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Never becoming a grandparent?


dancer67
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Is there anyone here who is not a grandparent, and knows they will never be one?

 

How did it make you feel when your child/children said they would never have any kids of their own?

 

I have two older children. A son who is almost 26, and a daughter who is 23. My 23 yo is very, very, very adamant that she will never have any children. At first I thought it was just a phase, as she has stated this since she has been about 16 yo. But now I know it is not. I know that this is what is right for her, but I admit I am disappointed.

 

My son right now, has stated he does not want to get married. And no kids. That "might" change, but I doubt it.

 

I do have a younger daughter who is 17. She is young yet, so who knows what might happen with her.

 

I love kids. I always looked forward to being a grandparent. I had wonderful grandparents. Unfortunately, my kids did not. 

 

My 23 yo daughter loves kids. She is a dance teacher. She just does not want any of her own.She admits she is selfish, and wants to live her own life and not be tied down with a child. 

 

My son has not really given me a reason for his choices. But it is his choice.

 

We are a very close family, and as far as I know, my kids had a great childhood. 

 

I guess I am just sad seeing all my kids friends grown now, and married with kids. And I see the proud grandmothers!

 

It seems like all the grandmothers all brag about their grandchildren. I guess I am selfish and want those bragging rights as well. Does that sound bad???? 

 

Just looking for input from those who do not, and will not ever have any grandchildren and how you felt about it.

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Not exactly what you are looking for, but I have a DD17 who has been pretty adamant about not having kids.  Of course she is young and that may change, but she is my only so it has lead me to think about what you are talking about.

 

It's okay to be sad and a bit disappointed I think!  You sound like you are very sensitive about what is best for your kids, so as long as you don't ever put that on them about grandkids, of course your feelings are okay, and I think normal.

 

It makes me a bit sad to think about being older and not having that joy that I see my parents have, calling in to check on DD's accomplishments, sending her little things in the mail.  But I also have realized I didn't choose the right thing by choosing to only have one, not just for myself but for my daughter.  I am sad thinking about her being older, maybe after we are gone, and having no siblings around.  But I can't do anything about that either! ;)  

 

So, of course it's okay to feel, as long as your don't push your kids about it.

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That sounds very tough :( I hope you get some good perspectives.

 

I am wondering.. Could you adopt some grandkids? I know it would not be quite the same as your own kids' children, but there are an awful lot of kids out there without close grandparent connections. I think if I were not to have any biological grandchildren of my own I would absolutely seek out a family in need of a grandma and take on the job.

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I think it's ok to feel disapointed.  THough, at 23 and 26, I would not take it as a sure thing.  I've seen some fairly stunning reversals on this particular issue, and of course sometimes things don't go as planned. 

 

One possibility I think is to remember that there are a lot of kids out there with no grandparents, who could use someone who could at least fulfill some of that role.

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My parents were adamant that they were not going to have children.  My mom was a preschool teacher for a decade, and loved it, but still said she would never have children.  They had me, on purpose, when they were 28 and said they were done.  They had my brother, on purpose, 5 years later.

 

Wendy

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No clue what my kids will do, but it's their life.  I do think it's ok to be a bit sad. You feel how you feel, but again their life and sometimes that is how it turns out.

 

My family is very small.  My kids are the only children in the family.  My sister will never have kids.  My BIL won't either.  It is a bit lonely sometimes, but it is what it is.

 

 

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I respect my children's choices. It is their life, and not mine. I have not expressed any disappointment to them in their decision.  Only to my husband. I just want my children to be happy, in whatever they choose. It is not about me, it is about them and their happiness.

 

I do agree that things could change. I still have a younger child. 

 

But, if I do not have any grandchildren of my own, I am certainly going to look into getting involved n some kind of a adopt a grandchild type program.

 

I think I just had this big vision of having a lot of grandkids to spoil :)

Edited by dancer67
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<hugs>

 

People do change, sometimes in surprising ways. I have known several women who didn't want to have kids at all in their twenties, who changed their mind and had kids in their thirties or even early 40s. But I guess that might be a long wait for you to become a grandma if your kids follow that path!

