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The Best Kept Secret About Grandkids: It’s Not Spoiling Them

Chuck reading to his grandsons
Brothers, uncles, nephews...sometimes it's hard to tell who is who.
Brothers, uncles, nephews…sometimes it is hard to tell who is who.


From the time Chuck and I met we dreamed of having a houseful of pitter-pattering feet. We wasted no time getting there having our first baby just 8.5 months into our marriage (she was three weeks early and weighed in at a petite six pounds even). Ten years later we would have ten kids and still not be done.


11-year-old born with double aortic arch.

I Never Wanted to Know Which Baby was My Last

I always said I didn’t want to know which baby would be my last. While I suffered from horrible morning sickness all nine months, I love babies. When our last baby, Apollo, came along he had extreme feeding issues, didn’t sleep, and cried all the time. He was eventually diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that needed to be corrected surgically. His infancy was not enjoyable and he wasn’t really healthy until he was about six-year-old.

Cutest Uncle and Nephew Duo Ever! Bellingham photographer

Our first grandson was born when Apollo was just seven-years-old and to me, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Apollo was well out of his baby and toddler years and suddenly, there was a new baby! The only problem?

He lived in New Zealand and we live in the US.

Chuck is an amazing grandpa and loves holding Abel.
Chuck and Abel January 2020

Chuck and I have been taking turns traveling back and forth to New Zealand for the past five years. Tilly and Jared have been here to visit once and Iris has been home twice. The only thing that would make us happier now is if Tilly and Jared moved in with us as well.

*hint hint*

Chuck reading to his grandsons

As it is, we are loving soaking in 2/4ths of our grandchildren. Many times throughout this process of preparing our home, shifting rooms, working to clear space for more people, I have marveled about how lucky I am to have Chuck as a husband. He is just as happy about having two adults and two toddlers move in as I am. I have been struck by the thought that not all 50-year-olds would be thrilled to suddenly have toddlers back in the house. Chuck though? He loves it.

Toddler with striped hat peeking through bars on jungle gym.

The Secret About Grandkids…

So here is the big secret about grandchildren: ultimately you aren’t responsible for them. I have heard plenty of people over the years comment on how they loved being able to “spoil them and send them home”. Having my last child be just seven years old than my first grandchild has meant I remember parenting. I am in the midst of parenting, so “spoiling” has never been my goal.

Adults and kids swinging at playground.

But here’s the deal. I get to read to my grandsons, play games with them, take them on adventures, and cook with them…but at the end of the day, I get to be “off-duty”. Bedtime?

Not my responsibility.

They are up at night?

I am tucked under my cozy weighted blanket, blissfully unaware.

While I do take care of them while my daughter works full-time, I get to clock out when she comes home. If it’s been a long day/tiring day/trying day, I can head to my own part of the house and chill, knowing my job for the day is done.

Being a grandparent, even in our situation with them living here, isn’t 24/7.

Toddler in hat climbing jungle gym.

And that, my friends, is the beauty of being a grandparent.



  1. Suzan

    I love having grandchildren. My eldest grandchild is my delight and my youngest granddaughter is not yet one but is very entertaining. Come November there will another grandbaby and a new nephew to add to the mix. I love tread with them, play games, take them to the park etc. It is such a joy.

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