When our little ones are upset or hurt they turn to us. We listen, hug and comfort them, gently guiding their emotions to a sweet release. But who do grandparents turn to when we need to talk? Often there is no one available who understands or knows the pain. Recycled Moms sometimes feel alone and isolated in their situation. However, there are resources popping up that allow us to connect with others who wear the same shoes.
The internet is a wonderful tool. Use it to find local support groups and joining one or more depending on the amount of time you have to invest. Check with your child’s school. The faculty there are informed and aware of most clubs, groups, meetings, etc. in the school district. The school counselor can refer names and provide telephone numbers for people who coordinate groups for grandparents or other kinship care.
Many grandparents raising grandchildren think they do not need help and that they are dealing very well with the situation and that may be true. I have discovered that we often do not realize just what the need is until the band-aid has been peeled off. Then the wound shows itself and when a healing balm is applied the relief is life changing.
Reach out for friendship, help, support or just a person to talk to occasionally. Recycled Moms and Dads are everywhere and the number grows daily. You may be the only one that a hurting grandparent can lean on or you may be the leaner for a while. We have each other’s back. This brings to mind a Bible story about the leader Moses. He was holding up his arms with the staff of God during a battle and when his arms grew tired and fell down, Israel began to lose. But when his arms were up high, they won. His friends gathered one on each side of him and supported Moses’ arms until the battle was over and victory was theirs. (Exodus 17:12)
We also need friends we can depend upon to be strong when we grow weary and as we grow in strength and experience in this journey, we can be the one who holds up the tired grandparent. So look for what you need. It is out there somewhere and the battle is fierce. The trophy is the lives of our grandchildren and that is worth fighting for!