GRANDPARENTS TODAY: A BREED APART
It all started with a discussion at the CQ Games office about our mascot. CQ Games needs a mascot and we still have not zeroed in on one ( but that’s for another post). So a couple of options were thrown around and analysed. The idea of an ideal mascot for us was a Grandmother. A cuddly granny with a naughty twinkle in her eye, sitting in her rocking chair with her glasses on knitting away happily. Picture perfect. A wise old grandmother who always has solutions for everything under the sun, can come up with a hundred ways of using saved up string – someone whose soft sari pallu you can sneakily wipe your hands on! The list is endless.
But (Big but) the big realisation was that this was a grandmother out of our memories – since a lot of our grannies fit the bill. This cuddly, soft sari wearing, hair in a cute bun ( held together with the most dainty pins) was nowhere close to what grandparents are today!
So, what is the urban grandparent all about?
Well, you do have variations, there is no way we can generalise here. But grandparents today seem to have gained a new found independence that they fiercely guard. It’s as if they have found the perfect balance. They gain superpowers when grandchildren are born and spend countless sleepless nights caring for them. And don’t get me even started on babysitting duties. Grandkids are unceremoniously dumped on to them with little notice, or they are summoned overseas months on end.
But the winds are changing. Grandparents have found a voice, which they are not afraid to use. They have started saying No. Which is a fantastic beginning. They travel, they have their own plans and even if they don’t – they want their own space. This new breed defines how much babysitting time is too much time.
It’s time we stopped behaving like it’s our birthright to dump our kids on our parents. We need to stop and reflect… and ask. Not presume. They no doubt love our kids unconditionally and would go to any length to ensure that they are okay, cared for, cuddled and fed and spoilt 🙂 But maybe we need to figure out that fine balance – and what better way than to just ask. They are our parents after all – and no one can get as brutally honest as them! I didn’t even have to ask my globetrotting parents – they very categorically told us after a lovely ( or so me and my sister thought) summer spent with them – that they CANNOT handle three grandchildren, two daughters and two sons in law in the house all at once!
I think it’s high time as young parents we recognise this changing face of grandparents and give them what they desire. Their life, their routine – their way. They’ve earned it.