Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Fulltime or No Time grandparenting?

On Mother's Day, one might wonder who needs a mother most. Your own children and grandchildren or a lot of parentless children in Uganda?
Where would you spend your time?
Mama Arlene had an epiphany in her 70s.

Bored with traveling, she took off to live in Uganda and follow through with her vision. Hers is an inspiring story that few of us will replicate. She's now 84 and still mostly working in Uganda.
On the other hand ---and isn't there always an other hand ? – Melissa Dribben, a long time reporter and columnist has quit her job, no, her career, to be the full time caretaker for her grandchild while her daughter works. Read that story here.
 I respect the commitment that these women have made but their choices stir up other feelings in me.  Questions like-- did I spend enough time with my children when they were little and I was pursuing career.? Is Melissa now generously giving back or making up for what she herself may have missed? On the other hand, I'm shocked that mama Arlene Brown could at this stage of life want to remove herself so entirely from her own  family.Where is the balance? How much do grandkids need you and how much do you need them? And where is that balance?

1 comment:

Nancy Agneberg said...

One of the invitations of this time of our life, I think, is to revisit what gives us purpose and meaning. My husband and I moved full circle back to where we had raised our children and now where our daughter and husband are raising their children, and it is a privilege to play an active role in their lives--and to be able to help them out. However, they understand we have lives as well and can't always fill in when help is needed. Also, now is the time for me to do the writing that has taken a back seat to other responsibilities and in that way address what gives me purpose and meaning. I think it is important to keep asking ourselves what is most important for us right now, in this stage of life. We might surprise ourselves with the answer. I am attempting to explore these issues and others in my blog, Clearing the Space and am grateful for the forum you provide for this exploration as well.