My in-laws put a swimming pool in their back yard the summer after my first child was born. I’m not a good swimmer, but I love hanging out by pools, at least until my fair skin starts to burn.
It was wonderful to have a place to go to relax on summer weekends. We could only get away from home one weekend a month or so, but it was a nice escape from city and work. Usually, my husband and I and our baby son traveled together to visit his parents, but sometimes when my husband had his Naval Reserve drill weekend, I’d take our son and go by ourselves. It made my life easier to have my in-laws help take care of the baby while my husband was out of town.
This pattern continued once our daughter came along three years later. By that time, my workload had really picked up, and I couldn’t go away for the weekend very often, even on Reserve weekends. But if my parents-in-law would keep the kids for the following week—now that was motivation to make the trip!
My daughter says today that I wanted to get rid of my kids whenever I could. That wasn’t really true. I liked my kids.( I still like my kids.) But it was much easier to deal with kids or work than both at the same time.
Besides, the kids loved spending time with their grandparents—often with their cousins as well.
And I remembered visiting my grandparents in Pacific Grove for a month at a time in the summer and loving every minute of it. Beaches might beat swimming pools, but both are nice.
I didn’t think my kids were suffering when they stayed with my in-laws for a week. Not only could they play in the swimming pool every day, but they also had poolside picnic lunches, daily trips to the Red Cross Pharmacy for ice cream, and Coke floats many evenings. No, they weren’t suffering.
So despite my daughter’s attempts to guilt me into thinking I was a bad mother, I have no regrets about taking them to spend a week with their grandparents.
What do you remember about spending time with your grandparents growing up?