According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there is new research that proves what we already know – grandchildren are good for what ails us!
The study confirmed that women who take care of grandchildren at least once a week are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Never mind the physical endurance required to keep up with those precious little people. It is, in fact, the mental activity derived from interacting with children that has been shown to increase brain function. Grandparents who babysit have a better memory for words. Some even show improvement in areas where pain previously existed.
Why? I’ll tell you why, having just experienced the challenge of caring for four grandkids under the age of 10 (for 2 days running, and I mean RUNNING.)
You HAVE to be ON YOUR GAME. You HAVE to remember EVERYTHING.
Physical. Mental. All of it. All the time.
Like, when’s the last time you changed baby’s diaper? Did you give the right kid the right meds at the right time? Who has softball practice and when and where? Who has play rehearsal at the same time the baby has to nap? Different tastes mean different dishes (homemade and not just fast food – that’s my thang!) Of course, when I was raising my brood, everyone ate what I made – or not. No separate meals for individual tastes. Now that I’m a grandma, overindulging the grandkids is my pleasure and my right. Food translates to love – that’s how I was raised, anyway.
Just getting all your little duckies in a row and playing nicely together can be a challenge. Sometimes, kids are smarter than they look, not unlike their parents as children. They will push the boundaries as far and wide as they can, if they can get away with it. Playing the game “he said…she did…he took…she cried because…” can be exhausting. You have to get into a certain mindset and rhythm of checks and balances.
As for Vitamin D, we played outside so much I’m good for months on the benefits of the sun (I wore a hat, so TAKE THAT, skin cancer!)
In today’s world, moms have to learn to juggle work, family and me-time. As a grandmother in charge of the kiddies, you have to first remember how you did it way back when and then erase years of self-indulgence and get back into the saddle. Somehow, that saddle seems a little bit higher up and harder.
Kudos to all the young parents who we raised and either because of or in spite of us, they’re doing a more than fine job! That they allow grandparents to spend time with the little ones is pure frosting on the cake of life!
If you enjoyed Ellen’s grandparenting article, you may also like:
- Picking the perfect grandfather name
- Picking the perfect grandmother name
·What’s your grandparent cool factor?
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