Saturday, January 19, 2008

Working Grandmas

I was just entering a contest to try to win a trip to China, and I started wondering about who would go with me. My mom would probably be interested in going, but then who would I keep the kids with? Their other grandma works. Perhaps their aunt.

But it's a darn shame that their other grandma works. She's already worked for most of her adult life, and has even retired from her career. Her husband makes her work... he wasn't happy with his management job with one company, so he went to work (from the bottom) for another company, made his way to night manager, and now he's unhappy again. Plus they listened to some really stupid financial advice and took out a mortgage when they could have paid off their house entirely.

I remember what a good time I had as a kid when my parents would go away, either for a week or a weekend, and I went to stay at Grandma's house. What kid doesn't like to stay with Grandma? Everything is different there... and grandmas always have toys around. Even my grandma still has toys in her house for her great-grandchildren when they visit.

Even my grandpa was pretty cool. He's pretty crotchety right now (I guess that's what you get when you're 82 and still work full time, although he does so out of choice), but back when I was a kid, Grandpa was really cool because he would give us sodas.

I loved going to Grandma's house. It didn't matter which grandparent, I would have a great time at both of them.

Nowadays, for many kids, staying at Grandma's house isn't the option that it used to be. A lot of grandmas work full time. Many of them will retire, I'm sure, but during their grandchildren's youngest years, when it's the most fun to go and stay with Grandma, they're working. It's a little sad.

Both of my grandmas did work... some. My Grandma W. made pies for this café in our little town. Grandma S. made (and still does, I think) wedding, bridesmaid's, and prom dresses, as well as wedding and sheet cakes. Grandma W. did actually have to go into the café to make the pies, but it only took a little time out of her morning. Grandma S. does all of her work in the home, although sometimes she goes and delivers the cakes somewhere. But being a home entrepreneur is a lot different than getting up and going to work full time somewhere, which is what a lot of grandmas are doing nowadays.

A lot of people nowadays think that they need two incomes to make it. I'm sure that in some circumstances that is the case... especially if they have a lot of debt. The working grandma is just an extension of that. Which is a little sad, because Grandma's house is great fun for little kids.

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