so, apparently to be a good grandmother, i'm supposed to be available for childcare 24/7.
why, yes, this has come up for a second time. the first time, with my oldest, my writing didn't qualify as a "real" job so i should be available to watch my grand kids all the time. for the second take at this, my youngest (who agrees my writing is work and is important) is paying me $50 for at least 120 hours of on the job child care but thinks i should further be available for child care when she wants to go out even though she's always at least 2 hours later than expected because "you're home anyway."
one, writing is work, and i've been getting A LOT less of it done since the grand baby entered the house. last year was my second worse word count total since i started tracking in 2006. at the beginning of the year, i was caring for him, and babies require a lot of time. froggy moved back in...october? i think? i've been helping on and off since then, and started to provide steady child care while she worked a month ago, give or take. she's working a lot of hours: she wants a car before she moves (we're giving her half the eic for rk from our taxes) and she wants to move as soon as possible. i've been struggling for time ever since. don't get me wrong, i love my grandson, but i need time for myself, for my writing, which is still work even if i'm not making consistent money at it.
two, me being home anyway doesn't mean that baby care doesn't take time out of my day. just having an extra person in the house seems to suck time. i've noticed this when hubs is home. it's not like people leave me alone when i'm writing. and me being home anyway also means i'm cooking, cleaning, and doing other things that need to be done, from phone calls to filling out forms to whatever. caring for a baby who needs diaper changes, watching when he's running around, and feeding takes A LOT of time out my day and takes away from other things i want or need to do. a baby has to take priority if only for safety reasons. so, no, just because i'm home doesn't mean i should be available for caring for the grand baby whenever.
then there's the whole "other grandparents watch their grand kids" argument that both girls have tried on me. yea, and if every grandparent did that, we'd not have as big a need for child care as we do. and i doubt most the grandparents who DO watch their grand kids do it ALL THE TIME either (unless raising them).
folks, we have lives. being older doesn't mean we don't. and our kids need to stop thinking that we don't. we go places, we have our own hobbies and activities wee enjoy being home all the time doesn't mean we don't have our own lives either. i'm home all the time because i don't have transportation and have a son who can't be home alone. i've been fortunate to find activities that i like at home: i garden (mostly in the spring and summer, though i'm about to start preparing for the next season, which means i have to cut trellises and prepare soil and so on), i write, i workout at least an hour a day, and i bake. and this year there will be a lot more in depth cleaning once i get my crates and whatnot. i enjoy these things, but have to stop them whenever the baby needs me.
so i really doubt most of the grandparents out there are watching their grand kids whenever their children want them to. and not doing so does not make them, or me, bad grandparents. it makes us people who have a right to our own lives and activities without taking care of things our kids need. our kids are adults and they should be able to do adult things including finding care for their children. like i said, i love my grandson, i was more than willing to raise him until the father attacked my husband and placed our family in danger, but that doesn't mean watching him whenever and however long she wants, especially if i can't trust her to be home when she says she will. as an adult, she needs to figure out alternate arrangements, which i expect she's going to need when she moves anyway.
i raised my kids already. i take care of my son because he needs me and is my responsibility (and no way in hell am i putting him in any halfway house or anythingtoo many of those places go very wrong for the people in their care). but i am not responsible for my grand kids. i am not required to watch them, and not watching them doesn't make me a bad grandparent. my youngest has complained that she's entitled to a life outside of work while trying to impose on mine, and that's a bigger problem than me saying no and placing limits on how much of my time get taken up by caring for my grandson.
at any rate, after our last argument about this, froggy has decided that i don't need to watch him at all anymore. um, okay. i was more than willing to continue to watch him while she worked, but since i won't be available whenever she wants for $50/month, she has decided i don't need to watch him at all so she doesn't have to pay me the $50. okay, whatever, but it's kind of a take two on the same reaction as my oldest, only my oldest decided to move out (and did so a week or two later).
as if their petty, childish stomping out because they aren't getting their own way is going to make me change my mind. as far as i'm concerned, their loss. oldest ended up paying more in rent and utilities etc, youngest will end up paying more in child care eventually, i'm sure. as with oldest, she'll find friends eventually get tired of having to do stuff for you, especially when it's stuff that limits what they can do.
as for me, i get more time. some of that will be sucked up in the planned deep cleaning, but hopefully a lot of it will go to writing. i'd like a good writing year. can't control whether anyone will take on one of my books, but i can control how much i write and how much i submit, and that will be a big focus this year.
now i just have to solve my plotting problem with the next book i'd like to get out there. oh, and make dinner....
word of the moment: tantalus :: (not capitalized) a locked cellarette with contents visible but not obtainable
without a key