My grandfather Naval Singhji passed away before I was borne. But I recall my grandfather’s younger brother, ‘Chote Dada’, Mehta Sangram Singhji, telling me “This is the time to spend seeing your grandchildren sail through in their naughtiness, their innocence, their successes and failures”.
I believe that we shall be available to our grandchildren but shall not babysit for them. Neither of our parents were there to bring up our children. With every transfer in the Navy, the children started from new school, to new friends and new maid/nany. Now children also need to understand that they were looked after for most of their lives, now we need a space for our selves.
In many families it is assumed that grandparents are meant to look after grandchildren, especially if they are retired. The working mothers today, with the concept of hiring babysitters or say nanies, the things are changing for good.
My daughter Pracchi adds, “I don’t request my parents to do baby related work like washing and bathing. I do it myself. I only ask them to play and enjoy with Ayrra.” Since my wife Shail comes from an orthodox family, she tends to get involved deeper, out of sheer love and affection. She perhaps does not realise that she too is getting older and physically not possible to run after the kids and bear their tantrums. At times this results in her irritable mood swings.
I always tell my loving daughter, “Though, our doors are always open for them but they need to stand on their own feet”. I am proud to say that both my daughter and son-in-law Amrish are managing their only child Ayrra very well.