There is a magazine, of sorts, that is sent out to the schools to be distributed among parents called, Lowcountry Parent. The June issue offers an article about grandparents providing daycare for their grandchildren. I suppose the reason this is being called a 'trend' is because of the increase in numbers rather than the newness of it since there is nothing new about taking care of your grandchildren if you can or need to do so.
The article, "Second Time Around" (is that really what this is? I thought that meant you are taking on a grandchild in the role of parent instead of grandparent but they didn't ask me, Ha!) mentions the ups and downs of grandparents taking care of grandchildren. The author only lists three of the ups that would be included on my way longer list but the downs are what interested me.
One grandmother states that the downside is adhering to the rules her daughter has set up for her granddaughter. A second one tells that the downside for her is restricting how much she gives into her grandchildren's wants. The third and final grandmother, the only one who truly falls correctly into the title, has taken on the role of parent for her grandson (I'm not going to go into this situation in this post but, these grandparents are truly amazing.)
That's it? That's all you've got? Let me tell you, my oldest daughter is a nanny. It only took me 40 minutes with one of her charges, an adorable 4-month-old girl, to realize the truth of why children are given to young people and asked:
What in the hell have I gotten myself into?
This is going to take some preparation and a call to reality, people. Just off the top of my head--
- I need to get in shape before the baby comes. In July. Uh oh doesn't even begin to cover it. Not because I care what other people think but because I need to be able to keep up the pace of a little one. Ok, I'll need to be able to get up OFF the floor after I've gotten down.
- I need to get rid of my personal, daily agendas that I welcomed back so enthusiastically when the nest emptied out. Crap.
- I've got to remember to be calm and peaceful around the baby. Holy Crap.
- The house needs to be baby proofed. And it needs to be done even better than when I was young and could get to a daughter quickly. Goodbye, everything being left in convenient locations.
- My days will not be my own even though I am not going to a job every day. I will be owned by an infant. This could, in all honesty, go either way.
- Daytime binge watching on Netflix and Hulu of all those series I was looking forward to starting is not going to happen. I doubt the shows I watch are little kid appropriate. Stay up and binge watch at night? Nope. My age won't allow that when I have to get up and care for the sweetest grandchild EVER.
- That diaper smell. Nothing will prepare me for that.
- All that time I thought I'd enjoy sitting down and relaxing on the deck with coffee or a smoothie, my camera and a book? Get over it. Babies keep people busy.
- I have to learn how to do things quickly all over again. Just as I was beginning to enjoy taking my time.
- I must realize that I am not as young as I once was.
Ok y'all, what did I leave out?