While the majority of older adults are grandparents, very little is known on how the transition to grandparenthood changes their lives. Besides, evidence on whether the transition, the time of a grandchild’s birth, and various sociodemographic characteristics of an offspring change the life of a grandparent is scarce. Taking these factors into account here is how being a grandparent changes your life.
You will get a new name.
Meema, grandma, gran, nana, pawpaw, grandpa, pops, or gramps – there are many unique or traditional names you get as a grandparent. Although grandparents-to-be often try to pick their own special names, there is also something special about the name your grandchildren come up with. Note that kids from different family branches may choose different names, so you may want to get used to responding to several names.
You will have a part-time job.
Being a grandparent is not entirely a new full-time job or identity. However, it’s an essential part of your life that requires attention and time. You now have different responsibilities entirely different from person to person, but some may include babysitting, changing diapers, and playing fun games with your grandkids.
Your children may start relying on you again.
Many new parents rely on help from parents, particularly during the early years of their kids’ lives. Perhaps it’s been over a decade since your children moved out of your house and became independent. So don’t be surprised to have them turning to you for guidance or even for help caring for the kids (your grandkids).
Your retirement plans may change.
Where you plan to live and spend your golden years could change too. Perhaps you always dreamt of retiring to Miami. However, if your grandkids live in Utah, you are likely to find yourself considering moving west to be closer to them.
You will get more family time.
Although prioritizing family time may seem like a challenging chore to some people, it can be a blessing to others. Grandkids are a perfect excuse for you to visit your kids or for them to visit you and stay with you for a while. Besides, jetting from continent to continent may suddenly seem less appealing than spending some time playing fun games with your kids.
Who doesn’t love how grandkids turn life on its head in the most exhilarating and exhausting way? Your grandkids are different from your own children, probably more precious than you would ever anticipate, and could change your life for the better.