I keep bumping into grandparents at school and pre-school who are dropping off or picking up their grandchildren. Often they have a weary look! The reason for this becomes clear as we chat.
One bent-over elderly woman raises her two spunky, energetic granddaughters full-time because her daughter isn't capable of caring for them.
One woman who looks to be in her fifties or sixties has 5 (yes, 5!) grandchildren aged 5-16 living at her house - and I can tell you, the 5 year old is a handful!
One woman (and this is a composite) cares for her grandchildren 1/3/5/7 days a week (not excluding weekends) because her daughter/son(s) and son-in-law/daughter-in-law(s) work part/full-time.
They've raised one generation, and they're helping to raise another. They're older and tireder this time around. They probably weren't expecting this. But they do it out of love for their grandchildren - and sometimes from a sense of desperation (who else will do it if they don't?) - driven by the changing patterns of society, and by their children's choices, desires and/or needs.
I was encouraged this morning to read this blog post, addressed from one godly woman in this situation to other women in this situation: