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So tired :(

(25 Posts)
iceni Thu 19-May-11 10:06:44

Just discovered this forum.

Does anyone else find their life completely and utterly exhausting?
I am 56 with 4 adult children and 6 grandchildren, I also work 25 hours a week and can see that I am going to have to continue to work till I am 56 sad
I find I never have a minute to myself.
I love them all dearly and try to help them all out as daughters and DILs are all working mums. I also have parents who are in their 80s. I think I am doing too much.

I even come back from holidays tired as my DH is not a lying by the pool type of guy and we always do something active.

I am going to have to start saying no but I fear that they may think I am being unreasonable.
Something has got to give.

Notsogrand Thu 19-May-11 10:44:23

Sorry to hear you're so tired iceni

I'm not sure what to suggest.....perhaps get them all round for a family lunch and explain? If you don't ease up, you'll be ill and then you won't be available for anyone else. Good luck. smile

gillybob Thu 19-May-11 10:47:50

I can see exactly where you are coming fromm iceni. I am in a very similar situation. I work around 32 hours a week, look after 3 grandchildren 2 days a week and like you I also have elderly parents.

There are never enough hours in the week to fit everything in and holidays are few and VERY far between. I don't know about you but my own parents very rarely looked after my children and almost never kept them over night whch made me more determined to help out with my own grandchildren.

..............and don't get me started on guilt. confused

Sometimes I think we make rod for our own back !

iceni Thu 19-May-11 10:59:39

Of course I meant work till 66 not 56 blush

Joan Thu 19-May-11 11:20:59

Before you do anything, get blood tests to see if you are anaemic. Try to have a high protein diet - it helps you stay strong.

The thing with getting older (I'm 66) is that you can do as much as you ever could, but it takes an increasingly long time to recover. So if you never have spare time, you'll never catch up and recover.

I think it is time to talk to your family about reducing your load. You have the right - it IS allowed!

milliej Thu 19-May-11 11:38:37

Families can be very selfish expecting their parents to carry on and help with child minding as well as work and do the rest as said by iceni!

How about the parents feeling a bit of guilt for working and leaving their kids with tired grandparents?

How about you standing up for yourself and saying, enough I am in the latter part of my life and want/need some time for myself! Quite reasonable to me!

If you don't make lifestyle changes now it could seriously affect your health and well-being. We are supposed to have a 'life balance' and not just go go go and work, work, work then die!

Can you tell I feel quite strongly about this smile and I don't have any of these issues! What I do see a lot of where I live, is 'youngish' grans who look totally exhausted and harrassed because of family members who take them totally for granted!

glassortwo Thu 19-May-11 11:53:39

I am going to have a bit of a moan now, and I maybe should not but here goes!!!

My husband and I live with daughter,sil and gc 5 and 3.

I seem as I have gone back 25 years in as much I seem to be back to the stage I was with my 2 young children, but now I have 4 children to run after and a husband!

My daughter works full time so I have the full control of house, food and children from 1st waking to going to bed, I know probably my own fault as I would rather do things myself than ask anyone for help but things are getting out of hand when daughter and sil seem to sit back and just let me get on with things. I have an evening job, so when I have brought grandchildren back from school/nursery, I tend to prepare the evening meal, then go to work, but you would imagine that as everything is left ready to cook or reheat someone would take responsibilty and knowing what time I will be home get it sorted, everyone invariably waits for me to get in. I am sick of picking up after everyone and seem to be turning into a doormat.

Sick of feeling like the maid, nanny, cook and bottle washer!

Thats it end of rant, could go on and on and on but I give now!.

milliej Thu 19-May-11 12:01:18

So...thats why 'glassortwo' smile. Seriously tho' I have friends like that here, do you get to go away for breaks, mini breaks or holidays? They make a point of going away as regularly as they can, because they are in a similar situation as you, only their family live next door! Crumbs!

glassortwo Thu 19-May-11 12:10:39

You guessed milliej no don't get away too much as we are renovating a house, so any time we get is spent up there, mind there is a static caravan up there and last summer we spent a lot of the weekends just my husband and I, which was relaxing, apart from the obvious hard work labouring involved, but did mean I could be me for a few hours.

Notsogrand Thu 19-May-11 12:20:02

Oh glassortwo , a moan is very justified!
It's tricky....once you become the sort of person that can be relied upon.....everybody does just that...and then some more. sad
How about, one night before you go to work, make reference to the fact that you have a headache/sore throat/earache, whatever, and say you hope you can get through work as you're feeling awful. Then when you finished work, come back, say you feel worse and go straight to bed without even enquiring about the evening meal.
Someone else will have to cook the dinner then!

MrsJamJam Thu 19-May-11 12:28:30

My mother is 83 with moderate Parkinson's. She continues to insist on doing ALL the catering for herself, my father aged 86 and my brother aged 46 who lives with them. If she and my father go out, she will have prepared a meal for my brother so that all he has to do is heat it up in the microwave! Completely mad if you ask me.

