Taking care of high-energy kids probably wasn’t what you had in mind for your golden years. You’ve spent your life working and raising your own children, and just when you thought it was finally time to focus on yourself, plans changed. Providing your grandchildren with a safe, stable, and loving home is one of the most selfless things you can do, but it isn’t easy. So it’s important to take steps to make sure your mental health is in good shape while you do it.
Take Care of Yourself
First and foremost, take good care of yourself. If your own needs aren’t met, it’s going to be very difficult to provide for others. So make your health a priority, set aside time for yourself, and ask for help so you can take a break when you need it.
Eliminate Guilt and Blame
Sometimes the reasons you’re raising your grandchildren can be heartbreaking. Drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration, and mental illness are just a few reasons that grandparents step into a parent’s place. In situations like this, especially if the parent is your own child, it’s common to feel as though you did something wrong and are somehow to blame. This is not true! Remember, everyone’s choices are their own, and there is no need to feel guilty on behalf of someone else.
It can be hard to talk about and deal with the challenges you face as you raise your grandkids. Reach out to a trusted friend, religious or community leader, or professional counselor for mental and emotional support. People like this can help you talk through problems, assist with finding solutions and resources, and offer a listening ear.
Raising your grandchildren may not be easy, but it helps when you can take care of yourself, recognize that people are responsible for their own actions, and share the journey with others.