By Karen Best Wright, B.S., M.A.
I receive a mountain of emails from grandparents who are struggling financially to make ends meet while raising their grandchildren. According to my survey, of the 2919 people who answered a question about their biggest issues, 63.9% wrote that financial issues were their biggest probelm.
Often I receive emails from mostly grandmothers wanting to know where they can get financial assistance. There is some help out there for most grandparents, but sometimes the amount is so minimal, it might only cover the cost to clothe the children or maybe feed them, if you are one of the fortunate ones. But one thing is sure, we must not look for government help to cover all of the needs of grandparents and grandchildren.
I have a dear friend who is a grandmother raising a 2 1/2 year old granddaughter. Obviously she needs a sitter when she works. I am extremely impressed with the ambition and determination of my friend. Katherine is educated with a master's degree but was unable to find satisfactory work. So she does about anything. She cleans people's houses, cooks food for parties, sews costumes, and runs errands for elderly clients.
I am so impressed with Katherine. She is about 5 years younger than I am (early 50"s), but appears to have the energy of a younger woman. Even though her education has not helped her get a job in her industry, I believe it has helped her with a healthy self-esteem and ambition to do whatever she needs to do in these difficult economic times. When I met her husband the other day, he asked if I was one of her clients. Me? I couldn't afford to hire her to help me with my many chores and the like. I wish I could. Katherine explained to her husband that I was the one who has the www.RaisingYourGrandchildren.com website."Oh!" He responded.
I am so impressed with the ingenuity of so many grandmothers. They do what they have to do. In these difficult econmic times, it is hard on most people, but older people who are raising children they had not been expecting to raise, often find themselves in very different situations than they had expected at midlife.
It is obvious that we can't count on the government to help enough to really make a difference in our financial situation. In fact, I am of the type, that believes women need greater opportunities to earn the money they need, while at the same time caring for grandchildren.
Wouldn't it be great as grandparents who have a skill to market, if we banned together to promote our services, allowing us ways to market ourselves, while we raise children. Raising these children are our future. They will be the ones making decision when we are old and need to be taken care of.
Please share any ideas that you might be doing to earn extra money (legitimate ideas) to care for your grandchildren.
Karen Best Wright, B.S. M.A. Holistic Health & Wellness Educator/Coach
The Wellness Way