Bloomin’ Moms: A Later Mom Shares – By Kay McIntyre, A Grandma-Mom
I am a 52 year old mother of a 26-year-old daughter and 31-year-old son. I was a “stay at home mom” while they were growing up but was widowed 13 years ago. I needed to find a way to support us without a college degree. After my husband died, I applied for and got a job as a Dining Manager at our local University (30 miles away) and have been employed there for the past 8 years. I have been frantically trying to catch up on retirement savings. I have been remarried for 7 years and we’ve had an empty nest for the past 5. Our life has been comfortable and impulsive until recently.
My daughter had a baby girl June 2 of this year and I became a Grandma for the first time. Three weeks later the baby was placed in my custody. We’ve had her ever since. She is truly a joy! We really enjoy watching her development progress. Caring for her is very rewarding. But the adjustment has been tremendous for my husband and me. I do almost all of the at home care myself, as well as the bottles and laundry and working fulltime. Dealing with interrupted sleep and only a few hours of it is difficult at my age. She is starting to sleep through the night now and that will make it easier.
I was on maternity leave the first 6 weeks and have recently returned to work. Looking for daycare has been a real experience. Getting the baby and myself ready and to daycare by 6:30 a.m. has been a challenge. I kept myself informed on the latest information on baby care via the Internet and various publications throughout my daughter’s pregnancy, so I have learned a few new things and things that are different from when I was raising children.
I’ve had very little respite from my responsibility and am exhausted a great deal of the time. It is stressful trying to be a good parent to my grand-daughter and maintain my employment so close to retirement. Actually our retirement plans will probably have to be altered now as have some other plans we had. It is frustrating that I have no peers and little moral support from anyone. On the upside, I have lost 40 lbs which was needed. I call it “Baby Bootcamp!” Physically I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since my 30’s.
When I heard about your site I thought I would check it out. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it :)