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I love my grandchildren, so why am I feeling so stressed?

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Everyone is affected by stress differently. In fact, what might be stressful to one person, may not feel stressful to someone else at all. No matter how much we love our grandchildren and are willing or even eager to raise them, our lives have changed and with major changes come stress. Stress may be caused by a lack of physical resources (e.g. money, daycare, housing, or even food), a lack of emotional support, or our own physical health. Stress that is not dealt with effectively can cause or increase physical and mental health problems. As we grow older, we may already be dealing with deteriorating health issues. The last thing we need is for our health to worsen because of unrelieved stress.

There is no simple answer to managing stress. The solutions may vary, as widely as there are differences in people and situations. However, there is one simple word that should always be remembered, that is Balance. As we take on the extra responsibility of raising more children, it is very easy to let our lives get out of balance. We may find our lives and emotions swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other. It is true that we must do our best to meet the needs of our grandchildren, but we must also take care of ourselves, or we will not be in a position to take care of the children at all. Click here to read more about my own personal experiences.

As we consider the events in our lives that are causing us the most stress, we must decide what we can change and what we cannot change. Once we decide what we can change, then we can come up with solutions to make appropriate changes that will make our lives easier. For those situations that we cannot change at all, we then can discover ways that will help us cope. The following are ideas that should be remembered no matter what our situations.

  • Always put our own physical and emotional health at the top of the list. Proper exercise, relaxation, a healthy diet, limited alcohol, enjoyable activities, and humor are all important to consider as we are dealing with major changes in our lives.
  • We must not be embarrassed to ask for help. We must learn that we cannot do everything ourselves. That is a lesson I am still learning.
  • We need support, so find a local support group, church family, or good friends who understand.
  • Find out what services are available in our own communities including financial, legal, educational, and free or low cost counseling.
  • Whether we have a specific religious affiliation or not, finding our own spiritual connection to God or a Higher Power can help us deal with our own daily challenges.


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