Last week our two grandsons stayed with us. They-and their dog, Boomer-arrived on a Sunday and returned home this past Sunday. This week I've been getting our two grand daughters on the bus in the mornings and for two days stayed with one of them who is sick with the flu. The kids range in age from 8 to 14.
It has been a busy week to say the least and in doing all these things I'm reminded of something I've written before in this space. When you have a family where both parents work, they have signed up for a very busy time of it. We have them for a relatively short period of time. But for parents it's a 24/7/365 (except for trips) job.
As in our case, when help is needed studies show more and more families turn to grand parents. This is not a complaint. Just an observation because we are more than happy to do it. But it is tiring. We're not kids any more.
All of this reminds me of many years ago when grand parents often lived with their children and extended family and took over many child care duties. Then as time moved along families drifted apart-at least geographically if not emotionally-and that arrangement no longer applied. Now we seem to have come full circle. More and more child care duties are falling on grand parents-especially since it's often necessary for both parents to hold full time jobs.
It's very difficult for parents who both work and not have the services of a grand parent available. It's both costly and risky. I wonder if there's a significant change in recent years in the number of parents who choose to be a stay-at-home mom or dad. We'll have to dig into that and see what the research says.
In the mean time my wife and I continue to be available where needed-more me than her because she's still working full time but that will soon change.