I found this article on MSN News this morning. It is 50 Things Grandparents Should Never Do. I agree and understand, some things can be helpful, when communicated. I know where I made my mistakes while my daughter’s were young.
When I was getting divorced my girl’s were young and we moved in with my parents. Some say first mistake, others say it could be very helpful. I will briefly tell you bits and pieces of mistakes that corelate with the article below.
First Mistake: No Communicating with my parents prior to moving in period! We were not that close, as in constant calls on a daily basis. So when it came to moving in I had to do it by myself in a 4-door Saturn. My dad (step-dad for those that know my story) was going to help with the pickup truck but since I drove out (1 hour away) with the girls he chose not to go out there. I wanted to clean up a bit more and not let my dad see how depressed I was just before going to my parents place. I was ashamed. But I chose not to communicate that with them. Communication between your parents in regards to anything with your children is key to a healthy relationship. It is about the kids and not you. That was my problem.
Second Mistake: While living with my parents I was able to work full time and return to college full time. I even managed a 4.0 with everything. I chose to work hard and wanted that for my daughter’s future. But I began to allow my parents, mostly my mother, to interfere with discipling the girls. It was hard to separate the fun grandma and grandpa and their mom in the same residence. Then if they needed to do homework and I was working, it become a nightmare. I ended up working nightshift at the hospital. That just eventually (couple years) burnt me out. I needed to clean the house and other responsibilities done in the daylight hours. I was tired. My mom did nothing but complain no matter what hours I worked, nothing pleased her. It did not help our family dynamics.
Throughout the years and even before my divorce my parents always bought clothing and toys for them. They actually had a bedroom at their house prior to us moving in. When we moved in we each had our own rooms. How lucky can we be? The three of us each have a bedroom and a private bath. That does not normally happen. Do not get me wrong I will always be truly grateful. When my car broke down I used their extra car. Now who does that? The problem is I always felt guilty or obligated. Like I owe them and they should make the decisions as they are right.
What really should have happened is communication from the beginning, prior to me moving in. Even when I moved in a signed agreement if need be. I gave my paychecks to my dad all the time so my money helps the family out, as in me and the girls and my parents. I wanted to be fair. The electric bill went up, water, etc. Participation in household expenses is fair. They always helped with Santa gifts since the girls were born. I knew I could never compete with that. I will always be grateful for my parents to help me when I was so far down in depression and no where to go when getting divorced. They gave their home to us. That home was a home until they both passed, at very young ages of cancer. Being a parent and a grandparent is a gift from God. Communication is the key. Without that you do not have great relationships with your children and parents eventually.
For me, my mom went on Hospice and I stayed home for that 6 months to care for her with my girls and dad. It helped us connect. We lost all those years because I just had to be right and so did she. We were stubborn women. My daughter’s are now 22 & 24 with their own lives and careers. My 22 year old has a 15 month old adorable little boy. But they do not have that much respect for me in the parenting game. Interference can cause too many dilemmas that you do not want. My dad and I never really connected like he did with my daughter’s. They loved their grandpa and that is sweet. My oldest took real good care of him with his cancer. He gave me an “olive branch” the Christmas before he passed. We were not on good terms. He was always good to me and he suffered the loss of my mom deeply. We always got pajamas on Christmas Eve from Mrs. Claus (my mom). I loved that even as a teenager. So I welcomed the tradition for my girls and wanted to keep it going. I still do today. My dad’s “olive tree” to me was pajamas for Christmas 2014. I will never forget. He passed away days before his birthday in February 2015.
Mistakes are what we make as parents and grandparents. Why don’t we communicate better to not let it affect future relationships. It is the BIG mistakes that make the difference in our lives. Please share with me below what you think of the article and if anything has happened like it shares.