Friday, February 29, 2008

On Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

...or in our case, helping out as much as possible with our grandson who, with his mother (our eldest daughter), lives with us.

Here is how it all came about:
We sent our daughter off to college. She had always been the "rebellious one" of our children, distant, almost impossible to reason with at times. We got the news in early 2006 that she was pregnant. It was one of those moments that seem to stretch an eternity, when I felt God watching and waiting - what will you do? For Paul and I, the only right, loving, and moral possibility was for her to continue the pregnancy and to keep the baby with the family. We promised her that we would do everything possible to allow her to continue with her hopes and dreams, while helping to raise the baby.

It is a very odd thing to raise a baby again after your youngest child becomes a teenager. Interestingly enough, I did have this thought in late 2005 that I would love to have a baby again, and even briefly thought about adopting. I am quite sure that this was God's way of preparing me for my new role: A grandmother helping to raise a grandchild. The adjustment has not been easy. I have been dealing with some health issues, and it was all just such a topsy-turvy change of lifestyle. I had different plans and dreams. It made for frustration and often depression, even feeling trapped. I had to remind myself long and often about the bigger picture and that I was working for a greater good.

However, in spite of the difficulties, our grandson is a complete blessing. I am so grateful that we are managing to do what we set out to do - help raise Tyler and help Julie achieve her dreams along with it. Some things that have helped are having family therapy, getting needed rest, and eating properly. Finding a new doctor that is addressing my health issues has also brightened the horizons significantly. The most wonderful change has been in Julie. The once rebellious teen is turning into a lovely young woman, a good mother, a loving daughter, a sibling who is also a friend, and a grown up. Our life has altered quite a bit. I also am needing to reassess working. As it is now, I am doing a lot of baby care while Julie works part-time. But Paul and I discussed how since I am a Registered Nurse that I could earn more in the same amount of time Julie is working, allowing her to be with her son more. We have spent time in prayer, asking for God's guidance on this issue.

The Important Thing:
It can be done. It isn't easy, but God gives us the strength. When Julie was pregnant and considering adoption, I was so dismayed. I didn't want to lose this precious family member, however lovely any adoptive family could be. Even in my most depressed times, I have never regretted our decision to keep Tyler in our family and home.

He is a blessing. Thank you God.


Sarah Jane Meister said...

What a beautiful post. Your daughter and I were pregnant around the same time although I think your grandbaby is a little older than my little boy. My own parents have been such blessings in my life and that of my children. Thank God for grandparents! Their wisdom, advice and Biblical direction has been so great. God bless you for what you are doing!!

Celeste said...

Thank you Sarah Jane! Tyler is 18 months right now. What a handfull - I imagine you are chasing your baby around just like we are. He gets into everything!

Anonymous said...

If I may suggest, would you consider home-health nursing? It's be a way to put your license to use in a way that allows more flexibility than working in a facility somewhere.

Celeste said...

I actually did do home health nursing at one point. It worked fine, except that I always seemed to end up with the PM or night shifts. But I am looking into a position where I would only work two days per week in an office setting, more of a day shift. That seems like it would work with my family!

ZipZipInkspot said...

Dear Celeste,
Bless you for such a loving response to the life-changing situation you were in. It takes such strength to do it, and your description of how you've felt over time is so real and understandable. Sending hugs your way,
Natalie in Kentucky