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Redundant mum and nana

(44 Posts)
AGAA4 Mon 20-Jan-20 16:05:08

I started work at 16 and retired 6 years ago. I have also brought up a family and until recently was looking after my grandchildren. Now they are in their mid teens they don't need me . Because I have always been looking after children I am now a bit lost and feel that my usefulness is over. What to do now is the question. My children live a long drive away so I am not able to see them much and they are all busy with jobs/college etc

Tedber Mon 20-Jan-20 16:18:37

I feel sad reading posts like this AGAA4. How old were you when you had your first child? Did you have any life pre-children? Do you have a husband/partner/friends? Did you have any interests of your own or were did it all revolve around children?

As much as I love my (big) family and they are all still very young....I absolutely LOVE my ME time!

Now I am (partially) retired I have stated to all family, I will help whenever I can but this is my time now! I love visiting different places and museums/art galleries/theatres (so much better now I have a bus pass lol) I often go alone even though am married as husband working still, or arrange to meet up with friends. If funds allow I love booking short breaks away (just been to Lake District for 2 days on my own very good deals in January) Also take daughters dogs out a lot - walking. Meet lots of interesting people.

Absolutely no need to feel your usefulness is over. Take time to enjoy your freedom and plan your enjoyment.

IF you feel you cannot enjoy life without children, how about volunteering at a local hospital or hospice?

So many things to do...you just need to have a change of attitude.

You can DO IT......

Yennifer Mon 20-Jan-20 16:26:25

See if you can volunteer at the local school? Quite often need readers x

AGAA4 Mon 20-Jan-20 16:33:21

Thanks Tedber. I married young and had my first baby at 20. My DH died 21 years ago and I have spent all that time caring for my youngest daughter and grandchildren

M0nica Mon 20-Jan-20 16:37:23

Go to the Volunteers Register for your local authority. They have lots of volunteer opportunities there. As well as schemes to go into schools, a lot of areas have volunteer family supporters, who visit and help struggling families. With your experience of childcare and bringing up children on your in, I would think they would welcome you with open arms.

Or do you want to do something entirely different?

AGAA4 Mon 20-Jan-20 16:49:12

Thanks. I would like to spread my wings now but after 50 years of childcare, which I have enjoyed, I need to move on but no idea what to do

Luckygirl Mon 20-Jan-20 16:52:01

I guess the choices are to do things for yourself; or to look for opportunities to do things for others - or maybe a balance of the two?

I think mothers do find it hard to turn off the caring/nurturing role; but you need to tell yourself that it really is OK to do things that are just for you!

Luckygirl Mon 20-Jan-20 16:54:43

Coach trips in UK or abroad are good - you virtually get picked up from the door and everything is organised for you - it is a good way of putting a toe in the water and seeing some new places.

You could also look at local organisations to join: U3A is everywhere in the UK and they have lots of interesting things to do.

Or you could learn a new subject or language online - all free.

So much you could do! - but the first step is to gt your mind round the idea of your new freedom!

AGAA4 Mon 20-Jan-20 16:57:12

Thanks everyone! I have felt bad about spending times just pottering, enjoying hobbies. I have always been so busy that now it feels like idleness

LovelyCuppa Mon 20-Jan-20 17:03:01

Don't feel guilty! It's good for you, and gives you things to talk about when you get together with your family. Enjoy!

Luckygirl Mon 20-Jan-20 17:03:13

Not idleness!!! smile

Hetty58 Mon 20-Jan-20 17:05:00

Volunteering locally can really fill that gap in your life.

Here, there's a lovely music and singing group for young mums and babies/toddlers who visit care homes weekly for a singalong. The coordinator is a volunteer.

Find something local that's of interest to you.

Hetty58 Mon 20-Jan-20 17:07:36

It's part of this:

www.thetogetherproject.co.uk/songs-and-smiles

Ohmother Mon 20-Jan-20 19:21:35

Is there a local U3A group? You may find something of interest there. 💐

AGAA4 Tue 21-Jan-20 14:42:02

Thanks to all the lovely GNs who replied. I do feel better and I know I must move on and do other things. I can't look after demanding children for ever! Sending sunshineto you all

3dognight Tue 21-Jan-20 14:56:32

Don't feel guilty about 'me' time. Just potter, and do things that make you feel,good about yourself - whatever that may be.

I'm afraid grandkids do grow into teenagers and then don't need us so much...this I am discovering for myself. Just give yourself time to adapt, it may take a while.

wildswan16 Wed 22-Jan-20 09:53:04

Never feel guilty about doing things for yourself - having that time will give you new energy to start doing the more "useful" things. Whether it be learning new skills at U3a, volunteering at a charity, visiting neighbours etc etc.

One thing always leads to another. Also, smile and remember all those children (your own and other peoples) who are now living independent lives because of your nurturing.

NotSpaghetti Wed 22-Jan-20 09:53:36

You say you feel guilty about hobbies but really you are lucky to have found something to enjoy.
Join a local group, go on a day course or a weekend maybe.
Some hobbies have holiday potential (eg, painting in the south of France or glass working in Murano).
If you are comfortable financially you would probably be able to extend your hobby and learn new things.

Someone I know went to university and did a textiles degree! She loved it and produced some fabulous work.

Caro57 Wed 22-Jan-20 10:07:19

How about volunteering with a cause that is close to your heart?

Gingster Wed 22-Jan-20 10:31:42

Join the U3A. No need to feel bored or lonely. You could be doing something all day and everyday at a minimal cost. Learn something new - a language or bridge or even an instrument. Rambles are arranged as are lunches and meetings with speakers. Trips to London , theatre or galleries. The list is endless. I did it and I know how lovely it is.

Madmaggie Wed 22-Jan-20 10:34:46

Have you considered Tai Chi which I believe is calming & good, my aunt did it daily with a group her own age-ish well into her 80s. I understand your feelings, I felt useless then a relative asked me to lend a hand at a school where he worked just one half day a week termtid and I feel so appreciated its really made a difference. They have to do a check on you because children are involved but they pay for it & I did my form online. Don't rush into something for the sake of it is my advice - you will find it. Are there any stately homes near you in need of guides etc. Ever wanted to do pottery, painting etc. Don't think of it as being useless but that the world is now your oyster! Happy hunting.

jackie0 Wed 22-Jan-20 10:41:04

volunteering always gives me such satisfaction. there is also U3A, university of the third age, which is great for getting out, learning new things. google it to see if there is a group near you.

Theoddbird Wed 22-Jan-20 10:53:18

I am recently retired and I am going to volunteer at local village school. I will be listening to children read. Most primary schools need this sort of volunteer. Give it a go

Gingergirl Wed 22-Jan-20 11:00:25

Know that you will always be a mother and grandmother, even if practically, you don’t do as much. Emotionally, I’m sure you are so important in their lives. I think it’s a case, of researching and finding something that excites you a little. You don’t say how old you are but do you want to learn something new perhaps?Or is volunteering your thing? Do you just want to relax and spend time in yourself....or do you want a mixture of activities? Or maybe you want to try some things out and see what fits. There is no wrong or right. We all live our best lives and they’re all different. Nothing is wrong with yours....it just takes a bit of thought to decide how you want it to be in the coming days.

rowanflower0 Wed 22-Jan-20 11:07:20

It sounds to me as though you have spent your life caring for others. I would say that this is now a time to do things for YOU.
Join your local branch of the U3A, for a small fee, go to their monthly meeting and talk, enjoy that and meet lots of others with free time. There will be lots of different interest or learning groups you can join, and enjoy your new-found life.