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Susan Adcox

Job or Grandparenting: What a Choice!

By September 21, 2012

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The UK newspaper The Guardian has an interesting approach to its work advice column, Ask Jeremy, helmed by Jeremy Bullmore. Each Friday and Monday the paper's website features a letter to Jeremy and invites readers to respond. A few days later they publish the letter with Bullmore's response and selected comments from readers.

I was interested in this question posed by a grandfather who is also an engineer with an opportunity to go back to work. The grandfather writes that he is close to his grandchildren, "taking them to school, dance classes, seaside excursions and music festivals." Still, he thinks he prefers being an engineer to being a "taxi driver, nanny and unpaid maintenance man."

I read all the comments from readers and Jeremy's answer since I recently took a short-term job that will definitely cut into my grandparenting time, although I don't do grandchild care on a regular basis as it sounds as if the letter writer does. Unlike him, however, I was influenced to take the job by the extra money involved. I'm still not sure I did the right thing. I'll let you know in a couple of months.

Would you take on a job or an extra job if it meant less time with the grandkids? Leave a comment below.

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September 21, 2012 at 6:04 am
(1) granny annie says:

I had to work outside the home when all but one of the grandchildren were in their infancy and toddler years. Still I could see the kids on weekends and during vacations. We each have to do the best with what our circumstances are.

September 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm
(2) Grandma Kc says:

Good Luck with the new job. I think Granny Annie is right. You have to do what is right given the current circumstances. I have just recently been able to quit and I am thrilled to have the extra time with my family but — if things get tight again, I will go back. You have to do what you have to do! And Amara will understand as I am sure your grandchildren will. Good luck!!

September 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm
(3) Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs says:

In these current times of economic challenge, sometimes earning money trumps all, unfortunately. But having the extra money allows for a little more fun money, as well, to enjoy with the grandkids when you do have the time. I just might take a job over time with grandkids, depending on the job. Of course, that’s a little easier for me to say since I’m a long-distance grandma with limited time with my grandsons anyway.

Good luck with the short-term stint!

September 22, 2012 at 4:14 am
(4) Martin says:

I’ve considered taking something part-time, but it’s never moved beyond the idea stage. If I do anything at all, it’ll be work I can do from home, with a degree of flexibility.

I guess I’m looking to have the best of both worlds, but for now I’ll settle for the one that has my grandchildren in the forefront.

September 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm
(5) Nonna V says:

Our dad drove 40 miles one way to babysit with his grandchildren when my brother’s children were ill and couldn’t go to daycare. Our mom & dad cared for my own daughter for several months after an injury forced her into homeschooling. They both did this so we “kids” could continue working each day to support our families. That was 30 years ago; our parents are deceased now, but we continue to be thankful for their unselfish love and generosity with their time.

September 22, 2012 at 11:39 pm
(6) b says:

Yes I would. My children and grandchildren watch what I do very carefully. They think that their grandfather and I are great role models. We work when we can just because that is what people do. Spending time or even becoming a part of our grandchildren’s lives is important. However, I want my children to know that they are the parents, in charge and capable.I want them to believe rightfully that they can do the parenting job without me loitering around on the edges. The need to know that we do what we need to do and that they are not a burden.

Before very many more years the shoe will be on the other foot. When that time come, our actions now will have set the tone.

It is just a thought.



September 23, 2012 at 9:45 am
(7) Kimberly says:

I am applying for a grant that will have me gone most of the summer. The biggest concern I have is a summer lost with my grandchildren. I don’t know if I can do it or not.
Working full time through the school year, doesn’t give me the time I wish I had, but not working isn’t an option.
How is teaching going?

September 23, 2012 at 10:02 am
(8) grandparents says:

Hey, Kimberly, I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision, especially with your tradition of Playdates! As for the teaching, when I walked into the school, it felt as if I had never walked out. But grading papers, ouch! I think I worked around 60 hours last week.

October 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm
(9) Joyce says:

I left a part time “fun” job when my elderly mother needed me and my first grandsons were born. The result was lots and lots of hours spent with the babies from the moment of their birth (twins). I don’t regret the time I gave, but once in awhile I do think about “what if?” I miss the ladies I worked with, the freedom I had away from home and the extra money. If I had to do it all over I might have stayed at least a year longer and worked around the family demands. Sometimes you do have to put yourself first!

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