I don’t want grandchildren, no matter what you say

This isn’t something women often talk about, but I don’t want grandchildren, no matter what you say. I have personal reasons

This isn’t something women often talk about, but I don’t want grandchildren, no matter what you say. I have personal reasons for this decision, but I often get criticised for my own views.

Firstly let me explain something. I adore my own son Jack*, but being a mother was challenging for me. My husband and I were married very young, and I didn’t have much support from my other half.

In fact, my husband walked out on Jack and I after just two years of marriage. From then on, I struggled as a single mother during the 1970s.

There wasn’t much assistance available to single parents back then. Even though I loved my son, sometimes I regretted getting pregnant at just nineteen.

About eight years ago, Jack joined the army and fell in love with a woman in his brigade. Don’t get me wrong, Carrie* is lovely, but the pair have broken up more times than I can count.

Jack and Carrie have never married because their relationship has been so up and down. Now they’re talking about having kids, like children are a “fix all” for their problems.

I don’t want to become a grandmother, especially under these circumstances. I worry that Jack and Carrie will eventually break up again, and then a child will be caught in their mess.

On top of that, I’ve got so much to accomplish now aged 61. Being a single mum had its share of joy, but I also missed out on so many experiences as an individual.

I’d love to travel, and maybe even move to the beach. I’ve spent all my life taking care of other people, so I wanted this time to be about myself.

I worry about Jack reaching out to his father after all these years too, because I don’t think my ex-husband will make a healthy grandfather. Instead, the burden of family will again be placed on me.

Not wanting to become a grandmother is almost “taboo”, but I try to be upfront about how I feel. Whenever I’m honest about my feelings, people try to convince me otherwise.

People tell me I’ll change my attitude in time, or feel differently if I hold a newborn baby in my arms. The truth is though, I just don’t see that happening.

Sometimes I read stories in the newspaper about frustrated young women feeling pressured to have babies, and that’s similar to how I feel.

Maybe I’m not maternal, but our family situation is too fragmented to bring children into the fray. The thought of being “tied down” for the sake of a child again fills me with dread, frankly.

Does anybody out there feel the same way? Or will you just try to change my mind about grandparenthood, like everybody else does?

Can you relate to this woman’s candid opinions, or do you think being a grandmother is a joy and privilege? Are you more or less maternal?

*Names changed to protect privacy

  1. Firstly it is not your decision to make, secondly you have the right to say NO if you don’t want to care for your grandchildren children. I’m sure if you explain your situation, your Son will respect what you want because after all it is the responsibility of the parents to plan for child care BEFORE they have kids. Stop worrying about things you can’t control.

  2. I was pregnant and married at 17 in 1970. My husband beat me and kept leaving me every few weeks then coming back like nothing had happened. I had my son, then had a daughter 2 years later. My husband wasn’t there when either were born, and left when my son was 2 and my daughter 3 months. There was no real help back then except for my parents, mostly my mum. I survived though, worked for a while then met another guy. That marriage wasn’t the greatest, but it was better than the first, I had 3 children to that man, one born with kidney problems leading to a transplant in 1987 which failed after 3 years. My husband started to have problems mentally and finally decided he didn’t want to stay, and after an argument one night, grabbed a baseball bat and hit me, putting me in hospital for 2 weeks and leaving me with problems, that was in 1992. I had bought a house with my own money to look after my old mum and was running a courier business, all of which I lost when he left. We were homeless as such for 3 years until finally I got public housing. When my husband got out of jail, my son with the kidney problems, then on dialysis went to Tasmania to live with him and it cost him his life, he died after my husband left him alone and very sick to stay with his girlfriend, that was in 1994. I now have 9 grand-children from my own kids, 3 step-grand-kids and 2 little boys who kind of adopted me, I love them all. I have had a hard life, but I look back on it all as a life experience, and I treasure my children and grand-children and couldn’t imagine my life without them. Life is what you make it, move on.

    • They say life wasn’t meant to be easy but you sure copped it hard. I hope everything has settled down for you and you have lots of lovely times with your children and grandchildren.

    • They say life wasn’t meant to be easy but you sure copped it hard. I hope everything has settled down for you and you have lots of lovely times with your children and grandchildren.

    • And I thought I had it tough but compared to you my life was easy.
      Enjoy your children and grand children.

    • Hope your life is better now. You sound like a strong and loving person. All the best.

    • You are an amazing woman, never let anyone tell you otherwise, I admire your courage and determination to get on with life despite all the knocks you have had, thanks you for sharing that I hope you have a safe and happy future in front of you

    • I admire you for having survived this past life.
      But just as you have gone on to enjoy life now in the way you wish, surely this woman also has the right to move on in the manner that she feels will fulfill her life. She has moved on.

    • I admire you for putting it all out there. Tough tough life Jennifer. Enjoy your family now. Hope life is easier for you.

