18

A day with my granddaughter—A day apart

It is very seldom that I spend a day apart from my granddaughter, when I do, though, I feel like a part of myself is missing. That is how I felt this past weekend—like a part of myself was missing.

My spouse and I decided to spend a much-needed weekend away from work and the stresses that accompany that.

We both got a Friday off which is unusual for each of us. We decided to go to a casino about an hour away from us. We had “free” rooms and some other comps and we anticipated a nice time away.

And it was nice, don’t let me mislead you on that point. We had a wonderful time, but I felt sadness that I was away from the “kid.” We both did.

On Friday we went shopping. We hit Kohl’s, Herbergers (going out of business sale), Target and a few other shops. We ate at Taco Bell!

We did a lot of our favorite things, but it wasn’t the same doing them without the “kid” in tow.

A little background…

If you have read my blog before, you may remember that I never had children of my own. When I met my spouse, the kids were an added bonus. They were also an added challenge because I lacked parenting skills.

We got through a lot of hard times and some good ones, too! There were times that the “D” word (divorce) loomed before us because I thought things should be one way and my spouse thought another way. Since they weren’t my biological children, I was often overruled.

Even though they weren’t my biological children, I never thought of them as my “step” kids. I just thought of them as my kids.

As I have previously mentioned, I have five grandchildren (and a couple of potentials which will bring me to 7!).

Let me explain about the “potentials.” My oldest daughter is dating a gentleman who has two children. We already think of those two as our grandchildren.

When my youngest daughter had her child, she felt it was best that we raise her. We have had her since she was around six months old.

Since I’d never had children of my own and my spouse’s children were a bit older—5,7 and 8—when we got together, I didn’t know about all the formative years. I didn’t know about the joys and struggles of raising a child from infancy. I didn’t know what it would be like when she started to walk and talk. These were all new to me. They were new and amazing things to me.

Obviously, I love all of my grandchildren and I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, but there is a special place in my heart for the one I am helping raise. I am G.G.—hear me roar!

Onward…

So back to the present… We are at the casino and I am up some money. But I am missing the kid, so I’m feeling down. Is this normal?

I ask myself that question often because I just don’t know. My spouse tells me that it is—that this is being a parent/grandparent. I still have doubts because I have never been in this role for a child who depends on me for everything. I have never been in this role of teaching a child to become a “person” before.

So, I miss her and I wonder what she is doing. I wonder if she is okay. Is she eating? Is she having fun at her aunt’s house? Is she missing us, too.

As it turns out, she had a lot of fun during the day, but at night she cried. She missed us! Even though I felt bad that she had cried, I felt glad that she missed us—she missed me.

Being a parent/grandparent

Being in this dual role is harder than it appears on the surface. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I think I have never been happier or more fulfilled in my life. This is the place I think all of my experiences prepared me for. Like that babysitting job I had every summer. Like growing up on a farm and learning to care for animals. Like going to school and being a little “different.” These all happened to prepare me for taking care of this extraordinary young lady that I call my granddaughter.

Comments

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave questions or comments below and I will get back to you very soon!

 

 

Karin

18 Comments

  1. I raised two beautiful daughters and yes, it is truly a blessing watching them grow and spread their wings and went on to college. I missed them dearly when they left home but it is something you have to do. So i have been blessed with 3 grandchildren in the last two years. I live in New Jersey and my one grandson is in Florida and my grandson and granddaughter of 5 days old live 70 miles away. I am going to see the two tomorrow and leaving will break my heart, so i kind of know how you feel leaving loved ones behind, but sometimes you need to get away and enjoy yourself, say a casino trip, they will be there when you get back. Thanks for sharing your touching story
    Robert

    • Robert,

      It is hard to see them grow up and spread their wings. It would be very difficult for me if me grandchildren didn’t live near me. I’ve been lucky that way! I hope you enjoyed your visit with your grandchildren!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  2. Hey Karin,
    I’m a recent grandfather 2 times over! My grand babies are a month apart. One girl and one boy. I have found myself being more emotional and caring lately, and for me it’s weird.
    I’m 43 years old and I feel like I was reborn. I love my grand children and I get to give them the world and everything in it. I enjoyed reading your post and learned a few things as well.
    Good going forward please continue to write.
    Thanks!

    • Jaywhon,

      Grandchildren have a strange way of doing things to us. They change our lives for the better, in my opinion!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  3. I have “step” kids too, and one of them, her father is completely missing. She calls me dad. We just had her 13th birthday party here, she was so excited. Something I would have never done on my own. And as much as they claim they don’t need us, they need us that much more. I never really tried to be her dad, or even a figure in life. I just tried to help her understand things in life, the rest came from her. I worry about that kid too, But I think shes going to be okay.

    • Jonathan,

      Doesn’t that make you feel good that you are being the dad she needs? You are being the person she needs you to be!
      Keep on doing whatever it is you’re doing because it is making the difference in your “step” kids lives!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  4. This is such a sweet story! You shouldn’t feel too guilty for your needed time away, and the time you get to spend with her will just be that much sweeter!

    • Hi Sydney.
      Thank you for your comments. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I do. I’m working on it! Do you have any suggestions?

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  5. I want to encourage you that you are doing a great thing. There are too many grandparents these days left to raise their children’s children. But the alternatives can be far less attractive. Please listen to this for moms (and Grandmoms): https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=0VM2GF-_HyM

    As an engaged father of three daughters, let me say – it’s OK for them to miss you once in a while, it will foster self confidence and independence. You don’t need to feel guilty.

    • Hello Mike!
      Thank you for sharing the video link and your comments. I am glad to hear that you are an engaged father! We sometimes forget how important dad is in our life! My dad was and still is a big influencer in my life!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  6. Karin, this gave me such joy reading! It is as if I can feel how much you love your new role as a ‘parent.’ I have to say I was smiling the whole time. Being a parent and having the extreme pleasure of helping raise another and sharing a life together, there really is nothing better is there?

    • Colleen,
      There is nothing better! I am glad my post brought a smile to your face.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  7. I have several friends who are raising grandchildren, and I am super excited to share your site with them. This is a wonderful site. Your story was captivating, and I’m sure all of us can relate to one or more parts of it. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments! Please, feel free to share. The more we can connect, the less alone we feel!

      Best wishes,
      Karin

  8. I have a blog for those 50 and over. Often when I write it, I think of the grandparent, raising their grand child/chilgren. Your article gave me that insight. My hat is off to you and your husband. It seems like so many grandparents are doing what you 2 are doing, these days.
    I’m glad you were able to get away. I remember feeling sad when my husband I would go do something without them. My husband taught me that we all need to unwind, so that we can be what we need to be for those that rely on us. Be kind to yourself.
    And God Bless you all,
    Laura

    • Thank you, Laura. I am glad I could shed some insight on this ever growing situation. (I don’t want to call it a “problem” because I wouldn’t have it any other way!)
      We do all need to unwind from time to time and that is why we did decide to have a weekend apart. It wasn’t easy for any of us, but we will do better each time we do spend a little time away from each other.
      Have a blessed week! I will be checking out your blog, as well!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *