When Michelle Obama announced that her primary role in the White House would be as "First Mom," she raised a lot of eyebrows. This was an Ivy League-educated executive stepping down to be a mom. But when she added that her mother, Marian Robinson, would also be joining the family at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, barely a shoulder was shrugged. After all, Mrs. Robinson had cared for Malia and Sasha during the election campaign, and in the United States half of all American grandparents provide some sort of childcare assistance for their grandchildren.
Having a grandparent provide childcare has myriad benefits. First, the children develop a strong relationship with their grandparents. Second, it often costs less than a nanny or a daycare center. Third, it can cut down on working mother guilt since you're leaving your kids with a loving family member.
So what should you know if you're considering having a grandparent care for your new baby? It's as easy as ABC:
A—Agree on the arrangement.
C—Communicate, and continue to circle back to A and B.