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When everybody wants a bit of you......

(29 Posts)
gracesmum Thu 14-Jun-12 23:34:06

Oh dear, I am going to have a(nother) moan. Does anybody else feel they come somewhere below last in their own list of priorities?
One reason I retired (well 2 actually) was to be able to spend time with new grandson when he arrived - and now there are 2, and because DH's health was not good and I found it hard juggling the job and his medical apointments etc.
I had not thought through the other good reason- after years of being wife and mother FIRST perhaps I could do something for ME. I know DH can't help his considerable and various medical issues but I devote so many days to accompanying him usually to London to go to his hospital, frequently missing my one treat of the week - Art History class on a Monday. I also drive him to and from Mass, to the doctor/dentist/library etc. I know, it's because he can't but it always seems to come first. DD is feeling the strain of a 2 year-old and a very active baby - so Mum goes up to her for an afternoon/evening so that she can get out for an hour and to give a hand with bathtime as SIL won't be back till late. In the meantime DH is huffing because he thinks I didn't tell him when I was leaving - in fact I rang but he had not switched his hearing aid on so didn't hear the phone. I put all his stuff as well as mine on the calendar but he rarely looks at it and is indignant when I say that such and such an appointment needs changing because e.g. we are away on holiday.Duh! I have 2 other DD's - not needing any help at the moment, but I could almost wish myelf back at work so that I get a bit of time for myself! Or to misquote a saying more usually about money than time "What's mine is his/theirs, what's his/theirs, is his/their own"Does anybody else feel they are spread too thin? Or am I being selfish (don't answer that one unless it's a firm "No!")

gracesmum Thu 14-Jun-12 23:42:59

Sorry everybody - I have just seen all this expressed much better on waller5's AIBU thread. And reading what some of you have written I feel quite 'umbled.

whenim64 Thu 14-Jun-12 23:57:06

NO you're not being selfish gracesmum. I have the odd week like that, when everyone seems to be competing for my time, including me. I usually pull up the drawbridge for a few days and recharge my batteries. Sounds like you need a bit of 'me' time. flowers

POGS Fri 15-Jun-12 00:25:03


I too have very similar feelings. I look after my GD after school 2/3 days a week and I love to do it. I look after my 93 year old father 3/4 days a week and I don't feel put on.

Having said that there is extra GD sitting and dad duties. I love them both but I do feel "when will someone please do something for me". Then I come back down to earth and accept that's life and my mum and dad did the same.

There is a term for our generation 'The sandwich generation'. It just about sums it up doesn't it.

Keep taking the tablets love!.

Bags Fri 15-Jun-12 05:52:34

gracesmum, you are not being selfish. Sometimes I think other people might need a little reminder that they might be just a little bit selfish though. flowers

nelliedeane Fri 15-Jun-12 06:54:50

No gracesmumI don't think you are being selfish,if you become I'll,who would be able to look after you.
Many times during my marriage,Dad died after my first daughter died,,and we had only been married a year,MIL was widowed and needy,Mum was very needy and difficult,and my 21year old brother was a royal PIA and no help at all...I was 26 and had to support,help,look after,the two mums...and have my brother to live with us as mum couldn't cope and they didn't get on by this time I had a 2year old and a new baby to contend with,DH worked all hours,and so on it went on all through my marriage,DGD was born working full time and supporting an 18 year young mum we shared child care,and she worked 12 hour shifts weekends and would need taking and collecting.....marriage broke down DGD came to live mum became infirm.3court cases running,multi agency meetings.....and so on it went....I had two breakdowns .
So in answer to your question the answer is no,put your foot down when possible,and recharge your batteries when you have too there is only so much you can do before you start to feel trapped and resentful as much as you love your family ME time is your right,it oils the wheels keeps everyone happy because you are sit down put you feet up and have a cuppa you deserve it us women are b****y marvels. flowers brew cupcake

Ariadne Fri 15-Jun-12 07:41:31

You most certainly are nelliedeane! In fact, reading the stories here and on the other thread has made me feel very humble. You are amazing, strong women.

glassortwo Fri 15-Jun-12 07:50:28

grace I get the same no your not being selfish!!!

I think we are our own worse enemies, we put ourselves into these situations because I suppose we are Mothers first and foremost. Then it builds up and we feel tired and put upon and if your anything like me I let it build and then have a grumble and I dont know if it gets better or I feel better because I have let my feeling out and then it gradually seems to slide back to the same old.

In the past I used to wonder if it was connected to my PMT when I felt enough was enough and had a bit of a strop.

