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The Grandparent Thread

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Replies to: The Grandparent Thread

  • frazzled1frazzled1 5611 replies247 threads Senior Member
    edited February 22
    Many congratulations to @Mansfield and @scout59 on their new grandbabies (and to any others I may have missed). Wishing you all much happiness.

    @garland, I’m an occasional full time caregiver for 3 grandsons. They’re in daycare, but sometimes need me to stay with them at home if they’re sick or their parents’ schedules are disrupted. I find it emotionally rewarding but physically exhausting.

    My oldest daughter’s boys are 4 and 2 (and she’s due with another boy in a month). They’re active, so fast, and so funny - I crawl into bed immediately after they do. My middle daughter’s son is 9 months old, completely adorable, and equally exhausting.

    I hope I’m the only grandma this happens to: I usually wind up with a cold (or worse) after several days with the kids. By worse I mean hip bursitis, a sprained knee - and an adenovirus last year that wiped me out and led my husband, who was also helping, to nearly pass out when he was performing a medical procedure. Can it be that we’re too old for this? We’re mid-60s, so I hope not. We probably need some kind of Grandparent Boot Camp.
    edited February 22
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  • garlandgarland 16513 replies206 threads Senior Member
    yeah, I'm a little worried for my knees. My D lives in the tiny upstairs apt of their house, and the stairs are really steep. We agree that the hardest part is me carrying GD up and down, but D wants her to get outside and attend things. So, that will be interesting. And as I said, I still have a full-time job (I only need to be physically present two days a week, so I can work around them, but I need to get the rest of the work done at home). I definitely need to get into fightin' shape--let me know when you start that Grandparent Boot Camp!
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  • frazzled1frazzled1 5611 replies247 threads Senior Member
    This really helped when my grandsons were younger: https://www.amazon.com/SIX-Position-Ergonomic-Child-Carrier-LILLEbaby/dp/B00KC4VPNU?tag=wte-edit-20&ascsubtag=b523b8df-6d1f-4fc3-a1bc-ca7a9fab7228.

    Your daughter probably already has a carrier that she and the baby like. I’m glad I learned to use the one my daughter had, even though getting the little guy into it by myself was nerve-wracking the first few times. I wasn’t afraid to go up and down the stairs with him in the carrier. Of course, I had a death grip on the railing.

    It’s harder now with him sitting on my hip. Can’t avoid the stairs - the changing table is up there.
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  • ams5796ams5796 594 replies4 threads Member
    I'm babysitting my 16 month granddaughter two full days a week. It's wonderfully rewarding and physically exhausting. I feel like I've developed a very sweet relationship with my granddaughter because I see her so often. It's also contributed to an even closer relationship with my daughter. We laugh a lot at my granddaughter's antics, new words etc. I will admit that I have been sicker this winter (I'm 61) and I'm exhausted at the end of a very long, very physical day. All things considered I'm very happy to be a big part of her life.
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  • 2VU06092VU0609 3670 replies61 threads Senior Member
    D is due March 20th. She got the best news of the week yesterday when she got the e-mail accepting baby into daycare at the university where she works for August 10th. I haven't heard her so excited about something in quite some time. She even posted the acceptance letter in her Instagram story yesterday!
    She and SIL have to go to an orientation in March for the "August class" of new babies and she has booked the earliest date they can attend, March 9th. She has enough paid time off coupled with banked flex days and a flexible 4 day work week that she can make it to approximately July 20th. I can cover the end of July for her, but she's likely going to have to see if the other grandmother can come for the first week in August.
    I'm worried about the stairs at their house, so I can relate to all of these comments about the fear of going up & down.
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  • sryrstresssryrstress 2660 replies9 threads Senior Member
    I have a 2.5 year old and 7 month old one day a week. I'm super exhausted hours before mom gets home :) A really difficult part for me is mom held baby the entire time she was home for 4 months. He's great....if you are holding him. As nice as that sounds, my life is not such that I can hold a baby 10 hours a day.

