Grandparents are a big part of family life. A 2012 study from the University of Chicago reported that 60 percent of grandparents provided some care for their grandchildren during a 10-year period. Seventy percent of those who provided care did so for two years or more.
As the Welsh saying goes: “Perfect love does not come along until the first grandchild.” As a grandparent multiple times myself, I do confess there are few things in life as enjoyable as hearing the word “Grandma” followed by a plain-stated insight or an outburst excitement from the latest generation along the Emek family line.
But more and more Americans are waiting longer for those precious moments. A recent piece in The Wall Street Journal pointed out that declining fertility rates, greater education and work opportunities and economic pressures are pushing back the typical ages at which people become grandparents. That, in turn, leads to tensions between would-be grandparents and their grown children of childbearing age. Notes the article:
“… the two generations end up reaching an uncomfortable truce, one where adult children invariably hold an edge. ‘You want to tell them to hurry up, but they aren’t working on your schedule,’” noted one grandparent.
Our many-splendored workforce here at WAHVE includes two distinct groups of people: Those who are grandparents, and those who are waiting to become grandparents.
We have wahves who have moved across the country in order to enjoy a renewed lease on life near their grandkids, serve as child caregivers and after-school caregivers, fill an essential role as a substitute parent, and of course spoil their grandkids now and then. Time after time they’ve told me that their job with WAHVE helps them balance what they want to do in their family lives with work.
Grandparenthood is a new phase of life, filled with experiences for grandparent, child and grandchild alike. What’s one thing you’ve experienced as a grandparent?
— Sharon Emek, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
Work At Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE)