Have you seen those “Where are they now?” notices on your computer? They refer to the cast of a TV show that has been off the air for a while. If you are avoiding work you can spend too many minutes catching up on the lives of people about whom you would otherwise never think.
Re-reading the blog post below and noticing that it is almost three years old made me ask the same question, but about women I truly care for and with whom I speak regularly.
We are still working. We are still involved with our families. But as the collective number of married children with their own children increases we face a new dilemma. The conflict between home and work is now a multi-generational one.
I was fortunate to have four grandparents living near me through most of my childhood. My maternal grandmother, I was sure, had three modes of existence.
1) Waiting for me to visit
2) Being thrilled that I was visiting
3) Getting ready for my next visit.
I was extremely irritated to discover any number of cousins who thought that the homemade cookies and the welcome mat were actually meant for them. Furthermore, I never connected the volunteer work my grandmother did or the friends I occasionally heard about with the concept that there might be something other than me as the pivot point of her life.
It was a wonderful feeling and was my default understanding of grandmother-hood. My grandmother did not ever, ever say, “I would love to hear your story but I have a call coming in a few minutes so can I call you back,” or “I can’t wait for you to visit, but now just isn’t a good time.”
Not so for my friends and me. Not only do many of our children and grandchildren live in different states and even countries from us, but we face a simple reality of needing to produce income. This takes a serious time commitment. We are simply are not as available to our families as we would like to be.
While I am grateful for having been a stay-at-home mom, I admit to not having thought about the desire to be a stay-at-home (granted, with children all over the place, I don’t even know whose home that would be) mom of grown children and a stay-at-home grandma. I am blessed with work I love, but my paycheck has a fair amount of longing tied to it.
My well-worn bib collection has long ago been thrown out. Hopefully, in the years to come I will be able to start a frequently used second-generation one.