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I Don't Know What to Do or to Say

Started by jdtm, May 09, 2016, 05:39:05 am

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Wisewomen - any ideas?  We have a DIL whom we love very much.  Since we have moved to a retirement location (about 30 minutes away), we do not see our grandchildren as often as we would like.  To further complicate the situation, sadly, the maternal grandmother passed away a couple of years ago (I feel I am supposed to do "double duty").  Whenever we see our son/DIL, our DIL always says that our grandchildren miss us (especially me).  She says to "drop in - you will always be welcome" and that is very true.  However, whenever I try to "drop in" unplanned, no one is home or there is a "strange car or two" in the driveway.  We always "drop in" with a gift when it is someone's birthday (although never have all been there simultaneously even when they knew we were coming).  Our grandson is in international sports, so being home on the weekend and most holidays is rare. 

I did see my family yesterday for Mother's Day where I was reminded that I do not spend enough time with our grandchildren.  Our son drops in from time to time but it is early in the morning or when the kids are at elementary school.  Honestly, I just don't have the energy to pick the kids up and take them to a movie or somewhere and then drive them back home. We try to go to the local sports events involving our grandson, but that is only one or two per year (and even that could be a two-hour drive)  We attend every party and/or invitation that is extended to us (and we reciprocate at most major holidays).  We have a limited amount of energy with some health issues (and, of course, the younger generation does not "get this" - especially our DIL).  Frankly, I am "wore out" (I really do look better than I feel - I guess that is a blessing as well as a curse - LOL).

My husband says we are going to continue "doing what we do".  Any suggestions?


Hi J, as you know I am much your senior, at 89. I wonder if what my family sees in me is the younger version. I, like you, look the part...compared to those around me of the same age...and I haven't lost my love for life or enthusiasm. Since I look great...denial probably plays a part in it where they are concerned. I have had to have some long, difficult talks with my adult, extended family. At first I got pep talks because they didn't want to hear it. 'Not true, mom, don't go there...you're fine...use it or lose it.' I had to stand firm in my own platitudes, 'Yup, the spirit is willing'...you betcha, but the flesh has less energy and has to adjust to reality'. They didn't see the results of lower energy i.e. where it left me the next day. As I have aged, they have adjusted their expectations. However, their adjustments have been long in coming and always long overdue.

In the last few years this whole situation has lessened because I have been ill and my limitations have become glaring...but for decades it was a serious issue. I learned to say, 'no'. That's what my talks with them lead to. I made it clear that I was responsible for my own well being and it worked best for me if they let me be the judge of that. I asked them not to see it as disinterest or apathy on my part because it was neither. It worked, mostly. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


QuoteI asked them not to see it as disinterest or apathy on my part because it was neither.

Love love love this reply.  Thanks so much wisewoman Luise.