Grandparents As Parents

Being a grandparent is one of the best things this side of heaven. Each grandparent thinks their grandchildren are the cutest in the world. Their grandchildren are the smartest, so much smarter than their children were at that age. When grandchildren come to visit, grandparents give them almost anything they desire. They let them do whatever their hearts can imagine and more. This is so true for the preteen grandchildren. As they grow into teenage years it’s another story. Grandparents love grandchildren because after all the fun they have, the food they have eaten, the playing they have done and much more they are packed up and sent home to their parents. Grandparents can then go back to whatever they want to do–they’ve earned it.

Some grandparents can’t send their grandchildren home to their parents because they have become the parents. There have always been grandparents that raised their grandchildren for some reason. There was always Big Mama Susie, Granny Louise, Paw Paw, Daddy James and more who took on the role of raising a grandchild.

In the state of Texas alone there are approximately 823,750 children under the age of 18 living in homes where the householders are grandparents or other relatives with the majority living with grandparents.

According to the Grandfacts State Fact Sheets there are over 315,000 grandparents that are raising grandchildren. Of those:

  • 67% are under the age 60
  • 62% are still in the workforce
  • 23% live in poverty
  • 23% have a disability
  • 26% are unmarried (grandchildren are living with a single parent)

These grandparents having raised their children have once again taken on the responsibility for the day-to-day maintenance of a home, schedules, meals, homework, play dates and more. These items may seem simple, but homework is not the same as it was a generation ago. Years ago play dates consisted of going outside and playing with the kids in the neighborhood. There was no scheduling of activities. Birthday parties consisted of cake, punch and a few games in the backyard or den. There was no social media, cell phones and internet. In addition to time, the majority of these things carry a monetary component.

The grandparents who are raising their grandchildren now have to redo their lives, their dreams and much more. They have to give up their independence and start all over again. Their finances will ultimately take a hit, and retirement may not be in the picture in the near future. That dream of finally starting their own business has again become just a dream.

All of this is not to say that grandparents do not cherish their grandchildren, it’s just that their lives or at least the idea of what their lives should look like at this stage of life will have to change. Their new normal is not the normal they day dreamed about.

There are programs that will assist the grandparents in their new role as primary parents. At my church a senior group meets once a month to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of raising grandchildren when you thought you would only see them on the weekends. It allows the grandparents to learn from others who are in similar situations, and to give guidance to those that need it .

In every state there are organizations that will assist those that are raising children for the second time. AARP has great information in the Grandfacts sheets for the United States and for your state. There are local programs that can assist also.

Grandparents may need a little help when raising grandchildren. Those that take on this task are indeed “grand”. Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and just in case you didn’t know my grandchild is the cutest and smartest.

“The” Texas Conference for Women

The state of Texas always does it BIG, and it held a BIG, Texas Conference for Women in Austin.  Not only was it BIG, it was educational, fun, exciting and much more.  There was something for every woman no matter what age, educational level, etc.  There were local speakers, speakers who talked on social media, national speakers such as Robin Roberts and Tory Johnson.  The conference had great motivational speakers including one of the few men at the conference–Bert Jacobs, the CEO of “Life is Good”.  Tory Johnson of Good Morning America held a “Pitch Your Product” section. Patricia Arquette gave an impassioned talk on women, and Robin Roberts kept us laughing.  The First Lady of Texas, Cecilia Abbott greeted the crowd.  There was so much to see and do–it was great!

Tap each picture to see who was there.  Enjoy!

Remember thisisyourbestyear”, and as Jake says “Life is Good”

Learning From Your Parents–Life Outside Your Job

parents 9Women of a certain age are taking in new boarders.  They have someone once again to take care of, to feed, to clothe and to watch out for.  No, I ‘m not talking about their children, I’m talking about their parents. More Baby Boomers/Generation Xers are taking care of aging parents with physical and mental illnesses than ever before.parents 6

Baby Boomers/Generation Xers have become caregivers at a time when they thought they would be on that cruise they had always dreamed of, seeing the USA in that motor home, starting new careers and even letting the grandchildren visit for a day or so and then sending them back home. 

parents 8Parents are moving into the extra bedroom that was going to become a media room, craft room, office or just a pretty bedroom that just looked pretty.  Some parents now know that their retirement income (social security) is not enough.  They worked on the same job for 30, 35, 40 even 45 years, but the pension is not nearly enough to fix up the aging homestead, travel, pay medical expenses–just live.  They didn’t invest outside of their job.  They didn’t invest money or time.  They have little money and no identity outside of their job “title”.  Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should learn from this experience, taking notes from their parents.  Even as the Boomers/Xers mature (not age), they should still be investing for the time when they no longer will be working at their full-time jobs knowing that they may not have enough to live comfortably for their rest of their lives–learning there is life outside of the job.

The Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should learn from their parents that sickness just happens even to those that have led healthy, active lives. If they are smokers, they should stop because they see the ravages it has done to their parents.

One of the major things that no one talks about is that Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should take heed to learn to live.  They parentsshould learn from their parents to expand their lives beyond their job.  They should expand friendships and acquaintances.

Learning from our parents never ceases even as we all mature.  Learning from their life lessons can help us to see our lives much better.

parents 3Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Parents can be your best life teachers.  You may have become the caregiver, but they are still the parent.  Treat them with respect.

 

Enjoy The Opportunities Of Aging

AntiEnough said.  The act of aging is happening to all of us even as we try all kinds of creams, exercises, hair colors and more to fight it.  It’s in our genetic makeup barring any major illness how well we will age.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to continue to fight the signs, but I embrace all of the opportunities that aging allows.  It has allowed me to leave a career that I enjoyed with a retirement–most people can’t say that now, and start a new career that I am enjoying. It has allowed me an opportunity to travel, sleep late, read, write, enjoy life and more.  I’m not ready for the gray to show all of the time, but the opportunity to try it out is coming fast.  The opportunities of aging are infinite, try some of them out.  You might find something that you really like.  If not try something else.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Enjoy!

You can find more of these wonderful sayings at www.GrowingBolder.com.

Simple Tests That Could Save Your Life

Just recently I saw a report on a man in his 30’s that had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Most of us, even women of a certain age tend to think of this affecting people who are much older.

We all know of someone who has trouble getting up out of chairs. We all know someone whose quality of sleep has changed dramatically over the years.

These simple tests in the link below may not mean that you are ill, but they can give you a hint as to what you need to talk with your doctor about.

Take the tests, give them to you parents, friends and others.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

http://pubs.aarp.org/aarptm/20140203_PR/m1/MobileArticle.action?articleId=387247&pg=18&mobileWeb=true&lm=1391307907000

Bucket List, Goals, Accomplishments and Joys of Turning 60 – AARP

I do not do bucket list, but I thought this list was for any age.

http://www.aarp.org/home-family/sex-intimacy/info-01-2014/turning-60-bucket-list-goals.html?plckFindCommentKey=CommentKey:17a67a47-6bd4-4590-807b-acc3ab08e2ff

image

I was even president for about a minute–cross that off the list.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Aging Beautifully After 50+ – AARP

You know I love to read and share good information with you. This article is about more than looks. It is about life. Grab your favorite beverage and enjoy your reading.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and you do look good.

http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/style-trends/info-11-2013/aarp-model-search-winners.html?intcmp=ATMBB3