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I hope my post doesn't do more harm than good. My mom was sad to hear all the grandmothers around her talk about their grandchildren for years before she had any. I am the youngest child. My mom had me at 41. My older siblings have not had children and they may never. We really don't know, but it is not looking likely. I had ds when I was 25. I didn't get pregnant under the best circumstances (unmarried and unexpectedly). After my parents got over the shock and all my dad told me about the times my mom had felt left out not being a grandmother and that she was very happy about the baby. You see, where we live, people settle down early. Given my mother's age I'm sure she was quite a bit older than some of the other grandmothers. I'm telling you this to say, who really knows what will happen in time. I never thought I'd be the only child to have kids right now. I actually have two and thought my sisters might have at least one before I had a second. And my mom certainly hadn't planned on having me at age 41. I think 26 is still somewhat young to not have children, especially for a man. When we had ds, dh was 28.

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Absolutely be sad, but don't totally despair, not yet.  I may be offering false hope, but my dh and I were completly 100% sure in our deepest darkest innermost beings that we would NOT have children.  Ever.  Ever, ever.  I absolutely did not want children.  The feelings were real and very strong.  I wasn't posturing or faking or showing off or lying to myself when I told people I didn't want kids. I just really didn't want them.  At all.  The idea would make me cringe.  I used two forms of birth control religiously.

 

And then when I was 29 I changed my mind.  And dh went along with it happily.  We had two kids whom we adore.

 

My best friend was the same way.  She did NOT want kids ever, ever, ever.  At 32 she happily, purposely had one.  Then her husband died and she married a man with a child of his own and she didn't have more of her own, but she's happy raising her daughter and step-son.

 

Of course, some people really do never have kids. It's not over until your kids are in their 40s.  If they make it through their 20s and 30s without having kids, then it's doubtful they'll have them in their 40's.  But until then...

 

 

In the meanwhile, you can still feel sad and mourn the loss of your dream of having grandkids.  Nothing wrong with that.  It is normal to feel sad.

 

Edited by Garga
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Your grown children are still young grown children.

 

I knew a friend who was as adamant as your daughter about not having children.  Some of her siblings had mental health issues and that was one of her reasons.  Well, she got married, and things changed.  Now she has a teenager and two young adults of her own.  :-)

 

I had my first child at age 36.   My sister is having her first child in her mid-forties.  Don't give up just yet.

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DH and I were another couple who were pretty adamant about never having kids.  We got married when I was 27 and DH was 29.  I changed my mind first and it took a bit of convincing to get DH on board.  We had first DS when I was 33, and we were positive he was going to be an only child.  Second DS was born three years later.  He was DH's idea, but I was quite happy to go along with it.  So . . .  yeah.  Agreeing with those who say that with three kids I wouldn't assume there will never be any grandchildren.  But I'll also say that at this point in my life I don't think it would bother me if our boys decide to not have any.  I think I'd feel sorry for them just a little for missing out on being parents.  But I don't think not being a grandparent would bother me much at all.  But that's certainly subject to change (see above). ;)

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Dh did a major reversal on kids. When I first met him he was super, "Never, ever having kids." Years later, he insisted saying, "I think we'll be missing something."

 

I honestly think your kids are WAY too young for you to take them seriously -- although I wouldn't say that to them. (It reminds me of teens who are always pushing away their parents, but deep down want a hug.)

 

That said, I want my kids to have a happy, fulfilling life. If their dreams take them in a different direction, my wish for grand kids isn't important. If they're having a "big" life in some way -- say, captain of a cruise ship -- and can't be home w/ the kids, I'd rather they not have kids anyway.

 

The last thing I want is neglected grand kids. My main focus is on my kids. Not on myself. I don't mean that you're being selfish, but I would primarily want to be supportive of my kids.

 

Alley

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This is something I think of once in a while. My 3 are all adopted and have special needs. I am very pro a relationship/marriage for them....but at least for the older 2 for sure, parenting would not be a good option. Possibly for the youngest with a lot of support.... A lot of support.

 

I agree with seeking out other kids that need a grandma....what about a big sister program? Helping out a single parent who needs a boost? A foster family that needs someone to help love on the kids? There are so many kids out there that need adults invested in their lives.

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My father divorced my mother and married a much younger woman who swore she didn't want kids. She's now in her 40s, and my half sister should be born in 2 months. Of course, my cynical side says that she may have just been willing to lie.

 

But even if your three children all decide to forego children of their own, please do find some other little ones to shower with love. Those whose grandparents live far away or who can't be in their lives for other reasons could use a surrogate grandmother.

