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Exhausted after spending a day with my grandchildren

(94 Posts)
jaxs Sat 21-May-11 09:41:54

I must not be the only 65 year old who I might add is very fit and looks alot younger than my age and find a day with a 2 year old and a 12 year old so stressful with all the fighting to get the 12 year to do as he is told the 2 yeard old is great but on the go all the time Also my daughter has slipped two discs and is not able to do as much at the moment but I really dont want to go and help too much does that sound bad sorry but i love my grandchildren but at 65 and after bringing two up its my time now my daughter thinks i am getting old before my time i was meant to go away for three days with the three of them and cant go it will be hard work but am I the only one feeling bad about this

Grumpyoldwoman Sat 21-May-11 10:07:21

I know exactly where you are coming from jaxs. I am 63 and last weekend I had 2 of our GC (age 8 & 6) to stay from 4pm Friday till 5.30pm Sunday. The weather wasn't too great so they couldn't play in the garden as much as we had planned.
I also have to do absolutely everything at home and look after my disabled husband.
I try to give the children lots of attention and let them bake and paint etc, etc but after taking them home (42 mile round trip) then make dinner for us onSunday I could have cried I was so tired.
I don't think my daughter has any idea how much it takes out of me having them to stay but as she is 7 mths pregnant and also has a toddler, I feel that I have to help out.
Actually , my husband being so ill gives me an excuse not to look after the GC more...but I am sooooo exhausted with coping day to day !!
I just don't think our daughters (or Sons) realise we are getting older....always 'Good old Mum' and of course we don't complain.
I would hate to be a moaning old biddy like my mother was !!!

Elegran Sat 21-May-11 11:29:25

I remember many years ago that someone (probably a behavioural psychologist or similar) did an experiment which involved a trained athlete "shadowing" an 18-month-old toddler and mimicking all his actions.

By 5 pm the athlete was exhausted and in a state of collapse. The toddler was still going strong.

lionlilac Sat 21-May-11 11:41:40

Surly when we get the menopause, it is natures way of telling us that our bodies cannot cope with full-time childcare anymore. Mine does.
With thirteen grandchildren and a disabled hubby I have had to say 'no' on occasions and the children appreciate the fact that I cannot be 'superwoman' all the time.
There does seem to be more pressure on our generation with our parents living longer 90s +. Members of family having financial problems. Taking care of grandchildren. Savings depreciating and guilt that we cannot do all that seems to be expected of us. Or is it just me!

pinkprincess Sat 21-May-11 12:24:06

I have shared in the care of all my five grandchildren.My only grandson is autistic and hyperactive.While I can cope with him on his own, I find it sometimes impossible when he has his sister with him as she tends to ''work him up''.It is getting better now they are getting older they are now 10 and 8, and as long as they stay in the house I can manage them, but I refuse to take them out together.
I am 66 years old and my husband, who is disabled with cardiac disease, is 78 so we are feeling the strain a bit now, but love all our grandchildren very much.It gets better as they get older and more independant

kitty Sat 21-May-11 17:25:56

I am over 70 and have five grandchildren. Two are now over 6ft tall and I don't see much of them now, they are usually busy studying or out with their boy or girl friend. I suppose that is quite normal really, after all I don't remember seeing much of my nan when I was young.

The other 3 are still young enough to like coming to my house and I try to make sure they feel at home but at the same time understand the boundaries. For example we don't play in the bedrooms or bounce on the furniture etc. Reasonable I think.

But I have found that the solution to not wearing yourself out when you have them for a few days is to do only what is absolutely necessary in doors. By that I mean feed and water hubby and the children just before they get hungry or thirsty. The children are not fussy what they eat, just take away what they don't want and make them wait for the next meal with a minimal snack between times. The older children tell me now that they loved playing games with me, but they don't remember what they had at meal times.

The big trick is to play with them wholeheartedly. Give them your undivided attention as much as possible. We play monopoly, draughts, ludo, jenga, and many other games morning and afternoon. The trick is not to slide off and do other 'important' things. They soon forget about TV and all those other electronic games that I know nothing about.

'Speed bathing' is another fairly easy option, one at a time is quickest.
Then they go to bed when I am tired, regardless of their complaints. A quiet read and they are usually asleep in no time. The rest of the evening is your own!

Of course this doesn't always go like clockwork but I feel sure the trick is to PLAY WITH THEM ALL THE TIME.It's only for a couple of days after all and they grow up so quickly and then they are gone but the housework will always be there.

Elegran Mon 23-May-11 09:37:48

Lionlilac - I do like the Freudian slip "Surly when we get the menopause......." Yes!!!!! We are. With reason.

HildaW Tue 24-May-11 11:54:14

Kitty, sounds like you have the right idea....seem to remember my Gran was very similar when we stayed with her...she lived at the seasid (bliss) we would get up have a sturdy breakfast, do a bit of clearing up together then all catch the bus to the seafront...stay as long as possible having taken huge chunky sandwiches and slabs of homemade cake. She would sit in her deckchair knitting or reading and keeping a weather eye out for us and we would rockpool or swim all day. The freedom (especially as our father was, and still is a pretty unpleasant man) was joyous.The result was that we all adored Gran and would not dream of playing up. I am trying to follow her lesson...we just have fun and if the house looks like a bomb has hit it once the little one has gone...who cares....I'll have at least a fortnight to clear up!

bikergran Tue 24-May-11 22:09:21

"grunpyoldwoman & pinkprincess I can sympathise with you both...we only have one grandson (4 going onn 44 lol) I ma 55 but grandad is 76 and just cannot cope with active 4 n half yr old..I take himout as much as poss (grandson that is) but hubby is quite ill, heart/c.o.p.d ,legs dont work properly etc so it is really hard to try and help daughter with grandson..but it gets hard taking them both out(grandson & hubby) at the same time as hubby needs attention as well
all of us can only do what we can do....[smile] keep smiling...

absentgrana Wed 25-May-11 09:59:54

Elegran I think that was Daley Thomson. I'm not sure anyone organised the experiment; I think he thought he would just try to do all the same things as his two-year-old and simply couldn't keep up.

