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Grandmother tired of playing mother

Diane Verhoeven King Features Syndicate

Dear Diane: I’m a 58-year-old grandmother of a lovely 5-year-old girl, “LeAnne.” My son, “John,” is divorced and has sole custody. John recently lost his job, and while he was out of work, his plumbing burst.

My granddaughter has been staying at my house while he had it, and the resulting damage, fixed. He now is in orientation for a new job that requires him to be at work at 7 a.m.

As a single parent, he doesn’t have much money, and he seems to think that it is perfectly acceptable for LeAnn to continue sleeping at my house every night so I can get her ready for school in the morning.

I love my granddaughter dearly, but I raised my kids, and I am getting too old for full-time parenting. How do I break the news to him at this difficult time in his life?

— Overworked Grandma in Florida

Dear Grandma: First of all, God bless you for being such a loving, caring grandmother — and mother! The world needs more women like you.

I don’t think “breaking the news” to John will be as traumatic as you fear it will be. Ask him over for dinner as soon as possible and gently explain to him that as much as you love LeAnne, you simply don’t have the energy or funds needed to properly care for the child full-time.

Let John know that as soon as his orientation period is over and he has a set schedule at work, he needs to find proper daycare for his little girl. She needs to be in an environment that will prepare her for school.

That said, you should also tell him that you are still available to help him out from time to time.

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