Friday, 19 September 2008

Don’t you think Grandma and Grandpa need a break?

By Mabi Azefor Fominyen

Being a grandparent seems to be a great experience. For many it ushers moments of happiness. The joy of having someone who refers to you as “Granny”, a little one to hug, love, run around with and share wonderful moments together.

In many homes and communities, grandparents have always helped to look after their grandchildren. They are so happy that they travel long distances to be part of the action. Some grandmothers have had to travel abroad to “babysit”. However, for a growing number of grandparents, the brief visits to welcome the new-born baby have now been replaced by the responsibility of providing full-time child care, while Mom and Dad are busy at work.

Imagine a Grandma; aged 60. She wakes up at 6 am each weekday, gets the grandchild ready for school, prepares breakfast, and escorts the child to school. Once home she embarks on some household chores (housecleaning, laundry, cooking) until her grandchild returns from school. Then she has to feed, play with and sometimes chase, shout and discipline her “little one”. She may have to separate a few “brother versus sister” fights and help out with the homework.

At this point Grandma must definitely be exhausted.

Healthcare professionals say this is having a heavy toll on the health of “Grannies.” Today, grandparents tend to suffer from problems like depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, fatigue, alcoholism and strokes that doctors link in part to the stress of being “parents all again”. At times some are on the verge of a nervous break-down when their grandchildren prove too stubborn to handle or are linked to issues like addiction, alcoholism or promiscuity. Doctors are worried that maybe out of ignorance, limited financial means or deep love for their grandchildren, many grandparents down-play their health needs.

For some grandparents, there‘s even another challenge, that of effectively helping their grandkids with their homework and studies as a whole. Those who are literate, went to school in a different age and style from what obtains now. Those without any formal education need extra help to support the child academically. In all, it is not easy.

Yet, a good number of grandmas and grandpas have done pretty well as babysitters and child care providers both for their kids and grandkids. Some are simply terrific!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bravo Grandma! I figure those who fall under this category live healthier and longer lives.

I suppose healthcare professionals need to be aware of this rising phenomenon of “second-time parenting”. They should ask pertinent questions about the lifestyle, home situation, daily activities of those persons who indicate that they are grandparents during medical consultation. Maybe the “back-pain, headache, waist-pain…” is a result of raising a house full of difficult- to -handle grandchildren.


Anastácio Soberbo said...

Hello, I like this blog.
Sorry not write more, but my English is not good.
A hug from Portugal

mabsfominyen said...

hi anastacio,
Thanks very much for the words of appreciation.

Nalo said...

This is great. Big Up to you Aunty Mabs!You remind us everyday of how possible it is for one to surpass themselves. Who could have ever believed. I am sure i will find this Blog very interesting. Go girl!

Nengela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Misodi said...

Mz Mabs

Quite an interesting piece. Grandma & grandpa should get a beak. Afterall, they did a wonderful job taking care of our parents and our parents intrun took care of us. Lets give them a break. Lets take care of our own and that incudes kids, parents & grandparents.

rachete said...

I like your blog!

Snowsel said...

Great people with great potential can never hide! Mabi's World is just another prove of the fact that the highly talented and gifted Mabi Azefor has much more to offer the world. We have been privilleged to savour some of her greatness but I know the best is still to come. I am highly impressed with the diversity of ideas and greatly commend your prolific output. Do keep the wonderful spirit alive!
Warmest regards from Douala, Cameroon.
Snowsel Ano-Ebie.

mabsfominyen said...

Hi Snowsel,
Thank you.I know you should be very proud to see how far i have gone with regards to the ICT-world.

Did you say the best of me was still to come? Am flattered.I sincerely appreciate the pat on the back.
By God's grace your good wishes for me shall be fulfilled.