Our new "First Grandma" Marian Robinson

As the Obama's prepare to move into the White House, we have learned that Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, will be joining them.  Mrs. Robinson, age 71, finally retired from her job at a bank, to help with granddaughters Sasha and Malia during the presidential campaign.

As Caregivers know, juggling the needs of careers and children, along with senior care, can be daunting.  And likewise, running for president while raising young children also brings unique demands.  Fortunately for the Obamas, Grandma was willing to help out.

Healthy aging requires not only taking care of physical health with proper diet and exercise, but also staying socially and mentally engaged.  Marian Robinson provides a very positive role model for healthy aging - she kept on working beyond the typical retirement age and by staying involved with her family she now has a new job as "First Grandma" in the White House.  She won't be staying in Chicago where she would have less of a chance to interact with her daughter and granddaughters.

One of the biggest challenges for seniors besides health care, is isolation.  As people move around the country to follow careers, many times parents are left without any children who live near them.  It is very important for seniors to stay involved in weekly activities where they interact with others, especially if no family lives close by.

My own Grandparents lived just up the road from us, on the family farm.  The bus stop was a half mile from our house (it really was, I am not exaggerating), and we were dropped off at the bus stop each morning since the bus arrived really early as we were the first stop.  However, after school we had to walk home.  It wasn't a big deal because we just stopped in at Grandma's house on the way, where she always had a snack for us and she and Grandpa were ready to ask us about our day and provide their commentary (and teasing) on all.  It served my brothers and sister and me and our Grandparents well to spend the time together.

I read that Michelle Obama took two buses and a train to get to her high-school each day, so her commute out did mine, and clearly her mother and father did a lot of things right.  It is very cool that she continues to involve her Mother in raising her own children.  It will be nice for our country to have a "First Grandma" to bring the spotlight to a senior in the White House.




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Comments (4) -

  • It was indeed heartwarming to hear that grandma will be joining the Obamas in the White House!  As my own children grow older and I see a day when my identity will add "grandma" to daughter/mom, I have started talking with my kids about the whole concept of the "nuclear family" as opposed to the extended family.

    I think we've lost some of the family connectedness by encouraging our kids to grow up and move out - preferably way out.  How much better to enrich the lives of the youngest family members by surrounding them with people who love them; who'll bake them cookies after school, or simply listen and greet them with a smile.

    Most of our homes aren't as big as the White House, but many of our homes could easily accommodate more than one generation.  

    Could we be richer for this?  I think so, in more ways than just economically!
  • It's nice to know that the Obama's are at least acting like a family. Giving up your job to care for your granddaughters is a loving, supportive act--and I like the thought of our country having a "First Grandma."

    I hope that she will in turn, be honored as she ages (71 is young!) and that all the love and care she has poured into her family will surround her in the years to come. She can be proud of her decision and I'm sure she considers it an honor to be a part of such a mometus time in history.
  • I think that family is the most valueable thing in life!
  • I heard that she was considering the move and I'm delighted to hear the decision is confirmed.

    Growing up in a military family, we moved a lot and I didn't have the opportunity to spend enough time with my grandparents that I adored.

    I work hard to ensure I can give my daughter as much contact with her grandparents as humanly possible.

    I have come to believe that the elderly can easily become lonely and loving family members aren't aware.

    I'm guessing that won't be a problem for Mrs. Robinson, thankfully.

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