Raising Grandchildren and the Struggle With Work-life Balance
by Lisa Holliday
Today grandparents are needing to step in more and more with either raising their grandchildren or assisting the parents with childcare. Grandparents are often still in the flux of their full-time career, but also need the flexibility to be available for their grandchildren. Grandparents, like parents, will use sick time and vacation time to fill the gap required for the kid’s school schedules.
Grandparents today are finding that they have the same work-life balance struggles as parents do in the workforce. However, businesses are more understanding of parents. What if you are the legal guardian for your grandchild? Should companies give you the same latitude that they provide a working mother? Of course, they should. Firstly, you have to have guardianship over your grandchild to get rights as far as extra time off.
The next question is, should grandparents be paid for offering childcare for their grandchild. Paying your folks to watch your child would be up to the family decide, but having your child cared for by someone who loves your child, such as a grandparent, is invaluable, and payment should be considered.
Grandparents raising their grandchild find themselves paying childcare expenses again, and waiting on waitlists for pre-school, and all of the other facets they already accomplished with their children. There isn’t a lot of financial services for grandparents stepping into raising their grandkids. If you legally adopt your grandchild, your children are off the hook for child support, and you are officially financially responsible for all expenses related to your grandchild.
https://helpinggrandparents.com/blog/ for other articles related to grandparents raising grandchildren.
Employers and society need to start thinking outside of the box and consider grandparenting essential and help grandparents have a work-life balance so that they can either be an active participant in their grandchildren’s lives or step in and raise them if it is needed. Acknowledging our extended family dynamics is imperative with the way the world is changing. Two incomes are essential, and childcare is expensive. Grandparents play a larger role than most people acknowledge. Grandparents are also very active people who need breaks. If you know a grandparent who is raising a grandchild, an offer for respite would be highly beneficial and appreciated.
If employers could offer flexibility without judgment for grandparents, it would go a long way for having a happy employee.