This article appears at A Fine Parent, the online parenting blogazine.
You know what they say about too much of a good thing?
Yeah, that’s kind of what visiting grandparents is like for us.
Every summer and winter holiday we go to the Midwest for a long visit with both sets of grandparents.
My kids love it. Which isn’t surprising at all considering how much both our parents love spoiling grandchildren.
My kids eat more ice cream in those few weeks than they do all year round. They’re allowed to stay up late. They consume more television than is humanly possible. They play all day, every day.
On one hand, it’s lovely. I love that my kids get to do this.
But it also drives me crazy. No homework gets done. Kids are tired and cranky from missing bedtimes and getting up early. Vegetables are a distant memory.
And I end up with the unsavory task of wrestling things back to normal when we get back home.
Time at Grandma and Grandpa’s is special. It should be. I don’t want to get in the way of that.
At the same time, I don’t like how out of balance my parenting feels by the end of the trip.
So for the past couple of years now, I’ve been trying out a few tricks to make the most of the fact that my kids have such wonderful grandparents, while at the same keeping it from straining my own relationship with my parents, or my kids.