Grandchildren are like fine chocolates. We always want just one more. The delicious filled centers of the chocolates are forever a surprise; part of the enjoyment is the fact we never know what we will get. The experiences our precious littles bring is the same. They each have a unique personality and come with surprises. Some of those unexpected circumstances are not pleasant and leave a bitter aftertaste.
Some of us Recycled Moms are raising only one grandchild while others have any number of blessings. But what happens when other grandchildren are living elsewhere? I know of grandmothers who grieve daily because they and the children in their care are deprived of siblings. Due to divorce, out of wedlock pregnancies, drug abuse, mental illnesses and a myriad of other issues, siblings are often split apart. How do we Recycled Moms deal with this?
Each family must decide based on the issues. Some of the grandchildren are not even aware they have siblings. If the possibility of them meeting and having a relationship is basically nonexistent, do not even mention the other child (or children). It simply has not value and causes even more pain especially if the other child is with the absent parent. Having stated this, I add a disclaimer. Never, ever lie to your grandchild. When asked a question you would rather not answer, be honest but with minimal information. My own grandson once asked if his birth mother is dead and I simply said, “I do not know. Let’s pray for her.”
There is no clear cut answer. Almost eight million children live in grandparent households (or with other relatives). Three million grandparents report they are totally responsible for their grandchildren including all needs. This astounding number certainly makes the breath catch and makes us aware there are eight million hurting hearts. The number of siblings living outside these homes are unknown. We do know it presents a unique problem in America and that will continue into adulthood unless our precious grandchildren are given the security they deserve and crave.
Think about this Recycled Moms and have an idea of how to handle the situation. It might occur and to all of us. Remember to always speak positively about the siblings and to love them also. This is important o our grandchildren know our love is unconditional and encompassing enough to include people outside of the home. We never know what the future holds; we might one day find ourselves caring for the siblings also!
You are doing a great job with your little ones and you can indeed handle this is it become a factor. I have faith in you and so does God. He provides all we need and has all the answers.
Children live in a world we scarcely remember. The hardships, disappointments, heartaches and pressures of life leave us with a heart-scar. Children do not have that and see the world through eyes of wonder and color. Let us foster that by including anyone important to them. Our heart has room; it expands to hold just one more and one more and one more…..