Gransnet forums


Is it okay to say let's skip this summer

(76 Posts)
Overit Mon 27-May-19 19:22:19

My daughter has 2 children 14 and 11. My grandaughter is 14 and grandson 11. Every summer since they have been born I have paid for them and their mother and myself to go on vacation to various places. In addition my grandaughtr has spent one week at my house since she was 9 mos old and now the grandson wants to spend a week. But this year, I AM TIRED. I do not want to have to move my furniture around and then put it back when they come. I don't want to spend all the money I spend when they visit, and frankly, I no longer enjoy all our "adventures". I am broke and I am worn out and I will gladly continue to take them to a few places with their mother and pay for it, but I don't want to have to entertain at my house. Am I the only one who feels this way and is it okay to tell their mother no visits this summer? It really stresses me out.

Doodle Mon 27-May-19 19:43:56

Sorry you feel this way Overit. I am unsure what to say really. If you feel you can’t cope so be it but this special time when they are young will not come again. I doubt if your DGD will want to come much soon as she is getting older but to have a DGS who wants to come and stay - so many would envy you. Do you really have to organise the house? Could you not get them to help when they come. If it is a financial thing then say you can’t afford as much as before. You are obviously someone your DGC want to be with. Many would think you are very lucky. Can you come up with some compromise where they come but you don’t go out so much.

Slowcookervegan Mon 27-May-19 19:53:53

Yes you can say no.

Sara65 Mon 27-May-19 20:19:48

I understand how you feel overit, sometimes in the holidays I have four or five staying, we take time off work, and take them on outings, it costs a fortune, and when they’ve gone it takes a week to get straight, and there are all those beds to change!

BUT we have a lovely time, I love watching the cousins all getting on so well together, they love coming, it’s home from home for them all, one has already outgrown it, and I’m so aware of them all getting older.

It is undoubtedly hard work, but most definitely worth it.

You could definitely say you can’t afford the holiday, but I’m sure you’d miss them if you didn’t have them to stay at all

Overit Mon 27-May-19 20:39:22

Well actually that is the issue. I have never been overly fond of children as it is. Yes they have a lovely time but after so many years I am not having a lovely time. It is stressful and to be honest boring. I have done it all these years because that is what Grandparents are supposed to do, but I do not enjoy it or very rarely. I do not mind it so much if their mother is there so I have the company of another adult but when they visit here it is just me. I have also been the one having to travel 400 miles 3 or 4 times a year for our visits. I will certainly continue to take them on a vacation spot in the summer and visit them during the year. I can do that because I do enjoy seeing them for about 2 or 3 hours but then I get to go home. I really think that after all these years I should be able to say No to week long summer visits where I cannot escape. I know it may sound awful but it is honest and surely there are other grandparents who feel we should at last be able to make ourselves a priority.

BlueBelle Mon 27-May-19 20:44:14

I know what hard work it is and I know what it’s like to feel I can’t do this again but all I will say is if you stop and don’t have your grandson after his sister has been having a week for years he will feel very left out and I think you will feel guilty Well I would
Why do you have to move furniture ? Is it really necessary and if it is surely they are quite old enough to do it for you
I doubt your granddaughter will be wanting a holiday with you much longer
You say i m brokr then say I d gladly pay for ....
has anything happened lately are you unwell, depressed, unhappy there seems as if there has been a change for some reasons
Of course you can say no but would you really not miss them and feel upset to be turning them away I couldn’t do it however tired I felt but we are all different so if that’s how you feel you must do what’s right for you

Avor2 Mon 27-May-19 20:51:54

It can be so very hard when you feel so tired, you obviously love your family, but there will always come a time when you haven't got the energy or the enthusiasm to carry on as you always have. It is sad that you don't feel you can entertain your DGS as you have your DGD, I am sure you don't want to disappoint anyone but have a word with your daughter and explain how you are feeling and perhaps you can come to some arrangement whereby you still see them for a shorter time, or perhaps you could stay at your daughters and have days out from there??

When I was your GC's age I spent every summer holiday at my aunts with sister and cousin and I will always treasure the time we had with her (a very long time ago). Sadly I don't get that sort of time with my GGD's as they live quite a way from me, but I make the most of the time I do see them, but I know how exhausted I feel when I get home.

