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Thread: Stay At Home Grandmother?

  1. #1
    Senior Member CindyBee's Avatar
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    I'm interested in feedback from other grandparents who are raising grandchildren either full or part-time.

    My situation is that I am a step-mom who is very close to a wonderful step-daughter who has recently given birth to our first granddaughter. Although she had planned to stay with the child until school age, the recent economy has drastically changed those plans. With the current state of the economy, Dad had his hours drastically cut and it is necessary for DD to go back to work. She is a family social worker, and she is just devasted. The baby is 2 months old. After some discussion, DH and I agreed to offer to care for our granddaughter. We are recently retired in our late 50's and never invisioned this. We have been enjoying our retirement and this is coming out of left field, but we feel strongly we should "be there". Actually we very much want to be there! The kicker for me is that I have never had a child! My "children" were my steps. We all have a good relationship although I am closest to my step-daughter.

    Sorry for the long post, but in the end DD decided on 2 days per week for us with a very reliable sitter who comes highly recommended for the other 3 days. It makes perfect sense because I also now have to be available for aging parents as well.

    We had our first day with baby today and I think it went well. She is only 9 weeks old, and breast fed to this point. We are switching to bottled breast milk and she is not happy!

    My background is nursing and I feel confident with the baby. However, my DH was quite nervous! He was not prepared for the reality I think. I know we will adjust in time, but he got so nervous because the baby was crying, that he called the mom!
    O.K., clean baby, full baby, no obvious illness...I can take a crying baby :)
    But Mom was missing baby too, and this is her Dad, soo....


    I just wanted to vent! Send me your thoughts..Please!

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    I'm not a g'ma, but IMO this sounds like a good thing. You're still in your 50s, not the frail 80s, so you can certainly handle it. It won't be for years on end.

    You get to do some baby mothering, and in the best way: part-time.

    Your husband may not be at ease with the tiny one, but he has been a dad before. It'll come back to him, or if he was never involved in infant care with his own kids, it's time for him to have that experience.

    Realize that lots of young teens learn to deal with crying and fussy babies. He'll learn. Practice will make you both more comfortable, and you have better judgment than young teen babysitters. Besides, babies get bigger quickly, so she won't seem so fragile very soon.

    It's a big help to your step-daughter, and what a great way to bond with the baby.

    Enjoy!

  3. #3
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    Oh, I think you are so lucky! Just a little info before I explain...my mother died in an accident 5 months after I married....and my in-laws (while lovely people) were never really 'helpful' with our 3 children (who are now grown but yet unmarried). I am a kdg teacher and I have been so fortunate to see other teacher friends who are grandparents be so active in their grandchildren's lives. I have 2 friends (both retired now) in particular that I am always telling that I 'want to be the grandparent they are' someday. You and hubby will adjust to the baby...and baby will adjust to the new routine...and mom will adjust as well. I am 3 years away from when I can take early-retirement and I do look forward to it. Who knows...by then maybe I will a grandbaby to spoil!!!!!! I hope you enjoy this opportunity!

  4. #4
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    I am raising an autistic grand daughter who is now 15, 16 in a few days. She has been with us most of her life. She has been a blessing in our home and I am sure we have made a big difference in her life. Her mother, our daughter, did a lot of stupid things and we really didn't have a choice in taking this child into our home. (The dad turned out to be a worthless no good who was always flopping in bed with women and now has several children all by different women) Finally, after all these years, her mother has married a good man (at least so far) and our Grand daughter now visits with her mother and 15 month old brother. DD has even stated how much problems she has caused us; I hope we are moving forward now. At this point in time, with the economic situation of the world, it is good when families can pull together to help each other and a nine week old baby just needs to be with her grandmother instead of being in a day care. She will be a blessing to you and her grandpa and after a few rough days the crying will get better then she can start working on melting grandpa's heart and wrapping him around her little pinkie. Even though we think of retirement as a time when we want to do "our thing", we really have reached an age when we have a lot to contribute to the world and our family, and the rewards will really be ours.
    I was a child during WWII, we lived on a farm with my dad's family. To this day I miss my grandfather, Joe Joe I called him. There are sooooooooo many happy memories of him. It is better to help a couple of days a week, or more if necessary, with this little bundle than to have to take the whole family back into your home and this is what is happening to a lot of families right now. Your step daughter is really giving you a vote of confidence by asking you to take the baby a couple of days a week, and she and her husband are trying to be independent and provide for themselves and their family. As for having our granddaughter, we had a lot of rough years working thru the autism problems. She has made great strides now and life with her is much easier. She now shares my love of quilting, has her own sewing machine, and does a better job than me. My advice (if you could not figure that out) is to be glad that you and your husband have the opportunity to become a part of this child's life at such an early age. You all will have a special love for each other that will last thru all the years.

