Believe it or not, it’s been nine months since I posted a blog. My self-imposed lapse has not been because I have nothing to say about this next round of parenting, I just didn’t like what I would say. Since my mother taught me, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” I remained mute.
It’s hard to write from the depths of a pit. A pit of despair and exhaustion. Bogged down by the energy-sucking activities and responsibilities required to raise a four and ten-year-old.
I didn’t want to whine.I despise whining. Whining in print feels ten times worse. I didn’t want to discourage the other grandparents bravely raising their next generation. Those, like us, who dearly love their grandkids and want the very best for them. But, also like us, are totally depleted at the end of each day. Many times the exhaustion striking hours before their bedtime.
When our children were younger, our friends had children around the same age. It was easy to share child care together to spell each other for a time of R&R. Our friends now have grandchildren of their own that take them to their limit. They are sweet and understanding of our need for a break but no way can they take on our two.
Amy and Neil gave us a wonderful 10-day respite this past summer. We went to the west coast for our 38th anniversary. We visited San Francisco and reunited with friends we met in Armenia. They helped us tour the Redwoods in Northern California. What a wonderful way to have your attitude adjusted- looking at the magnitude of those majestic trees made us feel small. Even our problems seemed much smaller.
I would encourage those have friends and family raising their grandchildren, if you are able, come alongside your friends and offer some respite. Even an hour helps. Take the kids to the park, or a movie or a walk. Offer to read some books so grandma can get a shower or make some important phone calls.
It is equally important for us grandparents to graciously accept such offers. There’s no shame in admitting you need a break- some adult only time to talk and relax. Have a blessed respite.