Tuesday 20 November 2018

Fiona Ness: 'Granny crisis awaits for next generation'

Notebook

If we think we’re going to be relying on grandparents to provide the childcare for the next generation, we’d better come up with a better plan. Stock photo
If we think we’re going to be relying on grandparents to provide the childcare for the next generation, we’d better come up with a better plan. Stock photo

Fiona Ness

The infertility crisis is one thing, but what about the granny crisis? Because, mark my words, it's coming too. As the national trend for having children later in life continues, at 42 I'm already worried that I'm never going to make it to grannyhood - or if I do, that I'll be too old to be of any use to my over-worked, over-stressed offspring in helping them care for their families. And where will we all be then?

The latest 'Growing Up in Ireland' survey reports how grandparents are an essential part of family life, especially when it comes to childcare. Moreover, it notes that almost 90pc of nine-year-olds reported having a close relationship with at least one grandparent.

Yet if my children have children at the age I had children, I'll be 74 when my youngest child's first child is born. And don't give me any tosh about 'not to worry, people today are ageing better than ever before'. The NHS is stating that stress is a massive modern medical disaster just waiting in the wings for my generation, so I can realistically expect to skip the third act and go straight to the epilogue.

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