I don’t have grandkids. Am I missing out? 12



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“I don’t have any grandkids and I’m starting to feel like I’m missing out on something,” said Matilda who is turning 63 this year.

“Every now and then, my friends will show me pictures of their grandkids and tell me all about the cute things that they do. Oh, they just started walking, oh a first tooth or a special mug the kids made for nanna.”

“I look at the kids pictures and go “Awwwwww…” but in reality, I dread those moments because I don’t have grandkids,”said Matilda who’s been heartbroken about not having her own grandchildren.

“And when they realise I don’t have grandkids, they’ll try to comfort me by saying things like “Don’t worry, you will get yours soon” which actually makes me feel worse because I know it’s not true,” she said.

Matilda’s daughter has decided to not have children due to her commitment to her work. As a successful corporate person, her daughter feels like having a child will only hold her back. “What did I do wrong? Why am I being denied the pleasure of being a grandmother?” cried Matilda.

Some people think that it is extremely selfish to not give their parents grandchildren because it’s something that society expects to happen when you’re a certain age.

Matilda’s daughter is not the only one who has decided to not have children.

A Redditor who told her mom about not wanting kids said, “She supports my decision and knows if I did change my mind I would adopt. The rest of the family hate that, but I remember one of my cousins fondly and he was adopted.”


Is it right to ask your children about it?

Amy Johnson, a life coach and psychologist says conversations can help. Her advice to grandparents-in-waiting: Go ahead and ask your adult children questions, like “Do you want children?” and “What is your expected timetable?” But don’t push your own agenda.

“A lot of parents are pretty blunt. They say things like, “I am getting older. When is this going to happen? I want to be able to enjoy those grandkids,” said Ms Johnson to The Wall Street Journal.

According to Ms Johnson, to adult children, that can feel like their parents are saying, “‘I’m going to die soon, and this is my dying wish” and it becomes a huge source of pressure.

More baby-boomers are saying “No thanks”

Not everyone feels like they are missing out when they don’t have grandkids. In fact, a grandchild is the last thing that blogger Nancy Wurtzel wants. She said to Huffpost, “When I recently told Katie [my daughter] about my lack of interest in becoming a grandmother, she rolled her eyes and laughed.”

“However, a few minutes later she admitted it felt good not to have the added pressure of being an only child and expected to produce grandchildren for her ageing parents.”

“If my daughter does choose motherhood at a future point, I’d be supportive and as involved as she would allow. I’m sure I’d fall in love with her children. I’d no doubt take endless pictures and videos and then share them with everyone. I’d probably pick a name like Mimi or Grammie.

“But if it doesn’t happen, I’m okay with that path. My daughter and I can travel together and each lead full, engaging lives. And, when National Grandparents Day comes around, I’ll enjoy my best friend’s grandkids and then happily go home,” said Nancy.

Here’s what Nancy had to say…

Do you think anyone would be missing out by not having grandkids?

Starts at 60 Writers

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

  1. I do not feel I am missing out on grand kids because both my sons do not want children. What you do not know you do not miss. I lead a full life. I would not want my grand children to suffer a divorce with two in three marriages failing. I would be heart broken to see children suffer. I will never pressure my sons to have children.

  2. Seriously!! it’s about you not having Grandkids. Join an adopt a nanna group. If your child has decided not to have kids or to wait, it’s not about YOU it’s about their choice and decision. Respect their decision!!

  3. It makes me not only sad but a little peeved off that you feel like you have any right to feel denied about having grandchildren. It’s your daughters and son in laws choice if and when they have children and if your daughter feels like having a child would be too much with her career then you should be proud of her. All too often corporate folk have children than hock them off to nannies or their family members because they are too busy with their career. What kind of life is that for a child, not seeing their parents and most likely feeling insignificant next to their parents job?! The role of the parent is far more significant than that of a grandparent and I admire your daughter for having the courage to say “actually having kids isn’t right for me”. Get your head out of your butt and delete your sense of entitlement cause this is just pathetic. I’m 62 and I don’t have grandchildren and it sure as heck ain’t happening for me anytime soon with my 22 year old establishing her career and having no interest in finding a partner. I’m more than proud of her for putting herself first and not bringing kids into this world when her life just isn’t ready for them. Would I like grandkids? YES! But I’ll be damned if I resent my daughter or my friends who have grandkids. I mean really, what place is it of yours?! Good gracious!

  4. The answer is Yes. Grandchildren bring joy and are our future generation to carry on the family name and traditions. Having children is hard work and I always said “being a mother is the hardest job you will have” BUT it is so worth it! One of our daughters has managed to have a career as well as having two children, the other daughter will probably not have children but due to circumstances not choice.

  5. It is worse when you have a grandchild whom you love but never see. The parents will not put themselves out to come for a visit even for a few minutes. That really hurts and the feelings of what have I done wrong or am I not good enough to be in their lives surface. I have learnt to cope with not seeing them but it does not make the hurt go away.

    1 REPLY
    • [email protected]

      Hugs to you Neta, I also live in this hurt state, looks like we are not alone in our grief!

  6. I have friends who dont have children. They don’t miss having children because they don’t know what they are missing out on. I think it’s the same with grandchildren. I am extremely lucky and have 2 children and 5 grandchildren so imagining my life without them is impossible, but if I didn’t have them how would I know what to miss?? I don’t have a dog or a cat, but I have friends who rave about their wonderful Fido or Kitty and how much joy they bring them, but it just means nothing to me! Oh I oooh and aaah about their escapades but I don’t feel like I need to rush out and get one. An oversimplification maybe, but enjoy your life without wishing for what you don’t have. I’d like a million dollars but that’s not going to happen either.

  7. I don’t like asking anyone if they want or how many or when they would like children.
    1. It is the parents right to choose to have children, be responsible for & raise them, not the grandparents.
    2, many struggling with infertility do not disclose it to anyone. Being nagged about supplying grandchildren adds salt to the wound.

    There are many ways to enjoy young children. Volunteer, help a neighbour. A work colleague volunteered as a tutor with St Vinnies. She had never married & photos of the boys adorned her work space. One of the proudest grandmothers I’ve ever met.

    I don’t get to see my grandchildren as often as I’d like because of distance & time restraints. I love spending time with them, but also get pleasure from hearing the littlies next door playing in the yard. I also enjoy giving them & other children of friends an inexpensive gift for birthdays & Christmas. Love seeing the excitement on their faces as they unwrap their gift.

  8. Unfortunately it isn’t your decision whether or not our Children want to have Babies.
    The love I feel for mybGrandchildren is a love I have never felt before.
    Some children’s Hospital have adopt a Nana. You will find great satisfaction from this

    1 REPLY
    • Adopt a Nanna or babysit. Lots of parents need help these days.

  9. There are countless single mums out there who need the love and support you could offer their kids. Take a chance, get to know your neighbors. We do family badly in the West. Some Pacific Islander communities get it right. Kids ‘belong’ to everyone in the village love and guidance is shared equaly by all the adults to all the kids.

  10. I have three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. They have brought me joy but also great pain. I’ve lost count of the tears I’ve shed over them. If you feel the need to ‘grandparent’ find a family that appreciates your ‘services’ and enjoy them.

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