Monday, May 24, 2010

Grandma envy

My colleague's phone buzzed. She glanced at the screen and melted into a smile. "My mom just sent me another video," she explained, "She sends me pictures and videos a few times a day so I don't miss my baby so much."

My coworker is a new mom, back at work after a too-short maternity leave. It's never fun to leave a 3 month old baby in someone else's care all day, but she's got a pretty sweet situation. Her parents moved to Chicago specifically to care for her newborn and they're doing it all day, every day, for free. Because they want to. Her precious daughter is in Grandma's loving arms 9 hours a day, and my coworker can be completely confident in the quality of her child care. ("She did a good job raising me!")

I'm happy for my friend, but jealous too. My mom and stepdad and my in-laws live on the East Coast, and they're all professionals at least a year away from retirement. Neither set of grandparents has shown any interest in moving closer to us or visiting more than a couple of times per year. I've never dropped my kids off at Grandma's house for the afternoon, much less the weekend. My children's grandparents have never attended a birthday party, preschool event or dance recital. I can't rely on mom to swoop in and help out when I'm sick or overwhelmed. And I don't have the luxury of calling up a babysitter who loves my children dearly and doesn't charge by the hour.
flickr photo by Baron Von Horne, used under Creative Commons license
Originally posted to Chicago Moms Blog.