Over the past couple of weeks, I have had more than one innocent person ask if my kids were mine, as if I might be the grandparent. Now, before I started getting to know myself better this would have really upset me, but this new me sees it differently.
First, I am 45 so technically I could be their grandparent. In each of the situations I was usually out running around with them midday (like when normal people should be working). I notice that these men and women who asked me this were probably in their late 40s to early 50s.
I wanted to ask them why on earth they were spending their retirements as a nanny anyway, but what I do say is yes I am – isn’t it wonderful? I have met so many grandparents taking care of their grandchildren, because of the overwhelmed adult child’s need to work. I am not judging this idea, but I am curious if it is necessary for the majority. I love the time my kids spend with family, but they are not our child care. They are a gift to our kids lives.
At 45, having children is a blessing. I met so many women on our first trip to the Czech Republic six years ago. A beautiful active duty marine, who took time off from the military to try to start a family. A woman who had an adoption fall through, another woman almost ten years older than me. Did their age matter? No. Did their overall health matter? You bet.
At 45, and now deep into finding our Happy Place I can say my children are learning valuable lessons as I tell them how they came to be. Funny reactions as they are starting to be more inquisitive, so much so that I am speechless much of the time before I start to laugh and ask my husband to rescue me! “Why do you tell them all of this? You know it will lead to more questions!” He says with a laugh. “Because I always want them to know that it was special, and life is about risks. They are by far our greatest risk and our greatest investment. I want them to honor their life, and how many people helped them come to be.”
I read through comments on blogs, to learn more about how people feel about a topic. Penelope Trunk called me an Anthropologist once, and I guess she’s right. No formal training, but simply an unending curiosity to understand people.
We will return to Zlin later this for a FET transfer, and yes at my age of 46. We are also taking the kids, so that they can experience a place that is now part of their heritage. Is it crazy? I don’t think so. It is well thought out. I am healthy, both mentally and physically, and we have a strong plan for financial stability. We also have a strong belief that we began a life, and we have to honor that beginning by either following through ourselves or donation to another couple. If we had not made the changes we have made, which have actually resulted in lower bills, but more income, we would not be going back. It is also the reason we have not gone back sooner. I was so caught up in keeping up, I almost gave up on it all together.
As I read through comments from other women feeling overwhelmed with life, and wondering if they can ever afford a family I want to tell them yes you can. You may need to purge some of your great finds, like the ones pictured at the beginning of this post like I did.
They want to continue working and are not sure how to manage it all. I think yes you can, but maybe not the way you are living now. Take some time to get clear on what it is you want. That if you looked back on your life ten years from now you would be sorry if you did not try. If you are clear on your outcome, nothing can stand in your way, but it may not be how you picture it today.