A “New” Grandma in the House
I finally realized why life felt so different... why there never seemed to be enough time.. why I felt like I was multitasking at the speed of light, and then it dawned on me. There was a new Grandma in the House. And when I had that lightbulb moment, I laughed.. The very thought happily reminded me of you know that book.. The New Baby at Your House by the Magic School Bus Series author, Joanna Cole. Her enlightening and encouraging book about the ups and downs of having a new baby in the house. Everyone is affected in mostly all positive ways but life can be a bit chaotic in those early months. Likewise, having a “new” Grandma or other senior family member come to reside with you and your family isn’t going to be all roses. There is a rollercoaster of emotions, responsibilities, and adjustments that will and must occur to avoid a derailment. And no one wants that.
Emotions can run the gamut from joy to frustration, from weariness to thankfulness. In one day, I often have such ranges of emotions that I find myself wondering why we made this decision. You too might struggle with that very same question. For us, we knew my mom-in-law could no longer live alone. Things were often going awry such as smoke alarms going off from her attempts to cook and medicines not being taken due to forgetfulnes. We first tried a caregiver a couple of times a week, and although this person was truly and still is a blessing to our family, we quickly realized that 3 times a week was not sufficient. Emotions can be fickle and definitely are not reliable so I often find myself regrouping myself and pushing onward. You might also experience this myriad of emotions. Similar to a new baby being in the house, having a senior loved one live with you can create the same rollercoaster of emotions. Don’t be too hard on yourself... communicate a lot with other family members and and encourage each other to remember your why.
Responsibilities frequently involve the realization that just like a new baby, our senior loved ones can require lots of work. Trying to find the joy in caring for a loved one is a daily struggle that is worth every minute of juggling. We homeschool and I own a business in the midst of all of this but God is faithful to provide and He will be faithful to do so for you too. I am often reminded of the song, Great is Thy Faithfulness. I remember one morning when my youngest son came downstairs frustrated with his Math assignment... I was in the midst of taking my mil’s blood pressure— a typical morning responsibility. I soon became a Math-teaching, blood pressure-reading Momma and once the initial juggling angst subsided, I felt quite proud of my expert multitasking skills. Thankfully, much of the responsibility is routine but there are those unexpected requirements that you learn to roll with quite adeptly.
And finally, when will you ever adjust?? When will your family be normal again?? These were some of the questions rolling around in my mind.. I know my children were thinking these very same questions. And I have come to my own conclusions that this is the new normal, that adjustments take lots of time and that every day, we adjust a little bit more, until one day you realize that the new normal isn’t so new anymore and that life is finally on keel again.
I encourage you to seek and trust God in the entire process for He is faithful to lead you and your family every step of the way.