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challenges in life
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senior citizens
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Being A Senior Citizen, I Could Not Endure The Stress Of Babysitting
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When we hear the words; senior citizen, what is the first thought that comes to mind? Old maybe, or maybe old and decrepit. One thing is for certain, when the words senior citizen are attached to one's name it can be concluded that the person has passed a few mile stones.

Many of our senior citizens will tell you that age is just a number and they can do anything most anyone else can. I for one bought into this premise.

This endeavor started some years ago when my daughter and her future husband graduated from college and subsequently married. During this period, I was rapidly approaching retirement. Inasmuch as I had not made any definitive plans, I was somewhat open to most any idea that I felt would interest me.

It just so happened that a few months before my retirement, the wife and I were notified that our daughter was with child. I said to myself, perfect timing.

With this information, I realize that I could become a hero by babysitting and thereby saving them a great deal of money. In today's market, the prices associated with babysitting are nearly off the chart. That is one of the reasons many couples opt to just stay at home and raise their own children.

With the slow economy, I realized that if a family, especially a young one, didn't make sensible and reasonable decisions regarding their finances, it could adversely impact their future.

What could be difficult about an ole grand pop babysitting his grandson? After all, I had assisted in raising my three children without any difficulties. I felt that in my more mature age in life, I would be able to meet and conquer all challenges associated with any aspect of babysitting.

Most of my male friends admonished me not to do it. I told them they were just wimps who were unwilling to meet the various challenges in life.

It was agreed that when my daughter returned to work, I would become the official babysitter. Official babysitter, that had a nice sound to it and made me feel that I was totally in charge, which I was. The wife questioned my sanity and told me that since she was still working, not to expect a great deal of assistance from her. I asked her, and I would need your assistance how?

The financial terms of our agreement were very simple. I told her to pay me half the going rate of a full time babysitter, and I would add to that amount and open a college fund account in the baby's name. I really felt good about this endeavor. Naturally, the wife was rolling her eyes at me as if to say I was way over my head. Again how hard could this be?

A week prior to my new job, I was so excited with anticipation. On the first day, my son-in-law arrived with the little fellow. Prior to his departure, he pulled out a list which appeared to be about a mile long. At the time my wife was there and witnessed the passing of the bylaws which my daughter had written. It was hilarious to me. The wife didn't see it that way.

In an attempt to appease my daughter, I posted the bylaws on a kitchen cabinet door.

Then it occurred to me. Maybe the ole girl was trying to tell me that she wasn't raised properly and this was her attempt to ensure her child was cared for properly.

When we next met, sometime during the conversation I asked her if she felt she had been mistreated as a child. I further asked if she was writing a book about how she was neglected as a child. Both answers were no.

I then asked who raised her. She acknowledged it was us. I asserted that since we raised her to adulthood, why would we need instructions on how to change a diaper, how to burp him, how to sing to him, etc. I can understand instructions regarding the formula, etc. Everyone just laughed.

After about one year, the babysitting really began to adversely affect my health and I clearly knew why. You see I was always on pins and needles. At no time did I want anything to go wrong on my watch. How could a father notify his daughter of some mishap? The stress of babysitting became too much and I had to terminate my duties. Old folks just can't endure as much stress as the younger folks.

My lesson learned.

When one has retired, respect that fact and do nothing that will place undo stress on your remaining years of life. After all, becoming a senior citizen did not occur over night. When one reaches that stage, nature is trying to tell you something. Instead of trying to babysit, if necessary, assist with the cost. Spend your time pursuing endeavors that require little stress. Take that trip you have been wanting to take, go fishing, sign up with the local bingo shop, etc. No matter what you do (unless it is a dire emergency) no long periods of babysitting.


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