By PAT WARGOCKI
For almost two weeks last month my daughter-in-law held down the fort for her three little ones while our son was in Thailand on a business trip. One evening after an especially busy day, she was trying to prepare dinner for the 3- and 5-year olds when the 7-month old baby started fussing. Suddenly our daughter-in-law found herself saying, “Sometimes being the mommy is hard.” To which our 5-year old grandson replied, “That’s why when I grow up, I’m going to be the daddy.”
Our grandson’s comment made her laugh and tickled my funny bone when she shared it with me the next day. Boy, did our daughter-in-law have it right, though! Being the mommy is hard work. It can be relentless, even when moms have spouses who are willing and able to support them.
Moms who have mothers living nearby or visiting from afar are lucky to get a helping hand occasionally. It’s a win-win situation for the grandmoms who enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and “indulging” them.
But what happens to families when couples encounter financial problems? Or divorce? Or deal with alcohol or drug abuse?
This is when grandmoms often come to the rescue. Many are assuming the burden of helping raise their grandchildren as more moms go back to work. Some grandmoms are even opening their homes to grown children and grandchildren who can’t survive on their own because of divorce or job losses.
In extraordinary circumstances, such as the untimely death of a parent, or when the parents are not mature or stable enough to care for their own children, some grandmoms find themselves becoming sole and full-time caregivers. This is not how these grandmoms envisioned spending their later years.
Many talk about how difficult it is to garner the energy to start over: bathing and feeding little ones, carpooling, helping with homework, cooking meals, washing clothes, and generally doing what they did 20 or 30 years ago. But despite the hard work, several say they feel blessed and comforted in knowing their grandchildren are safe and nurtured.
On this Mother’s Day, hats off to the loving moms and grandmoms, whose children and grandchildren are beneficiaries of all their hard work and devotion.