I just recently attended a friend's holiday party where I met this woman who had just given birth to a new baby - 12 days old to be exact. This woman looked fantastically rested and relaxed. I was amazed, of course (because I'm sure I didn't ever leave the house for the first month except to go to the dr and I'm pretty sure I didn't look so glowing). I asked her "What gives?"
She replied, "I live with my parents!" And went on to describe how wonderful it is because her mom has been a huge help. When the baby wakes up for a feeding in the middle of the night, her mother tiptoes in and gets the baby, feeds him, rocks him, tends to him.
I have another friend who recently gave birth and same scenario - baby is wonderful, life is wonderful. So easy. Piece of cake. And she too, has the luxury of her mother coming to care for the baby every Thursday and sometimes on weekends too!
THAT is certainly the secret of great parenting - when YOUR parents care for the child early on.
The problem for me in this equation is, have you met my mother? Yeah, no. She is not the nurturing kind (for that matter, have ya met me? yeah no. Not the nurturing kind.) As children we were never coddled and really, it takes the coddling kind to really want to take care of your kids, right? I am of the ilk - Hey, I raised you. I'm pretty sure I don't want to have to raise your kids too.
Luckily, for us G's mother is still a caregiver/caretaker. She still very much takes care of her husband (my parents are divorced), her family, her kids and when G's sister had her kids, her mother was really helpful. At the very least taking care of the meals and the house, etc.
Again, the problem with handing my child off to someone else to care for lies with me. I have a problem allowing someone else to care for D. It must be that control thing - "nobody else can do it as well as I would." Tsk! Tsk! Very bad trait to have. Really.
I mean, case in point - we were recently in Florida with G's parents. We were really tired so as soon as we got in, G's mom had announced, "We will take over entertaining D! You guys go get some rest!" So, we took a nap. Upon waking, the whole world had not collapsed! D was fine. G's mom reported they had gone to the grocery store, they walked around outside, D ate, she pooped. All was good.
Then, later as I was changing D's diaper, her butt was dirty! The butt crack was not cleaned properly (from when she had pooped). Eww! I did not make a big deal, but in my mind, I certainly filed that one away as "Upp, see, she's just not as good as I am (about cleaning up after D...)" So, of course, in the future I will still have reservations about leaving D alone with the grandparents! Sad. Well, I'm sure I'll reconsider when she's four.