One of the best things about working from home is being with the children in school holidays. But the problem is, work doesn’t stop. In fact, half term is looking fairly busy for me. And we’re not in a financial position to turn work down.
Grandparents to the rescue
I’ve already scheduled in a few brilliant days out for the girls next week. The problem is, most of my days out are related to the blog, so I’ll need to write them up afterwards. What with the other work I have on, it’s going to be manic.
Luckily, the girls have a great relationship with my parents. So, much as I’d love to spend the whole school holidays with them, the girls will want to see their grandparents as well. Which will give me a bit of time to work. We’ve already arranged a day when the girls will be with my mum, and a sleepover at my dad’s house.
Actually, my sister has arranged the sleepover at grandad’s house, I’m not sure if my dad knows yet. But I’m sure he’ll be delighted. The girls certainly are.
What makes a cool grandparent?
According to an infographic produced by Shepherds Friendly, 72% of grandparents say that their role as a grandparent is the most important and rewarding thing in their lives. The infographic details how grandparents can be more cool in the eyes of their grandchildren. There are some lovely ideas including teaching them a new skill and letting them know that they are loved.
For my girls, going to see their grandparents is always a highlight of their week. Libby loves to draw and paint with nan, who is an artist and has much more patience for things like that than me. Lia’s favourite thing is to sit with nan whilst she reads her a story. At home, it’s rare for either of us to have time to read for long. But at nan’s, she can curl up on the sofa and listen to stories for hours.
A few weeks ago, we put together a cookbook for my mum. She always makes her own bread and the girls love going there for freshly baked bread. And this half term, they’re hoping to do some baking with nan. I think they’re eyeing up some of the puddings.
A nod to the rest of the family
My girls are very lucky that they spend time with other family members as well as grandparents. My sisters and brother are definitely cool aunts and uncles. Their grandmother on their dad’s side sadly died before they were born, and their grandfather died earlier this year. But they have happy memories of spending time with him too.
I think they are very privileged to have also known their great granddad, my mum’s dad. Although he died last year, the girls remember spending time with him and love the fact that their dad now has his old accordion and gramophone.
The mention in the infographic of learning new skills from grandparents made me think about what I learnt from family as a child. The one thing that really sticks in my mind is my godfather who taught me valuable lessons about money.
He would always give me money to put in my savings account on birthdays and at Christmas. And I wouldn’t spend it. When I was 18 and going off to university, I had a bit of money put aside that came in incredibly useful. These days, it’s easy for grandparents or extended family to help children to put some money aside. A Young Savers Plan from Shepherds Friendly is a tax-efficient way to save for their future.
It’s perhaps symptomatic of our generation that my husband and I haven’t managed to put much in the girls’ savings accounts. As parents, life can end up being a bit hand to mouth. But I do hope that in years to come, we’ll be able to help the girls to build up some savings. And I hope that one day we’ll be grandparents too. I’ll remember how much my savings account helped me as a young adult and put a little aside each month for the grandkids.