I Feel Like I'm Losing My Grandchildren

hope44July 10, 2008


I have three grandchildren, ages 5, 10 and 11. I love them with all of my heart.

When the older two grandchildren were younger, we used to go to the movies, go shopping and go swimming, etc. They would spend the night at my house. I spent too much money on them at Christmas and Easter and inbetween.

About 5 years ago I became sick with an auto-immune disease. I have lost most of my energy. I have spoken with my doctor, and I should be happy that I feel as good as I do.

I'm taking steroids. I feel like I used to be a fun, pretty grandmother, and now I'm just a grandmother who can't do much anymore.

My granddaughters don't ask to spend the night over here anymore, etc. I feel like I'm losing them because I can't keep up with them like I used to.

Has anyone experienced a similar situation?

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Mine were older, but lost them anyway. When they grow up they want to be with their friends. My boys went through the same thing, I had to make them go to Grandma's home for Sunday dinner. We all love our grand children, but we should not make them our entire life. I had a friend that had a nervous break down when both of her boys married with in a month or two of each other. Her life was her boys instead of her husband, she was lost without them.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 5:41PM
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Thank you, stargazzer. I'm beginning to understand that I have no control over the situation.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:50AM
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My situation in life didn't happen over night. I am estranged from my sons and I really don't like my sisters, but we don't fight. Myself and a sister who lives in town just distance ourselves from the stress caused by all 4 of us being together. After Mom dies we will probably never see each other again. This had happened over 20 years so I it wasn't as traumatic as having an argument and not speaking again. I just try to be positive and find things I like in my life and work with that.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 8:45PM
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My kids used to spend lots and lots of time with my mother. She was, and still is, very active, has a pool in her back yard, etc. Like you, she spends way too much money on them.

She still has lots of energy, she's the same person she was, but my kids don't spend nearly as much time with her now. As stargazzer says, they want to spend time with their friends. They rarely ever spend the night anymore, even though they used to practically live over there in the summers.

I don't know what your budget is, how comfortable you are with technology, etc. One suggestion I have, if it fits your budget, is to get some kind of computer gaming station or something like that that your grandchildren will enjoy at your house (especially something they don't already have at their own house). You might look at something like a Wii(sp?), Dance Dance Revolution, etc. You might have enough energy to sit on the sofa and play those types of games with them - not dance dance revolution but some of the other games. Your 11 year old granddaughter should be able to set it up for you.

The nice thing about gaming systems is that they don't make a mess, the kids love them, you don't have to always be running around after them. When my kids were as young as your grandchildren I limited their time on gaming systems, etc. But if you were my mom, I would surely make an exception so that you could still enjoy time with my kids.

There are lots of things your son or daughter could do to help with this issue. Your son or daughter could once a month rent a really fun movie for them to watch, do something with them outdoors all day like swimming (so they are tired), and bring the kids and the movie to your house for a movie night. You could order takeout pizza, snuggle up and see a movie while your son/daughter has a night out with their spouse.

The other thing you might do that makes things more manageable would be to have them over one at a time, not all at once.

Here's my last suggestion, and again, you'd need your son/daughter's help. My mom lives in our subdivision, and I tried to teach my kids that it's their responsibility to help look after their grandmother. It's good for kids to be needed and contribute to the family. So if you were my mom, I would expect the older girls to come help you on a regular basis. The 10 and 11 year old could help you grocery shop, and their treat for helping might be to pick out some special food treat and have it at your house. My kids used to love to help me grocery shop, in fact they still do. They are old enough to "help" you by cooking simple meals for you. Sometimes when kids "help", it's way too much work for the adult. But if your son/daughter comes over at first and teaches them what to do, then your granddaughters will be terrific help. My mom always has something fun for my kids when they come help her - she bakes them brownies or something like that. Talk to your son/daughter and find some special treat you can get for your grandchildren that's unique to your house.

If you are like my mom, you probably don't want to "put the kids out" by asking for help. But keep in mind that in the long run you are showing the kids how to be part of a close, loving family in good times and bad, and your grandkids will feel better about themselves in the long run. It's so much better for teenagers and young adults if they have a good relationship with loving grandparents. They need someone else to talk to when their mean old parents don't like their boyfriend, or is mad about their grades, or won't let them pierce their eyebrows or get a motorcycle. So don't feel that you are imposing by getting help from your granddaughters.

My mother misses my kids terribly.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 2:52PM
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Once my kids were old enough, when we grocery shopped I would tell them what to go get, like "go get Moose Tracks ice cream", and they would go together to get it, then bring it back to my buggy. They felt so grown up going on their own, they were so cute, they would either take it soooo seriously like going to get the crown jewels, or they would giggle. 10 and 11 years old are old enough (in my opinion) to do that for you, especially in a smaller grocery store. You'd want to check with their mother to make sure it's okay. But things like that will make grocery shopping more fun for them rather than having them stand right by you while you shop.

As they get more involved, they can help you compare prices, decide on a menu based on what's on sale at the grocery store, etc. They can keep up with your coupons and compare whether or not the name brand with coupon is cheaper than generic, etc. Not only will they be helping you, but you will be helping them learn valuable skills. Again, you might need their mom to go with you the first few times. It might be too hard on you if they've never done it before.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 3:12PM
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Thank you daisyinga,

You have come up with some great suggestions, and you sound like a wonderful daughter. My granddaughters love to help, and I think I will go that route.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 10:30PM
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Daisy in GA--you make many good points.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 2:30PM
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I do feel like you do. Arthritis has filled my body and I can not do much anymore that requires walking...and recently had a total hip replacement....with two knees coming.

My oldest grandson, who is now Sr. in HS, used to come spend to much time with me and I have a real bond with him, but it seems as they had more children, their lives got so busy that there was not much time for Grandma.

I used to have each of the 5 grandkids for several days during the summer, but I know that just sitting here, watching movies, and playing card games seems "boring" to them. They are so involved in sports, church, scouts, swimming lessons, camps, etc. that it is very hard to even get in a few days. I am glad they are active...that is good to stay out of trouble, but I miss having them come stay with me. They live a couple hours away, so getting them and taking them home is hard for me to do anymore.

One of the best time I had was with me little 7 yr. old grand-daughter (she is the only one I have), came to spend time with me after my hip surgery. She is such a kind, loving little gal. She would sit right beside me and we would read and color...she gave me foot massages and painted my toe nails,etc. and was wonderful to have her pick up things when I could not bend over...and oh how I loved those hugs and cuddles......it was the best medicine I could have had.

Time goes on....they grow up...,so I try to be thankful that they have good minds and bodies so they will grow up to be good productive citizens of this world.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 7:53PM
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I posted a reply today...it's not here?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 2:15PM
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