Retiring in June-
Babysitting grandchild in August after kindergarten

by Sally
(Lexington, KY)

My husband retired in February 2009. I needed to keep working because my health insurance will be paid for two years until age 65. I'm planning on retirement June 2010.

After working for 45 years, I'm looking forward to having free time to decide what I'm going to do (sewing, genealogy, gardening).

Because our oldest son lives within a few blocks and their 5-year-old daughter will be going to kindergarten in August, they mentioned us picking her up from school. I love the granddaughter and next year, I might consider it. This year just feels like a big commitment for me and too soon.

My husband has bad knees and limited mobility so he would be a help. I would have the major tasks of entertaining, watching our granddaughter 5 days a week until the parents could pick her up.

I feel trapped and guilty for my feelings. My husband feels guilty because we haven't been able to keep the grandchildren, and therefore, they don't know us as well as the other grandparents.

I'm torn between helping and realizing some freedom to finally do what I want (even if it's to do nothing). I need some advice. What have other grandparents done?

Wendy's Two Cents: I've heard the same thing over and over with new retirees... I think maybe the adult kids think they are helping to fill your day (plus help themselves, of course!)

I have a Retirement Transition Group that you may want to join.. we chit chat daily about our anxiety over retirement.

It's not an easy time.. and if you are "forced" into babysitting, and don't care to do that, yet, it might make you more depressed (if you even get depressed.. many do, and others go merrily on their retirement way).

I'm sure you don't want to hurt their feelings but take care of yourself too. It's a very odd time of life, good and yet lots going on in your head about who you are now, etc. Could you tell them you'd do it a day or two, instead of five days a week?

Hopefully other retirees will add their two cents on how they handled this! Best Wishes!

Happy Retirement!

Comments for Retiring in June-
Babysitting grandchild in August after kindergarten

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by: Carol

I retired in January after 39 years with twelve of those taking care of my mother, mother-in-law, grandchildren (part-time)when my daughter was sick and still now while my daughter-in-law works/attends college.

All of mine live well over 1 hr away and I cherish the times we have together; however, I was worn out from working and caregiving full-time, so I developed health problems.
My husband cannot retire yet.

I keep the younger grands when their parents are working weekends or sick but the remainder of the time I spend more time than ever with my husband; doing things we want to do; and taking care of myself.

I'd advise anyone to take care of themselves/their spouse first.

Due to my health & the distance we live from our children, my children understand it's a must for them to have a local "full-time" babysitter that can handle their day-to-day needs and I'll fill in when needed.

That seems to work for them & me, but may not be the best solution for everyone. I don't consider that selfish either.

It's just inconvenient for my kids to meet me half-way to drop them off or pick them up too.

Everyone's situation is different.

11 grandchildern
by: ronaldj

i have been retired for one year, we have 11 grandchildern that all live close, half and hour away most. four live right next door. three come over and spend the day about once a month, two others come over and spend a day that or more, four who live next door come over daily.
we will take them to school, sometimes pick them up, or they will spend a few hours with us. but at any given time we can say, time to go home and or no not today and our kids say OK.

it is all worth it and we are loving it...

i retired, my wife was a stay at home mom and is still doing what she always did, cooking cleaning and reading... now i get to join her.

Retired: Grandma daycare
by: Anonymous

I retired 2 years ago at age 61. My daughter works for the school district so in Sept. of that year I started to care for my then 3 year old grandson. This last year he went to preschool 3 days a week and I had him the other two. I also had him in the mornings and after school.

By the end of each year, I said I wouldn't do it again. However, I really miss him during the summer so I know I will again change my mind and have him next year.

He will be in kindergarten 4 days a week so I will only have him one day. My husband is disabled so we aren't able to travel.

I now feel that the special relationship that I now have with my grandson is well worth the sometimes stressful aspects of caring for a 4 year old at my age.

Not easy, but worth it.

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