Advice please regarding grandchildren

Perhaps I should not be asking this within the group, but it's been hard for me the past year to finally accept that all the infections I have had have really knocked me for six, and to accept that I can't do half of what I used to and that I never know how I am going to be one day to the next. I only see my two granddaughters once a year and I am worrying about this year's visit at the end of July...fingers crossed I am well!!! I haven't discussed my illness and they don't need to know - one is 16 the other 9. I adore having them and have always taken them out and about each day. (They live in a city and I live in a rural area.) Obviously I can't do that this year, but I don't want to make a big fuss about it. Should I try and explain things, or should I just muddle through each day. This may sound a silly question but I am not quite sure how to handle things...I don't have a partner that could take over on days I can't do much and I want them to go home with "happy" memories....any advice would be sooo appreciated :)

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41 Replies

  • Hi Louisiana

    The only silly question on here is one you don't ask, so I for one am glad you have expressed your concerns.

    I can empathise, as I am sure can many others on here, as I have a 3 year old granddaughter and I worry loads that she will end up finding it boring at grans. I have her Tuesdays if well and my sis has her otherwise as both mum and dad work. I assume you have them to stay on their own and I can understand the concern you have.

    Your granddaughters are older of course and if I were you I would definitely explain, without going into great detail, that you have a poorly chest, which means you can sometimes do things and sometimes not. Not all fun things have to be active. I think you will find they pick up on it in any event, so why not be honest with them. I think it will be less confusing for them. My little Freya already says 'you've go a poorly cough haven't you grandma'. So they are much more perceptive than we give them credit for. As long as they know you will be there for them I feel they will be fine.

    That is just my opinion hun and I too will be interested to hear what others feel too.

    I hope you stay well and that you all have a lovely time together.

    Love cx

  • ooo Cofdrop, I forgot you have a three year old too. Aren't they wonderful. I plan to look for something simple on t'net showing the airways & lungs. There's lots of well done educational stuff out there. I find Daisy sometimes gets the wrong end of the stick and has such a vivid imagination. xxxxx P

  • Daisy - lovely name. If you find something on t'net appropriate could you put up a link hun. I don't think F considers me to be granny grump yet - in Waitrose paying and she asked 'grandma why have you got a picture of yourself in your purse?' - perfectly reasonable question, why would I - told her it is called a bus pass and it means when you are an old lass you can go on the bus free. She replied - and I will love her forever for this - 'but grandma your not old'

    Sorry L - not meaning to highjack your post. cx

  • thank you soooo much - I put a reply to everyone but not sure if everyone will see it...I just don't know how this works...if you didnt see it, let me know and I will repeat it....

  • Hi, I think they are old enough to understand about catching germs now. In the UK isn't there a school scheme afoot about coughing and sneezing into a tissue then binning it.

    Explain that you are very vulnerable when you catch ordinary germs because they grow in to severe ones in you breathing tubes and lungs. My 3 year old understands about passing on coughs and colds and that if I catch one I won't be able to see Marmar for lots and lots of days because I have to stay inside.

    Also, 10 days ago that 3 year old had such a sudden humdinger 'viral wheeze' diagnosed at A&E and was very very poorly. On 10 doses of Ventolin every 4 hours. I rushed to help because her daddy was away and there's a baby too so daughter Anna had her hands full...... I upped my: Boots 1st defence spray, Vit C, hand washing etc and although I've had to continue that regime I haven't caught anything to turn into a full blown infection. I'm absolutely knackered & my backs killing me from lifting & carrying but, yippie, infection free.

    I think it would be a shame for them to miss out on seeing their grandma. Kids are very bright these days.

    Good luck

  • thank you soo much - I put a reply to everyone, but don't know if everyone sees it...Oh dear, I am hopeless at this computer stuff.let me knmow if you didn't

  • I agree that this is not a daft question at all. I think your granddaughters are old enough to understand what you are going through to a degree and will just love being with you anyway. It is hard when you are ill and you just want to do your best. We have one grandson aged 2 and see him often but obviously not when he is ill. Grandchildren are so amazing and I do wish you a wonderful time with yours. Hope it all goes well. Lots of love, xxxx

  • thank you - I put a reply to everyone rather than individually but I am wondering if that works....let me know if you didnt get it.

  • Our youngest grandchild is 9 so he has really grown up with my condition. At his other nan and granddads they play all sorts of games in the garden, here we build lego make paper planes, do colouring or go on the laptop and he is quite happy to be here.

    I am sure once you have explained to them and find alternative things to do everything will be fine.

    Have a lovely time with them.

    polly xx

  • There is a big difference between 9 and 16 so I think you need to approach it differently to each one. The 16 year old will obviously understand much more so you can be more honest. The younger one I would not give out too much information just make it simple. x

  • Hi Louisiana

    You have had some great advice from other members. I have had bronchiectasis all of my life and so my children grew up with its up and downs. I now have five grandchildren from 9 to 1 year. I have never made a big thing of it or sat them down and talked about it but I do subtly tailor our activity sessions to my energy levels. The most important thing I think is not to come across as 'invalid granny'. You only see them once each year so don't waste time telling them things that they probably understand already.Just really enjoy your time with them. We are so blessed who have these young ones in our lives. All the best have a wonderful time with your granddaughters.

