Gransnet forums


Tired Granny

(117 Posts)
hopeful1 Thu 02-Mar-17 19:51:07

I am wondering how other Grandparents cope with looking after the Grandchildren. I look after a 2 year old GS 2 days a week from 7 til 6 on average and drop off and pick up my 8 year old GD for school then care. I am finding this really exhausting even though I am only 57. I have got to the stage that after a full day with them I need the next day recovering and do little else, I am lucky that I was able to take early retirement. I love them dearly and put a lot of effort into making their days worthwhile. I do suffer from anxiety so work hard at not letting it control my life however this is not quite how I envisaged retirement. Do others feel like this.

luluaugust Sat 04-Mar-17 09:40:41

We used to have GS and then later two Gds for one day a week it was tiring but I kept to a pretty fixed routine so I didn't have to think too hard and they knew what was going to happen which seemed to keep things calm. GS always had a long afternoon sleep, I think he was making up for the days at nursery! It all passes very quickly and now our house is quiet most of the time.

Allegra22 Sat 04-Mar-17 09:45:15

I'm 55 and do 3 mornings before school and the same after school for a couple of hours which is ok but I also look after my 2 year old grandson for I full day and 1 half day per week. I find that completely exhausting. Especially the full day. I literally can't move after he's gone! Much as I adore my grandchildren I find it completely draining looking after them. I too suffer from Anxiety and I think the extra worry of being responsible for their safety coupled with my usual anxiety is too much. If I had my way I'd choose not to do the formal childcare. I feel guilty saying that!

GlamM Sat 04-Mar-17 09:58:02

I am a young glama , not yet 49 and I have my GS 2nights & 3 full days a week. I've looked after him a lot since he was born and it's a joy , he is used to me staying here and now he just turned 1 it's all go! Honestly on a Friday night around 7 when my son and DIL come to pick him up I am shattered. But it's the best kind of tired , my DIL says your house your rules , as long as he is happy content and fed well what we do is down to me. And that makes the whole thing easier.

Crazygrandma2 Sat 04-Mar-17 10:09:06

Fortunately our D is a stay at home so on a regular basis we have only ever done an afternoon slot and yes it is exhausting. It's not just the physical side but also the responsibility. I think the responsibility bit was different when it's your own. Love them to bits, always pleased to see them come and then always pleased to see them go :-)

Crazygrandma2 Sat 04-Mar-17 10:12:28

It also helps that as with GlamM, it's a case of our house our rules as long as kids are safe and happy. D is just so grateful that we live just around the corner and are hands on GPs.

Galena Sat 04-Mar-17 10:15:31

My mum saw one of her older sisters being completely taken advantage of for free childcare to the extent it affected her health, and I was told in no uncertain terms that although they would be happy to help out with some childcare, they would not provide full time childcare. I completely understood this. I still work full time so cannot provide childcare all the time, but will help out when I can.

GrannyO Sat 04-Mar-17 10:19:45

Promise yourself a prosecco and a takeaway when they'e gone home. You deserve a treat!

Victoria08 Sat 04-Mar-17 10:52:51

I am 71 years old, and up until,recently was looking after my 16month old grandson for one day a week, doing a ten hour shift.

I can quite honestly say that I have never felt so exhausted in all my life after they had left, and also the next day.
Just getting them ready to go out in buggy etc, then running around like a maniac trying to catch him to put him back in buggy. It's tiring.

Even now whenever I am asked to look after him, and I do enjoy it sometimes, but on the other hand, I know the feeling of exhaustion that will follow afterwards.

Ten years ago it might have been different, but my energy levels have depleted somewhat, especially as I am a poor sleeper.
All this combined, can make us grans quite anxious.
And of course, we all want to do well and please our offspring.

NonnaW Sat 04-Mar-17 11:16:32

We look after DGS one day a week at his house. We leave home at 6.30am ( up to an hours drive) to get there before DSD goes to work. Some days her partner gets home relatively early, more often after 5.00pm, sometimes it's 6.15pm. Makes for a long day, with the added stress of needing to take our 2 dogs with us. We have to try to keep them separated from DGS, mainly for the sake of his toys (dog1 is an inveterate chewer!). This is not helped by them having no internal doors so it's a baby gate and a barricade for the stairs. We go out at least twice a day so the dogs get exercised, but it's a struggle with the pushchair and/or car seat. It's very tiring but we love spending time with him, he is an absolute joy.