Elegran Wed 25-May-11 15:11:01

It was a long time ago. I was struck by the experiment, but had forgotten the details.

mollie Wed 25-May-11 20:31:15

I'm 54 and recently have been caring for my 4 month old grandchild while mum is recovering from an op...she's easy and happy but I still feel totally exhausted, I think it's the intensity of being needed for hours on end. I do wonder how I'll cope when she's running around and full of beans...

HildaW Wed 25-May-11 21:19:43

I think part of it is....the sheer responsibility of it all.....when looking after your own just do the best you can...when its your children's somehow is so much more important to do everything right. There is this ever present worry of - what if something goes wrong?

crimson Wed 25-May-11 22:22:18

Had a lovely day looking after my grandson; he was a joy to be with. We then went to my partners house [my daughter had joined us at this point] and we were playing hide and seek. Suddenly realised I could feel a draught and found that he had gone out the front door [didn't realise it wasn't locked]. He was just outside the door, but my whole life flashed before me. I'm so, so uber careful but it only takes a moments lapse of concentration when they're toddlers.

Hilary Thu 26-May-11 13:07:42

I'm always tired after having my granddaughters (3 and almost 2) for the day.

My daughter says I'm permanently 47 in her mind - I wonder how many of us have kids who think the same way and have genuinely (or conveniently) forgotten how old their parents really are!

nannan Sat 28-May-11 21:45:58

I know exactly how you feel I am 64 and once a month I have to go and look after my grandchildren aged 4 and 3. I have to stay for two days as my daughter leaves for college at 7.45 and I don't trust the m25 being clear. My day begins at5.30 in the morning with both the children breezing in yelling I am awake, and that is it till 7 at night.
By the time I get home I am on my knees with every bone aching, I am sure my daughter feels I have the same energy levels as she has and looks askance when I say I am tired. I must admit I sometimes feel used in that she feels its her right having me to baby sit. I am lucky if I get a thank you.

harrigran Sat 28-May-11 22:45:56

Poor nannan, it is exhausting isn't it. Our youngest granddaughter started with chicken pox yesterday, at 18 months she is too young to understand really. Tomorrow is going to be stressful.

nanapippa Sat 28-May-11 23:02:57

....and to add to the problem I find my children regress when they bring their children round, so I find myself looking after them too. Am I crazy? Yes, probably!!! wink

Sussexgran Sun 29-May-11 19:29:12

yes nanpippa .. I have my daughter and my grandson living with me .. I work full time and have to do all the housework and gardening ... I am certainly going crazy smile

nanapippa Sun 29-May-11 20:52:33

Thats a coincidence Sussexgran, I too have a daughter and her son living with me, and can relate exactly!! The only difference is I am retired. Perhaps we should chat about this?!!

olliesgran Mon 30-May-11 12:49:40

nanapippa and sussexgran, I too have daughter and GS (13 months) living with us. We are both retired, so that helps, and D works part time. I am happy to be close to GS, but sometime resent the fact that most of household chores are still mine (and husband). Still, if we focus on what is best for the baby, it helps.

Sally Mon 30-May-11 13:03:40

My husband and I just had 3 of the grandkids Sat. and Sunday. Grandpa doesn't hear very well so it's all "Grandma". How many times a minute can 3 kids,8 10 and 5 say Grandma in one minute? Some day I'll write it down, if I'm not too tired! I love them dearly and we have lots of fun but when they go home I take a 2 hour nap, maybe longer. Not just because I'm tired, which I am, but because my brain is whirling. I'm so pleased to have such a good relationship with them, years from now I hope they remember all the good times we had together. Plus we have some very interesting conversations, they make me think outside the box.

58lyndy Mon 30-May-11 14:48:34

A lovely exhaustion! I loved my Nanna and Grandma and I hope my grandson has the same wonderful memories of me!

greenmossgiel Mon 30-May-11 14:53:28

I can empathise with everything that everyone has said! I worry constantly about my great-grandson (1 year-old), falling and banging himself - corners of furniture loom out, ready to cut his head. Therefore, when they're all here (in fact they'll be here any minute now as it's Monday)....I run about like a headless chicken, moving things out of the way to lessen the chance of serious injury (imagined, I suppose), meanwhile cooking a dinner that we can all eat without the baby choking on bones (over-reacting as usual, I know!) while his mum, who's my second-oldest grand-daughter, texts her pals on her mobile...! When they all leave a few hours later, I'm like a wet rag. Then all of a sudden it's Monday again, and the same routine. I absolutely love them all to bits, but I'm finding that at 61, I feel more like 81 by the time they go home!

grannyactivist Tue 31-May-11 01:15:10

Even though I've raised five children of my own I worry far more about my 16 month old grandson than I ever did with them. I often have him overnight or for a day or two to give my daughter a break and I fuss over him far more than I should. He was premature and in recent months has had three trips to the hospital following illness; the last time was an ambulance job complete with lights and siren - so scary! Also, he's the only child of my recently widowed daughter and the thought of anything happening to him leaves me cold. I love him to pieces, but the responsibility of caring for him leaves me physically and emotionally wrecked.