THE BLOG
04/02/2015 11:57 GMT | Updated 06/04/2015 06:59 BST

It Takes a Village: The Beauty of Grandparents

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I'm kind of a lone ranger.  I have dear friends but I'm also really good just being on my own, getting on with my own stuff. I like my own company and time by myself. But that's not always possible with children knocking around (dear, sweet children that they are).  Oh, but it IS possible, thanks to the wonderful human beings that are...grandmothers.

Grandmothers, over the last four years, have saved the day or gone an extra kilometer on several - actually, many several - occasions to just take the edge off whatever kind of week was happening for us.  Like, y'know...

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The time my mother-in-law grandmother came and hoovered the whole house while my eldest was down with a UTI and I had just had a c-section.   So there are parts of the house that haven't been hoovered since, but who the heck cares about that, it was the thought that counted.

The time (like now) when my mother-in-law took the children for an afternoon at the local playcentre, so I could get on with emails, blogging, tidying and other whatnots.

The time my own mother drove 40 minutes to let me in my own house, because luckily I'd accidentally left my spare key with her about a year previous.  She sort of regretted not giving it back sooner, though.

The time I couldn't sew to save my life, so my mother-in-law took a bunch of clothes home to fix so that I didn't have to try.  I could probably sew to save my life, actually.  I was just never ever get it finished.  Like the homemade xmas stockings I started two years ago.

The time my mother-in-law took us on holiday.  And covered the costs that we couldn't.

The time my mother gave us a cinema voucher that lasted us for two years' worth of movie trips.  This was an amazing surprise gift.  I recommend this to any grandparents to buy!

The time my mother in law looked after my son so I could go into hospital to have my daughter.  And then regularly helped out in the weeks after I had had baby #2 by entertaining my eldest and taking him out.

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The time when my mum took the children so my husband and I could go see The Crucible.   And take a long, broken nap.  It was a great play, it's just that I was really, really tired.  Tiredness > Richard Armitage shouting a lot.

The time my mother-in-law (actually, several times) got lots of nice family photos printed and framed them for us, because we'd never ever get around to doing something like that.  I mean, I'd totally mean to do it, but just never would.

The time my mother, several weeks in a row, picked my son up from preschool so I didn't have to leave the house in the freezing cold. And brought him an overpriced smoothie to cheer him up for the journey home.

Like when my mother-in-law used to look after my son for a day each week so that I could go back to my day job.  Which at the time, I really did enjoy.

The time my mother-in-law went by B&Q on the way to our house to buy us paint to paint the kitchen, and then refused to let us give her money for it.  That was really kind.  And I still haven't finished the paint-job yet.

grandparents2 And there are countless more that have faded out of memory, which I'm sure either or both will remind me of if and when they read this.

I try not to regret anything, but one thing I do slightly lament is times when I haven't appreciated the help I've been offered.  Okay, our opinions and experiences may differ now and then, but - truly - having two grandmothers in my kids' lives is something I'm ultimately thankful for.  Even when we bemoan the little things about each other that don't compute.

I've never been amazing with parental presence around a lot.  I love them, of course, I am just a bit of a loner at heart.  I want to say 'lone wolf' but I'm definitely not that exciting.  Lone Labrador, maybe.  But as the children get older and we settle as a family (I'm not sure what I mean by that, other than just get comfortable being a foursome), I realise how lucky we are to have two grandmothers who are at least a phonecall and potentially driving distance away.  Good grandmothers, with the best of intentions.  Pretty priceless right now.