There is a lot of information going around related to grand-kids. A couple of years back, TOI published this article, which looks at the ‘real’ life behind grandparents who volunteer to take care of their grand-kids. Off late, this has been changing because grandparents are now refusing to take care of their grand kids.
But apart from this we have also heard that it takes a village to raise a child. So what happens in such circumstances? The question to ask then is why do we ‘need’ kids and who ‘needs’ them? Today’s grandparents are the generation that have taken responsibility on their shoulders at a young age, run families, given us good education and have made life easier for us in some ways. When it is their time to relax, or so they think, they are faced with another responsibility of taking care of their grand kids.
Remember these are also the people who keep asking questions to their daughters/ sons/d-i-ls and s-i-ls like, “When are you having a child?” These are really persistent people who will not give up till they hear an answer. Dawn carried an article last year to summarize the experience of couples who are almost tortured with such questions from the time they get married.
So if these are grand parents who have been asking such questions to the couple, they BETTER be ready to sacrifice the rest of their lives to taking care of grand kids. If they want to be free, then they should encourage couples to think several times before having a kid. A lot of people from this generation also talk about couples who choose not to have kids, as something wrong. And if that is the guilt they have been encouraging in younger generations, there is no sympathy for such grandparents.
Coming to the part of it taking a village to raise a child – it does, because two people alone with all the work that they have to do, cannot possibly be emotionally stable at all times to raise small beings who are completely dependent on them! But since we have moved into nuclear families and have moved away from home-countries for work, this is something is to be very seriously considered. We have together, unfortunately created a world that is slowly heading to further exclusion of people than bringing them together. So if we want a village to raise our child, we have to start creating that village, of which grand parents are a part!
Or we can decide that till we create such communities, we won’t have kids. The reason for young ones is to propagate species, now we don’t seem to need that for the human race, considering that we destroy more than nurture? There might still be people who say but what about ‘motherly/fatherly instincts’? Well, if one feels the need to have one’s OWN child then it’s definitely not just to pacify the instincts but also an egotistical journey of seeing a ‘part’ of oneself. Then it isn’t for the instincts alone. In this case, the parents will probably end up doing more harm to the off-spring, for the ‘want’ of seeing one’s self! But if it is just for instincts, one can be a mother/father to anyone, even to one’s own self!
Well, for now grandparents have no respite from taking care of grand kids till they encourage the younger generation to think about not having kids, or about creating that ‘village’ for future generations. So all those articles about how grand parents choose not to take care of their grand kids – no sympathy for them at all! You created this, so now live it, no shirking responsibilities, your generation knows that best. So good luck creating those communities or living to not see your grand-kids, you choose!