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Long distance grand-parenting – mixed blessings

With my current home and work lifestyle, I have my children to myself (yay) 3 hours a day from 4pm to 7pm, 5 days a week. And though this is less than the average amount of time parents get with their children on a daily basis, this is what I have to be ok with because of their bedtime at 7pm, which allows me to go to work at 7:30pm some evenings or gives me time to myself. My husband’s work hours do not permit him to be home in time for bedtime on most days and this has been the case for the past 7 years. So even though I cannot even try to compare myself with officially single parents out there, I do feel I am on my own doing everything with them during the weekdays.

But I am not alone in this process and thanks to the internet my family in India get to spend some time with my two children on a daily basis. Miss 3 refuses to eat dinner unless her Nani (grandma) is on FaceTime on the laptop. The two of them chat away with various family members while they eat their dinner and I get to sit (actually sit down, on a chair and everything!) and enjoy my cup of chai while my children are being babysat and entertained by my family in India. I feel blessed because of this arrangement for so many reasons.

My children get to connect with their grand parents on a regular basis, sharing stories about their days, listening to stories (on demand, easy access) and even singing songs in Gujarati (which I don’t get to do too often)! What FaceTime also allows me to do is observe and enjoy the interactions between the various generations in my family 🙂 And though it doesn’t compare to having grandparents in the same city as them, they make the most of their ability to connect with each other in an ongoing manner.

FaceTime also allows me to leave the children unattended at the dining table and quickly do a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher as I know the children will be encouraged to eat if need be or be told off if they decide they would rather pick on their sibling than eat their dinner lol.

But lately Miss 3 has been extra fussy and stubborn. Though I can appreciate the strengths in her personality, I just don’t want her to practice those skills on me! Grand parents on FaceTime at moments or evenings like this can be a struggle for a parent. I have had my father tell me – just let her have the yogurt, atleast she is eating something (lol) to my mother telling me – stick to your guns, you can’t keep giving in to her tantrums. And though I manage the tantrum how I would anyway (without paying either of the advices too much attention) it can be challenging having a couple of extra voices in your ear.

But the benefits outweigh challenges any day and thats why I am grateful to the internet, for providing opportunities to connect regularly as well as free in house babysitting!

Do you use the internet to make various generations in your family connect with each other? How often do you do it? Benefits? Challenges?

1 Comment

  1. Reeti says:

    A good read.
    A positive prospective on the connectivity aspect of the world wide web.

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