    • That was a really hard life. Your son moving 2 tassie wasnt a great idea nut some kids think they have an attachment 2 the parent they hardly know.. hope things go your way.. like me u married manchilds
      . Idiots

    • You certainly did it tough and I think you must be a very resilient person to survive all that and come out the other end with such a positive outlook on life. You have surrounded yourself with love now. I hope your future is always so good because you deserve it.

    • I hope you can enjoy your grandchildren free of the stress you had when your own kids were small. You’ve earned that

    • What a terrible life you’ve gone through I admire your determination to survive. We have a saying “after the rain the sun will shine”. The sun is shining on you now enjoy the bright light and warmth of it. God bless you.

    • I have read your story and what a brave person u are grandchildren are a great joy u will never be lonely hope u have a much easier life now xx

    • Good on you Jennifer!! Its such a struggle, but where children are concerned, we mothers will do anything to protect them, and you have done that!! God Bless You!

    • Well said Jennifer .I think her view is selfish i have had a tough life but my grandchildren and great grandchildren are a blessing that i love and treasure everyday .This woman does not sound very maternal to me .So negative .

    • Wow, thank-you for your thoughts everyone. I only put that on there for people to see that you can move on and get over your past. I have never regretted having my children even at a young age and I do enjoy my grand-kids, they keep me going. I have never felt sorry for myself, I just move on. I have just done 25 days of radiotherapy for breast cancer, it’s all gone so to me that was just another hurdle to get over and move on. I hope you all have happy lives, you sound like lovely people. Thank-you.

    • You have been through the wringer and come out the other end winning. Your positive attitude is amazing. I hope the rest of your life is filled with happiness.

    • I always say there is someone worse off than myself and you certainly proved that today. My hat goes off to you. I have a beautiful Grandson so I know how you feel regarding yours. Good luck for the future.

  3. It isn’t her choices if her son has children,she can support them instead of going against them think she will be a horrible grand mother,she will look at it with no love. In Her heart

  4. I agree with Trish, they will make the decision whether you like it or not. I would never try to talk anyone into wanting children or grandchildren, it is an individual thing and each case has it’s for and against. It is hard when you bring up children on your own. I lost my partner to cancer leaving me with 4 children between 5 and 11 so I do know. Don’t dwell on it. Just enjoy the time you have to yourself while you have it and see what happens. Grandchildren are not in the picture yet, wait and see what happens.

  5. what a crock of shit ,don’t have grandkids who cares .Your too busy thinking about yourself.

  6. I don’t blame the author; but she’s under no obligation to help take care of any grandchildren. So, she’s free to go ahead and do whatever she wants with the rest of her life.

    • Yes. I so agree.
      Who are we to judge what will make someone else feel happy and content with their life.

    • The only person who thinks that the rearing of her grandchild is her responsibility is the author herself she doesnt put much faith into the hard work she put in to raise her son and give him a good moral compass.

    • I think she knows that she couldn’t stand by and watch while a child was in a situation she could help. Especially a child of her son.

    • Then Sandra she has to trust that she…on her iwn ….reared her son with a proper sense of responsibility….she is apparently doubting her ability to have raised a good man in fact she does as my daughter does with her daughter she is constantly looking for the faults the father had. I might add that my daughter managed to rear an absolutely lovely daughter and i rather think that this lady has reared a good man so stopp looking for Dad in him.

    • Who are we to judge other peoples insecurities, I hope you find the peace of mind you are so obviously looking for, <3

  7. Can not relate to this lady, if you are blessed with children and grand kids be grateful every day of your life. Everyone to their own.

  8. I totally understand how this lady feels. There is enough sadness in this world and this story is so sad. As parents we want the best for our children and our grand children but it doesn’t always work out how we expect. Within many families there are children who are neglected. Yes, they are fed, housed and clothed, even educated but just ask them do they feel loved , supported and protected and you may get an answer which will shock you. I think your feeling is natural, because you want your grand child to be loved and nurtured. If we cannot believe our grand children are going to be provided with the REAL necessities for life then we would feel as you do.

    • I agree with the author, there are so many unhappy children who have been born to irresponsible parents, then they are put into foster care when these people go their separate ways. She knows her own son better than anyone, so she obviously knows he won’t be a very good father.

    • Sometimes we need to just let go and let things be, I am sure you Son and daughter in law are capable of being loving parents. Be there for them and live your own life. We can’t control the lives of others.

  9. You bring children into this world, your job is to make them honest, upstanding independent citizens; You cannot live their lives for them, they must make their own decisions and mistakes.
    Being a grandparent is a joy and privilege I’m told… Savour life’s blessings.

  10. Don’t be part of the lives of your grandchildren if you want to live your own life, but don’t try to justify your decision. Let them live their lives without you, but make no fuss.

  11. Don’t be part of the lives of your grandchildren if you want to live your own life, but don’t try to justify your decision. Let them live their lives without you, but make no fuss.

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