Welcome to my blog! There are plenty of great blogs about parenting and grandparenting on the web. So why am I starting this one?
Frankly, I need help.
I’m a journalist by trade, and my approach to any issue is to gather information to make sense of it for myself and others. I’m also part of the Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964 – one of about 77 million, according to Pew Research Center data.
Coincidentally, that’s about the same size as the Millennials, the generation born after 1980 and so-called because they’re the first to come of age in the new millennium. And Millennials are becoming parents, as my husband and I know first-hand.
As boomer grandparents, we’ve got lots of company. The oldest of our generation turns 70 this year, and the youngest 52. Given our age, it’s no surprise that many of us now have grandchildren. And, as is typical for our generation, we’re determined to break down stereotypes. No rocking chairs and knitting needles for us – unless of course we’re crafters, and that’s our thing.
And we’re not just playing with the baby, either. According to a recent MetLife survey:
- 13% of grandparents (or 1 in 10) regularly take care of at least one grandchild.
- 32% of that group watches over their grandchildren five days a week.
- 15% of the caregivers have taken on the job full-time, raising one or more of their grandchildren.
Grandparents become “granny nannies” for many reasons – including helping their adult children financially. Childcare can be prohibitively expensive, especially for young parents trying to make ends meet while saddled with school loan debts.
In addition, a lot of us spend time with our grandkids simply because we want to. It’s a miracle to hold your child’s child in your arms. And some of us want a closer relationship with our grandchildren than our parents had with our kids.
But taking care of a child is not just a joy, it’s a big responsibility. If you’re like me, it’s been a long time since you changed a diaper. You may worry about being rusty when it comes to taking care of kids, especially since a lot of child-rearing practices have changed over the years.
For example, as a young mom I was told to lay my babies down on their stomachs at bedtime. Now doctors say the best away to avoid SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is to lay them on their backs. Blankets, pillows and crib bumpers are out (potential smothering hazards) in favor of zip-up sleep sacks.
I’ve had to do some work to get the latest medical advice on these and other matters. Yet I’ve found that how to soothe a fussy baby came right back to me. It’s like riding a bicycle – some things you never forget.
So I’m writing this blog to:
- Share my thoughts and experiences and listen to others, too, as I ride a new learning curve.
- Report the latest information on best practices in childcare – especially news grandparents can use.
- Provide a place for parents and grandparents to share anecdotes and tips to raise happy, healthy children.
Yes, there are other grandparent blogs out there, but I’m happy to be the new kid on an already-fabulous block. Topics like child nutrition, setting limits, recognizing and treating postpartum depression (to name just a few) need lots of coverage. And I hope to have fun, too.
So, whether you take care of your grandchildren once in a blue moon or you’ve got a standing arrangement with them every week, please join me! I need all the help I can get exploring this new frontier.