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Retired but no time to myself

(66 Posts)
Chris4159 Mon 10-Dec-18 19:56:21

Hi just posting this as an outlet really!!! I retired aged 60 3 months ago. Thought this is going to be wonderful! Joined the gym, been twice, looked at breaks away etc. Wrong the demands from my immediate and extended family have me run off my feet. I have just sat down after being on the go since 6.00am this is turning into the norm everyday. Looking after elderley family members 3 of them, in different houses. Grandchildren, school runs and tea after school. Husband who is retired but watches tv all day. Seem to be in and out all day dropping off and picking up. Hospital appointments 3 this week hour drive to the hosp no one offers petrol money. Shattered every night, even missed Xmas party as I actually could not be bothered to get dressed up. Retirement! was better off working. Sorry for moan just getting to me now.

Mycatisahacker Mon 10-Dec-18 20:19:33

You may need to put your shutters up op and practise saying no.

Only you can run your life. You are not a pawn. It’s your retirement and you deserve it.

Work out how many hours you are prepared to devote to family and how many to yourself stick to that.

And turn the tv off and get away for the weekend you and dh.

Do not be a martyr.

M0nica Mon 10-Dec-18 20:23:32

Chris, yes, now you are retired everyone thinks you have lots of time on your hands, and all of them immediately fill it. Most of us have found that happening.

What you need to do is learn to say 'no'. Loud and clear. NO. If necessary stand in front of a mirror and practice how to do it with a smile, with sadness, sternly, kindly. You will soon get the hang of it.

Then sit down, if necessary cancel something to do it, and think it through. You are retired. Half of every day should be yours to do as you wish. Then decide what you can do and what you cannot do for your family. Can you nip in each day and do a bit of shopping? 'No, but I can take you to the supermarket on Friday morning. can you collect the children after school next week? No, but I can do Monday and Tuesday.

It takes time and practice but you will get there in the end.

Oakleaf Mon 10-Dec-18 20:31:14

Stop! How did it get to this stage in three months? How did all these needy people cope when you were working? How would they cope if you weren't there? I mean finally. Dead.

Your immediate and extended family need to take responsibility for their own lives. Collect train and bus timetables (including community buses if you have them) plus business cards for taxi firms and suggest these people use them.

Chewbacca Mon 10-Dec-18 21:05:17

Sympathies Chris, I know just how you're feeling. I've semi retired and now work only a few hours a week. My idea had been to build up my participation in clubs of interest and find new hobbies. But by sheer coincidence, my days off work just seem to coincide with the days my family needed child care, school pick ups and drop offs. I've got less time to myself now than when I worked full time.

ayse Mon 10-Dec-18 21:14:31

I’m happy to help my children when I can and do so on a regular basis. The downside - DH and I cannot afford to go on holiday as my holiday fund is used to visit my daughter and family in NZ although they do give me a helping hand with the cost.
It’s just so hard to say no to my DD’s. I know it drives DH nuts but all his spare cash is spent on visiting his family and the occasional boys fishing trips.

As one of my daughters would say, this is a first world problem but I do wish I found it easier to say no (sometimes).

Mycatisahacker Mon 10-Dec-18 21:31:15

You have one life! You spend years looking after your kids.

If your dd thinks its a first world problem let her sort out her own life while you enjoy what’s left of yours.

Don’t be a martyr.

Grandma70s Mon 10-Dec-18 21:32:52

You don’t say whether your husband has health problems. If he doesn’t, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t do some of these things.

Mycatisahacker Mon 10-Dec-18 21:33:16


Just say no sorry you can’t do that day. It really is up to you. They will sort it. We did as young parents.

Mycatisahacker Mon 10-Dec-18 21:35:22

Well there’s equally no reason why he should do childcare or why the op should either.

My parents and in-laws didn’t help me and we manged. I do help with my grandchildren but I am no push over. Me and dh come first as we have earned the right to bloody enjoy our retirement

sodapop Mon 10-Dec-18 21:40:53

Learn to say 'no' sometimes Chris otherwise you will be ill and unable to help anyone.
Prioritise where you can help most and then set time aside for yourself.

notanan2 Mon 10-Dec-18 21:45:54

You know when people ask, you cam say yes or no.
Say yes willingly, otherwise say no. Dont be the kind of person who appears keen when asked then moans about it.

ayse Mon 10-Dec-18 21:48:02

Mycatisahacker, I’m no matyr, this is my choice and I willingly help out when I can. Just glad my family have been supportive of me in the past. For me, it’s a question of give and take.