  5. #5
    Super Member azdesertrat's Avatar
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    HI
    My parents are raising their GD and have been since she was 3 months old,I lived with at the time and helped to take care of her,she was a difficult baby as her mother did street drugs as well as some drugs for her mental disorder, she is now 13,in fact they have adopted her as their daughter.And my16yr old nephew lives with with them now also he cant stand his stepfather.believe me it is alot more comon than you know.They actually have a support group here in town just for grandparents raising grandkids,which my dad help to organize,he was raised by his grndparetns when both of his parents died within 6 months of eachother when he was 7 and his brother was 6,
    It is a challenge for sure,but well worth it,any help that you can give them I am sure they will appreciate.

  6. #6
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    Good luck.


  7. #7
    Super Member Baren*eh*ked_canadian's Avatar
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    My grandma kept me from when I was a baby to maybe 3 or 4 years old. My grandma was no longer working and she really did love watching me while my parents were at work. My parents gave my grandma money too, not sure how much, but probably similar to what a sitter would get. Then when my cousin was born my aunt decided to do the same, but she didn't pay to have her son baby sat, she just assumed that her mother would just watch him for free. It's a lot of work to care for a child, imagine two? My aunt said she would not pay to have her mother watch her kid, and that it wasn't fair to ask her to do that, blah blah blah...
    My mother then took me out and put me in a daycare. It was too much work for my grandmother to care for two children and my cousin was a difficult child. She never would have admitted that it was too hard, but my mother wasn't going to wait till there were problems either. My aunt never ended up paying for it either, and continued to send her son there for years.

  8. #8
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    I think this is going to be a wonderful gift for all involved. It doesn't matter if haven't officially given birth to your (step)daughter. You're her parent. She's lucky to have more than one mom. And the baby will soooo love getting cuddles from you and your husband. Sometimes I think this world gets way too hooked up on titles.
    We have a daughter who's birth mother died of leukemia when she just turned 15. She was in the same alternative school as my oldest son and she was living with the mother's boyfriend who was a truck driver and never home. Long story short, she needed a mom and dad and we were it. Nothing official through the courts, but let me tell you, she has been the greatest gift we could have ever received. She is married to a wonderful man and they have 3 beautiful children. MY (AND I EMPHASIS THIS) grandchildren are the best in the world.
    Enjoy everyday with the little one and just know that you're giving the baby a huge jump start on a successful life. Your husband and you have lived through enough to steer the baby through the bumps in life. And your daughter will breathe easier at work knowing baby is safe. Congratulations :):) phew... I'm wordy...

  9. #9
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    I am in the exact same situation. I have grandkids 2-3 days a week every week. When Jake(11 now) was a baby I kept him when the babysitter couldn't and then when he was 8 mos old she quit on them at 6 am in the morning! on a work day!

    So I had Jake 6 days a week 10-12hrs a day. Those days were so special! It was hard to get up at 4 am for Jill to bring him but I did it. Sometimes he wouldn't go back to sleep and we would sit and watch Jay Jay the JetPlane til he went to sleep! Such memories for him and us! I had him til he was old enough for preschool and then had him 2 days a week. It was hard to not have him every day!!

    The bond between Jake and me is very very strong! I highly recommend it if your health permits! It is such a special time!!

    If Jake had his way he would be here all the time but circumstances don't permit it. I see him a weekend every other month and he stays for 2 weeks or more in the summer.

    Now I have 6 under 12 and I have one or two or three every weekend. I love having my grands! They come and stay and we take them to the park and to MCDonald's etc!

    Some of my favorite memories is of the twins when they were infants.I had two long plastic bins on my dining room table and lined them with blankets for cribs for them.

    Enjoy this time and don't worry! As long as the baby is not crying nonstop for hours I'm sure everything is fine!!

    Just a note-- I have found you can call a pharmacist and most of them will answer questions regarding colic and things that work. When I have had a question about how much of some thing like infant tylenol I call the pharmacist.

    Something to keep in mind as a precaution

    I never give a child anything medical without the parents permission.

    When I had my daycare we were required to have a paper signed by the parent giving us permission to seek medical care in case of emergency. This is a good thing to have on hand even for your grandchild and should be updated from time to time!!

    Tell Grandpa to relax and enjoy!! These days go by so fast!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    I have my 2 year old granddaughter 4 to 5 days a week. After the kids' work hours were cut, they couldn't afford a sitter. Now, we are having a ball! Recently I started sewing while she was awake, and gave her my mother's button box, and some wooden sewing beads and yarn. She tells her mother she is helping Gammy! I had a piece I was at the machine with and I told her she could help by pulling the pins out after I sewed it. She was so proud of herself!! Then I gave her a child's scissor to explore. She couldn't cut a piece of paper but managed to snip two little holes in her pants leg. For some reason I can't find those scissors right now. She likes to play with my scraps and will take bigger pieces of fabric and drape them around herself, like a shawl. There is music on and she will sometimes break out into her happy dance. I am so happy I am able to babysit her!

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