National Grandparents Day
6th October marks National Grandparents day in the UK and we want to take some time to recognise and appreciate every grandparent.
I wanted to write a blog but know nothing I put on paper can truly express the love I have for my grandparents and my child’s grandparents.
The relationship between grandparent and a grandchild is special; when parenting you are so caught up in the hectic rush of feeding, clothing and teaching your child you can miss the little things. Grandparents often have more time for their grandchildren and know just how quickly they grow up, so they live in the moment and cherish the nonsensical conversations. Grandparents are valuable because they have so many stories and experiences from their own lives to share. Often children/teens will listen to their grandparents even when their relationship with their parents is fraught. During tough times, Grandparents offer an extra ear when kids need someone to talk to, because sometimes children just find it easier to open up and share their difficulties and problems with their grandparents.
I have a wonderful relationship with my Nan and would always be extremely excited when she would come to stay, I would go shopping with her, make food with her and stay up late talking to her, she was so confident and strong. I also knew she was my confidant and could help solve my problems. She is older now and frailer but I always make the time to go and see her at least once a week, it’s my job to pay it back and help her around the house, much to her annoyance. Her face comes alive when my 2 year old visits her and she becomes spritely again playing catch with him.
Grandparent care can be in the form of babysitting every so often, to regular caring for the child and in some cases, being the sole provider of childcare for many parents who have to return to work. According to the Family and Childcare Trust the average nursery fees are £242 per week and one in four parents rely on grandparents for childcare.
I rely on my mum to help out one day a week, something that started off as a practical need has evolved into so much more, its quality time for them and she thoroughly relishes her days with him and he learns so much from her. I feel extremely blessed that my child has four grandparents who love him deeply and want to shape his life whilst also providing support for me.
Many of our volunteers not only give their time to help couples with their marriages but have special roles to play in their grandchildren’s lives.
One of our Marriage Preparation Trainers Maggie supports her daughter with childcare
“I went to look after my granddaughter for one day a week when my daughter needed to return to work after having my first grandchild. I now have 3 grandchildren and continue to look after them for one day a week.
I feel privileged to be part of their lives and we have a lovely relationship. I love it when I arrive and they see me and run up to me so happy and wanting to hug me. I really enjoy being with them and particularly like seeing them grow and change week by week. I enjoy listening to them when they are talking whilst playing together. They can say the funniest things and I also like talking and listening to them one to one. The love I feel for them is a bit different to the love I have for my own children. It is still as deep but more relaxed and I seem to have more time to savour and appreciate the love they give to me.”
To Grandparents who are with us and Grandparents who aren’t, to Grandparents we see every day and those we don’t, we thank you for being you.
Written by Frankie
Marriage Preparation Administrator