I don’t want grandchildren. There, I said it. That feels like a weight off my shoulders already and I haven’t even told you why.
My son is happily married but they aren’t planning on having children any time soon, much to my relief. It’s not that I don’t love kids, it’s just that I’ve already had my own and it exhausted me. I never felt like the greatest mum but I always tried my hardest. At my age (65), I am trying to stay as active as possible and I don’t really desire to have a little child to slowing me down. Sure, I won’t need to see he or she every day so it won’t be my round-the-clock burden, but I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I want to be able to enjoy the rest of my life in peace.
Don’t get me wrong, if my son does decide to have a child, I will love and adore it as I should, I just cannot commit to him that I will be the doting grandmother you see on the ads or in the newspaper. Not everyone can be like that – we can’t all be the cookie cutter grandparent, yet it’s almost like we are awful people if we aren’t. It’s not my scene and not my idea of fun, to be blunt. I might sound like a cross old woman but I’m really not. I have plenty of friends who have grandchildren that they love dearly, but have caused them grief later on. They might be cute and gorgeous as anything when they are first born, but what about the grandchildren who have a rough time and for one reason or another fall off the wagon in their teens or 20s? Or even the ones who default on their home loan repayments and need help? The parents have had enough and the more financially secure grandparents have to step in. This isn’t an isolated incident – I hear about it all the time. Of course I’d help my hypothetical grandchild in a heartbeat, but at the same time I don’t yearn for that responsibility and stress in my later years, and who does?!
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I don’t think that grandparenting should be a chance to right the mistakes you made with your own children, and I suspect there are a few grandparents out there who genuinely want this to be their second chance. I, on the other hand, am not the least bit worried about the mistakes I made as a parent. I didn’t have books to tell me what to do, I just used my instincts. Like now, my instincts tell me I don’t want a grandchild!
I don’t want to be a grandparent that acts like a parent and makes decisions at every turn. If I must be called on as a grandmother, I will do my duties but I will stand back. I want my son to know he is the parent and it is his child, and although it shares a portion of DNA with me, he or she will not share my home every second weekend!
Grandparenting can be quite stressful. You can make a choice to be a parent but becoming a grandparent is left solely in the hands of your children. Not everyone can cope or wants to nurse a baby 30 years after their own and we shouldn’t be made to feel like we’re selfish or being ridiculous if we react adversely to the news of a new baby in the family.
What do you think? Is grandparenting a gift or do we have the right to object to a new baby in the family? Is it unfair to not want grandchildren or is it understandable? Share your thoughts below.