My family see my retirement as a chance to make me a full-time carer | The Sun

DEAR DEIDRE: WHEN I pictured my retirement, I didn’t imagine that my entire family would see it as an opportunity to make me a full-time carer.

My plans involved travelling, enjoying my hobbies and spending time with my grandchildren.

My husband and I are both 65.

We’ve worked hard all our lives, brought up two children, and now want to enjoy our twilight years while we’re still healthy.

But my husband’s mother has decided that, at the age of 90, it’s time to move in with us.

She’s lonely and has struggled since being widowed.

The idea of having her around 24/7 fills me with dread. She is OK in small doses, but drives me crazy.

And when we told our children our retirement plans, they said, “Great, now you can help with the after-school childcare”.

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I feel so selfish saying no to everyone, but I’m not giving up work to provide free babysitting.

How can I let everyone down gently without causing a row?

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DEIDRE SAYS: Don’t let your family emotionally blackmail you.

You need to put your needs and those of your husband first.

Otherwise, you will only feel resentful and everyone will inevitably fall out.

Tell your mother-in-law that you’re sorry, but she can’t live with you. If she’s lonely, you can invite her over regularly and go to visit her too.


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And say you would love to spend time with your grandchildren and can offer occasional after-school childcare, but you can’t provide regular help.

My support pack, Standing Up For Yourself, explains how to have these conversations.

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