This is a note someone sent me at http://www.grandparent.com/
Hi! I'm fairly new to this site and am finding it very interesting. I have two grandchildren. Molly is 28 months and Camden is 3 weeks old. I have cared for Molly since she was just a few months old and I will have Cam now too as soon as mom has to go back to work in August. I was wondering what you did with your granddaughter to help socialize her. I would feel funny going to a mothers day out program. I'm not her mother. I find that we pretty much play with my great nieces and nephews. All my friends are still working or don't have grandchildren. We do go to a story time program once a week. Do you have any suggestions?
My first thoughts were that Molly and Cam already have a social network. They are going to storytime and they have near-by nieces and nephews.
I wrote to the grandma and told her that when Kenz was little and home with me during the day, I was the one who needed the socializing. Before she started preschool from 9-11, three mornings a week (she was 3), I made sure we were on the 'go.' We did storytime, children's gym classes, swimming lessons, children museum events, mall play areas, etc.
It didn't bother me to be the grandma and not the mommy. In fact, there were grandparents at most of the gatherings. Oftentimes, at the children's gym the moms and dads were in the minority and instead there was a whole bench of us gawking grands.
Grandmas that babysit can be isolated if they don't have friends that are doing the same. Fortunately, I was able to find another grandma who has a granddaughter Kenzie's age. I only wish we met sooner, because it's been wonderful.
If I had it to do over again, that is, day care a grandchild full-time, I would be more assertive about meeting other grands who are doing the same. I might even be brave enough to start my own play group.
What I found to be true in my corner of the world is that grandparents that are babysitting while their children work are also very busy with their own lives. They have jobs, they travel, they belong to organizations, they blog (lol), exercise and they do volunteer work. I think some of us are busier than the parents! This makes it hard to find convenient times to meet. Children's temperaments and schedules complicate the equation along with that other incredible feat---getting packed up and getting out of the house. A day care grandma has a ton of accessories which include bottles, diapers, change of clothing, pacifiers, car seats and strollers. Socializing takes energy.
Now that Kenz is five and a half, socializing has taken on a new twist. It's called the playdate. This social event is one that is new to me. We had our first official scheduled playdate yesterday (and it was with mommy's.) I'll tell you more about it in my next post.