How grandparents can help new parents (even from a distance)
Do you remember those early holidays as a new family? There was so much to do! Decorating the house, buying and wrapping gifts, traveling or prepping for guests, planning meals and baking cookies and making memories! All on top of the day-to-day chaos of the baby and toddler years. For some reason, the elves never showed up to help with the dishes, or the gift wrapping, or anything at all! Luckily, grandparents can help new parents in a variety of ways during the holidays, whether they live close by or far away.
Helping new parents when you live nearby
If you live close by, there are lots of things you can do to help new parents. Here are some things you might offer to do:
The key is to help out without making things harder for them. Having them over for dinner gives them a break from cooking, but it also creates another obligation on their time and energy. They might like having someone else do the grocery shopping, or they might like having someone watch the baby while they go to the store all by themselves. It’s easy to figure out what to do: just ask, listen, and then respect their answer.
Helping new parents when you visit
If you live at a distance and will be visiting for the holidays, your ability to help will be more limited, especially if your visit is short. Your focus should be on making your visit as easy as possible for them. Here are some tips:
See the rest of our suggestions for holiday visits in our post, What Parents Want Grandparents to Know About Celebrating Holidays in 2021.
Helping new parents when you are far away
If you live at a distance and won’t be visiting, there are still ways to help new parents. Here are a few ideas:
You can see more ideas on how to help new parents from a distance in our discussion of creative ways to help new parents when grandparents can’t be there.
Whether you are near or far, new parents will appreciate your help at the holidays, as long as it is help they really need. If you’ve set up good communication habits, you won’t have any trouble finding out what you can do to make their holiday brighter.
(If you have trouble communicating openly, check out New Grandparent Essentials!)