What do I do next? My grandchild have all grown up… 175

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When families change and grow, it can leave us with an “empty” feeling and loneliness. Now one reader has written to Starts At Sixty about her lack of purpose. Do you feel the same way? What advice do you have for this reader? 

“I am a woman that has for over the last 20 years been raising grandchildren, I have no clue what to do with myself now at my age with the last children entering adulthood. All my peers have long since passed as have all the elders of our families. What do I do?”

Have you also struggled to find a purpose after everyone “grew up”? Are you feeling unsure about where to go without being an active parent or grandparent?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Never noticed it with my own children but yes it’s a different situation now that my grandchildren(who I have cared for) have all gone too school. It’s probably an age related problem too old to go back to tennis, bowling etc after being out of it for the past 10 years.

    11 REPLY
    • Every decade makes it just a little more difficult. Can’t see myself doing arty and crafty things, wasn’t that way inclined when I was younger, so that probably won’t have changed It’s when you have been involved in physical activities when you were younger and through age/health/ circumstance these pursuits are not possible. Maybe join a choir ? Catching up with friends for lunch is always good, though many of my work friends are still in current employment. Not complaining though, as I wouldn’t change the enjoyment and privilege I have had in helping raise my grandkids.Its just finding a sense of purpose once again.

    • She isn’t saying her children are in their twenties she is saying her grandchildren are in their twenties. Being generous, that would probably make her probably in her seventies. A different ball game when it comes to enrolling in classes driving people around and a lot of volunteering jobs. Many assume she can afford to go on holidays go out to meals etc, and that she is in good health. Cut the woman some slack, and don’t be judgmental on her situation. Memo to myself never seek advice on this page.

    • Agree Cynthia, it takes a while to readjust finding yourself with time on your hands. Not knowing the circumstances of the person involved makes it hard to answer as well. I hope she finds advise that helps her out. It is not always easy.

    • Cynthia Power If you live in Melbourne, there is an Leisure Marching Team (ages are from 30’s to their 60’s. There is three ladies over 60 and one being 67) if you would be interested. A great bunch of ladies and you don’t have to have been a marcher. It’s all about Fun-Fitness and Friendship. PM me if you or any others would be interested.

    • We do have a member that lives in Cranbourne. At the moment we’re training at Docklands as we’re marching in Moomba.

    • Jan Pickburn good for you. But unless you wrote this original post this comment was not about you. It was a general observation on ageing. Congratulations Jan but don’t try to make things all about you!!!!

  2. Join a 3UA or a walking club etc. I joined a dragon boat team at 59 and have never looked back.

  3. For a start be thankful you have lived long enough to see this a lot of us probably won’t have the same luxury. Join some clubs book/drama/ Aquafit/drama the list goes on. Do some volunteering. Take up a hobby , there are a few ideas.😃

    7 REPLY
    • I agree. I struggled after my parents died. It was a full time job taking care of them and their affairs. When the last one passed I had mixed feelings. Feelings of now I can live my own life and what do I do now? It has taken me a few years but I am slowing making a life for myself after raising children and caring for parents. You are right, I volunteer, joined a craft group, joined U3A. You really have to make the effort and get out there, no one is going to come and knock on your door. It can be scary. I still get scared sometimes about going out into the world but the alternative is worse.

    • Yes losing your parents is a lot worse as they are such a big part of your life im looking after me first now and im enjoying life my motto is the best is yet to come

    • A little show of compassion wouldn’t go astray for her. Nothing is cut and dried we have no idea of her health, financial status.

    • I certainly wasn’t being unsympathetic I merely pointed out different activities which might alleviate her loneliness . There are many things to do ,most communities have seniors clubs. It just takes that initial giant step. Good luck. You can always message us and have a chat .

    • Jan Johannessen And that’s what she’s looking for I think! Ideas and suggestions. She can then decide which she can manage and or afford.

    • Probus groups offer a lot during the month between meetings, bookclubs, council walking groups, community gardens look for volunteers, Meals on Wheels, community houses offer courses etc.

  4. Have I also struggled to find a purpose after everyone “grew up”? No.

    Am I feeling unsure about where to go without being an active parent or grandparent? No. B|

    6 REPLY
    • It is strange at first but then gradually you slip into it and we are so very lucky to have this site bcoz we get to know our regulars.this keeps us amused, but I am now going to see about stability excersising a couple of times a week. Do you want to become a friend of mine on facebook? I get lots of enjoyment making new friends (but not too many) lol send me a request if you want

    • Must be just me and Bruce, but I was delighted when my last one left home and my two little grandsons live too far away for me to mind them. I felt like my life had at last started when my last one left the nest – thought I’d never be rid of him. It gives you such freedom to do as you please, when you please. Children need to be independant.

    • good for you does nothing for this woman though

  5. Join up with a womens charity fundraising committee where you not only will have a new circle of friends, but also doing great work for charities.
    Or volunteer at your nearest hospital and nurse babies.
    Or take up a creative hobby or further education.
    You are free to start the rest of your life.

  6. Get a life ”.Community Groups ‘. Go have fun withyour friends ! Enjoy ! The Children & Grandchildren ‘will Vist

  7. Volunteer. There are a wide variety of charities, hospitals, schools, aged homes etc who would love your help. If you are missing your grandchildren, most schools are looking for volunteers to help children with their reading and/or help at the canteen.

  8. * Join a community service club. * Volunteer at a local school to listen to kids read. * Maybe volunteer to help in the school’s tuck shop. * Visit a retirement village and volunteer to read to residents, do shopping, laundry. *Volunteer at a charity. *Meals on Wheels. *Check out the local Club (RSL, Sports) for card clubs/indoor bowls and other activities. Just a few suggestions.

    1 REPLY
    • Was going to say all that Ann but you already did it for me, volunteering at school is great, and the kids love the ‘grandma’ person as so many of them don’t see grandparents. xx

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