Blinko Sat 04-Mar-17 11:30:13

We live too far away to be of help routinely. Sometimes I feel we're missing out and other times, like when reading this thread, I feel we get off lightly. Maybe there's no ideal solution.

Caroline123 Sat 04-Mar-17 11:37:19

I was 51 when my first grandchild was born and 58 with the last one.The difference in how I feel after having them is shocking. With the oldest we'd go swimming, to the park,do other activities and yes I was tired at the end of the day but nicely tired.
With the youngest I was 60 and tried to do all these things again but I was exhausted,really exhausted andI have no more health problems than At 50.

DotMH1901 Sat 04-Mar-17 11:43:38

I took early retirement almost two years ago at 59 as my ex son in law had left my daughter as a single parent with three kiddies and she works full time. I live with them (our new house will have an annexe for me) and yes, it is exhausting. I get up first and make breakfast, put the washing on, dry the washing from the last load I put on before going to bed and get the packed lunches I made last night out of the fridge ready to go. After a lot of shouting my granddaughters appear and then grumpy grandson (13) and finally daughter! I deal with granddaughters and she gets herself ready and nags grandson to get ready as she drops him off on her way to work. After walking the girls to school I do the housework, often walk to town to pick up more food supplies and do yet more washing. By Friday evening I am shattered. The weekend follows much the same pattern. My daughter tells me I need to learn to drive as this would make life (whose I wonder) so much easier as I could take granddaughters then drop grandson off as well. I do remind my daughter that they are my grandchildren not my children and that I am not 38 like her but I am pretty sure it falls on deaf ears. Yesterday she came home at 6pm and said she had forgotten she was going out with work friends - she got herself ready and went. I don't mind her going out, in fact I am glad to see her enjoying herself as she has gone to hell and back thanks to ex son in law's antics, but it would be nice to have some notice! As I am often the one to deal with spats between the kiddies and get homework etc done, bedrooms tidied, clothes put away/picked up (not at all a popular move) I get told I am a horrid Nan etc, I do feel envious sometimes of those Gransnetters who still have the best of times with their grandkiddies.

Riverwalk Sat 04-Mar-17 11:46:56

I feel sad that some grans are taken for granted and seem to bend over backwards to provide almost full-time childcare. I'm sure most adult children are appreciative but do any of you who are genuinely exhausted and have high anxiety levels ever tell your children how you feel?

Or in the words of Victoria do you think

And of course, we all want to do well and please our offspring.

Craftycat Sat 04-Mar-17 11:51:49

I know how exhausting GC are. I have 6 & although they do not come on a weekly basis all the time (I do pick up from school once a week & they do stay over a lot!) However when I feel I am too tired to cope any more I think of some of my friends who have GC in US, Australia, Japan etc & would give their eye teeth to have them at home.
It doesn't go on forever- already I have one who will soon not be needing me anymore & I find that very sad even if it is natural & the way it should be.
Plus they all seem to amuse themselves a lot now with these damned electronic devices & my phone is not safe from the 2 year old unless locked away!

Christinefrance Sat 04-Mar-17 12:02:40

Dot that sounds absolutely exhausting. I think it's time you sat down with your daughter and negotiated some time off on a regular basis. The support you are giving your family is brilliant but you need to have a life as well. Our children often take us for granted without realising it and it seems this has happened with you.
Take care of yourself as well as your family. smile

Ingrid45 Sat 04-Mar-17 12:28:55

I admitted I was struggling and dgs ended up with chilminders and I ended up lonely as now I seldom see them. I suspected I was only of use to childmind and I fear I was right. Sometimes I think I am my own worst enemy!!

