This mum’s insane grandparent instructions could tick you off

Do you think that young parents today are too fussy with how grandparents take care of their grandkids? Well, you
Stories

Do you think that young parents today are too fussy with how grandparents take care of their grandkids? Well, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen what Susanne Kerns actually wrote for her father-in-law, eight years ago.

“It’s a 6-page list of ‘guidelines and explanations’ (my own obnoxious words) that I wrote up for my mother and father-in-law when they offered to care for our daughter so that I could take a once-in-a-lifetime 10 day trip to Italy with my mom,” said Susanne.

“My daughter had just turned 1 and we had just moved into a new house the week before. Even with all that, my in-laws were kind enough to volunteer to fly from Arizona to Seattle to watch her so that my mom and I could go on a food and wine tour across Italy.”

“To ‘help’ them out, I put together what I thought was a helpful, information-packed list of all of the critical need-to-know items that they (and my daughter) would need to survive the next 10 days. As I now read it, 8 years (and a 2nd kid) later, I realise how thoroughly amusing this instruction sheet must have been to two intelligent, loving parents/grandparents who had already raised two boys of their own,” confessed Susanne.

Take a look at the instructions and Susanne’s comments on what might have gone through her father-in-law’s mind…

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“Guidelines & explanations, not rules – please do not feel confined to any of this.” And then Susanne starts with a tight hourly schedule.
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Say goodbye to things outside the window and close drapes?
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“Be sure to tickle her when they tickle (Silly Sally)”. Wouldn’t you know when to tickle your grandkids?
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How much is a “pour of Cheerios”?
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Wow. In case you have no idea what your granddaughter is saying, here’s the baby code: “Muau” means cat and “Woo” means dog.

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All instruction photos by Susanne Kerns via Scary Mommy.

“I am still grateful that they gave us this gift of their time, and now I am even more grateful that they didn’t either bolt for the door or laugh in my face when they saw what follows”, said Susanne.

What do you think of her instructions? Did she go too far or is this normal for a new mother?

  1. Anne Wolski  

    She definitely went overboard but at least she has the good grace to admit to it in hindsight

  2. MizHelen  

    A friend of mine has a very controlling dil who leaves written instructions on what to do with the grandkids. the shame is if my friend told her to get a grip, she’d have her time with the babies very limited

  3. Gail  

    This is often the case with first child but we also know by the time the second one comes it all goes out the window. She did go overboard but what can u do, just say nothing just to keep the peace. Its good now that she can look back on it and laugh perhaps a memory to look back on and laugh.

  4. Carmen Fitzgerald  

    I wouldn’t be minding children if there parents thought I needed such a note. Remember I had brought up 3 to there 40’s and they were ok.

  5. June  

    Having our granddaughter this weekend. Rules are out the window!! We’ll be having a ball. Lol

  6. Peter Warren  

    The top of the first page says “guidelines and explanations……not rules….don’t feel confined by any of this”. To me, these read as exactly that, and would help enormously in knowing what routines are in place, what certain gestures and actions mean, etc etc etc. I would then, as suggested, go my own way using these notes as my “reference manual”. I think it is ideal, and would be grateful for the effort she has taken in compiling this document. I would certainly not feel insulted in any way shape or form.

    • Kerry-Anne Gleeson  

      I totally agree with Peter Warren. I’m a mother of two daughters, five grandchildren, the last one is just over twelve months old & ive been involved with raising babies & children since 15 years of age. My last job was helping to raise two girls 6 & 8 years of age till they were 17 & 19 year olds. I congratulate Susanne for going to the trouble of such detailed instructions, very helpful for baby to be comforted in absence of her mother, as grandparents were forewarned & had freedom to have their input,, knowing what baby was used to.

    • Kerry-Anne Gleeson  

      I totally agree with Peter Warren. I’m a mother of two daughters, five grandchildren, the last one is just over twelve months old & ive been involved with raising babies & children since 15 years of age. My last job was helping to raise two girls 6 & 8 years of age till they were 17 & 19 year olds. I congratulate Susanne for going to the trouble of such detailed instructions, very helpful for baby to be comforted in absence of her mother, as grandparents were forewarned & had freedom to have their input,, knowing what baby was used to.

  7. Helen Williams  

    Ha, ha. Rules are meant to be broken. I politely take the well meant instructions and as soon as the parents leave the grandkids and the 4 grandies and I ( 16 months – 5 ) proceed to thoroughly enjoy ourselves without a care in the world.

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