You're overwhelmed with a task you have been struggling to complete, but the grandchildren want you to get up and see their new creation, or ask a question like why the world is round, or why a round peg won't fit in a square hole? The reward in your heart for that few moments seeing your grandchild beam with pride from your recognition is priceless.
It's amazing how when you return to your task how your not so overwhelmed anymore, and how much simpler that task becomes for you.
You've been busy all morning working at home to make ends meet. You're tired. The kids are yelling and screaming at each other! You've asked them to stop, but things are getting out of hand. Don't raise your voice, don't get upset. Just go and tell them that we all need a break.
Tell them you are going to walk around the house from the left side of the house. They should walk around from the right side, and you will meet them at the starting point.
Then sit down together for 5 minutes and think of something fun for them to do while you finish what you need to do. You will be amazed at how a change of scenery for a few minutes can turn cranky into smiles.
When you're all finished, get together with them and whip up some brownies, or maybe fire up the grill and have a picnic in the backyard.
Kids Shopping Day
I only buy toys for the boys on holidays. I give them allowance for doing chores, and they get paid once a month. Then we put 25% of the allowance in their savings account, and the rest we have a "kids shopping day". They can pick out where we shop, and what they get.
Last month the boys wanted a swimming pool for the backyard. I could not afford a pool, so I told them that they should go downstairs and sort through their old toys they don't play with. We had a garage sale and the boys made $100 for their backyard pool. They learned how hard it is to make $100, and they really take good care of that pool because they earned it.
Making Time For You
I met 2 wonderful families when I signed the boys up for Boy Scouts. Their children have become my grandchildren's best friends. We have worked out at least once every 6 weeks that my boys spend a night at their house so I can have a night and day to just have fun with my friends, or take an overnight trip. This really helps revive your energy and also gives the boys a great "vacation" with their friends.
Both familes have a child Jermiah's age and one Jacob's age. Sometimes we just "switch" children for a few hours or sometimes even an overnight. They take the older ones and I take the younger ones or vise-versa. They look forward to this, and it gives us all a break from the sibbling rivalry.
Ways To Earn Extra Money
1. Medical Transcription at Home - There are a number of reputable companies I know if you have any medical transcription experience. I have transcribed and love the freedom of being able to work from home. If you have no experience, there are schools that you can find online to learn and help you get started.
2. Check Out Your Local Mall - At Christmas and Easter the photo companies that set up a visit with the Easter Bunny and Santa pay great and you can pretty well set your own hours. They always need extra help. Just check with your local mall for the company they contract with.
3. Deliver Newspapers - Just takes a few hours a week, but pretty good cash flow.
4. Have a Garage Sale - You would be amazed at what people buy, and you will also be amazed how many things you have that you never use. It payed for a couple of great trips for us. The boys bought a swimming pool and trampoline for the backyard from toys they sold that they haven't played with in years. That pool and trampoline keep them busy while I am working at home or doing housework, and saves a lot of gas and fees for going to public pools.
5. Start a Lawn Mowing Service - The grandchildren can do it themselves if they are old enough. I have them put 25% of what they earn towards savings, and they have money every month to do things I can't afford to do for them.
6. Avon is probably the best home business you can start for yourselves. It takes a lot of work, but if you really work at it you can name your own income.
Get The Kids Into Affordable Activities
1. Call your city park district. They often have scholarships depending on your income for 1-4 week camps in the summer, skating camps, pom pom camps, tennis camps, golf camps, and just plain all day camps where the grandkids make lots of friends and have lots of fun, and you can take time for yourself, or go out and work for a few hours to help make ends meet. My boys have been awarded scholarships 4 years in a row now, and they love going back every year!
2. If you're a grandparent you may already be 55 or older. Check out the state parks. They have free or reduced senior citizen passes and you may be able to get the grandkids included as family, after all they are! Hiking, skiing, canoeing, fishing, camping, and roasting marshmellows! What fun!
3. Most park districts will give free season passes to the swimming pool to families with low or moderate income. Splish, splash, a day of fun for everyone!
4. Check out your local news station. They have free drawings for birthdays. You may even win a trip for all of you to a Theme park with your hotel included! That should make you all smile!
5. Schools have free or reduced lunch programs according to income. If you're short for a field trip just call the teacher and ask her it they have any scholarships. Sports programs always have some kind of free or reduced fees for almost any sports programs. Don't forget to start contacting colleges for scholarship info now. It is never too early to make sure they get that college education. Check it out. Your grandkids will adore you!
6. The YMCA and YWCA has free or reduced membership. Lots of fun for everyone.
7. Check out all the restaurants in town. The majority have free kids meal with one paid adult, or charge your grandchildren a penny for every pound they weigh. The kids love it.
8. Free bowling. Check out all your local stores, banks, loan companies. Many times they have business cards from your local bowling alley for free bowling. All you pay for are the shoes.
Hope these tips help. Join our forum, and share your tips with us. We can use all the help we can get!
Jeremiah and Jacob's
'Big Brother and Big Sister',
Megan and Eric