Dear Maura: I’m too tired to mind grandkids
Dear Maura: How do I tell my daughter that I’m getting too old to mind her two children? They’re four and six. They’re great but I’m feeling more and more tired at the end of the day after minding them. They’re in school but I have them until 7pm. I give them dinner and sometimes do a wash or two. It’s so difficult to say anything to my daughter because I know she depends on me. But honestly, I’m getting past this lark now at 65. I would be happy to help if the other granny chipped in. Every week is more and more of a challenge. If I say something to her like I’m feeling tired or not up to minding my grandkids, she’ll start worrying about me. I’d love if her mother-in-law got involved. I could cope with say two or three days. But they don’t really get on and she’d have to ask her. I’m not sure how my daughter would feel about that. The other thing is I don’t want to fuss. I’ve always just got on with things except these days I don’t feel I have the energy like I used to. Answer: The most revealing sentence in your letter is that you ‘always just got on with things’ and that’s not working for you anymore. Now you need to put yourself first and it’s about time you did. I’m not suggesting anything drastic; however, a new arrangement needs to be put in place for your grandchildren. You will have to get the other granny on board. But, of course, before anything happens you need to talk with your daughter. Start off with the fact that at your age you don’t have the same energy as before. You need help with the children and maybe cut your week down two days. Let her take control and organise a better arrangement so everyone is happy.