Over on the Michael Baisden Facebook page I saw this last night:
For those of you who don’t know, Michael Baisden is a radio talk show host, an author and a couple other labels. He seems to frequently talk about young parents (as it’s a hot topic in the black community) and as usual, this latest one has got me going.
Let’s see some of the responses to this, shall we?
Okay, where to begin on my rant? First of all, a little background on me. I had my firstborn at 20 and I was scared from the time I peed on the stick until about…today. I’ve been scared that I wouldn’t do a good job and that I didn’t have what it took to be a great mom. Even though I had my boyfriend’s (now husband’s) support, my parents stepped in and provided the type of support that made it impossible for me to fail. They came by and played with my daughter while I studied. At least once a month they would watch her overnight, giving me and my husband a breather and allowing us to have date nights and such. And when my son came along two years later, they swooped him up and gave him as much love and support as they had to give.
I am proud of the relationship that my kids have with their grandparents. My mom and dad usually don’t go more than two weeks without seeing them and my kids can’t get enough of their Nana and Pop. To me, that’s the way it’s supposed to be – older generations spending time with the newer generations and helping to mold them into great adults.
My grandmother watched me and my sisters while my mom worked and I know understand what a relief that was for her. To not have to pay outrageous daycare costs. To literally be able to walk us across the street to my grandmother’s house and walk us back home when she got off work.
To suggest that refusing to babysit (or as I call it, spending time with your grandkids) is serving as some sort of punishment for young parents? That’s reckless. Young parents, more so than any other parenting group, need that support. At every turn we’re shamed for having our kids, expected to fail, and burdened with adult responsibilities that we might not have the experience to excel at. This is hard. And we’re not supposed to ask our parents to watch our kids so we can go to the movies for a breather? We’re supposed to be run into the ground because we have to deal with the “consequences of our actions”? Give me a break. Literally.
I know for a fact that if my mom was of the “That’s your kid – you take responsibility for it” mindset, life would be very, very different for me. For one thing, I wouldn’t have this blog. I would be even more stressed and probably on some type of anti-depressant to deal with my shortcomings.
More and more, I’m realizing that I can’t do this on my own and I need to bring in more people to help me make it through. And you’re darn right that my parents are a big part of that.
I think this grandma had the right idea:
What do you all think about this conversation? Is it necessary? Do your parents help you out a lot, a little or not at all?
This post originally appeared on Tara’s site The Young Mommy Life.