  • thank you - hope you saw my repy which I didnt send individually but am now wondering if everyone saw it...let me know if you didnt....

  • My grandchildren are now 13 and 20 both have allways known me to have breaathing problems . Like you we didnt see the eldest one that oftevn because they lve other end of the country. And you want to do things with them when you do see them and it hurts like hell when you cant , but he still enjooyed seeing me , doing things like reading colouring and TIME The gyoungest one has seen me really struggeling as i have got worse bu and lives nearer and rfom a very young age has got really involved with things my daughter showed him how to do my neb and he likes to feel hes helping not because he has to ...he wants to and he loves sorting out my tablets for the week ,we do it together ! Hes grown up with it accepts it and understand buts it ! Obviously there are times when im really poorly and dont want to frighten him but then get back into swing of things . Kids know your not well sometimes think.they're more perceptive than adults ! It is upsetting when you cant do what other grannies do its used to make me so angry but i think it has my bond with my gracndchildren.special Good luck rememder its the time your with them noot running round the park playing exhausting games sue x

  • thank you - hope you saw my reply which I didnt send individually.....

  • I can understand your dilemma - ours is slightly different but touches on the same theme. Our youngest daughter is 13 and my husband has had COPD to extent that is noticeable since she has been 5. As a result she hasn't had a daddy that can play outside, throw her up in the air etc. etc. The first thing I would say is that you probably need to have a chat with them when you get there and explain that you are finding it more difficult and you do have an illness. They are certainly old enough to understand.

    I think you need to remember that your grandchildren will be just very happy to see you! A picnic could be fun and asking the oldest one to bake! They don't have to be busy all the time (honestly) to have a good time - my mum buys uptodate DVDs and has film nights with popcorn etc! The very best of luck - please don't get too worried it will make their visit very stressful and you need to enjoy it too.

    Lots of love

    TAD xx

  • thank you

  • did send a reply but not individually - hope you got it

  • I was going to reply to you all individually, but thought it would be best to send one reply; that way I won't be repeating myself and you won't get bored reading it! :) Firstly, THANK YOU for all of your comments and advice,,,,,I have taken them all on board and I am trying to not worry so much. The visit is the only time I spend with them and although I write and send emails, I am not very much part of their lives and that's probably why I put so much emphasis on the days they are here. The family situation is so dysfunctional I tend to walk on eggshells, but if I step back and try to be objective I see how ridiculous it would be of me not to say anything if I feel poorly.....Naturally, I adore them and luckily I have been able to build somewhat of a bond with them. .I haven't been feeling great the past few days (they are cutting the grass in ALL the fields surrounding the house with HUGE machines, which is brrrrilliant???) and for some reason I am on an emotional "low" so I think I started to let my "visit" worries get to me. It has been so nice to have been able to "talk" to you about i, and I do thank you ever so much :):):)

  • Dear Louisiana, now that I have read your reply I can see that the family problems which you have to deal with are probably more difficult than than what your grandchildren know of your condition. As we all know , stress is so damaging to us and as for the grass cutting! My grandaughter who comes to me every weekend is with me today. She says that Nanny is just Nanny. She thinks she just slowly became aware that I have breathing problems but that other people feel poorly too so she never thought of me as being different to anybody else. She definitely doesn't find me boring and she loves me lots. So thank you because your query resulted in a lovely conversation between my grandaughter and myself. Do enjoy yours and good luck with everything else.

  • thanks so much!

  • I know what you mean about walking on egg shells. !! My eldesr grandsons mum and dad divorced is my son try and please everyone and it takes all the jou out of the visit. The kids will understand about your condition. Im sure and it may make an even greater bond.between you. Good luck sue. Xx

  • thanks so much Sue...Oh! my family are so dysfunctional you wouldn't believe, but out of it there are three lovely grandchildren......I wasn't allowed to be with them for a number of years, but I have managed to build something of a bond and I am hoping they will have some happy memories of time with me. I will certainly feel more confident about talking about my conditions after all the advice I have had from the group. All positive advice, which is lovely :)

  • When my son and his wife split up similarthings happened didnt see grandson for ages then things got better eventually . One day i rang skn to speak to little grandson that was only time i could speak to him ..he answeded daddys phone and shouted from one end of mc donnalds to the the other ...daddy. crying granny on phone. !!!!! Hes 20 now and im still crying granny. ! Out of the mothes of babe s. Funny arent they. Xx sue

  • thanks for making me smile (and almost cry) Sue.....the joys of motherhood :) Lots of children lose out on having grandparents when the couples split, but I think law is coming into place where the grandparents can claim their rights, although I should think anything "legal" would raise everyone's hackles....ah well, I just am soooo grateful that I at least have a small chance with mine now. :) Hope you have a nice day today...the gigantic machines are still cutting the fields around me and I daren't open the front or back doors...although i have old sash windows, so the dust gets in anyway.....I am going to try and have a lying about, inhaling my inhalers day :)

  • I know we all say kids are resiliant. Its us who are frightned of hhrtinb and worrying them !! I still hold back on telling my grown up kids things and they are nearly 50. !! If they hold back from telling me things i say i,d rather you tell me then at least i know what i,m worrying abt rather than thinking something not right ,but not sure what just enjoy them i know its hard wen you come home you,ll be thinking .....well what was i worrying abt ...i really enjoyed it . Then you can be crying granny too. !!!!