Let them know how you are feeling I am sure they will understand. I wish you all the luck xx

BlueBelle Mon 27-May-19 20:51:58

I posted before your last message came through and actually it changes everything
I m not sure why you are asking on here because you ve already made your mind up and don’t need us to justify your actions You no longer want to have your grandkids stay with you so there’s your answer
Personally I d walk to the ends of the earth to be with my grandkids so I can’t fit into the category you re looking for but as you say at least you are being honest I wonder why you haven’t been honest for the last 14 years

kittylester Mon 27-May-19 20:57:42

Exactly what bluebelle said!

Overit Mon 27-May-19 21:03:22

Thank you everyone for your replies. Believe me I have thought about all the things you said.

notanan2 Mon 27-May-19 21:12:12

Is there a way that you can plan a trip somewhere you would enjoy on your terms, and invite them to join you for part of it at their expense?

It does sound exhausting TBH and I dont think you are wrong to change the goal posts so they suit you too!

If you dont want to host, thats okay! Invite them to stay at a hotel near you so you can meet up for outtings.
Or maybe you could stay somewhere near them instead, with your own hotel to retreat to.

It doesnt have to be all or nothing and its not fair that you are always the one put out and putting your hands in your pockets.

Loulelady Mon 27-May-19 21:13:15

Do you have a good relationship with your daughter?
I think it’s fine to say something like: “I’ve been thinking about summer and I’m broke and knackered, I don’t want to disappoint the children but if you don’t mind, I’ll do shorter visits and treats.”
Children ARE full on and exhausting, and I do think it is more tiring looking after friends’ or family’s children rather than your own. You feel you must be your best self all the time and like borrowing a jacket, you don’t want to send them back looking a bit sad!
Some people love children in general, some are less keen but love their own and enjoy them even more as they grow up.
If you are not a child-lover by nature, it sounds like you’ve done an amazing job of grannying until now.
I’m sure you still can, even without the week long stays.
I suspect your daughter loves the break it gives her so she will probably be disappointed, but hopefully recognise that it’s a reasonable request.

M0nica Mon 27-May-19 21:16:24

Overit, you seem to have been very generous to your family over the years and your summers do sound exhausting with paying for family holidays, which you go on and then having each child to stay for a week.

You do not mention your age, but different people start losing energy and stamina at a much younger age than others.

I think the time has come to have a straight forward talk with your daughter explain that you find the summer holidays just too exhausting and, now, too expensive and they need to be rethought. could you reduce your grandchildren's visit to a weekend and just go away for a weekend with them to somewhere they individually would enjoy - and you would too. Can your grandchildren stay with family and friends while you do the same with your daughter. This would reduce the time you spend with them, the amount you spend, but would enable you to give them all some quality time and I am sure they would enjoy it just as much.

Sara65 Mon 27-May-19 21:22:52

You certainly seem to feel like you just can’t face it this year, I agree with what’s already been said , maybe shorter breaks, and not necessarily at your home.

It would be a shame not to see the children at all, when they so obviously want to see you

crazyH Mon 27-May-19 21:39:36

A very honest post. Overit....
Been there, done it and like you , I am also tired. My daughter's children are 17 and 15 and I have been helping out from the day they were born, mostly with my time, but not so much financially. I have helped here and there, but don't do so now because I am retired and there's not much to go around.
My main grumble is that my daughter takes me for granted. I haven't heard from her this whole weekend, but I'm sure when the holidays are over, I 'll be 'contacted'.
I'm afraid to use the word 'most' grandmothers, because I was told off on another post, for generalising, so I won't. But most of us are being taken for granted, because most of us absolutely adore our grandchildren.
Do what you have to do. You seem to be a very honest, straight forward lady. Talk to your daughter. I'm sure she'll understand. When my son asked me to help out with his little one, I explained that I am now too old and couldn't do it, on a regular basis. He understood. His parents in law do most of the nursery runs etc. Good luck !!

Septimia Mon 27-May-19 21:47:25

I don't think it's unreasonable to say that you're now finding it a bit much. It is hard work looking after grandchildren; some people find it easier than others and some people enjoy it more than others. I love having our GD to stay, or to look after her, but it is tiring even though she's now able to entertain herself some of the time.
Perhaps it will help to soften the blow for your grandchildren and their mother if you can suggest something new that you feel you can cope with - now the GC are getting bigger and their interests are changing.

Gonegirl Mon 27-May-19 22:23:10

Couldn't they come to stay for a few days, without the 'adventures'? Perhaps just burger and fries meal at the local shopping mall? Or lunch in a pub garden? Something that you can enjoy too. Do they bring their screens? That takes the pressure off you when they are at home. Seems a shame not to have them at all. Just have a relaxing week with them.

