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Mil (age 67) and fil (72) say they now find it "too tiring" to have our dc to stay for 3 days in the summer holidays

(347 Posts)
Mintyy Sun 01-Sep-13 18:09:09

I'm a bit surprised. When I'm 67 I would hope to have the energy to hang out with a 10 year old and a 12 year old who require no more care than having their meals cooked and to be reminded to have a shower/go to bed (10 year old only).

Or is that unrealistic of me?

Mil is less than 17 years older than me to put it in context grin.

SirChenjin Sat 07-Sep-13 09:26:20

DH is 50 and I'm 44 - our 6 year old certainly keeps us young in that we don't have the option of sitting still for much more than 2.5 minutes! When my Mum and Dad was 50 both my DSis and I were in our early twenties and had left home, and they had slipped into an insular late-middle aged life. Dad took early retirement at 52 with a very nice pension which meant he didn't have to work again, and he seemed to age in attitude quite quickly after that.

Mintyy Fri 06-Sep-13 21:02:06

I think it is very true that being around young people keeps you young, Freddie.

At least that's what I am hoping for in my case as I am a 50 year old mum to a 12 and 10 year old!

FreddieStarrAteMyHamster Fri 06-Sep-13 20:57:24

Mum is late 60's and has DD 3 long days a week while DH and I work. She loves it and says she wouldn't have it any other way and that it "keeps her young". She frequently compares herself to her peers who are retired, don't have anything to do and are "always tired" and has concluded that the less people do the less they want to do. Her and DD's bond is very strong. There is a pattern in that when I was young me and mum lived with her parents until they died in their late 80's and they always looked after me while mum worked evenings, and we in turn looked after them as they became old and until they died. We were a loving and close unit. Isn't that model the way things have always been until recently though?

NeedlesCuties Fri 06-Sep-13 20:37:48

biscuit your description of your DM sounds just like my MIL... except mine is a decade younger.

Biscuitsneeded Fri 06-Sep-13 18:45:30

Fair enough. I can't leave my kids with my own parents (age 67 and 68, in good health) because my Dad is a very lazy man who has no patience and my mum wears herself out trying to play cluedo/help build a spaceship/do an activity book/walk the dog/keep her house stupidly clean/cook supper all at the same time. She doesn't realise that she can ignore the kids for a bit, or ask them to find their own entertainment. After about 24 hours she makes herself ill and then there is a smell of burning martyr for the next god knows how long. I wish I could leave the kids for maybe 48 hours, but I don't think it is my right to be able to do so. MIL and FIL (78 and 82) regularly have my niece and nephew for as much as 5 days at a time. I think my SIL is being a bit cheeky - they are knackered afterwards!

SirChenjin Thu 05-Sep-13 12:57:07

TakeItAsRed - Based on my own personal experience (therefore it must be true!) I agree with what you say, and think there is a strong link between how you parent your own children and how you 'grand' parent your grandchildren. My own Dad was not really interested in us as children, and when he did interact with us it was very much on his terms. That lack of real interest, or interest outwith his terms, has continued with his grandchild and so consequently he plays very little part in their lives which is very sad, esp. as my eldest DC, like my Dad, is a very keen hillwalker and they would have a great deal in common.

Otoh, DH and I are very involved with the DCS and we do a lot together as a family. We are a very isolated, nuclear unit so really value the limited time we have with our extended family. If/when the GC come along I like to think that I would want to spend time with them and unless I was really unwell would put any feelings of 'tiredness' to one side, certainly for a short period such as 3 days - although I wouldn't want to be committed to looking after them on a weekly basis as an unpaid childminder.