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Oh yes, that's tough. 

 

My niece is 37 and was married a week before 9/11.   They do not have nor desire children.  They live in bustling Chicago.  Her brother, my nephew, is going to turn 35 this May.  He dates (apparently, but you'd never know b/c he has NEVER said anything about it!) and is obviously not married....no kids.  Those are my brother's older kids.  He has another son who is 10!

 

My sister's dd, my niece, will be 32 this June.  She dates but is not married and has no children.  Now, she WANTS to be married and have kids.  She's overweight and needs to work on that.

 

My dd who will be 17 in May doesn't have a boyfriend.  She would like one and in the future get married and have kids.

 

Could you sit down and just talk heart to heart?  At some point age does kick in and it becomes too late for a woman to conceive/carry.

 

 

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I did not want children. Ex did not want children. Ds was not planned. I was 30, ex was 36 when ds was born. I cannot imagine my life without him. When I got pregnant there had been a small part of me that wondered what life would have be with children, but I was not yearning to be a parent. In fact, I had been adamant at age 12 that I would never get married or have children and that I would have dogs instead. I'm now divorced, love the child, and love my dog.  :lol:

 

So things do change, as Bob Ross would say "happy little accidents" happen. 

 

I do consider this with my child, he's an only and has so far shown no interest in dating. I don't see him considering a family until he's at least 30 (total speculation). I'm not sure how I'd feel if he chose not to have a family (realizing a lot of this will depend upon his mate) as I think he'd be a great dad and I don't really want our genealogy line to die out with him (pure selfishness on my part there).  

 

 

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But even if your three children all decide to forego children of their own, please do find some other little ones to shower with love. Those whose grandparents live far away or who can't be in their lives for other reasons could use a surrogate grandmother.

I agree. When we lived 3500 miles from grandparents, in a community full of families that had settled near family, I longed to have surrogate grandparents for my kids (and me). People didn't trade babysitting b/c they had family to do that, and they didn't think about how some didn't, b/c really almost no one was in our situation.
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I have never been someone to get all gushy about becoming a grandparent. My mother wasn't that like that, and neither was my grandmother. When there are grandchildren, you love them and hug their necks and pray for them and all that, but you know, it isn't up to me whether or not my children have children; it isn't my accomplishment if they do; it just is. :-)

 

I do feel a little...something...when I see my friends who have big family get-togethers with their two children and their spouses and the eight grandchildren, but it is what it is.

 

I have one grandchild, who lives in Seattle (I live in central Texas). He will probably be the only grandchild.  We saw him last year in Disneyland, and we'll probably see him again in April, but after that, it's up to my daughter to come out and visit me. Fair is fair. :-)

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I don't think I would be sad.  Becoming a grandmother is not anything that I've really craved.  My girls are 15 and 12, so obviously I don't know what the future will hold, but I am absolutely okay with them never having children and I've told them that.  

 

However, I wouldn't despair yet, OP.  I've known many people who have changed their minds about having kids when they were in their 30s and fell in love.

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My best friend and her DH do not have or want children.  Her DH has one brother who is not married and has no prospects of being married or ever having children.  Their parents are very sad to not be grandparents.  But they have another family that they are close with that has grandkids that they can borrow sometimes.  I saw them recently at a ballet performance with one of the kids having a great time.

 

My DD at this point in her life is adamant that she never wants children, and while there is a long time until she is an adult and could likely change her mind, I am trying to be supportive of her feelings.  I have not idea what the future holds.  I think it would be fun to be a grandma, and I think that I would be sad to not get that opportunity, but it isn't my decision and I will do my best to not be pushy (not that I am saying anyone here is) about it with my children.  For best friend it pushed her even further on not having children somewhat out of spite for her MIL trying to guilt her into having children.

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Your kids are still very young, so you never know.  I was 100% sure I would not be having kids, but then when I was 29 my dh came along and we had ds.  So you just never know what will happen in your life to change your mind -- even about things on which you were very, very convicted.

 

But, even if you don't have grandchildren, it's okay to miss the hopes you had.  It's great that you respect your kids' decisions on their lives.  You won't be that nagging mom and they'll appreciate that more than you think.  

 

Peace to you.