I have tried and tried to get her to see things differently, and am now of the opinion that a large part of it is because she has a deep need to be the hub of the family round whom it all revolves. So I just keep filling up her freezer with stuff that I've cooked in portions for three, and when I go over I take the whole meal and get very bossy!

When our children are little, of course we do everything for them. They will continue to see 'home' like this unless we spell out very clearly that things have changed. So if you would like the family to cook the odd meal for you, or take on doing all the washing up, you have to tell them quite firmly.

How about a 'round table' family meeting, to spell out how you feel (and don't you dare feel guilty) and ask them for suggestions on how things can be changed to give you your fair share of 'me' time. Perhaps they can take on responsibility for one or two evening meals a week - choosing, shopping, cooking and clearing up

nanafrancis Thu 19-May-11 12:34:28

iceni & glassortwo
Sit your offspring down (along with a bottle or three) and tell them how you're feeling. They can't help if they don't know or aren't noticing how things are with you. Tell them you're in need of some 'me' time and some help. Organize things so everyone chips in and helps rather than any one person being door-matted
We're our own worst enemies, trying to do everything and not letting on how we feel.
It would be such a shame to get to the point where you make yourselves ill or there is a bust-up in the family.

glassortwo Thu 19-May-11 13:04:40

Sorry about the moan everyone had a bad day, thanks for all your suggestions I feel I need to take some form of action but will have to ponder over which way to do it, but problem being it has been voiced in the past that I felt as though I was being taken advantage of and things did change a little but seem to have reverted back again.

harrigran Thu 19-May-11 13:42:26

Am I missing something ? We are talking adult children, why can they not look after themselves and feed themselves. By the time we are caring for granchildren we should not have to wet nurese their parents as well. If you can't speak truthfully to family then it is a lost cause.

grandmaagain Thu 19-May-11 16:27:39

having worked this morning, then looked after 3 yr old GD, now going off to make tea for her parents and us and have 85 yr old mother!! I think we are probably all mad but we would"nt have it any different! we like to be needed comes with being a mum I think ! wine later wink

HildaW Thu 19-May-11 17:25:55

Glassortwo, lor, dont apologise for the rant.......if ever someone needed to get it off chest its you....I do hope a little fairy was listening and throws you a bit of magic. If it was me I would have put my coat on and dissappeared down the road ages ago!

crimson Thu 19-May-11 18:21:15

And, just think, the Govt are now expecting people in the future to work till they're @67 [can you imagine teaching a class of 16 year olds when you're that age]. Somethings got to give somewhere. I think one of the problems is that we're helping our children have the sort of lifestyle in their twenties and thirties that we had to wait till our forties to have [no second hand clothes etc these days].But, then again, both parents are having to work these days to pay the mortgage. It's a dilemma, isn't it. Do grandads get this 'guilt' I wonder? I only work part time, but I can't see me not having to work for as long as is physically possible. Having said that, my daughter has moved closer to where I live, not only for me to help her now, but so she can help me more when I get older, so I'm being a bit unfair.

Notsogrand Thu 19-May-11 20:22:25

Just waiting for glass to get in from work and find out if she had to cook dinner.
I have one wine breathing for you for when you get in.

heleena Thu 19-May-11 23:11:38

I had a blood test earlier this year and was found to have an under active thyroid. Since takng medication I feel a lot better. I have more energy and less colds and generally feel more alertsmile

glassortwo Thu 19-May-11 23:37:59

Notsogrand thanks for wine but I am on a weeks holiday, so I have not been to work, but yes I did cook. But enjoyed wine grin
Sorry Iceni I seem to have highjacked your thread.

iceni Fri 20-May-11 08:14:18

Its oksmile
I was feeling very sorry for myself when I wrote it yesterday sad

Thank you for all your comments.
I think a lot of this is my fault for trying to be the kind of grandma that my mum was.
But then I need to remind myself that she didn't go to work when my kids were young.
Time for me to put myself first.

babyjack Sat 21-May-11 11:27:50

Remember people treat you how you allow them to

Gamma Mon 30-May-11 11:14:37

Isn't it amazing how powerful patterns become? Glassortwo, you totally deserve a moan and a medal. I mean it. That is some schedule you and your have family have created. One of the ways to look at and break patterns that are not useful or effective is to try to think of the difference that makes a difference. What one thing, if it were different, would shift things for you? If you can identify that, then it is easier to tell people what you need. Pick the easiest thing first. It's too hard to shift it all at one time. But one change could have a really positive knock-on effect. If that works, then after a bit of time, try another important difference.

Hope this helps. smile

glassortwo Mon 30-May-11 12:01:49

Thanks gamma makes sense, I just need to find where to start smile

Gamma Mon 30-May-11 13:07:53

Don't fret about that too much. Just pick the easiest difference and go for it. Any change will be better than no change. grin