This is the third time I have attempted to publish my blog. The first two attempts disappeared into cyberspace with the glitch of my computer. This only adds to my daily frustration and new mantra: Too much to do and too little time! Two weeks ago, I read with interest and definite understanding an article published in our local newspaper. It was titled: "Bringing up the grandbabies". The author Stefanie Arias was empathetic to the "unique challenges" involved in raising one's grandchild, and she depicted as much by describing the plight of a couple doing just that. I was surprised at the fact that I am among 18,000 in S.A. and 2.5 million in the U.S. who are parenting their child's children. The grandmother described in the article and I have a common core, but our situations are very different. You simply cannot categorize or diagnose one's condition by a single set of factors because the symptoms are as unique as the challenges. This couple was very youthful and are often mistaken for the birth parents. Unless wrinkles, and gray hair become more fashionable in thirty years young, I have Nani written all over my face! They were married when the two grandchildren were babies so I would guess that the marriage had an unwritten clause that re-parenting was going to be a condition of the partnership. My husband is still searching for the "way we were" and wondering when our king size bed will be for two and not for the third visitor in the night. This couple moved to San Antonio to be closer to family and support, whereas we were firmly entrenched in the community and have no family nearby to help us. The differences are many, but there is common ground on much of what was said. Your emotional and physical health can deteriorate with the stress and energy needed to raise a child in your later years. Your adult social life plummets and it can strain your finances. The couple also stated that it got too "weird" to continually explain why they were doing this. Others think it is just a matter of "making your child" be the primary caretaker, but the grandchildren are the ones who bear the brunt of poor care and not the adults. Most describe the care as the "honorable thing to do" and personally I think that men and women in the service should be described as such and not us. Quite frankly it is usually a situation thrust upon us and we simply do the best we can for the lives of our babies. As with any difficult life challenge, it becomes more about our response and less about what we cannot control. God bless all parents, all grandparents, and especially the grandparents who are now parents once again!
Garden Ridge, Texas