Gratitude is something which I have been practising for a while now (I feel MUCH better for it and strongly recommend it); Probably my biggest area of gratitude is towards my parents – the amazing grandparents to our 2 boys. My husbands parents also live locally and are a great help with childcare too.
Childcare and working parents is often in the headlines and more so recently, due to the amendment/abolition of childcare vouchers (I know nothing of this subject so will leave that there). What I do know, is that life for me would be much more demanding had it not been for all the help I receive from my parents, especially with childcare.
We have an amazing 5 generations in our family!! My husband sadly never met any of his grandparents as they had passed on by the time he was born. I was extremely lucky to have both sets of grandparents, and at 44 years of age, I still have my gorgeous Gran who turns 93 next month! Our boys adore their Great Gran and it is lovely to hear how proud they are when they tell their friends about her; probably due to the fact my husband told them at a young age that Gran used to be a Jedi from Star Wars!! He also told them that his mum, their Nanny used to be a pirate as she has a gold tooth!(insert palms to face here!!)
All of my grandparents featured heavily in my life, whether it was supporting us at horse riding or school events, or doing the school runs or weekend sleepovers whilst our parents went out. It was second nature that our grandparents were the back up team, and I have many memories of spending time with them as a child, alongside our cousins. The memory bank is pretty full.
I am now the appreciative parent of my childrens’ grandparents who are there to support our children at sporting events, school events and to have our children for sleepovers, alongside helping with the school runs if I have other commitments, whether it be for business or pleasure.
I think I appreciate them more so as I have friends who have little or no childcare. My best friend Liv (the Ant to my Dec!) had sadly lost both of her parents by the time her youngest daughter was not even 2 years old. It doesn’t bear thinking about, and made me realise just how lucky I was. I could then offer my help not only as a friend, but as a support network with the childcare (and meals on wheels!) to someone who had lost what I had.
Whilst I appreciate some people don’t always have great relationships with their parents, or their parents just don’t want to help out, or they live too far away to do so, I would hope that (should I get any grandchildren), I would help to look after them as much as I could.On the other side of this, I feel I need to talk about the 2-way street. By this, I mean the flip side of the coin. People often tell me how lucky I am that my parents have my children so I can go on ski weekends, nights out, spa days and work days/meetings/courses. I don’t need reminding; I KNOW!!! But my mum pointed this out to someone recently when they said how good she is to us; She reminded them that we are there for each other.
What people don’t see, is the time when Mum was suffering with a trapped nerve in her shoulder or when she had a recent knee replacement. During these times, its my turn to return the favour and to cook and deliver dinner every evening, to do their shopping, laundry, to take them to their hospital appointments and to generally help anywhere I can (including helping my dad out of the bath when mum was infirmed and unable to do so!) I have no qualms at all with helping them out in any way I can, but it gripes a bit when people just see your mum or in-laws doing the school run and assume you’re ‘taking the P’!!
What people don’t see is the carrying out of tasks as your dad says “can you just……” and “do you have time to sort this….” Usually involving the laptop which annoys the hell out of him, or sorting out BT when they’ve overcharged him, and sorting out the best deals for electricity etc. I am also the only family member who is commissioned to cut his toenails!! Lucky me!! But yes I am lucky – lucky Ive got a dad here so I can cut his toenails! #veryblessed
Jonty & Babs aka Mum & Dad, Grandma & Grandad: I SALUTE YOU!!! x