amt101 Sat 04-Mar-17 13:07:09

I am 72 and looked after my youngest granddaughter from 9 mths old, 2 days a week ,getting up at 6 and getting home around 7. Now I pick her up from school 3 days a week which is so much easier but still get home late. I wouldn't miss a second of it. I adore her and feel very sad that I worked when my other 3 grandchildren were little. My most exhausting was taking my 2 grandsons to Butlins when they were 8 and 10, having to be eagle eyed all the time. They still remember it as a great time and want me to take them again but they are much older and I think it would spoil their wonderful memories.
I know it's tiring but your relationship with your grandchildren will be much stronger. Do it if you can.

westieyaya Sat 04-Mar-17 13:51:29

I'm an older Nanny to a very lively 4 yr old and 7 year old, their other Granny is 10 years younger than me and very active. I've explained that I play table games, read stories and if I do an overnight babysit I allow them to come and watch a children's film on my iPad first thing in the morning so that mummy and daddy get a lie in.

Lyndie Sat 04-Mar-17 14:08:53

Is it only me but I find very young children after a few hours not stimulating enough. when I had my own I used to meet up with other mums nearly everyday and as soon as my youngest was 4. I went to work part time. My children who have children find work a break and don't want to look after their children full time. Not just the extra money. I have looked after all my 6 grandchildren at different times and on regular basis. My eldest grandchild I looked after over night for a year whilst I was still taking my youngest children to school. I miss the life I had when my children were young not really got over it. Empty nest. But now I am riddled with arthritis and when it's now my time I can't enjoy it. Should have started my time earlier. I look after a granddaughter in the holidays she is 6. We are best mates. I have looked after since a baby. I get too exhausted now to look after the young ones. It's awful that sine grand have to go to through this exhaustion to have a good relationship with their children and grandchildren. My parents and in laws very rarely even babysat in the evening.

Anya Sat 04-Mar-17 14:58:22

Compared to some old people adults I know I find many children very stimulating both physically and mentally grin - not, of course, that I'm talking about anyone on GN hmm

Perish the thought!

Kim19 Sat 04-Mar-17 15:01:46

Anya, I just love 'benign negligence'. My smile inducer for the day. Thank you. Absolutely brilliant. The conjectures are endless..........

hopeful1 Sat 04-Mar-17 15:16:56

Gosh, so many of us in the same Boat, and I am not the only frazzled gran... sort of reassuring. I was beginning to think I was some sort of lightweight with the tiredness and anxiety, but apparently not. Sharing my concerns has certainly helped. When I next hit a low... probably Thursday... I will think of you all also doing your bit for our little people.

Sheilasue Sat 04-Mar-17 16:22:28

My grandaughter llives with us when my son was murderd by his partner she was with us at the time and we got custody. She was 6 at the time. She is now 16 I love her dearly but it's hard work. It's an age of uncertainty,moods swings, lack f confidence all which my own children went through. Make the most of having them for just a short while I don't regret having her but it's had work 2nd time around

NemosMum Sat 04-Mar-17 16:27:16

Yes, another one here who finds it exhausting. DGS is 23 months and I look after him 2 days a week, 11am - 6pm, then go home and cook tea for my student who lodges with me, and flop onto the sofa completely cream-crackered! However, It is such a privilege, isn't it? I wouldn't want to miss these magical early days.

clementine Sat 04-Mar-17 17:35:30

Another exhausted granny here too. Im 64 and have looked after grandson and now his sister since he was born. He's now five and sister is two. We only do one day a week usually, but its a long day, involving in a 120 mile round trip. We leave home at 6:30 in the morning and sometimes aren't back until 9 p.m, as my daughter works shifts and is in work until 9 and son in law is never home before 7. However, it's only one day and we enjoy having the children and watching them grow and develop from babies into little children. They are tremendous fun but exhausting. I worry non stop from the minute I arrive until I get home that they will be ok and won't fall foul of injury whilst " on my watch " !! We made it clear from the outset that one day was as much as we were prepared to do, two at a push or in an emergency if other grandparents weren't available and its worked out ok.

I have four grown up children of my own and never ever remember being as anxious or worried about them as I am with my grandchildren. I find the car seat , buggies nearly the worst part ! You would need a degree in engineering nearly to be able to put them up and down ! I had a high pram and walked everywhere and a little striped M'cLaren for when I needed to use public transport . Worked a treat, now they are all signing all dancing and weigh a ton never mind fitting into the boot of the car !