For the last month, my mother has been living with my wife, my daughter and me. She moved in after getting an extensive foot surgery that prevented her from walking. Because we had no stairs, it was perfect for her.
It has been the most enjoyable month since my daughter was born, 8 months ago. Parenting had become...a bit rough. My daughter does not sleep through the night and only naps about 30 minutes at a time during the day. The average 8-month-old supposedly sleeps through the night and naps for twice as long. For a long time, my wife and I were both sleep-deprived zombies, roaming around the house during the day, eerily hunting for sweets to fuel us. As a result, I now sleep separately from them. My current role is to be the breadwinner, and I need to be rested to accomplish that successfully. The presence of my mom radically transformed that. It helped her to stay with us as she had no stairs to climb, and it unimaginably helped us get some fresh air. My wife finally could have some time to herself.
My wife has been an amazing mom these last 8 months, having only lost her cool at me a couple of times. I generally attempt not to reveal my bruises in public, but today I am baring all. Just kidding, we have a loving respectful relationship and no intramarital abuse. My only relationship complaint is that we should be sharing sweets proportionally, by our weight, not the sweets' weight.
Since this is kind of my mother's day special (and a late one at that), I just wanted to recognize that she is one hell of a partner to be raising a little ape with. She is one of the most caring, compassionate, emotionally intelligent and present individuals I know. I had read a bunch about attachment theory, a couple of books (from Dr. McNamara and Dr. Neufeld) as well as a bunch of research literature in an effort to improve things a little over the course of generations. Basically, I did what I do when I face a problem. I start researching everything I can, spend much too long on Google Scholar and try to get a solid, hopefully, evidence-based overview. And then, I hope to do my best. My wife is doing a stellar job, with no prior training, so kudos to her.
My mom being present has given us a taste of how it probably was raising a child in a nuclear family. It's how humanity has done it for thousands of years. It often took a tribe to raise a child. Today, two adults are tasked with accomplishing the same task. I am not saying that I want to live with all of my extended family, but in a way, the loss of the nuclear family may be one of the deepest alienation of modern Sapiens.
My mother proved an incredible help. While she will soon leave us as her post-surgery foot is improving, I hope she enjoyed developing a close relationship with my daughter who yells at her in excitement upon first seeing her in the morning.
To conclude, I am grateful for great moms. Alongside other primary caregivers, they are raising the next generation. And it's important not to screw it up. This is parental advice. Ok, (drops mic).