Grandmothers at Work
Juggling Families and Jobs
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: NYU Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
I never really had a grandmother growing up. My mother’s mom, Kathryn, died decades before I was born. My mom was just 18. My father’s mom, Anna, died when I was very young. I have only two memories of Anna. In one, she was at our home for a holiday. The house was filled...
This research was partially supported by the Syracuse University Center for Aging and Policy Studies, with funding provided through grant number P30-AG034464 from the National Institute on Aging. I am indebted to many friends and colleagues who helped me find grandmothers...
1. Balancing Care and Work
Legions of working grandmothers across the United States are quietly, almost invisibly, caring for grandchildren so that parents can work or have a break from busy schedules. Deanne is one of 48 working grandmothers I interviewed who is balancing paid work and caring for...
2. Joys and Second Chances
Much is said about the negative aspects of carework, but the working grandmothers I interviewed who care for their grandchildren reap tremendous positive rewards. Indeed, to talk to these 48 grandmothers is to talk to 48 women who know joy. To a person, the grandmothers I...
3. Intensive Grandmothering
Much has been said about the intensification of mothering in the United States. Sharon Hays traces evolving practices and suggests that for about three decades we have been in an era of increasingly intensive mothering in which mothers, even if working, are encouraged to invest a great...
4. Juggling Work and Grandchildren
Many grandmothers juggle work and caring for grandchildren. One-half of Americans are grandparents by age 50; 70 percent of those in their early 50s, and nearly 65 percent of those in their late 50s, are still employed.1 Studies show that working grandparents are just as likely to...
5. Financial Ebbs and Flows
Intensive grandmothering can be quite expensive. Many grandmothers who care for their grandchildren report less money coming in and more money going out. Some grandmothers reduce earnings because they reduce paid work hours to increase unpaid carework hours. Some...
6. Containing Carework
Though grandmothers may love their grandchildren, and many may want to provide almost limitless care and support, some want to set limits. For some grandmothers, enough is enough. These grandmothers limit grandchild care to protect their time, health, finances, jobs, social...
7. Emotional Ups and Downs
The emotional impacts of working, and caring for grandkids, are mixed. For some the combination of roles generates a tremendous emotional high, but for others it generates somewhat more negative sensations. Many working grandmothers enjoy terrific emotional rewards of providing...
8. Social and Health Pros and Cons
The impact of caring for grandchildren on working grandmothers’ social and physical well-being is mixed.1 Grandmothers with more resources, who are working and caring for fewer hours per week, can readily juggle multiple roles of work and grandchild care and maintain...
Conclusions: Grandmothers at Work
Working grandmothers in the United States provide a great deal of care for their grandchildren, ranging from child care, emotional supports, financial supports, and, at times, custodial care. We have not known much about how working grandmothers balance work and care of...
Appendix: Grandmas at Work Survey
To assess how working grandmothers balance work and care for grandchildren, including the types and intensities of care provided, and the impact of that care on financial, emotional, social, and physical well-being, I conducted in-depth interviews with 48 working grandmothers...
About the Author
Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2014
OCLC Number: 879306284
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Grandmothers at Work