  • I'll let you know how it all goes :)

  • Louisiana I would suggest you are open with them and give them credit! They don't have to know the ins & outs but they are more astute than we give them credit for. I lost my mother when I was 12 and father when I had just turned 17, i wasn't allowed to attend their funerals as people around were all saying he's too young and won't understand !!! i have always been honest with my children and although my condition & future isn't good and hard to accept why should they not be allowed the truth (I'm only 56 and probably won't see retirement age). I think their parents should talk about your condition to your grand children if they are at an age to understand and I would think they are especially the 16 year old. Life can be cruel but we can't hide from it - honesty is the best policy x

  • thank you - I agree

  • Children are very resilient and understanding . Explain to them carefully that you are delighted to have them but you have been poorly and can't do what you used to. Maybe the older one could help out. I always find honesty pays with children

  • thank you I did send a reply but not individually so ifyou didnt get it let me know

  • Louisiana, I think it's an idea to tell them gently, so if you get ill one day, they can refer to what you;e told them. Do they pray? Perhaps you can teach them to pray for grandma!

    I think it's better they become aware,now, rather than having a shock to be told that they cannot see you because you are ill.

    The Buddha was not told any of the obstacles that humans suffer. His father would keep him inside his palace. But one day Gautama went out and saw a wedding, then an ill person on a corner of a street, then a family carrying their dead relative to the grave. Buddha was so shocked that he decided to abandon his palace and all his worldly good to think about what he saw. Buddhism was born, as it became his task to teach people how to overcome suffering.

    It's worth sharing with young people, so they are aware of suffering.

  • thank you - I had no idea that was how Buddhism was formed.

  • Thank you for explaining L your situation more fully. We all feel as you do to some extent, but I can see why become so stressed in wanting to make everything spot on.If you are treading on eggshells that is added pressure for you.

    I would imagine they really enjoy their stays with you. They know they are safe and secure with you and as they live in the city, maybe they enjoy staying in the rural setting with the peace and quiet that brings. Don't put extra pressure on yourself trying to not let them see you are not tip top all the time. Seeing your vulnerable side may allow them to open up and offload their own problems. Don't forget hun you have one of the greatest gifts for grandkids - time. I bet you have such a special bond sharing love and secrets.

    Ease off the pressure pedal L, have a lovely time with you granddaughters and please let us know all about it. Enjoy.

    love cx

  • aaah, thank you! I will let you know :)

  • Louisiana

    Young people love honesty and like to know that they can help

    There is the risk that they may think you are not interested in them if you get tired

    I would talk to their parents and sit down with the grandchildren and discuss the situation to as far as you think it should go

    I really hope that you are well when they visit


  • Seems so long ago since I put this post up....I have had all manner of ghastly health problems since then - usual infection and steroids and anti-bios, then broke a rib and developed new spinal fractures (don't even ask how I did that!!!) needing morphine patches,etc., etc....grrreat fun!! :) My osteoporosis is sooooooo much worse and I think I am leaving a dust trail as I walk :):):) ah still breathing, so can't complain:) Sadly, my granddaughters did not come this summer - they went to the Dominican Republic and Egypt instead of rural Norfolk :) so, all that worrying was for nought. Thank you all for your emotional support. Hope you are all well...I am a lot better than I was, thankfully :)

  • geeh you have had a rough trot. Sorry to hear about your grandchildren not visiting this summer, I hope they will look you up soon. Take carexx

  • I hope so too, but have this ghastly feeling it will be another year...trying not to even think of it. My 20 year old grandson came for 3 days and nights with his 2 little sisters (his half sisters) so that was terrific. These girls are my "honorary" grandchildren and boy, are they fun....I'd forgotten how girls just never stop about bright, funny, serious and imaginative! They know computers, tablets, iphones, etc., inside's scarey :) this visit did make up for my disappointment and it cheered me up no end...I had been feeling utterly lousy, both physically and emotionally but that changed quite dramatically during their visit. Hope you are having a nice Summer. Do take care :)

  • I don't know if my post will go to you all, or just Barbie??? - c an someone let me know...thanks :)

  • It goes to all of us. You need to use private messages to just send to Barbie. To send private message (pm) go to green bar click on your name, go to messages, then click on red box 'compose'. Good luck. Lots of hugsxx

  • Thank you - I wanted it to go to everyone this time as I had promised to let you all know how the "visit" went....thanks for telling me how to send private messages, as I didn't have a clue. Have a lovely evening....:)

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