52bright Mon 27-May-19 22:23:17

Of course it you don't feel you can ...then you can't. As you have always had your granddaughter then I would want to try a compromise shorter, cheaper break with my grandson.
It sounds as though they have some very happy memories of vacations with you in the past so I would be wary of spoiling those memories at this stage by telling them they haven't always been enjoyable for you.

I think you need to find a way forward which releases you from events and expenses you no longer enjoy without spoiling past memories. Could you do a couple of days premier inn or something similar in a sea side place or cheap cottage. Walks on the beach, fish and chips. Chill out with their technology in the evening while you enjoy a glass of wine or would that not appeal? You could tell your daughter that you are going for a winding down shorter break this year and this will be the last as both your finances and your energy levels are no longer what they were. If the seaside isn't a good idea maybe somewhere like York/Edinburgh/Newcastle/Lake district.or wherever is near you.. Just maybe two nights ...a few sights to see, cheap pizza dinner and again technology in hotel room.

Of course this does depend on finance, health and what you can personally bear. Maybe a night away with grandkids followed by a night with daughter as well. You sound as though you have done wonders for years and there is a time for no more. I just feel that a short winding down compromise then no more might work if you can bear it. What ever you choose I would be careful how you phrase your bowing out. It would be such a pity to spoil the lovely memories they must have to still want to come. Good luck Overitt with whatever you decide. flowers

Tangerine Mon 27-May-19 22:53:18

If you are no longer fit enough to do it, say "no". If your money situation has changed, say "no". Does your daughter realise your circumstances have changed?

It's true, I know, your grandchildren are only young once but, if you can't manage, your feelings ought to be considered.

How they behave towards you is another consideration.

Grandma70s Tue 28-May-19 07:03:56

They will take you for granted if you don’t tell them how you feel. My mother cooked for us a lot, taken entirely for granted. Then when she was 75 she just said she wasn’t going to do it any more. We all accepted it totally, but none of us had thought for ourselves that she might not want to go on.

Grammaretto Tue 28-May-19 07:17:13

I'm sorry to hear you are dreading the summer. I can understand that you find it daunting. Are you on your own? Could you enlist an adult friend to share the adventures if DD can't?
I think it's natural to have mixed feelings when your routine and peace are disturbed.
As others have said these DGC are growing up now and soon won't want to holiday with grandma.
Our DC stopped wanting to come with us in their early teens!
Summer camps were far more popular.

sodapop Tue 28-May-19 07:24:16

I understand how you feel Overit I am not a particularly maternal person either. I love my family but unlike some other Gransnetters my life does not revolve around them. I think we should be able to say that we feel like this without being told we are making a mistake.
Some good ideas here, shorter breaks, time away from home etc whilst gradually reducing your input. Talk to your daughter and I'm sure you can reach compromises. Above all don't feel guilty.

BradfordLass72 Tue 28-May-19 07:29:44

Bluebelle I agree absolutely, moreover I feel that perceptive as children usually are, these poor kids have probably known all along they weren't welcome. I can't see how that can not have been the case.
At 14 and 11, they are more than sharp.

I was brought by people who had not wanted children; I know what harm this can do.

So I would suggest Overit says no, not because she's tired and broke (but not too broke to continue treats, which is good) but because the grandchildren deserve better than an adult who barely tolerates them and doesn't want them around.

Alima Tue 28-May-19 07:40:49

I see what you are saying Overit. Up until now you have done all that is asked of you (and more) for your DGC. We have similar visits from ours. The GS is local so we get to hand him back when his Mum finishes work. When the DGDs (4 and very nearly 8) stay it is for days at a time, often without their Mum. We love them to bits but blimey it is hard work 24/7 for up to a week. They are wonderful when asleep but the rest of the time they argue loads. Keep thinking if only they lived locally they would be going home by now! I hope you get your relaxing summer without any of the guilt that some posters appear to level at you!

annep1 Tue 28-May-19 07:41:01

Some good advice and comments. I too would find it exhausting, a full week would be a no-no. And energy levels decrease as you get older.
But how lovely that they enjoy being with you. You are so lucky and obviously a good grandmother. My grandchildren never ever visit. I have always visited them but the relationship is totally onesided. The only thing I would add is that school holiday time is not that far away so you need to discuss asap.