Rules Thu 05-Sep-13 10:27:07

Well I don't have grandkids yet, my grown up kids 21 and 23 still at home and at Uni. I guess I have answered the question based on how I feel now. My husband and I want to do so much together in the future. We want to build ourselves a house, travel, explore, date nights and generally enjoy the second half of our lives together. I was a stay at home Mum and emersed myself totally in that world and loved every single minute of it and can feel very emotional when I remember back to the fun we had or times I just sat watching them. But ...I know that it is now time for me again. I will be starting my own business sd well next year. My daughter and I are very close as is my son and myself but my husband and I want to put each other first now.

TakeItAsRed Thu 05-Sep-13 09:18:02

It doesn't mean they love them any less

This thread has been preying on my mind, for some unknown reason.
I posted earlier, saying something similar to TeamSouthfields, but have continually returned to the thought and now feel confused.

Part of the reason I adore looking after GC, and will cheerfully change plans to cover if needed, is utterly selfish. I really do love spending the time with them. It is a pleasure equal to anything I might find in solely "me time" activity. ( to be fair, I got the need for extended foreign travel out of my system when younger, so understand travel may be an exception for others )

I get a huge kick from all that we do together, whether being swarmed over on arrival, with questions about where we might be going, or whether they can stay the night. Or just cuddling with a sleepy child and a storybook. One of my secret pleasures in life in sitting with a coffee watching mayhem as they race around the garden with my dogs. Little else compares.

I would not dream of questioning levels of love, but perhaps do now question how much the 'dis-engaged' grands derive from their contact, on a personal level? do they not feel the same pleasure in these things as I do?

Does it relate to how much people enjoyed being parents? have those who do not 'engage' always found the company of children to be boring and hard work? is a lack of pleasure in the company of children perhaps the reason why they see that company as a chore, rather than fun opportunity?

Please don't think I am suggesting that there is anything wrong with the difference in attitude!!
I am genuinely wondering what lies at the heart of the radically different views.

Rules Wed 04-Sep-13 23:00:56

Lovesmy.....just wondering how old you were in relation to your friend. It is annoying when someone says that they are always tired isn't it.

TeamSouthfields Wed 04-Sep-13 22:52:14

It doesn't mean they love them any less !!!!

Blu Wed 04-Sep-13 22:47:22

Mintyy - and don't forget your children who have been badly behaved wink

I was thinking about this thread when I heard about the 63 yo Cuban woman who swam non stop for 53 hours from Cuba to Florida - the first person ever to have done it without a shark cage shock.

brettgirl2 Wed 04-Sep-13 21:53:54

rules that's exactly what my mum said before they actually arrived. I was confused when she suddenly offered to have them one day a week. Both kids and gps love it smile if they didn't we would happily make other arrangements.

digerd Wed 04-Sep-13 20:14:07

DB and SIL were both 65 when they took on their 8 month-old GD. She is 8 today and they entertain her in the school holidays still while their DD works full-time.
They are both blessed with good health and a strong constitution and lots of energy. SIL's DM died aged 68.
Neither had help from their parents or pil. And we never stayed with our gp as children as Dad's mum died at 84 when I was only 5 and had been almost blind for some years. DMs mum died in childbirth.

AfricanExport Wed 04-Sep-13 19:47:27

I must be very lucky with my MIL, she is 73, she stays with us for 6 months a year. She is a workaholic, the dear lady. She does the following:

housework
washing & ironing
cooking
childcare for 12 & 8 year old... the whole summer!
gardening

and I mean everything. She does this by choice and reckons she will die if she stops, I reckon she is well on track to reach the 100's . She is at it 16 hours a day.

Back home is SA she often looks after the ggc and loves it. She plays house at my SIL if she is there, plays tennis a couple of times a week., basically she is very active.

My kids are very lucky because although they have no grandad they have two wonderful grannies who care for them and put the kids first. Neither would ever refuse to help us or care for the children if they were able.

I do think, after having her over for the last 10 years, old age is a state of mind ( unless you're sick).

Thymeout Wed 04-Sep-13 19:45:35

Oh - sorry. I just ignored that bit! (But can see it would be annoying for you.)

