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"Empty Nest Syndrome"...gra ndchildren this time not children!

(34 Posts)
GangstaGranny Sun 09-Aug-15 08:00:04

One of my daughters and her family live just round the corner , when their twins were born sixteen and a half years ago I started looking after them one day a week...and have continued to do so until July this year when my 'girlies' left school after taking their GCSE exams. They are on week three of a four week National Citizenship Service, home at weekends before off to College in September.

It is 'all change' in their household as my daughter is also returning to University. Am so used to them coming for tea after school Fridays and they haven't been since July.... and am missing them far more than I thought I is 'empty nest syndrome' all over again!

They are I suppose, by today's standards rather 'old fashioned' they don't dress in tarty clothes or obsess constantly about boys, celebrities,hair and makeup. Thankfully they are both rather 'bookish'.

All this change is as it should be, and of course they should be going out into the world and I know how blessed I have been with having them visit so often ....but........ oh dear.

Any advice ?

ninathenana Sun 09-Aug-15 08:37:36

No advice, just empathy. Until June this year I had looked after my DGSx2 three days a week whilst DD worked. That's now all changed due to circumstances. I now see them about once a fortnight. At first I was relieved and relishing the rest. I'm now getting to the point where I miss them.
Can you Skype them ?
I think your comment about being old fashioned because they don't dress in tarty clothes is harsh. Not all girls who are into boys, makeup and music dress tarty.

gammon Sun 09-Aug-15 08:44:52

Oh, *GangstaGran, I feel for you and it's also made me worry about my own circumstance in the future (though quite far away I hope). It sounds like you have a great relationship with your 'girlies'. Sure they'd love to hear from you while they're away.

Luckygirl Sun 09-Aug-15 08:49:36

Be happy for them - you have played your part in helping to bring them up and instilling values. I am sure they will be popping in and out whenever they can. You will not be forgotten!

Anniebach Sun 09-Aug-15 09:54:50

I am struggling with an empty nest second time around and am finding it distressing. Was a one parent family so daughters were the centre , they both married and then my grandson was born , lived very close so saw him every day he even stayed weekends with me untill he was fourteen, two granddaughters followed , second one was a difficult little mite so she spent a lot of time with me. Grandson went to university , has now moved away for work. Elder grandaughter gets A level results this week so quite probably university this September and younger waiting for GCSE results . I am eldest of five so have always had children central in my life , I am lost

My girls are into music, clothes , makeup etc and are not tarty , they are healthy , happy teenagers .

We have to let go of our grandchildren as we did our children , encourage them ' to fly'

MargaretX Sun 09-Aug-15 10:09:47

This is my problem as well and it happened so suddenly. The DGDs are so busy with their own lives and when I do see them they don't say much or want to play cards or scrabble or anything and are actually just waiting to go home to their own life and above all to see their friends again.

I knew this would happen one day as I remember the problems taking my own children to 'boring' afternoons with their grandparents when they were in their teens.

Luckygirl Sun 09-Aug-15 10:13:17

Life matches on and brings good things and bad. Seeing children or GC fly the nest has a bit of both attached!

Luckygirl Sun 09-Aug-15 10:15:11

But perhaps it is harder this time around as we are less likely to see those GC fully established and having their own children, which was something we had to look forward to when our own children flew the nest.

Anniebach Sun 09-Aug-15 10:19:45

I am finding it far more difficult with grandchildren flying the nest than my children, I am lost

henetha Sun 09-Aug-15 10:44:06

I totally empathise with you, GanstaGranny. I helped raise my two eldest grandchildren and when they no longer needed me I was devastated.
And now, my youngest grandchild aged 12, but 13 next week, has suddenly, overnight almost, grown up! I picked her up to take her out to lunch on Friday and it seemed that someone had kidnapped her and replaced her with an alien. She was dressed entirely in black, with black eye make up and dark red lipstick, and a weird black choker around her throat. She announced that she is now an Emo but won't be cutting herself.... well, that's something at least!
I don't think there is much we can do except go with the flow. The older two went through strange phases but they are now perfectly normal decent adults.
I'm almost, guiltily, relieved that my other grandchild is autistic and presumably therefore won't be going through any of the usual teenage earthquakes.
I'm sure you will gradually get used to the changes in the lives of your two grand-daughters and you will simply adapt and move on.

durhamjen Sun 09-Aug-15 11:28:27

Don't kid yourself, Henetha. My grandson is 13 and he is definitely stressing as a normal teenager. He challenges just about everything now. The one thing we do know is that he will not be meeting other lads his age in the village centre; that's one thing to be relieved about.

