I am making a choice to be a stay at home grandma. Financially speaking, this is not an easy decision. Paul and I are 61 and 60 and not in the best of places financially considering we are staring retirement in the face. But at 60 I also realize all too well how fast children grow up. You blink and that sweet little toddler is a teenager. I spent my children’s young years working. Sometimes because I had to, and other times simply because “I thought” I had to. I have many regrets about that now. I realize how quickly those years pass, never to return.
I have two grandchildren in California, 10 year old Madison and 12 year old Averie and I have 3 young grandchildren locally and a fourth on the way. Because Averie and Madison have lived on the West coast their entire lives and I have lived on the East coast I have never been able to have the time with them that I would have loved. I know there are many other grandparents dealing with that same issue because of the fast paced, mobile world we live in. I realize how fortunate I am to have at least some of my grandchildren close by.
I also realize that it’s when your grandchildren are young that they love to spend time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. As they grow into teenagers normally their friends and activities take more priority in their lives. I want to have this time to spend with them now, when they are still young and think that being with Grandma is the best thing ever!
So I am choosing to quit working at the end of this year primarily to be available for my grandchildren, but not only for that reason, but also because I am just tired after many years of working. The ambition is gone; I feel like I am finished with that time in my life. I know there are those that would be in complete disagreement with my decision, thinking that I should at least work until I’m 65. I am very fortunate though to have a husband that is so supportive of me and is in complete agreement with this decision.
I want to be able to do the things I have longed to do such as: helping with the grandkids, getting and keeping my house clean, gardening, walking, reading, writing, learning to be a good cook again! I am a registered nurse and am currently working in substance abuse at a public health department. I have already informed them that I will not be returning after the end of the year. So I am committed to this and more than a little afraid of failing because of the strict budgeting it will require.
It will require learning to say “no” to some of the things that we have become accustomed to, like dinner out whenever we had the urge and those trips to TJMaxx and Marshals that I love! I need to learn how to approach every area of my life more economically. In preparation we have started writing down everything we spend to see where we are wasting money which will hopefully help us in changing our spending habits. And actually, it is already helping.
I worried so much about making the decision, going back and forth in my mind over the implications, but now that I have made it and informed my employer I feel great relief. I am looking forward to this time in my life.
I am at peace!