The other day I was wondering, how come there is no GrandParent's day, when there is a Mother's day and Father's day? Grandparents also play an important role in a child upbringing then how come we don't dedicate a day for them and celebrate? So I looked online and found out that September 11th is grandparent's day.
Now another question came to my mind, these days most of the grand parents are actually taking the role of parents for a lot of reasons like:
- Parents going through divorce
- Both parents are working and have busy schedules
- Parents are going through drug abuse
- Early marriage of parents and no financial stability
So whatever be the reason, they have taken the place of parents. So should we celebrate them on Mother's day or Father's day or Grandparents day?
Changing times in the society has changed the responsibilities of grandparents. Let us see some of the new roles of grandparents:
- Baby sitter : We all agree that world is not so safe anymore to raise kids. There are too many big bad wolves out there. We hear so many cases where kids are abused/assaulted. So it is hard to trust anyone. Then who are the most trusted baby sitters? Grand parents. What used be an occasional job for them now has become permanent. It is not like you are just keeping an eye on the kids while they are doing their work. This job comes with too many responsibilities like picking/dropping kids at school, helping with studies, playing with them, taking them for playdates, feeding them, giving them bath, putting them to bed, taking care of them when they are sick etc.. Basically they do everything a parent does for his/her kid.
- Supervisor: While you are at it, why not mange the house and make sure everything is in order.
- Security guard: Protect the kids and also the house so nothing goes awry.
- Cook/Nutritionist : Make sure the kids are fed a well nourished diet and are healthy.
- Maid (Occasionally): Oh the maid has taken off today, no worries, grandma to the rescue to make sure the house is spick and span.
- Money Bank: Sometimes people have kids very early in their marriages when they are not financially settled yet. At that time the burden falls on grandparents, who pitch in to help raise the kids.
Now when grandparents take the role of a caregiver , their lifestyle or situations change in a lot of ways:
- No social life because your whole time is dedicated to the child care.
- Become a disciplinarian. Previously when kids had a problem with parents or they have something that they can't tell their parents, they would go to grandparents and they will listen and give a solution if possible or guide them in the right way. They were more like friends. But now grandparent have very few chances to indulge their grandkids and have fun because they have to set rules and be strict so kids don't turn out irresponsible.
- Poor health because of mental and physical stress. Let us all agree that they are getting old and with age comes lot of health problems. But they don't have time for selfcare so they always feel tired and overworked.
- No retirement life. Lot of grandparents postpone stuff like travel, hobbies etc. to post retirement period because of personal and professional commitments. But they can't pursue all that because now responsibilities have doubled.
- Repeat everything they did with their kids. Once a parent always a parent. Do everything all over again.
I am not suggesting to keep grandparents away from grandkids. A lot of grandparents happily volunteer to do all the above tasks and will never ever complain. Also having grandparents around has lot of benefits and creates a positive environment for kids. They can learn family values, history and culture, life lessons etc. from grandparents.
All I am suggesting is grand parents also deserve a break once in a while and don't take them for granted. Spend quality time with them. Make them feel valued and not used. Appreciate them and respect them.
Happy Grandparent's day to all the sweetest grandparents around the world!!!!