Here you will find stories from grandparents who are raising their grandchildren full time. These stories are not only inspiring but reflective of the love and devotion that grandparents have for their grandchildren. For many and varied reasons grandparents around the world have stepped into the parenting roles for their grandchildren. Read some of these amazing stories from other grandparents.
Mrs G: A Grandmothers Story
Mrs G is a grandmother who has been looking after her grandchildren since the death of her daughter (Amy). Prior to Amy's death, Mrs G and Amy had been involved in a legal battle over the custody of the grandchildren. For many years Amy had been struggling with substance misuse and had not been able to care for her children. As a consequence, her children had moved in with their father. Mrs G and Amy had been refused access to the children, but they had heard reports that the children were not being well looked after. It appeared that they often missed school, turned up without food for lunch, and often wore dirty clothes.
Amy moved in with her mother and was able to manage her substance misuse. Mrs G and Amy were optimistic about Amy's future and believed that together they could provide a good home for the children. This is when they launched their legal battle to regain custody of the children.
There were celebrations when the courts ruled that the children should live with Mrs G and Amy. Then the tragedy occurred. Amy was killed attempting to cross a busy road.
Mrs G's initial thought was that she could not look after her grandchildren. She had no husband to support her, and no other family near by. But she had fought for the children and had learned how much they needed a safe and caring home. She had friends; she could cope with the children.
Mrs G had to return to the courts to explain the changed circumstances and to convince the courts she could provide a good home for the children. While this process was not easy, new evidence had emerged that their father was maltreating the children, and the courts ruled that the children should live with Mrs G.
For the next several months, Mrs G provided care for her grandchildren while grieving the loss of her daughter and feeling the pressure of the financial stress that resulted from buying new beds, clothes, school books, and an increase in the weekly grocery bill.
Over this time Mrs G learnt the value of friends and family. Her sister who lives in Canada visited and stayed for three months. Her friends initially rallied round, helping with practical tasks such as assembling the new beds, picking the children up from school, and visiting to provide emotional support.
Despite the generosity of her family and friends, Mrs G became increasingly concerned about her emotions. She experienced what the doctor said was a panic attack six months after taking on the care of the grandchildren. To Mrs G it felt like something in her body was going wrong - like she might be having a heart attack. It felt like she might die. Her GP suggested she see a psychologist but she didn't. Two months later she had a similar experience.
After her second panic attack Mrs G became concerned that the panic attacks could happen anywhere, anytime. How was she to cope if she was out with her grandchildren? She looked for extra support but noticed that her friends didn't visit as often. She wasn't being invited out as much, as the grandchildren didn't fit in with older people's social activities. She found herself waking early, unable to sleep. She had less of an appetite and had lost weight. She started to doubt her ability to care for her grandchildren in the long-term. Had she done the right thing to take on their care? One day after she had cried in front of the grandchildren for seemingly no reason, she made an appointment with her GP. Mrs G had to talk to someone about what was going on inside
If you would like to read more of this story contact us on 1300 135 500 to obtain a copy of the book "Grandma, You Make Me Want To Touch The Sky!"