Mycatisahacker Mon 10-Dec-18 21:55:49


Totally If you are happy that’s brilliant but the point is the op and other posters arnt. That’s the problem.

Grammaretto Mon 10-Dec-18 22:01:47

It is nice to be needed but if you do too much you'll wear out and get resentful.
Make sure you reserve some time for yourself.
I have a lot of tugs on my time too but there are some things I never cancel.
It isn't easy to get used to the lack of structure after a working life. Good luck!

willa45 Tue 11-Dec-18 01:28:13

Chris.....Learn to put yourself first. Your worked hard and you earned your retirement. The next phase of your life is for you to enjoy and to do the things you couldn't when you were working. No one has the right to take that away from you.

Next time someone asks you reply with a smile and say ...."not today,'re going to have to make other plans because starting today, I'm going to enjoy my retirement."

EllanVannin Tue 11-Dec-18 06:58:20

At 66 I'd literally burnt myself out and ended up in hospital in 2006 when the doctor told me enough was enough and to take it easy. It took years to feel like " myself " and now at 78 I feel better than I've ever felt.
Good health shouldn't come this late ( though it's a bonus ) and only because I hung onto life by the skin of my teeth did the family realise that I wasn't kidding when I used to say I was unwell.

My advice----if you want to live a bit longer, ease up as you don't know when/if anything within your body is gong to " give " or how long it'll take to repair.

Izabella Tue 11-Dec-18 09:26:55

Chris I am sorry your retirement is panning out like this. However this has happened for one reason, and one reason only. Because you allowed it to.

There is only one person who can solve this which is yourself and like others up thread have succinctly put it - start by using the word NO . You may need strategies for this such as already having something else booked - but for you and on your terms. You have worked long and hard I am sure, so now is the time to take back control.

Perhaps start the new year by booking a solo holiday abroad with a reputable travel firm doing holidays for singles. That is probably something you want to do, and will give the message that you are your own person and not a doormat. Good luck

FlexibleFriend Tue 11-Dec-18 10:08:33

It's simple learn to say know and make it known you're not a charity so if they want lifts they need to pay for petrol at least. Bloody cheek of people.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 11-Dec-18 10:12:18

Practice asking yourself “do I want/need to do this”, “have they other alternative solutions, using/asking me is just the easiest”.

Please put yourself first, if you do not, who will help you when needed?

BRedhead59 Tue 11-Dec-18 10:35:55

Learn to say no more often and take breaks even long ones then they'll have to step up. You have earned some fun good luck.

annab275 Tue 11-Dec-18 10:41:42

You have to put yourself first - plan what you want to do (i.e go to the gym etc, and stick it in a diary) and mark out times when you are doing nothing in particular. (for having a bit of me time). Anytime left over can be used as and when you wish to help out family. Your time is yours until someone else takes it.

Margs Tue 11-Dec-18 10:43:32

How could they all be so selfish to take such advantage of you? It's obvious the grabby lot were just waiting for your retirement day with just one thought in their minds; "great! Unlimited free help!"

And I bet they've been quick to pile on the emotional blackmail. I don't honestly see a way around this....but commiserations anyway.

sandelf Tue 11-Dec-18 10:51:26

They do not have rights to your time and you do not 'have' to help out. Set an amount you'd be happy with. And stick to it. Not easy I know but your putting it on here shows that what you are doing now is NOT working. Stop the rot.

Madgran77 Tue 11-Dec-18 10:53:34

Sit down and decide what YOU want to do in YOUR retirement! That might well include a level of grandchildren care and elderly/il relative care but decide what is manageable for you around all the other things that you want to do. once you have done that book in the things you might want to to do ...a weekly course; a break away to visit a friend...whatever floats your boat! Once you have doe that you can map out your regular skeleton week. Everything else has to fit round that, including everybody else!! And pass some of the duties onto your husband??