all the fruits of your labor? 

If you answered the “Takeover” grandparent,” I hope you know how damn lucky you are. Sure the “Takeover” grandmother may overstep her boundaries, telling you how SHE knows how to feed your kids the healthy food they’re lacking. Or how they’d still be in diapers in High School if it weren’t for her. But who cares? She’s watching them while you’re at a movie! Or away on vacation! Or even supermarket shopping in peace. Hell, she can call me “Mommy Dearest” as long as she changes diapers, gets up in the middle of the night, and allows me to get my nails done.

Now there are others of us who are all too familiar with the “Playdate” grandparent.  Don’t get me wrong, we love them all the same (for other qualities they possess), but on this front we got majorly screwed. That’s because the “Playdate” grandparent has opted out of becoming a “Takeover” grandparent. They want no part of it – and they will let you know in no uncertain terms. Blatant warning signs of a “Playdate” grandparent include: your parents moving to Florida right after your baby is born,  claiming they have all sorts of appointments whenever you ask them to babysit, or they tell you straight out that they’re not “kid people.”  Though often the signs are more subtle… and they just never offer to watch your kids. They love them like crazy, but just not enough to let you flee the house.

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