What Nobody Tells you~
You have raised your children, and you are enjoying your empty nest after some time of learning to accept the quiet. You and your spouse are learning each other all over again, and then BAM! Everything changes. Your grandchild needs you, and you need to keep them safe and out of foster care. You end up doing what many other grandparents are doing today, you take your grandchild/ren into and raise them.
Let’s start with the downside of this epidemic in our country. Your grandchild essentially ends up losing their parents, and people ask questions. Where are your mom and dad? Why do you call your mom, Nana? Every children’s book references Mom’s and Dad’s, magnifying for your grandchild that their parents are missing from the picture. Your grandchild loses a critical aspect of life, parents, AND grandparents.
Grandparents aren’t as young and spry as they were when they had children of their own. We don’t anticipate having to start all over, and honestly, and we shouldn’t have too. Grandparents also have lives that have evolved around our children, leaving the nest and getting back to ourselves.
Grandkids deserve someone who can run around and crawl around and us grandparents, well honestly, don’t enjoy time on the ground so much.
The upside? Ask any grandparent about their grandchild, and you will see them light up. We love our grandkids like no other, and this is why we end up stepping in and putting our needs on the back burner for them. Sure, resentment for our children will arise, but what is the alternative?
I hope that more companies will offer support for their employees that are raising their grandchildren. I also hope to see more resources arise for grandparents who find themselves paying for childcare once again. I also hope that some children’s books will start reflecting this new norm of the family in their storylines.
If you are a Mom or Dad and you see a child who lives with their grandparent, do what you can to bring them into the fold, odds are they are pretty uncomfortable getting back into the game.