Thoughts to Retirees who Move to be near Kids

by Char

Life is ever evolving/changing and with that change, roles change, we all get older even our children and grandchildren.

One of the things IMO that can strain the relationship between parents and kids or even grand's is the failure to accept and honor that our kids or grand's become "adults" and they (just like we did) move forward in life.

Yes, they will always be our child, or grandchild but we must learn to respect that they are not children any longer.

Too often, parents still want to direct the decisions of their children or grand's as they did when they were very small.

I believe this is one of the reasons so many families drift apart. It becomes too stressful to be "too close" because there is a constant struggle for the adult children to get across to the parent that while they love them and respect them, there has to be a healthy boundary in respecting the fact that they are in fact no longer "a child".

I also have seen parents become hurt or jealous because they are not the center focus of a child or grandchild's life. After all "they" when smaller were the center focus of our life and in some cases we still want it to be that way!

As said above, they develop their own "life" and that comes with demands on their time and responsibilities (just like we had) for "their" family or even if they are single, they develop other relationships outside the once close knit family unit.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone who was so distraught and in tears over the fact that her daughter (a single professional Attorney) was not coming home (over two-hundred miles) to celebrate her Birthday. She told her Mom she had a large case to prepare for and some of her close friends and colleagues had planned a dinner theater evening to celebrate her BD...that the timing was not good and she was not coming home for her BD but rather would see her Mom the following week.

Her Mom was crushed to the point of what I would call almost debilitating depression!

I listened, then offered her this thought....
To consider the joy in knowing that her daughter had a successful career and had the desire to be well prepared for her case by staying on task even on her BD consider how blessed her daughter was to have friends and co-workers who cared enough about her to want to do something special for her BD.

But more this point. I had this same feeling when my own daughter began to do things with friends or co-workers and it was not always Mom/daughter hang out time......

I too felt the sting...then I looked at it from a different perspective. If I continued to be the center of her life, if she had no friends, no family or anyone else in her life that she had developed a close relationship with other than "Me"...... what would it be like for "her" once I passed from this life?...........

How hard - no friends to lift her up, no one to hold her and be there to help her rebound and get back to life.....

Consider it a blessing and the way things should be when your kids move forward...

Cherish the time they do have to be with you. Have healthy boundaries respecting them as adults, offer an opinion only if asked...try to look back and remember how you felt at their age when your parents reacted in a negative way to how you were living your life, became jealous or got their shorts in a knot. Ask yourself did their attitude make you "want" to be around them a lot?....... nuff said....

So, anyone who has moved to be near kids, or considering it..........perhaps these thoughts will be helpful food for thought.......

Comments for Thoughts to Retirees who Move to be near Kids

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Excellent Points
by: Leaking Ink/MA

Thank you for this article. Excellent points for thought and consideration.

6 months ago, my husband and I retired and moved from NJ to MA--to the next town over from our daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren, and our grand-dog. So far, so good.

We enjoy having more time
with them and the opportunity to bond with and see our grandchildren grow up.

We have also made sure to keep busy with our own lives by getting involved with our new neighbors in our 55+ community as well as at our wonderful Senior Center, and our church and town events. We're also keeping up with household, yard work, an

d painting, redecorating, and doing renovation projects in our new home. We enjoy making some day trips to new surrounding areas and discovering new places of interest. We are delighted with our retirement and don't miss work one bit!

Letting them go
by: Janet

After reading your post, I thought of Erma Bombeck's piece about children being like kites. I had this on my fridge for years as my son was growing up.

"Children Are Like Kites
You spend years trying to get them off the ground.
You run with them until you are both breathless. They crash ... they hit the roof ... you patch, comfort and assure them that someday they will fly.
Finally, they are airborne.
They need more string, and you keep letting it out.
They tug, and with each twist of the twine, there is sadness that goes with joy.
The kite becomes more distant, and you know it won't be long before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you together and will soar as meant to soar ... free and alone.
Only then do you know that you have done your job."

― Erma Bombeck

He is now 35 years old and lives 500 miles away from me living his own life with very little interference from me. My role has changed to being a good listener and supportive of his life decisions.

Another philosophy from the poet Kahlil Gibran also spoke to me when raising my son.

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

by: Doris

This article has hit me between the eyes. Before I retired my son and his family (wife and two grandsons) lived with me in order to save money for a down payment on a house.

We were all very close and it was a good arrangement. They bought a house in another state and after a year I retired and moved close by. I have been here for two years and realize this was not the best move for me.

Adjusting to retirement after a busy career has been very difficult for me and my grandsons are growing up and have other interests. I do not spend a lot of time with them and I am increasingly lonely. I have tried to develop friends and relationships here, but nothing is "clicking" for me.

Where I live is a very family-friendly place and I am surrounded by married couples. All of the retirees in my neighborhood are married. I don't know what I was thinking! It was like I was trying to recreate a life that I had rather than moving on and developing my own life. I am in a terrible rut.

So many of the articles I have read suggested moving close to family members when you retire so I followed that advice.

When I tell my son I am considering selling the house and going elsewhere he says this is the best place for me - which it is, economically. That may be true, but emotionally I am faltering. I have never been a crier, but I cry all of the time. I am lost. My gut feeling tells me that this is not where I belong.

I have another son on the West Coast and see him often. He tells me to move out there, but am concerned that I will fall into the same scenario. I do not know where to go or what to do.

I had a lucrative career in NYC with lots of associates, but not really close friends. Going back there is not an option for me as it is too expensive. I have met with realtors here and am strongly considering putting the house on the market after the holidays.

I simply ask myself how I will feel in a year or two if I stay here and I think I will be in a very sorry state. Thought about just spending a year renting vacation homes for a month or two until I find a place that suits me. I am very lonely and I think being close to family has made me feel more lonely because I feel rejected - not on purpose, but as a natural order of things.

Any suggestions as to how I should map out my future?

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