I like the idea of a day away from the children but as it approaches, I begin to dread it. Along with the usual feelings of guilt, I start wondering if I can be bothered with all the admin associated with handing them over to someone else (usually my parents or mother in law) for a day (or a night if I’m really pushing it).
Often, I decide I can’t do it. And the plans to spend time away from the children are shelved.
This weekend, however, I went through with it!
It required a bit of planning but the boys had a great time at home with my parents while I enjoyed a child-free Saturday.
So much so that I’m working out when I can do it again.
7 steps to leaving your children with the grandparents
Make a note
Jot down your child’s daily schedule, the food they will be eating and when, and when to offer snacks and drinks. It might be helpful to suggest a few things the grandparents could do with them – trip to the playground/ fair, for example (although you’ll have to explain how to work the buggy!).
Try not to be too bossy in what you write and bear in mind that they might not stick to it (my parents never do).
Make sure your child’s favourite teddy/ dummy/ etc is where it should be (in their bed, for example) and whoever is looking after them knows where to find all the relevant clothes and footwear for the day.
Obviously you don’t want to scare your mother or mother in law but it is definitely worth pointing out any hazards and dangers in the home and letting them know where the First Aid kit is.
If your child likes to climb/ throw himself down the stairs or drink bleach from the kitchen cupboard, tell your mother. And stick the doctor’s number (and maybe that of a friend) to the fridge door for emergencies.
Keep it simple
Don’t expect your mother or mother in law to start introducing a new routine or medication. You can do these things yourself, when you’re back. If you’re leaving food for your child, make sure they love it! It’ll be so much easier for the grandparent if everything is eaten – in terms of cleaning up and general mood of child.
Let it go
You’ve left instructions, prepared the food, and got all their kit ready – now it’s time to leave! Don’t waste time clucking around the kitchen. If your mother raised you without too many troubles, she’s more than qualified to look after your beloved.
Keep in touch
If it’s going to make you feel calmer, put in a call or a text every so often to find out how its all going. DON’T pester though! My parents always send me photographs, which help me to relax (depending on the picture). Try not to spend the day checking your phone.
Bring back a present (for the grandparent, not the child).
If your mother doesn’t put your child to sleep at the right time, or feeds her too many sweets, or lets him walk through a filthy puddle in the park, don’t get stressed out. One day won’t hurt and chances are you could do with being a bit less uptight, anyway (I certainly could).
Sign up to our Mumfidential newsletter!