Scrolling through the news in preparation for our morning show, I came across this article on CNN. It talks about a “Grandparent Deficit” and so it caught my eye. My Mama was ripped from my life way too soon at the age of 57 due to complications of cancer. I was 27 and had not had my babies yet. My Daddy died just a few short weeks after Emma was born. As you might imagine this is a topic that still brings tears to my eyes today and so I checked it out.
The article speaks about the inherent problems to having later life children and I was keenly aware of them. I had after all had Emma at 31 & Lukas at 36. Struggling with undiagnosed postpartum depression, sleep deprivation and managing it all without the support of my mother was painful in ways that I may never reconcile. This article discussed the struggles of parents like me.
I continued to read as it spoke of the next problem; dealing with elder care while simultaneously caring for toddlers. I had hoped that at this point the article would take the opportunity to discuss the importance of caring for ourselves NOW- while we can make a difference and impact the amount of time that we are vital and independent. There is no natural reason that we cannot remain vibrant and healthy well into our 80’s and beyond if we just do a few simple things daily NOW. It would appear to never have crossed the author’s mind.
Instead, CNN decided to promote a different point of view- one that left me flabbergasted.
Kelly Wallace writes,
“Lori Day sees another “grandparent deficit” but not one resulting from grandparents passing away or requiring care from their children.
It is one borne out of a culture where 60 is viewed as the new 40, and grandmothers are “aghast at being seen as elderly, and dieting to excess and having plastic surgery and so forth to try and look young,” said Day, author of “Her Next Chapter,” about mother-daughter book clubs.
What happens then is kids are “deprived of grandmothers (maybe increasingly grandfathers, too) who are comfortable in their own skin, aging gracefully and being a good role model to kids, showing that growing old is not the worst thing that can happen to a woman.”
Day said she’s thrilled to have grown up at a time when grandmothers were “a little chubby, had ample bosoms, smelled like Jergens lotion and were comfy to snuggle with.”
Seriously? Is that really what we are promoting? No thank you. I will care for my mind and body so that God-willing I will not be a burden to my children due to preventable illness. I will have the energy to run and play with my grandchildren, support my own children’s need for a break in childcare and be a role model of healthy living. That, in my opinion is aging gracefully.
Here is a resource to help you in preventing the most common age related diseases.
What is your take on this article? Have you given any thought to these challenges? I would love to hear what you think.