    I do think newborns are easier to watch than 6-24 months. By then, they get bored, they get into dangerous situations, and they are heavy before they can walk well on their own.

    I am super happy I am close and can be a part of their childhood years rather than having short visits from afar.
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  • mominvamominva 3155 replies36 threads Senior Member
    My only grandchild is on the opposite coast. The first year I covered 4 separate weeks of nanny vacation; and this year I am covering the 2 periods when the in-home daycare is closed.
    I am mid-60s and not in the best shape but it is so much fun to build our bond.

    @frazzled1 , I used the changing mat from the diaper bag on the sofa or floor (once rolling over) rather than going upstairs for each change, though I did use the changing table for pre/post nap changes.
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  • anxiousmomanxiousmom 5873 replies106 threads Senior Member
    I babysit 45 hours a week for my 5-month-old grandbaby. It’s been so lovely and I love the baby snuggles so much. Talk to me in a few months when I have to chase him all over the place! I’m sure I’ll still love it, but it’ll be more tiring. DD was told that a space should open up at her university’s daycare when he is 18-24 months-old. She was 301 on the waiting list recently, and she signed up BEFORE she got pregnant. Crazy that.
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  • garlandgarland 16513 replies206 threads Senior Member
    Wow, thanks for all your stories. Grandbaby is 15 months old, and I don't think I could handle her on a back-carrier at this point, unless someone else was getting her in and out, unfortunately.

    @ams5796 -- so my situation sounds similar to yours. Will probably be two days a week, with some flex on a third day. And the babies are about the same age. And I'm 61 also. I do look forward to the time with her as she is a joy, but I do know it will be exhausting, as I fit work in the rest of the time. I'm hoping D stays committed to the daycare she has lined up for June. it's home-based and certified, and a friend sends her baby there, so it sounds fine. Also I am hoping to cut work hours back in the fall for myself. Meanwhile, I'm glad I can help out and I do enjoy GD's company.

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  • MabelsmomMabelsmom 39 replies0 threads Junior Member
    My husband and I have been watching our 3.5 yr old granddaughter 2 days a week since she was 6 months old and mom went back to work. We are now fully retired ages 66 and 68. As she grew, it got much more difficult especially now in the cold winter months when outdoor activity is limited. It nice to have both of us on most days, and it is still exhausting! We feel lucky to have been able to do this, and are thankful for the bond we have formed with our granddaughter. Baby number two is due in August, we will do part time infant care again, and 4 yr old will go to daycare/ preschool full time.
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  • SOSConcernSOSConcern 3912 replies8 threads Senior Member
    We were rather fortunate as far as becoming grandparents 'early' as DD/SIL wanted a child right away - they got pg right away, and then another 'slipped in there' when DD's work schedule changed from 12 hour night shift (7p - 7a) to 12 hour day shift (7a - 7 p) and she didn't account for her biologic clock/circadian rhythm change. But luckily she won a M - F nurse manager job when she went back with the 2 in day care. Her son, born 7/5/19 is happily able to continue breast feeding and his health is showing it. She can pump in her private office. Her schedule is similar to church day care a few blocks away from work. So the situation has become very good for her. They are very lucky to have two beautiful, healthy children.

    I help one weekend a month when SIL is at Army Reserves. They currently live 100 miles from us.

    We live in the warm south, so not dealing with the cold winter weather.

    GD (who turns 2 in May) had viral pneumonia around thanksgiving, and recently had a viral URI and R ear infection. Both the parents got the recent viral URI and DD had a sinus infection. I had a bit of the URI but because I have 2 daily allergy nasal spray medications it didn't really hang on too much for me.