Sending you a big {{{hug}}} try to have some you time today flowers

nelliedeane Fri 15-Jun-12 08:03:57

glass agree with the bit about having a strop....supportive I was...doormat I was not and when they all used to try and get a piece of me and it all got too much,I would jump up and down so they got the message to back off for a bit,but it did take practice to say under my terms I was fighting for own,and I didn't have a magic wand to solve all the problems. A good strop is very therapeutic,if I hadn't been hopping up and down with anger I could have laughed at the look on the faces when I said No [ grin]

Butternut Fri 15-Jun-12 08:12:37

No, certainly not selfish, grace - just exhausted. Get some rest if you can. flowers

Ella46 Fri 15-Jun-12 08:15:55

Saying a very firm but pleasant NO is quite hard to get the hang of, but once you've said it a couple of times it gets easier. It is also very liberating!
I think they respect you for it too.

JessM Fri 15-Jun-12 09:10:32

"I need to recharge my batteries" is a good phrase perhaps.
I think every woman's mantra should be: You can't take care of the ones you love, unless you take care of yourself.

glassortwo Fri 15-Jun-12 09:21:26

jess I think I am going to adopt the mantra thank you smile

whenim64 Fri 15-Jun-12 09:39:25

My other mantra for when I'm feeling put on and stressed is 'let go of your end of the elastic before it snaps in your face.' grin

glassortwo Fri 15-Jun-12 09:43:32

when grin

Annobel Fri 15-Jun-12 09:51:20

Selfish? No, that's the last thing I'd call you, gracesmum. Selfless, more likely. You are having the energy sucked out of you and it's about time someone showed appreciation for you and all you do for them. Do you have any close women friends (apart from us of course) whom you can get together with and just let it all hang out?

JessM Fri 15-Jun-12 09:58:56

Ouch whenim - I can think of a few GNners who will find that a very powerful metaphor.

absentgrana Fri 15-Jun-12 10:05:54

Not at all selfish *gracesmum". I used to describe that feeling of being stretched more and more thinly as being like strudel pastry. When it got to the point where you could see through me (i.e. my weight fell below 6 stone), something had to give. Don't let it get that far with you – give yourself a break now.

JessM Fri 15-Jun-12 13:55:09

I'd like to remind you gracesmum that you recently completed a heroic marathon of going back and fore to visit your DH in hospital in London. Quite a traipse from where you live. I remember doing this a few times when my DDIL was in Northwick Park - stopping train to Harrow and then a bus...

glammanana Fri 15-Jun-12 14:16:38

gracesmum certainly not selfish at all,just a wee bit tired and maybe a thank you would do some good sometime,I must agree with glass I do enjoy a good strop it clears the air I think,at the moment mine are OK and only really have to keep eye on DD as she is on her own with children,the boys and their partners seem to have no problems at present (don't speak to soon glamma)they usually start off if I treat one of them to something and the other finds out then I have problems.

crimson Fri 15-Jun-12 15:10:05

Perhaps a list; on one side putting what you do for other people, another one saying what they do for you and then, perhaps a third one [including your art history class;I'd love to go to one of those, too] of things that you don't do that you want to because you haven't got the time due to doing so much for other people. I think there wil be a slight imbalance! I love lists, me smile!

greenmossgiel Fri 15-Jun-12 15:32:03

gracesmum, you're the last person who should feel guilty! After all you've been through, your resistance (in more ways than one) will likely be low.
It's like the old song ''I'm just a girl who can't say 'no" ! And don't they all know it! Sometimes I spread myself so thin that I'm 'ringing' with tiredness (like today)! If I only did what my family expected me to do, hmm, then I probably wouldn't feel so tired, but I do try to fit in all my stuff too.....and the result is weariness! confused

merlotgran Fri 15-Jun-12 16:40:07

I can't say No either, gracesmum. Every time I feel like I've hit a brick wall I promise myself I will politely point out that I'm not a machine but I never do. I support my 93 yr old mother who is in an assisted care home. She is very frail so I have to be on hand for shopping, laundry, cleaning and emotional support. DH has a lot of health issues and our elder DD needs help with her two boys as she is a single mum. This does not stop me jumping in the car and driving for hours to provide emergency help for our other children and grandchildren. Why do we put ourselves through it? I have a friend who is much tougher than I and told her sons quite firmly, 'You had bring them up!' I couldn't bear to be like that but she's the one with time for her friends, regular holidays etc. I don't think I would change a thing though and I suspect other GNetters feel the same.

AlisonMA Fri 15-Jun-12 17:01:42

I think it is just the way we are, we feel we need to be strong for everyone else and sometimes it breaks us. There is a very good small book called 'Depression, the Curse of the Strong' which says it all. Eventually the strong break down but the weak never do.

I strongly suspect that our own children will never take on as much as we have and will not try to be all things to all people.

I'm no longer trying all the time and find myself coping so much better. This is probably because I don't live near my GC. My DiL was most upset when we moved away because she said that when they had a baby they were planning for me to look after it while they went to work.

greenmossgiel Fri 15-Jun-12 18:14:07

AlisonMA - shock - what a nerve!!