There are many reasons a grandmother may wind up caring for a grandchild. Though her mothering days are long past, she finds herself suddenly spending long days loving a young one.
This is my life now, even though I would have sworn it would never be so. In fact, I remember declaring (loudly), "Grandparents shouldn't be raising their grandchildren. That's not their job."
Funny how life has other ideas sometimes. I watch my grandson, Max, three days a week. The days last ten hours... sweet but long hours.
I told my daughter, Anna, that I'd be willing to care for her son as long as I'm strong enough. After the first two days watching him, I had severe neck pain. I learned to position Max more carefully for bottle feeding so I wouldn't "torque" my neck.
My worst problem has been insomnia, which has nothing to do with Max - it's something I've struggled with for years. I'm still working on that.
I get various comments about caring for grandchildren. They range from "I could not do that" on one end to "You're going to get strong" on the other end.
I fall somewhere between those two outlooks. Some days I think this is the hardest thing I've ever done and I'm not woman enough to keep it up. Other days fly by and I notice myself managing things I couldn't do before, like deep-knee bends.
At my last checkup, my doctor said my "good" cholesterol number had gone up. He said that only happens because of exercise. I was puzzled because I hadn't changed anything; my exercise now and for the past twenty years has been a walk most mornings.
I shared the cholesterol improvement puzzle with my daughter who immediately said, "You lift Max all the time." I never thought of that, but she was right.
I started paying more attention to the moves I make with the chub master (at four months old, he hit seventeen pounds and there's no sign of slowing). I realized I'm doing a kind of granny yoga.
Anna took pictures to illustrate my point. I suggested that I wear my housecoat, which is how I often dress at home, but Anna talked me into wearing her yoga clothes.
Granny Laughter Yoga
(mercifully, no photo)
Granny Get Ready Asana
My granny yoga positions will surely change as Max gets bigger. I'll keep you posted!
Gail Grenier is the author of Dog Woman, Don't Worry Baby, Calling All Horses, and Dessert First, all available from Amazon.com.