The Seasons of a Grandparent

Remember the thrill of becoming a grandparent?  Remember watching “your baby” “have a baby”?  It all seemed so simple and sweet, right?

While most of the time, there are more joys than heartaches during our grandparenting season, occasionally there are times or seasons when being a grandparent just isn’t any fun.  It is a hard thing to acknowledge, and an even harder thing to admit—however, every now and then, grandparents are called upon to do hard things as grandparents.

Sometimes situations arise causing you as a grandparent to once again become a parent.  Divorce in the family?  Long term illness?  Maybe your child is just not capable of parenting for any number of reasons which puts you in the driver’s seat of parenting again.  This scenario happens more than one might think.  Thankfully, in our day and time, there are many agencies, churches, and self help groups available if this is a stage of life you find yourself in.  Do not despair or give up.  Many times, this role of “parenting for the second time” will only last for a season.  Then, you can enjoy your grandparenting role again.

It has been said that “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”  This is definitely true for grandparents.  Even though it can be fun to have children and grandchildren just around the corner or at least in the same city, sometimes the boundaries of love and appreciation are taken for granted and it can be more of a chore to grandparent than what was originally bargained for.    If this is the case for you, it might be a good idea to try to get away for extended vacations occasionally—alone.  It might also be necessary to limit visits to weekly or bi-weekly so as not to be overwhelmed as a grandparent with too many little munchkins running around.

Whatever season you find yourself in, there are ways to find the joy again if you stop and think about what has taken the joy away.  After all, like being a parent—you only get one go around.