Dear Grandparenting: My daughter-in-law takes the cake for the worst mother ever, and my grandson is getting the short end of the stick.
My son makes nice money but works 24/7. He is not a caretaker type. That leaves everything up to my daughter-in-law. She makes the decisions about the care and feeding of my grandson, and he pays the bills.
Somehow the poor dear is too busy to do any actual work like any normal mother. She pays people to do things for her instead. She calls these people “consultants” and “coaches.”
She started out having someone to help with my grandson’s homework after school. Then she began cooking less and pays someone to come in and cook up something instead.
The latest is a “sleep trainer” to help potty train my grandson and get a good night’s sleep. Who knew people who do that even existed? If the kid can’t sleep, it’s probably because he never sees his own mother, little Miss Missing In Action. Tell me this isn’t getting crazy. Myra Cohen, Redmond, Washington
Dear Myra: Tap into the right social network in any state across the nation and you’ll find families where child coaches and consultants come and go like clockwork.
Once confined to very upper crust families, such services now appeal to a broader customer base, like two-income families and single parents. Almost anything a child might want or need can be outsourced.
Just name it and there’s a specialist — potty trainer, sleep coach, home environment child-proofer, night nurse, athletic trainer, academic performance coach, meal preparer and whatever else you’ve got. It’s a generational seismic shift.
Business is good – many specialists are booked months in advance. At a more basic level is the demand for doulas (from the Greek word for women who serve), providers of midwifery and related postpartum services, and lactation specialists.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Jolene Maloney,of Boston, Massachusetts, reports that she overheard a humorous exchange between her husband and grandson, Greg, 5.
“You are not allowed to run around the house with no shirt on like some half-naked person,” her husband said.
“You walk around with your head naked and nobody says anything,” replied Greg.
Jolene said she “wanted to burst out laughing.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.