What is it with us moms? Often, we make plans, just to feel guilty about it at a later time. Recently, a sponsored holiday trip came our way, and hubby and I were all too keen to grab the opportunity. But this also meant leaving our six year old for a week with my parents. Now, the kiddo loves spending time with them as there are seldom any rules to be followed there, but this would be the first time she'd be there for a few days without my hubby or me around.
It was tough! As I let those tiny palms slip out of my hand at the airport, I turned my face away, lest my kiddo noticed them. What if she cried through the nights? Maybe she wouldn't eat her meals properly. What if it affected her psychologically? Would she really be okay? Maybe I shouldn't be doing this trip. The thoughts ran wild as the flood gates opened and tears tumbled from my eyes. From behind the glass, I saw her staring as though into oblivion. I was guilt stricken.
As parents, we should seldom feel guilty about leaving our children with their grandparents.
During the course of the next few days, I would message my mom constantly to check how she was doing. It was only after receiving the usual "She's fine don't worry" kind of message that I would feel at peace. The day I landed back, I couldn't wait to get home to her. Every minute in the traffic seemed like an era. As I reached my parents' home, I saw kiddo digging with her toy spade in the garden, unaware I stood behind. I called out to her, and she came running. The floodgates opened again and my tears were uncontrollable. Kiddo looked up and asked, "So what did you buy for me?" I simply laughed.
I soon realized how silly it was of me to feel guilty about the trip. My daughter had spent a happy week experiencing the simple joys of life, sans gadgets and video games. Mornings were for digging up the garden with my father, exploring life in the soil or lying on the grass admiring the butterflies flitting about. When she had had enough of the mud all over her, she would splash around in a tub of water. Afternoons were spent lazing around reading and singing old songs which grandma would teach her. They would cook together with kiddo seated on the kitchen platform until she retired to bed tired, after a nice story session revolving around gods, kings and horses.
Grandparents play a crucial role in nurturing children, whether they live in the next street or miles away in another city. The bond between them and the child is truly special. As parents, we should seldom feel guilty about leaving our children with their grandparents. The child stays happy and active in their company and, for the grandparents it is delightful to receive unconditional love. It fills lonely lives with joy, and keeps them energized post retirement.
And, of course, don't we also require that quality time with the spouse?
So the next time you plan to leave your child for a week, give them the opportunity to bond with their grandparents. It is the safest and the best place to get children to live without their parents as it creates happy memories that will last a lifetime.
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