Have you seen those articles declaring that grandmothers who babysit their grandchildren live longer? I think it is a con job by some writer with a young family trying to get her mother to take her children.
I spend a couple of days each week with my grandchildren. One, I granny-nanny two days a week for my daughter and son in law, who both work full-time. The other two grandchildren I spend time with when my son in law is away on business, as my daughter has a small baby and a five year and bedtime can be an issue. So, don’t get me wrong, I love to spend time with my grandchildren.
I am just not sure it is adding years to my life.
Sitting on the floor can be accomplished, if it involves a pillow and a reclining attitude. Rising from the floor is another thing. It takes more time. Hours even. Lifting the baby above my head can result in days of agony and even physiotherapy. By day four I can no longer keep the pace up. Often, I can’t even string a coherent sentence together due to the physical effort of keeping up and my lack of nana naps. I daydream about having my five o’clock drink at a quarter past twelve.
The 2-year-old is an only child for the moment, so when she naps I can have a few minutes of rest, but then I look about the room and see all the toys. Then, I remember the laundry that needs to be hung out. My daughter does not expect me to do any chores, but I know she works long hours and as we never stop being a mother, I empty my tea cup and catch up a few household tasks and make dinner preparations. Too soon the toddler awakens, and it is Go Granny Go! until her parents arrive. They do take over from there and Granny is handed her glass of white, so I know they appreciate my efforts and are grateful, but Granny is knackered.
How is it helping me live longer if I hurt from head to toe and drink heavily to self-medicate my guilt from not being the perfect grndmother?
So, my reflections are that building relationships with grandchildren is priceless, but the physiotherapy and alcohol bills are emptying the retirement savings! If I do live longer I wont be able to afford to live!
I think we Grannies and Grandpas need to hit back at these “do this and live longer’ articles and ask for empirical evidence, a wine subsidy – and the address of the author.