Times have changed. The village that used to raise children in multigeneration settings rarely applies nowadays due in part to the the greater emotional distancing between families, physical distancing and family member’s pure disposition to care for a baby (or lack thereof).
Deciding who to take care of your baby if and when you return to work after the maternity leave is over, is a difficult and extremely emotional decision. It is also an important decision because literally, the well-being of your baby will depend on the baby’s caregiver. Although I have my personal bias regarding whether or not grandma should take care of her grandchildren, I’ll limit myself to presenting you all the pros and cons that I could think of for each of the two options.
The Pros of Grandma Taking Care of Her Granchild
1. Baby will have grandma’s love and proximity
2. Baby’s parents will have grandma’s wisdom and childrearing expertise at their disposal (e.g. like having a perpetual doula)
3. Baby’s parents are more likely to have access to grandma not only while at work but for date nights as well
4. Parents can be at ease leaving their baby with someone so trusted and loved.
5. Parents can help grandma earn money. It can be more beneficial to pay grandma instead of paying for someone else for a care provider.
6. Grandma can be more accommodating as to where she’s willing to take care of the baby (either in your house or hers). And if you’re running late, she won’t charge you extra.
7. If you prefer that the baby is taken care of in your house, you would most likely feel more comfortable leaving grandma in your home instead of someone who you don’t know as well.
The Cons of Grandma Taking Care of Her Grandchild
1. Relying on a close third caretaker such as grandma can prevent baby’s parents from fully coming together as a couple and as a 3-person family unit.
2. Baby can get confused as to which discipline he or she should follow: grandma’s or parents, especially when all three people are present.
3. Baby’s parents can learn to depend on grandma for anything and everything.
4. Grandma is unable to enjoy her role as grandma because now, she is essentially being a parent all over again.
5. Grandma will most likely feel obliged to do more than just take care of the baby (i.e. house chores, errands, food preparation).
6. Parents can’t really learn to depend on themselves and one another if they know grandma is always there or a phone call away.
7. Even though grandmas have the best of intentions for taking care of children, children need more intellectual stimulation than some grandmas are able or willing to give
8. By staying at home and being cared for by grandma for several months or years, babies and toddlers often don’t get the opportunity to interact with other children as much.
It’s Your Turn to Share Your Wisdom Treasures
Knowing whom to leave your child with is a very important and your expertise will surely help people make up their mind on this dilemma that will impact a child’s life forever.
- So what scenario do you think is best for everyone involved? For what reasons?
- How did you decide on what to do? How did that work out?
- Do you regret any of the caregiver choices that you’ve made? Why?
Please leave a comment below sharing your experience or expertise.