Voice from the Middle

The Grandkids are coming (again)

Every three weeks I watch my daughter’s two children, ages 7 and 3. The older a helpful, smart girl and the younger the most energetic boy you have ever seen. I love seeing them and we have a special relationship that has developed because I can see them regularly. My daughter is a nurse so has to work every third weekend; and my son-in-law is a barber so weekends are his best money making days.

The kids come Friday right after I get home from work, and stay until late afternoon on Saturday.  I am exhausted by the time they leave and my place is usually a pit.

[Here they are dancing to Ju Ju on the Beat.]

Exhausted mainly because I catch up on the work-week’s sleep on Saturday, so that gets delayed a day.  My place is a pit, because I let them have as much fun as they can and I  am not cleaning while they are here.

I have another two grandsons in town – three years old and almost a year – but I don’t get to babysit them regularly.  It’s sad too, because they are carbon copies of my son. My son would love to have me in their life more, but I don’t think my daughter-in-law trusts me to watch them.  I try to devote as much time to them as I can by having them over to eat at my place with Dad and/or Mom.

Wait. I’m not done yet. I have one more grandson who lives a couple states away and we get to see regularly and at length when he does come to his dad’s. [Content for another post.]

I have the tendency to center my life around my kids and grand kids so much, I don’t have time to do things I like to do. Can anyone relate? This seemed OK when I was a mom, but now that my days are numbered, I’m starting to wonder if it isn’t me just copping out.  Hmmmm??? Thoughts?

– Namaste

By Debra Happe

Debra Happe is a writer and marketing professional based in Des Moines, Iowa. Debra does business, magazine, and freelance copywriting work. Specialties include science-based, environmental, and technological. Connect on LinkedIn for professional inquiries.

8 replies on “The Grandkids are coming (again)”

I can so totally relate. I help on a daily basis with my 6 yr old grandson. – and his twin 2 year old sisters usually every other day. I thoroughly enjoy our time together but when the twins are there I am typically exhausted when they leave. I have always poured myself into the mother role and now doing the same thing as grandmother. There are days I long for time away but feel drawn to care for these children, as I see so much lack of interest in children and their imaginations and creative minds from parents today. Thanks for sharing , I truly connected with you. Namaste ~

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I wish I had some grandkids- I’m sure they are exhausting- but my grown kids don’t want any. I wonder if it was because of our marriage—-

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I hear this a lot so I wouldn’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that it has anything to do with you. To not have children, is accepted more today than I’ve experienced in the past. Even if you aren’t a grandma, being a good example to any child means so much to a child – any child.


Interesting. While not a Grandma or Grandpa yet and many years until that happens, I can see your point of view. I am keen to ask you whether or not you have enjoyed and are enjoying putting your life on hold for the sake of your kids and grandkids? If so, then I would argue that you are doing the thing that you like. If not, I might look more closely at what is going on.

Perhaps you can make a list of all the things you love to do, and all the things that you want to do as your time runs shorter. As you look at each item, take some time to think about how you would feel if you never got around to doing them. If regret or remorse comes up, maybe you need to think about finding a way to incorporate them into your life just a little bit more.


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