Hope you find a solution. I used to be v close to my gd - but now she's 10 she seems quite shy with me. On the other hand, I'm now getting on better with her younger brothers who previously clung on to my dd. i think 'tiring' is code for not enjoying it. For whatever reason.

Here's hoping they'll be able to find some way of reconnecting when they're a bit older.

dollywobbles Wed 04-Sep-13 19:42:06

Just to clarify, I didn't think you were disingenuous for the 'too tiring' comment. It was the 'I'm a bit surprised' bit. I didn't understand why you'd be surprised, to be honest. It's the kind of comment I'd have taken at face value. But you, obviously, know your in-laws and know if it's likely.
I certainly don't think you're a scrounger, or whatever else you said.
I also don't see that having a break with Grandparents = childcare. It's just a little holiday for the GC really, isn't it?

Mintyy Wed 04-Sep-13 19:19:41

Hi thymeout, the thread is still on threads I'm on but I decided not to post any more because of people putting words into my mouth and saying that I am disingenuous for using quotation marks in my op when obviously I didn't do that in order to quote my mils actual words, but for some other reason which proves that I am a using scrounger with outlandish expectations and am now throwing teddies out of my pram because I can't get my regular fix of childcare!

Thymeout Wed 04-Sep-13 19:14:01

OP - where have you gone?

I've been thinking about this and wonder what activities your pil used to do with the gc. And did the gc enjoy their visits? Is it different now they're older? Often it's easier to find things to do with younger children.

You said that the gc require no more care than meals cooked and supervision of shower and bedtime, but that's not really true, is it? They have to be entertained/occupied as well. And there's nothing more 'tiring' than coping with gc who seem bored and at a loose end. It's not a positive experience for anyone.

I'd be interested to hear your reply.

Lovemynailstoday Wed 04-Sep-13 19:12:41

55. why?

Rules Wed 04-Sep-13 19:08:47

How old are you "Love"

Lovemynailstoday Wed 04-Sep-13 16:46:46

It's a bit off topic, but I think "tired" is all in the mind and is a very relative state. I have a friend (50) who is constantly "exhausted"--drives me crazy. She has no DC or DP/H and works part-time at something not very demanding. I think it is a habit to say she's tired all the time. No health issues either BTW.

SirChenjin Wed 04-Sep-13 16:33:42

I assure you that I used 'tired' in the same way as the OP ie to denote what my Dad used to say.

Cretaceous Wed 04-Sep-13 13:08:28

Prettybird said: "The OP has already explained that she put the quotes around "too tiring" because, well, she was quoting her MiL. Strange that, using quotation marks for a quote ."

But I think that people generally use the quote to denote they don't actually agree with what has been said... you only have to look at this use on this very page, so I guess that is why dollywobbles suggested the OP might be disingenuous. For example:

CookieDoughKid with "For my MIL, she finds my gc "tiring" yet can do two days worth of gardening back to-back "

and SirChenjin: "used to complain about being 'tired' when they came to visit" and her later sentence "I'm afraid I find his being 'tired' quite irritating"

Now, in those two cases, they might have reason to be irritated. But the original question is about a different case entirely, where the PIL have previously had the children for three days, and now find it's too tiring. Well, maybe they do find it too tiring. (And many people can't work to 60/65 now, let alone to 67, and certainly not at their former levels.)

People support their children in all sorts of ways, not just by childcaring. So if I were Rules' DIL (and I'm far too old!!!), then I would certainly see her point of view, just as I hope to be a hands-on GP... and my 12yo is certain she will never have children grin

Rules Wed 04-Sep-13 11:57:08

"childcaring"

Rules Wed 04-Sep-13 11:56:03

My kids know how I feel and have explained it and they understand. I will probably spend a lot of time with grandchildren cause I want to, just don't want to be a " childcare" provider as seems to have become the norm now. Now I have come out of my childbearing days I feel it's important to find yourself and your own life again. Life has just begun for me all over again.

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