Grandma can be a New-Mama’s biggest support — or her worst enemy.
Who would have thought that a newborn bundle of joy could cause so much family strife? Everyone wants what’s best for Baby, but not everyone agrees on what that means.
Take this quiz to find out if Grandma and Mama will fight:
Hand washing: Grandma washes her hands without being asked as soon as she comes near Baby, and especially after changing diapers. (10 points)
Grandma sometimes forgets to wash her hands but is happy to do so when prompted. (5 points)
Grandma asks: “Now that the baby’s been vaccinated, do I still need to wash my hands?” (0 points)
Grandma has a bottle of organic hand sanitizer on her at all times and frequently yells at Grandpa to “Stop being a germ factory and get with the program, Gerald.” (Bonus 5 points)
Whooping cough vaccination: Grandma updates her Tdap vaccination for pertussis, tetanus and diphtheria without being asked, when Mama is only 8 months pregnant. No way does she want to risk exposing Baby to whooping cough. (10 points)
Grandma’s never heard of the Tdap booster, but now that she knows how important it is she calls her doctor and schedules a vaccination for herself in order to protect Baby. (5 points)
Grandma refuses to be vaccinated and frequently posts links to anti-vaxer websites on Facebook. (0 points)
Grandma realizes, of her own accord, that the antique highchair she’s been saving for decades is not only a tipping hazard, but might have toxic varnish on it. She makes Grandpa take it to the dump. (10 points)
Grandma borrows a relatively new Pack ‘n Play from her neighbor for Baby to sleep in during visits. (5 points)
Mama finds out that the Pack ‘n Play was originally purchased for the neighbor’s Shih Tzu. (-10 points)
Grandma takes the heirloom crib from her attic and upcycles it into a drying rack for Baby’s cloth diapers. (Bonus 5 points)
Safety: Grandma has already put baby locks on her cabinets even though Baby can’t roll over. (10 points)
Grandma always puts Baby to sleep on Baby’s back, but secretly worries about flat heads. (5 points)
Grandma buys a car seat at a yard sale and insists “It’s perfectly fine,” even though she doesn’t know how old it is or if it’s been in a car accident. (0 points)
Grandma has informed Grandma that they need a new car because their old car doesn’t score well on Safercar.gov and: “For goodness sake, Gerald, we can’t drive Baby around in a death trap.” (Bonus 5 points)
(40-65 points) Put Grandma on speed dial. She’s Mama’s BFF!
(20-40) Mama never complains about Grandma to Daddy. Well, almost never.
(5-20) The best Grandma can hope for is a short — supervised — visit with Baby.
(0-5) Seriously? Survivor bias isn’t a great way to make decisions.
Jennifer Bardsley is author of the books “Genesis Girl” and “Damaged Goods.” Find her online on Instagram @the_ya_gal, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal.