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Am I the only one feeling like a middle aged juggler?

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by lindenlea, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    As the family get older I seem to be the one stuck doing the juggling this Xmas. I'm stuck between the high speed lives of the younger generation - demanding jobs, growing families and the crumbling edifice that is my parents life. Add other family members with mh problems and things begin to wobble a bit. I don't expect much - just want to see them all at some stage close to Xmas day to exchange presents and it would be particularly good if I could spend at least half a day with the two sons together but that might be a bridge to far. It used to be so much easier when they were all younger and did as they were told.
     
  2. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    As the family get older I seem to be the one stuck doing the juggling this Xmas. I'm stuck between the high speed lives of the younger generation - demanding jobs, growing families and the crumbling edifice that is my parents life. Add other family members with mh problems and things begin to wobble a bit. I don't expect much - just want to see them all at some stage close to Xmas day to exchange presents and it would be particularly good if I could spend at least half a day with the two sons together but that might be a bridge to far. It used to be so much easier when they were all younger and did as they were told.
     
  3. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter


    I sympathise, LL. Mother in a resthome, daughter on the other side of the world, one son whose wife insists they spend Christmas with her family (250 miles away), other son with 4th child on the way, no money and a bad-tempered wife. (well..she was the one who insisted on the baby). Ex-husband making trouble, present husband pining for a UK winter (we're in NZ). Eeek! Think we might just go bush.
     
  4. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Hi polly. Oh heck - and I thought you had found the perfect life!
    Trouble is I live in a family of control freaks and have to steer a reasonable path through their demands. I know I should just tell son what I want but I can feel his hackles rising just thinking about it. Ho hum. All should be clear by tomorrow when sons will have spoken to each other about what they want to do.
    I'm usually sorted out by October.
    And don't get me started on New Year!!!!!!!
     
  5. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    LL - here's a solution - come on out to the South Pacific, and we'll drink a toast on the veranda to imminent old age and being the sandwich generation. Christmas juggling is just too stressful when there's still so much living to be done.
    Take care
     
  6. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Love your solution polly !!
    Reasonable result sorted out with younger generations last night so feel better.
    Have all the other retired posters died - it's quieter than ever on here.



     
  7. LOL not dead just working darn hard in my new 'job' with my partner- like Polly.glots solution must get advice when we come to NZ in next couple of years!
    We count ourselves lucky, (some feel sorry for us) no parents left, my sister overseas to visit in February, his sister besotted with grandchild and never gets in touch, his brother 200 miles away never gets in touch unless wants something for self or adult children- we have learned to say no! My partner's son will deign to visit us on 29th! No worries we are self sufficient and have a few friends we see before and after Christmas.
     
  8. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    Hi Christel
    Sounds ideal! Enjoy!
    (and let us know when you are heading this way..)
     
  9. I must admit I forget to look in! I tend to use the 'lifestyle' section most - yet 'retirement' comes under the 'role' umbrella for some odd reason. Retirement is a lifestyle for us now...surely...not a role in school? Ah well - something for the TES bods to ponder.
    It sounds awful to say this but life is a little easier these days because I have lost one side of the sandwich in that both parents have died. However, because I had old parents (Mum had me at 40 and her last child at 43) my caring for parents days were in my 30s and 40s when my children were young and I was still in full-time work...and a single parent.. That was so stressful, life was hectic and exhausting and I was being pulled in so many directions at once. It took it's toll. It's a shame in many ways they aren't around now, as I'd have more freedom to be there for them. Having said that, much as I loved them, elderly parents can be hard work, demanding and time-consuming as I am sure some of you know now.
    I still feel tied to the 'youngsters' though..because sadly they are not fully (financially) independent young men. Well - they are in a way. I am unable to help them financially but I keep this house on for them. It's the family home and their base still. Their lifestyles and comings and goings and job-hunts/work, woes, high-spots, doldrums, ill-health, joys, relationship situations etc affect life in the house and often impact on me. I am getting to the stage where I would like to be able to focus on me and my (live out) partner100%...as another poster mentioned. (Sorry I can't scroll up for a name.) Being 'self-contained' as she mentioned sounds quite blissful!
    I found it quite hard to loosen the apron strings when they were finding independence. I felt quite redundant and a bit lost/uneeded and almost invisible, but those feelings pass, we adjust and now I think I am ready to throw away the apron! If only!
    Having said that, we do jog along together quite well. We all get along for the most part and come together at Christmas. It won't always be like this. They'll have better fish to fry eventually, but yes, they ought to think themselves lucky that their Christmas has been organised for them and their part in getting 'the show on the road' has been minimal...My daughter has been extremely helpful and we'll share the cooking/entertaining load on the big day....not because we feel it's our role, but because it's often easier to just get on with it than organise others! Partner cooks a mean roast dinner though....every Sunday...and he deserves a day off! I am actually hoping all the young people (partner's son included) will want to escape after a while and leave me and the man to a bit of peace, perfect peace.
    Having said that I expect we'll snooze in front of the TV!
    When life does quieten down and everyone is busy and we are left alone and probably forgotten about for much of the time...do you think we'll miss the comings and goings, the dramas, concern, hustle and bustle and organisation that life (or just Christmas) entails right now?
     
  10. As someone for whom that may well happen I wonder that too AE at the moment I have mixed feelings about it- in some ways I already feel 'out of the loop' at Christmas when I consider the small amount I have spent on food for the two of us- could not believe bills mentioned by a couple of ex colleagues at get together last night- both have all that juggling to do and feeding of 10 plus tomorrow. When I did my shop in Sainsburys on Weds it was already manic and one woman was buying 24 pints of milk- 480 cups of tea? For now though I count my blessings for what I do have I am probably one of the few on here right now still in bed,watching squirrels in the tree outside my window and thinking it is time to make the (mini) trifles and coleslaw for our fillet steak treat tonight and defrost the small turkey crown for tomorrow. My OH is lighting the fire early today as we are not working in the office where the PCs keep us warm enough!
    I am sending my very best Christmas wishes to everyone and hope you all get some time to relax and be contemplative.
     
  11. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Merry Christmas Christel and all the rest of you on this forum. Things are working out alright at the moment, the 250 mile round trip tomorrow is the next challenge. Let's hope the aged parents don't shout at each other too much. I'm relying on charming younger son to do his stuff. Enjoy the weekend whatever you're doing and whoever you're with !
     
  12. ceehorse

    ceehorse New commenter

    Just waved goodbye to daughter and family and suddenly the house is silent after 5 days of frenetic activity with two toddlers. Not sure I want total peace and quiet yet!
    Not retired yet - just made the decision this holiday so will now be following this forum for tips and advice. Already feel a load has been lifted from my shoulders. Will now be able to see elderly mums and young grandchildren more - well from August! Counting down the days...
     
  13. polly.glot

    polly.glot New commenter

    Good for you, Ceehorse! It's making the decision that is the difficult part, and following what your instincts tell you. I decided against retiring, but that was because we had a complete change of lifestyle. You know when it is right for you. Looking forward to seeing you on board!
     
  14. Not yet!
    Sometimes post on other forums. Didn't realise that being retired was a role though.
     
  15. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    It's a bit daft isn't it - should be in Lifestyle.
    House very quiet now family gone - visit was short but sweet. All the planning worked fine in the end and everyone behaved themselves. They are fantastic people and we are so proud of them - even though son2 did help himself to some of my new foam bath and walked off with a bottle of Cava. Schadenfreude to the fore as I see son1 struggling to be patient with his daughter - ha ha ha, now he knows what he put me through.
     
  16. Ooooo we have been thinking about Madeira were you there over actual Christmas? My dad used to go on SAGA things in his mid 70s and say he was the youngest there- go the over 90s i say lets hope we can still get hol ins when we are 90!
    Portugal used a to be a cheap place for winter sun- 4-6 weeks self catering and no fuel bills in Uk so I am told
    Yes I agree Retirement in a lifestyle so mods can you move us there we might get more chat?
     
  17. I have had my mum to stay over Christmas. She has dementia and it certainly wasn't easy but it all went well. Son is home from Uni so I know exactly what you mean about being the sandwich generation.
     
  18. We lost one half of our sandwich this year when my Mother in law died. The Northern stereotype of the interfering old battleaxe couldn't have been further from the truth. She was adored by me and her grandchildren. However, my two twentysomething kids rose to the occasion and it's been a Christmas to remember.
    I get cross when we are described as the golden generation. Of course, we have much to be thankful for but the simultaneous care of kids and parents is really difficult.
    On a more pratical note. My tax affairs have now been sorted and today I got a £500 refund from the TPS. Result!
     
  19. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Wow - well that's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!
     
  20. Hi Christel..we were in Madeira for the last week in November. It doubles in price at Christmas. It was warm and sunny..enough to put on a swim suit. We booked through Thomson..the first ever package holiday. I wasn't sure hotels and pools and happy hour were going to suit us..in the past we have always wanted to escape the crowds after the stress of work.We found it good to have a drink with other guests and I didn't mind sharing the swimming pool. As I said nearly everyone was middle aged and older so it was fine.
    Portugal has always been a favourite but Madeira is a great antidote for the British winter.
    I agree with you that holidaying in our 90s should be one of life's "targets"! Happy New Year.

     

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