I read an article a while back, I don’t remember where but I really wish I could so that I could write the author and tell him or her that they are a complete idiot.
The premise of the article was that people in their twenties and early thirties were just the right age to have children. No problems with that at all, I agree completely. The article continued that people in their twenties and early thirties were also very busy starting their careers and also hadn’t developed the life experience and patience needed to be really great parents, so the twenty and thirty somethings should have the kids but the grandparent should raise them. Apparently this was the practice in at least some indigenous cultures, and this damn fool thought it was still a good idea.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my now adult children and my grand-kids. I am more than willing to admit that I am a much more patient person that I was when I was raising my own children, no doubt about that. I know more about parenting than most twenty and thirty somethings, but that’s because I have twenty plus years of experience! If my parents had raised my children while I ran around establishing my career and hunting for food (let’s remember where this idea began) I wouldn’t be any more qualified to be a parent now than I was when I had my own kids! The parenting fairy didn’t just stop by one day and deposit information into my consciousness, I learned the hard way like everybody else does! Oh, and one other thing. My body started falling apart in earnest by the time I was in my mid-forties. I could no more do the physical duties of full time parenting now than I could leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Here’s a great idea. Let grandparents be grandparents. We can help, we can offer respite, we can recommend different ways to deal with things, and we can be fantastic baby sitters. Unless you want to drive us to an early grave, you go ahead and be the parent.