Retired householders to Grandparents
Getting promoted from a parent to a grandparent is the most ecstatic phase in every person’s life. For every grandparent their grandchild adds a new lease to the stressed relations owing to far-flung detachment and heavy professional demands of their children.
There are two sides to this experience which on one side is heartening while on the other completely contradictory. The senior citizens look forward to becoming grandparents as it strengthens ties between three generations.
At present children live with the family till there higher secondary exams after which a majority travel to pursue higher studies followed by specialisation, professional choices and ultimately marriage taking them to faraway places.
The journey invariably changes the child into an independent adult who decides without help and planning a baby too is a personal decision. Occasionally the parents are consulted, as their support is taken for granted.
“Travelling and gardening were top on our post retirement list. But we had to let go of them and relocate to Delhi to care for my daughter’s baby. The house was small for her in laws and us to stay. Proper planning would have saved misunderstanding” shared Paroma Ghoshal who with her husband travels from Delhi to Bangalore, as and when their children travel for work and they have to baby sit.
A little warmth and thoughtfulness will soften the grandparents, making them feel respected and wanted. The middle generation is busy pursuing the careers and juggling between their job demands and parenting. They can concentrate on their jobs better if the children are in the safe hands of their parents, if it is a give and take relation.
Anjana Sethi says happily “Buying our own home was a cherished dream and so both I and Tarun had to work. We also had to plan a baby as our age was working against us. This is when we took both my parents and Tarun’s into confidence and worked out a solution suiting both our set of parents. Today my 5 month old son Shubh is enjoying the attention of all four grandparents”.
The middle generation have to realise that their parents have aged and cannot run behind the toddlers but can monitor happily. The grandparents should also be given liberty to follow their incomplete aspirations and a support system to help them.
So guys please keep these small things in mind before taking your parents for granted and try to make the SECOND INNINGS of their life happy amidst their grandchildren.
(Aditi is a freelance writer and pursues interest in the area of social issues)