    SIL's job is probably going to have them relocate. H and I are 19 months away from retirement, but my job is flexible and I almost already retired last Oct and they offered me a better part time job with more limited duties which made the job better. If they move to the more expensive area, I am looking at what we may need to do to help them get into a decent property. We are looking to sell our home when we know where we will be going. We also may split time between two smaller places - which may be that we obtain a place for them that has some room for us to stay some. So we shall see how things shake out. They are doing fine where they are for now but SIL has to get into a better career track which probably will put them into a pricey housing area with higher cost child care. Once SIL has a few years in there, he can be doing better, and most likely DD will be able to continue her career there (her gov't job will give her higher COL pay). SIL has to continue Army Reserve - and most likely will continue Army Reserve until later retirement due to financially catching up with student loans and having kids right away instead of paying off student loans first. Plus for him to financially head the household he needs that pay.

    I know my parents and H's parents never really worried about H and me. We had our careers, I got additional education paying along the way, and we had our kids later when we settled and built a house while both in solid jobs.

    My dad always helped out with a bit of a safety net for my older sister who had IMHO a very difficult H and she had to give way too much - but they have good kids (and now good dau-in-laws and good grandkids) and she is happy. Her H couldn't/wouldn't take a bit of money out of savings for her to have her own car, so my dad always made sure she had her own vehicle. Her H was over controlling. She never spent her inheritance - put it towards retirement. Younger sister and I would never have gone out on a date with him.... - they married when my sister was 25 and he was 41 (he was less than 3 years younger than my mom and he also thought like that generation and was less contemporary than my parents). My older brother did very well financially. My younger two siblings a bit of a mess. H has one brother who he is the closest to - but he married badly twice. He has two great kids and now two great grandkids. The other two brothers have their own issues but life is stable for them.
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  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek 4744 replies56 threads Senior Member
    We already have 6 grandkids. (ages 1 to 8). Some combination of our older 3 grandkids have lived with us for weeks at a time when dil has had major complications with her pregnancies. She ended up hospitalized or on strict bedrest or with major post-delivery complications that required surgery and weeks of rehab where she couldn't lift anything. (Her complications after number 4 were so bad she almost died.)

    We actually moved this summer to be near ds and his family. Now the grandkids are here all the time whenever dil has appts, needs a break, whatever. I love it. They are so much fun. I didnt have grandparents growing up. I'm glad we can have relationships with our grandkids. It is a wonderful blessing to live near them.

    It is a very different scenario than most of the other posts bc I became a grandparent when our youngest was only 17 mos old.. I still have teens and a 10 yr old, so when the grandkids come over, they play with them and help watch them.

    My oldest dd's kids go to daycare. Whenever they travel to visit, our entire family ends up sick when they leave. One of those 2 always has the worst gunky colds when they come. If we waited for them both to be healthy, we'd never see them. But whatever germs they are carrying, they are always the worst illnesses we get that yr. So worth it, but I have just started planning on having something work its way through the family after they leave.
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  • alhalh 8898 replies49 threads Senior Member
    Huge Congratulations to all the new grandparents,

    and what a relief to know I'm not the only one finding this physically challenging. Sometimes I wonder how my mother (now deceased) did all she did and then have to remind myself she was a decade younger!

    Like some others up-thread, I recently filled in for a nanny with an unexpected family emergency, and spent a week of bliss rocking the baby. If baby didn't want to nap in the crib, we just rocked and rocked for hours while baby slept on my shoulder. This may be the last baby I ever rock like this. Heaven.

    When I visit grandchildren by myself, I just go ahead into quarantine in the guest space upon return, to try and keep husband from also catching whatever illness I've inevitably picked up.
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  • MansfieldMansfield 833 replies2 threads Member
    I think our granddaughter also needs a watch and a calendar. There's usually at least a 4 hour stretch from during the night when she wants to do anything but sleep. D says its a good thing she's so darned cute! D also tells her that she's doing such a good job of learning to be a baby. Overall, they're doing pretty well. SIL is working from home this week, which limits his availability to help. Next week, he'll be back in the office. My daughter will be home until early May.