Anniebach Sun 09-Aug-15 11:56:39

The joy when they turn into a Kevin or a Kevinette - not

fluttERBY123 Sun 09-Aug-15 12:24:07

I am just back from a holiday with an assortment of gcs and the quiet and lack of activity in this house is taking some getting used to even after such a short period so I do sympathise.

henetha Sun 09-Aug-15 13:53:20

Hi Durhamjen. Is your grandson autistic? I gather so from what you say. Mine is now 16 and spends all his spare time in his bedroom.
So at least we know where they are at night, as you say. I'm finding it fascinating having an autistic grandchild. He is so different, so interesting, that it's wonderful. I do worry about his future though.
Best wishes.

durhamjen Sun 09-Aug-15 13:59:24

Yes, he is henetha. He is homeschooled by his mother and me.
When he reached 13 he said he was not going to be a moody teenager.
I have three granddaughters, non autistic, two of them older than him, so I know what girl teenagers are like.
He's definitely different, and interesting. Like you, I worry about his future.

KatyK Sun 09-Aug-15 17:31:01

I asked my DGD, who is 15, if she has decided what she wants to do after university (assuming she goes). Her reply was 'I want to travel and get away from here as quickly as possible'. sad I asked if she would miss everyone and she said 'yes, but I'm still going'.

durhamjen Sun 09-Aug-15 17:34:10

Reminds me of the Animals song my husband used to play and sing all the time, We've Gotta get Out of This Place.

KatyK Sun 09-Aug-15 17:57:54

Yes! Was it something we said? smile

GangstaGranny Mon 10-Aug-15 06:25:57

Glad that it's not just me who feels this way! Thank you all for your replies

Harder than when the children left home, think because it emphasises old age!! When the children went I was young enough to get on with my job and enjoy the freedom of being childless after fourteen years as a divorced mother.

All part of the natural order of things, I will adjust.

Anniebach Mon 10-Aug-15 10:04:01

You are not alone gangstaGranny I assure you x

henetha Mon 10-Aug-15 10:21:01

Snap! Durhamjen. I also have 3 grand-daughters, non-autistic, 2 of them older than my grandson.
Small world.
I think home schooling is a brilliant idea. My grandson has left school and starts at college in September. I'm terrified for him.

nanapug Mon 10-Aug-15 11:07:17

Hugs and empathy. Understand completely. My daughter divorced seven years ago and she and her then two year old child moved in with us. She did a degree whilst living with us so she could get a reasonably well paid job (she is an occupational therapist) but now of course she can support herself and her son, so they have moved out to be independent. It was the right thing for them to do and when she was here life was not always easy but boy do I miss them!! I do still see him after school and in the holidays but it is a big change like you are having Gangsta and I feel for you x

Elrel Mon 10-Aug-15 17:43:24

Thank you for starting this thread, Gangsta! For ten years I had a GC with me almost all weekends, half terms and holidays. Sometimes I felt put upon, much as I love the child. But since circumstances have, of course, changed I miss the company, the activities, the outings, even the arguments about homework! I sometimes don't leave the house all weekend. My mobility isn't what it was and all those things I thought I wanted to do have become unimportant.
Several of us seem to be in similar situations, it's good to feel less alone!

Elrel Mon 10-Aug-15 17:47:03

I should add that I don't for one moment regret the time and care I gave that GC, I'm just needing to adjust to the changed circumstances. They grow up so fast!

GangstaGranny Wed 12-Aug-15 12:32:47

I don't regret all the time spent either. Have been so blessed to have them live round the corner and able to regularly see them. My other children live miles away and you just can't hug properly through SKYPE can you?

Looking forward now to the 'time off' ...have signed up for 'WalkWell' each Tuesday