"" Writer's Wanderings: Not a SAHG

Friday, February 23, 2018

Not a SAHG

[Rounding out the grandparenting week of posts with this story from a few years ago. Talk about creative solutions!]
   The other day I heard a woman describe herself as a Stay At Home Grandmother. She cared for her grandchildren while their mother helped to make ends meet in this economy where two incomes are almost an essential to survival. While her job description brought a smile to my face, it also reminded me of a lady who has solved this problem for her grandchildren in a unique and selfless way.

            We call the hotel we use in the city where some of our grandchildren live our “home away from home.” Since several other family members, my mother-in-law included, live there as well we can move freely from our “home base” and visit without feeling obligated to stay longer in one place than another. On one occasion, we were checking in to our hotel and a glimmer of recognition spread across my husband’s face as the lady behind the counter took his credit card information.

            “Blythe Ann?”

            “Yes,” she answered. “How are you?”

            Blythe Ann was the daughter of the pastor from the church where Bob grew up. We hadn’t seen her in quite a while so it was time to catch up a bit. When we told her we were there to visit our grandchildren and shared the obligatory information on number, ages, sex, and where the grandkids lived, she smiled and said, “Well, I’m here because of my grandchildren too.”

            I thought that a strange remark but then she explained. Her son and daughter-in-law had gone over their finances and determined that there was a need for two incomes. They looked into day care for the little ones and decided it wasn’t a financial option since the fees would eat up most of what Mom could earn. They turned to Grandma.

            To their surprise, Grandma said no. She hated to see her grandchildren separated from their mother in those young years. And equally, she disliked the idea of her daughter-in-law missing the opportunity to see her children reach the milestones in their young lives that pass so quickly. She did have an answer to their dilemma however.

            Blythe Ann proposed that she get a part time job and give the check to her son and daughter-in-law. There would be no need to pay day care and the children would not miss their mother’s care and love during the day. It also allowed Blythe Ann to be Grandma—not another parent or caretaker to her grandchildren.

            There was another little perk to her gift as well.

            “I really enjoy my job,” she told us. “It gets me out of the house and among people again. I’m having a great time.”

            While not all of us have this kind of opportunity to give to our children and grandchildren, I thought it was an idea worth sharing. Call it a creative solution for the modern-day world of grandparenting.

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