    My job really stinks right now. I work at a school and I'm really not sure I'll make it to the end of the year. There's a lot of drama, bullying, intimidation, lack of ethics, etc., not to mention the ageism and sexism that is pretty standard for this place. I've been here over 20 years and since this little sweetheart arrived, I've really started to rethink my priorities. When the going gets tough here, I just pull up my daily pictures and videos. It puts everything into perspective.
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  • 2VU06092VU0609 3670 replies61 threads Senior Member
    Got a text this morning saying D was having contractions. She is due 3/20, so a little early. Doctor said either early labor or false labor. They sent her home from doctor's office and she has taken it easy with only one more contraction since then, but she said it was a bear when she had it this afternoon. Hoping she can go a little longer!
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  • rockymtnhigh2rockymtnhigh2 460 replies6 threads Member
    edited March 4
    Ok, back to babysitting for 2 weeks until daycare kicks in. It is going well. This is the second go around for babysitting and I have learned to anticipate sleep, hunger, etc. before it becomes full-blown. During her naps I watched the Netflix series Babies. Fascinating information. Some a little over the top in interpretation, but it is nonetheless intriguing. Made me look at GD (5 months old) a little differently when she kicks.
    edited March 4
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  • frazzled1frazzled1 5611 replies247 threads Senior Member
    edited March 4
    @2VU0609 - how is your daughter doing? Hope that was just a preview. I remember those Braxton-Hicks contractions could really get your attention.

    My daughter is at the hospital now for a planned C-section for her 3rd boy (our 4th grandson!). We successfully accomplished daycare drop-off for the 2 and 4 year old this morning, and really hope the next 3 days go as well. Not expecting them to - these kids will be missing mom and dad. No hospital visits for little ones during flu season, so it will have to be FaceTime.

    I wanted to post a rant about the state of maternal care these days, but I would just go on too damn long. The latest development to bug me is that moms are now encouraged to use only Motrin and acetaminophen in the hospital after C-sections. Yup, for post-major-surgery pain. (Or don’t we call C-sections major surgery anymore?)

    Both my daughters have had C-sections and used opioids in the hospital. Not talking about take-home prescriptions. Yes, I know that NSAIDs with Tylenol are supposed to provide pain relief equal to that of opioids. But that combo didn’t really handle my partial MCL tear, so I wonder how it addresses C-Section pain immediately after surgery.

    Not worried about my daughter being shy about advocating for what she needs. Just wishing that what was okay for years and years was okay today. And now it’s “Well, this is better for the baby.” So were they lying all the times they said, “This won’t hurt the baby and it’s better for you not to let the pain get ahead of you.” ???

    I’m probably just a worried mom/grandma.
    edited March 4
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  • 2VU06092VU0609 3670 replies61 threads Senior Member
    Hope things go well for your daughter, @frazzled1 . Sending good thoughts!

    My D had more contractions on Friday. Her doctor had told her on 2/21 that yes, the baby was high, and that she might never drop. However, when doctor saw her last Thursday, the verdict was these are contractions and baby has dropped. D said she could tell there was another drop on Friday afternoon with contractions. I'm happy that baby is staying tucked in as a nurse friend texted yesterday morning to check on D & SIL and said the kind of barometric changes experienced with Nashville tornadoes/storms can send people into labor. D & her dog slept through it all.
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  • anxiousmomanxiousmom 5873 replies106 threads Senior Member
    @frazzled1 I totally agree with you about C-Section drugs. Come on, hospital staff! These mommas need some pain relief. And I have probably waxed poetic about the wisdom of “Baby-Friendly” hospital practices that require exhausted newly-delivered mothers who haven’t slept for 60+ hours to sign-off on paperwork saying they understand the dangers of falling asleep and dropping babies, and then expect them to nurse baby every 2-hours all night long. I have a friend who is an ex-NICU nurse and has told me of tragic consequences of these policies, which are supposed to increase breast-feeding percentages. Just awful.
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