Where have our grandparents gone?
This generation of parents finds itself in the times of navigating multiple commitments, responsibilities, and workloads with the added “pressures” in the love/hate world of “social” media and being addicted to and heavily dependent on our gadgets. Anyone else feel like they don’t have time to stop to go to the toilet? Multiple child families are faced with crippling childcare costs whilst, broadly speaking, a change in the world has seen an almost extinction of grandparents as we know them.
Why? Well, many reasons of course. A largely contributing factor being that the world has got smaller, travel cheaper and more readily available, people move around more these days, as they become more aware of new opportunities as careers all over are listed online. Also, it’s more common for children to attend university which often means families become scattered. We’re positively encouraged by the comfort of being able to FaceTime and message whenever we like with no cost, everywhere has WiFi these days. Sometimes it’s a case of weighing up experiences, salaries and travel, showing children more yet at the sacrifice of family time.
Then there’s the retirement age which has basically crept up to 100, leaving grandparents physically unable to offer their help and also missing out on that quality time with the little ones. That’s if the travel alone would permit it in the first place. With some grandparents embracing the change in the world, others accepting it and I guess, for a small few, unaffected by it. Maybe for people who’ve grown up in cities this has much longer been the case but people from small villages will be aware of the difference. Small town places used to stay close and grow together. There’s a quote “It takes a village to raise a child”
Obviously, it’s not uncommon now for people to put their careers first and choose to have children later, especially with a rise in both parents being out to work. With there being a lot more freedom of choice in many aspects of life now people generally can be more selective with partners too. Maybe we could argue we have too much choice, leaving them more afraid of commitment. Either way, it’s an added factor to why some leave it later to settle down, meaning that their own parents could possibly be much older/unable to look after children.
It seems the days of children covered in mud and blackberry juice are passing us by. It’s a great shame that some things are dying out, in life of course this happens as a natural part of the process but it’s sad nonetheless. Sad that many children aren’t growing up playing in the mud, sad that they won’t help their grandma’s bake cookies and cakes, sad that they won’t be read the stories. It feels like the ownness is on the parents to do that more rounded role of playing grandparent and parent only it doesn’t seem fully functional when people don’t have as much time, or honestly sometimes the patience!
We live in a fast paced, rapidly changing world filled with way more distractions than ever before, that some days we should all try channeling the spirit of a wholesome, wonderful grandparent.