Lots of couples live near one set of parents, sometimes both. Depending on whom you ask, this is either a blessing or a curse.
Most people love that their kids can grow up knowing abuelo and abuela and have a close relationship with them. I don't believe this is ever in question. What becomes an issue for some couples is just how close abuelo and abuela are. Do they meddle in the couple's business? Are they a little too vocal with their opinions on parenting techniques?
My parents live about twenty minutes away from us. It is great that my children can visit abuelo and abuela at any time our schedule allows. It's also convenient and helpful should we ever need some last-minute help. But, there have been times when opinions differed in regards to my kids that created awkward moments.
It seems that when our parents become abuelos, they forget all the rules they imposed on you, and are suddenly very laid-back. Your child refuses to eat his food? "No te preocupes! Ya comera cuando quiera." [Don’t worry, they’ll eat when they want to eat.] Your daughter doesn't share her toy? "Es que es niña todavia...no sabe!" [She’s still a little girl, she doesn’t know any better!] Never mind the fact that you're trying to teach proper behavior, excuses will be made for the nietos [grandchildren].
I often sit observing my parents and how they act with my kids. I wonder - sometimes out loud - how it's possible that they can be so different than how they were as parents to my brothers and I. "Ustedes no me dejaban hacer eso!" [You never let me do that!] I've been known to say. My mami's response? "Es diferente cuando uno es abuela. No tienes tantas cosas en la mente." [It’s different when you’re a grandmother. You don’t have so many things on your mind.]
As far as I can tell, from personal experience and talking with friends, the benefits of living near a set of parents include:
- Your children grow up knowing abuelo and abuela on a close level.
- Your children can gain valuable lessons on their heritage, and are exposed to their culture even more.
- You maintain a close relationship with your parents and can help them as they age.
- You have the best babysitters ever for your children near-by.
When it comes to frustrations of living near your parents, I really believe they do not outweigh the good. However, they do exist.
- Your parents provide unsolicited parenting advice.
- Your parents feel they can take over your parenting - in the moment.
- Mami expects you to visit a lot - every day would be ideal in her mind.
There are are many more reasons why living near your parents (or your partner's) can either be a blessing or a curse. Each situation is different too. Tell me, do you believe it's a blessing or a curse to live near mami and papi? What's the most outrageous thing they've done?
Melanie Edwards is the founder and editor of ModernMami™.com, an award-winning lifestyle blog, and owner of Ella Media, whose focus is to connect businesses with today’s digital Latina. Married 9 years, Melanie is the proud mother of a 6-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy, who are being raised in a bilingual, multicultural environment. Originally from Puerto Rico, Melanie now resides in Orlando, Florida.
Melanie Edwards is the founder and editor of ModernMami™.com, an award-winning lifestyle blog, and owner of Ella Media, whose focus is to connect businesses with today's digital Latina. Married 9 years, Melanie is the proud mother of a 6-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy, who are being raised in a bilingual, multicultural environment. Originally from Puerto Rico, Melanie now resides in Orlando, Florida.