What's it like to Be Retired? Interesting Commentary by Irwin!

Twenty First Century Grandparents

Wow! I thought I was the only one going through this emptiness. I miss my kids, although they are not kids anymore. One is 44 and the other 41.


One is married with a little boy (8 years old) and the other has never been married (no children). There doesn't seem to be time or enough time to spend with parents.

It's strange how things have changed. When I was young and had children, seeing my mother and taking my kids to visit was a weekly or more thing. We made time. It was important.

My kids were in things, I worked, we had a home to maintain and everything else that was details in our lives. Like so many things nowadays. . . it's changed. I think it's a shame.

Oh, I'm like all the other grandparents/parents that keep my mouth closed and allow them their time. Not all families are like this. I envy them. I wonder what I did wrong or what happened.

I do continue to touch base with my kids. They seem to like text messaging so that's what I do. God forbid if I call and invade their busy lives.

I am trying to find things that replace that emptiness. . . sometimes it just doesn't work. I thought about going to see a counselor to talk this out, but I think I know the end result. Find yourself in new and different things. I am trying.

I am not a joiner. . . always made friends through work. That's not an option now as I work in a very small office part time. I do volunteer once a week delivering Meals on Wheels. Small interaction there but a good feeling of helping the elderly.

I am not into organized church. I have tried that too. I believe in God and I support everyone that goes. I just haven't had a good experience in any one church.

I am looking for a hobby that I haven't tried before. . . but I haven't found it yet. I love my yard and flowers, but again, I can't seem to find anyone in my neighborhood that shares that. Everyone has yard people to take care of that. I don't want to belong to a lady's club for sharing flowers or competing. I just want to share plants and knowledge over the fence in my blue jeans. Can anyone understand?

Anyway. . . I am a 21st century parent/grandparent that feels like I don't belong to this time.

Comments for Twenty First Century Grandparents

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An Option
by: Lin S./ Cape Cod,MA

Hi, I know how you feel. I'm in the same boat. Have you tried searching for things on "Meetup"?

Take care of yourself. Wishing you well.

ideas
by: Cindi H, NC

Do you have any interest in music? When I was in my mid-50's I was looking for a hobby, ruled out lots of stuff and thought about music. I asked myself "if you could play any instrument in the world what would it be?"

I figured I had absolutely no experience so all would be equally difficult. I picked drums. They're loud, I'm quiet. I started lessons, bought a drumset and it led to my husband and I running a monthly blues jam, me playing with others and my hubby learning how to do sound and being my "roadie".

I never got great, but we met all sorts of talented nice people. I was even in 2 short lived bands. I had to learn how to be awful at something to start and appreciated being able to blame it on being a rookie.

I played for about 9 years then decided I wasn't really going to ever play well and switched over to cello - I liked the sound of it. Been doing that for a few years and practicing every two or three weeks with a new friend.

Basically, with music you can take chances and meet people and playing with others is a ton of fun. We'll be moving shortly to Ohio and I've been told about a string orchestra at a local college that is strictly for adults - starting from absolute beginner and upwards. I'm looking forward to that.

Somewhere in all that I've learned that it's never to late to start anything. I'd rather say yeah I tried that and I wasn't any good at it than "I wish I had tried that but I'm too old." I have a 91 year old mom that's still interested in trying new things so that doesn't hurt! Good luck.

I Hear You
by: Karen

I too have children who I miss, one is not married and doesn’t live too far away and one that lives out of state with my grandchild.

The one here calls mostly when she needs something. We don’t get along all that well, so I guess it’s for the best. I just wish wish we had a "normal" mother daughter relationship.

The one out of state is always so busy that I feel guilty even asking to FaceTime. We do FaceTime, but not often enough.

When I was raising my children, we always "made time" for them to visit their grandparents. I agree with you that things have changed and not for the best. It is hard to accept. It’s a little easier with them being out of state. It’s easier to excuse than if they lived here and I didn’t see much of them. They do visit occasionally and we visit them when it’s convenient.

At least I have my husband around, but he’s very quiet and doesn’t like to do too much except watch TV. I work part time just to fill up my time. I never thought that I would feel so lonely in retirement and wonder if this is all there is!

Maybe this generation is just way too self absorbed.


21st Century Grandparent
by: Elisa in Chandler

I absolutely love the first half of your post. It aptly describes my situation with my son, his wife and my 4 year old granddaughter. I could have written it myself.

I read the second half of your post and I think you are doing a remarkable job keeping busy and helping others! Kudos to you. Of course you'll need to continue to search out what you are looking for and try to understand how different grandkid/grandparent relationships are today as opposed to how it was when we were kids.

My son lives in CA, and I'm in AZ - so that exacerbates the problem. I FaceTime with them, text message them and send them gifts and cards throughout the year - that's about as good as it gets along with 2 or 3 "in person" visits a year.

Give it a bit more time. You may become more comfortable with less interaction. When they need you, they will contact you - of that you can be certain!

Stay in touch
by: Sherry

Call your adult children and keep calling. You have to keep in touch.
It takes work to have a relationship with anyone! If they say they
can't talk now, you say I would like to keep in touch and when would
be a good time to call? If they say I don't know, you say I will call later. Say, please I want to keep in touch. Would you like to come
over for dinner or lunch whenever it is convenient for you?

I don't know why adult children do not want to ever keep in touch with
their parents?!!!! I personally think it is hateful!!

If my children did not keep in touch with me and then one day I
got a call from them asking for money; I would say I never hear
from you and I would not give them money!!

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