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    My mom provides our childcare, but we have different rules for the kids. It creates tension.

    Bethaney Phillips’ mom provides daycare for her two young boys.

    Courtesy Bethaney Phillips

    For the last three years, my mom has been our childcare provider.She does a great job of looking after my two kids, but we have different rules for them. This creates tension and confusion.

    When we moved to my hometown three years ago, my mother became our day care provider. She wanted to do it, but due to a deficit of day care slots, we also needed her to fill this role. And, of course, when choosing someone to be with my kids, I’d rather them be with my mom.

    It was a good fit for everyone.

    We drew up a scenario where she’d work her day job two days a week — which offered her insurance and a discount on their growing medical bills — and keep the grandchildren, two boys then 4 and 2 years old, the other three days of the week. In this setup, my spouse and I would also pay my mom the going rate.

    Everyone agreed.

    This has been our setup for the last three years. The boys have alternated between “Mommy days” and “Grammy days,” even as my oldest started kindergarten and my youngest finished preschool.

    She’s great with my kids, but we have different rules

    My mom has always taken great care of the boys, but we have very different personalities, which means we parent differently. Our homes also have different rules. At her house, the boys wear shoes outside. If they don’t have them on, she reminds them the second they cross the threshold and asks where their shoes are. Meanwhile, I’m constantly barefoot in the yard. If my kids are too, that’s great!

    Grammy also doesn’t allow wrestling — she says she “can’t handle it” — while at our house, so long as everyone is in on the fun, it’s fair game. It goes on and on like that. I’m more hands-off and OK with letting them experience natural consequences, while she would wrap them in bubble wrap if she could.

    I let them be boys, and she wants to reel them in and avoid the wildness of being a young kid.

    Treating the kids differently can be confusing for everyone

    As you can imagine, this has led to some confusion — for the kids, yes, but for my mom, too. She regularly wants to parent over me or enforce her own rules when visiting my house. However, it’s more out of habit than coming from a place of ill intent. But each time she asks them not to yell or keep their hands to themselves, it’s like nails on a chalkboard for me. I nicely remind her that’s her rule, not mine.

    “That’s not a rule here,” I will tell her. “They are allowed to play in the mud if they want to.”

    She laughs, but there is underlying tension because she doesn’t agree. Ultimately, she said what she did because she believes in a different set of rules. Mud isn’t for squishing in, and houses aren’t for yelling.

    Meanwhile, I’m frustrated with the overbearing nature of it all and exhausted from the mental energy required to have the same conversations over and over again.

    There actually are scenarios in which I’m the strict one, like car seat arrangements, for example. I have rules about how they are installed and what kind of seats they can use. Regarding this topic, it’s been easier for me to just install them in her car myself. Another major difference is how we think about sugar: how much they can have, and when they can have it. But with these issues, she does follow instructions, all while listing the things that have changed since she raised kids; the classic boomer versus Millenial face-off.

    Still, I’m grateful to her for watching them, and she’s done a great job

    I have loved her being our childcare provider, but as my youngest enters his first year of school, a part of me also feels relief. She can go back to just being Grammy, and I can just go back to being her daughter, not her childcare employer. No doubt the opinions (and the comments) will still be there, but they’ll be fewer and further between — and not coming rapid fire after a long day of work.

    Ultimately, though, it’s been the best decision for our kids and provided them with precious moments that we will all continue to cherish.

    Read the original article on Business Insider

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