Thursday, 6 October 2011

Grandparents - the forgotten carers??

An encounter today made me so sad to realise how some grandparents are taken for granted

I went to my local shop today to find a really upset shop attendant talking to a friend about her grand child and how she was being expected to look after them for whole days whilst both parents were at work. She was obviously happy to help, but was finding the hours long and tiring when juggling child care with her work and feeling very guilty that the baby has to go to a nursery on the days she cannot help out. She was devastated that she was so tired, but was also upset that she was getting last minute phone calls telling her she needed to babysit.

Grand parents are so special and many are becoming full time carers for their grand children so that the children's parents can go to work. This obviously means parents can cut the cost of childcare down considerably, but some people (not all, I may add!!) do tend to take these wonderful people for granted. According to the Daily Mail in 2010, 1 in 3 working mothers rely on grandparents to care for their child whilst they work. A lot of grandparents are doing so out of love for their grandchildren and do actually enjoy their roles, but for some the daily child care routine can be quite tiring.

My daughters grand parents are fantastic when it comes to babysitting. They are quite happy to spend some time with Emily, and generally look after her once or twice in a month. I do worry sometimes that I am taking advantage, especially when my Mum uses her holiday from work to look after our little one whilst we go away for a weekend. But, they always seem to really thrive from the time they have with her. Saying that, they do get tired after a couple of days with her!!

What we need to remember is that they have done it all before, but despite that, they are at a different point in their lives where they love to help you with your children, but also need their own time to juggle their own work and home lives. One day, this will surely happen to us when our own children have families of their own. I know for a fact that I would feel upset if Emily expected me to look after her children day in day out for free!!

So, let's celebrate our children's grandparents and remember how well they have brought us up, and indeed how very special they are.

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