'The girls keep me young'
Cathy Donohue from Cavan looks after her grandchildren. The mother-of-six (who tragically lost her youngest son in a car crash last year) has two granddaughters – Paige (4) and Annie (1) – and while their mother Marita goes to work at the health board, she enjoys their company and relishes in spending time with them.
"I looked after Paige full-time until she started playschool last year and have had Annie since October every day from 9am until 1pm," she says. "I feel that grandparents are the ideal choice for child-minding as they get to spend time with them and to spoil them.
"I enjoy the fact that I look after the girls for the morning as I wouldn't be able to keep up with them for the whole day.
"The routine is much the same as when I had my own children – they potter about the house and as we live on a farm, they are often outside playing or watching my husband Thomas working. I get a bit of housework done and will take them for a walk or play some quiet games with them.
"I feel privileged to be looking after them – we get on very well together and they are keeping me young. My mind is a lot more active with them.
"We have a lovely relationship which I hope will continue as they get older."