Too many people live their lives doing exactly the opposite of what their parents tell them. Don’t sit close to the TV! Don’t date the bad boy! Don’t drink until you’re 21! Don’t go over the speed limit! You get the point. I’m almost 35 and while I may have gone through a stage where I did that, I think I learned fairly early that my parents are smart and fun. And that I want to spend more time with them. They’ve already been in my shoes. My mom knows what it feels like to be a working mom and juggle a job, keep a house clean, raise a child, be a dance chauffeur, and a friend. My dad knows a whole heck of a lot about business, coaching third base in softball, swim team encouragement, food and wine, travel, and life! My stepmom has a humongous heart and can iron better than anyone I know! And my stepdad is patient, caring, and plays a mean drum solo!
So, enjoy your parents while they’re still here on this earth with you! Someday, they’ll be gone and you’ll miss them and wish you had asked them things, spent more time with them, drank wine with them, and traveled with them. Each of your parents has a different story to tell, to you and your kids – if you’ll just listen! Give them that chance!
Not only do my husband and I value time spent with our parents, we have made it a point to ensure our daughter gets plenty of time with her grandparents too. With and without us around. They can teach her things we cannot. And they can allow her a little more freedom than we can as her parents, the ones who need to discipline and maintain balance and boundaries. She regularly comes home with lip gloss and blush after spending a night at her Nonna’s house.
Family, is and will always be, the most important thing for us. It will always come first. And that doesn’t just mean us three (though that’s where it starts). It means my parents, his parents, our grandparents, etc. We only have one living grandparent left, and unfortunately, we live just shy of 1000 miles south of her, so we don’t get to see her in person very often. Thankfully, my husband’s mother makes the effort to FaceTime with her mother and my daughter as often as possible – something I greatly appreciate. We are also lucky enough to have my grandmother’s sister within an hour of us, and we try to see her as often as possible. I truly believe that being around my daughter is good for her and keeps her young (though she’s the youngest 98-year-old you’ll ever meet). I also know that she is the closest my child will ever get to knowing my grandmother, whom I was incredibly close to.
Learn About Them
Learn about your family history by asking questions. Let them share their memories about growing up and events you were not present for so you know your background. Ask them anything and everything when you can! I KNOW they would LOVE to share with you.
Ask Them For Help
Ask them for help with anything: care for your child, how to compare different insurance quotes, which dress to wear to that friend’s wedding, or where to go on vacation. Chances are they went through it all at one time or another. Why frustrate yourself and reinvent the wheel?
Spend Time With Them
Carve out some time from your busy week or even month, if weekly is just a little too often for you. Hang out with them. And I mean outside of Christmas and Easter! Those days can be full of stress and anxiety, especially for moms. I mean just any random weekend. For no reason . . . other than to spend quality time together. Have a beach day. Or some outdoor games at your house. Make dinner, open some wine, and just enjoy each other.
You won’t regret the family time. And your kids will thank you someday!