Dear Jido – October 2020

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Dear Jido,

I recently retired so that I could help take care of my three-year-old granddaughter since daycare is so costly and her parents live from paycheck to paycheck. I have my grandchild Monday to Thursday, six hours a day. She rarely eats much, is very active, and now she will not nap. I am exhausted. I am out of ideas on how to keep her busy all day. I am 58, and lately I feel like I’m 88. Help!

Signed,

Exhausted

 

Dear Exhausted,

Famous story told by one of our Rabbis –

Man comes home from work, his wife is lounging on the couch and the house is “flying.”  Kids are a mess, toys are all over, supper is nowhere to be found. He asks in amazement, “What’s going on?” She calmly replies – “You know how you always ask me what do I do all day? Well, today, I didn’t do it.”

Well, today, women, mothers, grandmothers are being asked to do so much more. I’m thinking of starting a movement called “Mothers Are People Too.”  Not that fathers aren’t also, but it seems that over the last few months, the biggest burden has fallen on mothers (and, by extension, grandmothers).  They have become the teachers, drivers, schleppers, babysitters, innovators, entertainers, mentors, and referees for children of all ages. This is, of course, in addition to their everyday duties of mother and wife.

It’s not surprising that you are zonked.

There are many young families who find it necessary for both of the parents to work in order to make ends meet. And yet, somehow, Hashem provides.

I suggest you discuss with your daughter that the job is more taxing than you expected. Offer to reduce your hours, assist with the costs of a babysitter/play group or work out a dollar “support” plan that phases out over time (now that you are retired). It was a wonderful gesture on your part to agree to assist, but it is not your responsibility to bring up your grandchild.

Ease yourself out of the position. Your daughter will understand. And if she doesn’t, you can always become the charter member of the M.A.P.T. initiative.

Jido