Life can be so busy these days that it’s hard to spend time with the grandparents. It most often can’t be helped when our weekdays become routine because it’s easier to have a schedule and because I want to have my own “me time” at night after a full day. Usually, our schedule consists of waking up, getting ourselves ready, getting the kids ready, eating a quick breakfast, taking the kids to daycare/school, going to work, picking up the kids, getting dinner ready, eating dinner, playing with the kiddos, putting them to bed, washing dishes/cleaning up mess, then if I’m lucky, I’ll have enough energy to work out, blog, or do some other “me time” activity (NCIS marathon anyone?). The weekends consists of catching up on errands (laundry anyone??), taking our 4 year old to Korean School and ballet, and trying to keep our 1 year old’s naptime schedule so that he’s not a hysterical booger at night.
Growing up, my grandparents lived with us. Since my mom was a single mom to three rowdy kids, my grandparents were kind enough to live with us and care for us so my mom can work extra shifts to make ends meet. Because of that, we grew pretty close to our grandparents and I want my kids to have that same feeling of closeness with their grandparents (my mom and in laws as well). So on weekends, my husband, Andrew, and I try to make time to go to Lola’s house (the in laws will soon move near us so hopefully more time with them too!). Ella (our 4 year old going on 30) and Isaac (our ever curious 1 year old) love spending time with Lola , Halmeoni, and Harabeoji and vice versa. The kids love it because there are endless amounts for treats – we are lucky that our kids love to eat. The grandparents love it because the kids’ energy and joy are just so contagious.
It’s also very important for us for the kids to learn about their different cultures. I’m Filipino and I want them to learn to “mano” (a way to show respect to Filipino elders) and to learn some tagalog (a dialect we speak in the Philippines). Andrew is Korean and so we want the kids to learn to “insa” (a way to show respect to Korean elders) and to learn some korean because the in laws have trouble speaking English. Additionally, since Andrew and I are both foodies, it’s also important for us that the kids have a palate for Filipino and Korean food (all types of foods really), and what better way to develop it than eating home-cooked meals by the best chefs in town!
Lastly, since family is so important to both of us, we want to make sure to instill in our kids how vital it is to spend time with their grandparents. I mean, I know I’ve still got a lot of learning to do when it comes to parenting and who better to teach me than from the woman who sacrificed everything so that we could have a better life? If we’re lucky, maybe one day when we’re old and gray (ok let’s be honest, we are starting to gray now…), our kids will take their kids to come see us often.
So no matter how busy life can be, we make it a point to find time, even if it’s just an hour or two, to see Lola, Ingkong (my grandpa, the kids’ great-grandpa), Halmeoni and Harabeoji.