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Well. I do hope they both change their minds. I know they are young. I am still going to hold out hope for the youngest though :)

 

I know there are a lot of programs I can be involved with. And this will be our plan should we never have any grandchildren. I had a wonderful grandmother with so many fond memories. And I would love to do the same. My husband would make a wonderful grandfather.

 

I guess time will tell............

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your dd is 23 - she is very young.  I can think of two women I know who at 23 were ADAMENT they would never have children.  . .  in their 30s - one did IVF to get her twins (she announced her pg by saying hell had frozen over), and the other also spent several years *trying* to have a child. (after having spent her teen and early 20s insisting she'd never have kids.)  she surprised even her mother when she turned up pg at 39. (and being married for over 12 years).

 

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I haven't read all the responses yet.  I have thought about the possibility of not becoming a grandparent.  I do find it sad to contemplate though I don't think of it often.

 

But mostly what I wanted to say was that for many years I was certain I did not want children.  I was also single for a very long time after an early marriage and divorce, and during those years I was not sad that most likely I would never have kids.  I liked my life pretty well.  Then, at 37 I met the man who became my husband and the father of my two children.  It was quite surprising to me to discover that I did want children after all (and that at my advanced age I was able to produce them!). 

 

Truly, you never know what will happen.  I am living proof of that, and I am not unique in that regard.

 

So, it is not something I ponder very often.

 

ETA: Went back and read responses. Wow!  Lots of us out there, who came to the idea of parenthood later (relatively speaking) in life.

Edited by marbel
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It's good that you respect their choices and don't say anything negative about them. :) And I think it's normal to feel sad that your vision of spoiling many grandkids may not happen.

 

But things change. I didn't plan on kids. I got married at 27, still not planning. DSS came with my marriage, and that was enough. We didn't have kids together till I was 32, and another at 39.

 

Really, there's time. And with three kids ... Odds are you'll be the happiest grandmother on the planet! Because it will be such a surprise!

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I think I would be sad if neither of my kids want to be parents one day. I also think it is okay to mourn that loss.

 

Both of one of my sil's kids have stated they are never getting married or having children because their childhood was so tumultuous. Sil, fully supports them on this decision.

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Just wanted to say that I was that very adamant 23yo who never wanted to have children...things can and frequently do change. But even if they never have kids you can find way to help other kids around your community. I know it's not the same but it could possibly be the next best thing and you'd be blessing a lot of kids.

Edited by Liz CA
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I am facing that possibility as well. dd28 will probably never be fully fledged from her father's family. dd26 doesn't want kids. ds24 is too picky and too career oriented. ds8 might well give me posthumous grandchildren, but it's too early to tell yet.

 

I mourned the loss and moved on.

 

When my best friend very honestly described her experience at her then-17yodd's birth, I was able to take off the rose coloured glasses and understand how helpless grandparents can feel and how much it must hurt to be so powerless to help somebody you love so deeply.

 

I am glad that I don't have to worry about whether my grandchildren are fed and loved, whether they are cold or scared, and whether their day care providers are adequate.

 

I still want to be the little old lady who reads picture books and tells "When I was your age" stories and has interesting artifacts in her closet. There is no reason in the world why I can't be that neighbour lady, daycare provider, or helpful volunteer when I grow up.

Edited by Guest
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I would not give up hope yet. Your kids are still young by today's standards for marriage and family. My SIL was adamant that she would never have children. She surprised us all when she decided to have a child and then another 2 years later. Things can always change. I hope you do get some grandchildren. That is something I am greatly looking forward to down the road. If it doesn't happen, I will be disappointed.

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My kids are only 9, but I'm 49, certainly old enough to be a granny.

 

I think I would be OK with not having grandkids.  I think I may be too old to really enjoy them when they come along.

 

My eldest has said many times that she doesn't want to ever have kids, because "they're too much work."  Not sure how she got that idea.  ;)  My other kid doesn't seem too maternal either.  When I was their age, I was all about baby dolls and babysitting and baby books etc.  I was gonna have 6 kids.  :P

 

But life feels so complicated right now, I don't know, maybe it would be better for them to just worry about themselves, and do some charity and stuff.  One less thing for me to worry about in my declining years.  I suppose this sounds pretty awful to most of you.

 

But then, who would be there for them in their declining years?  Now that's something to consider ....

 

My friend's mom had 3 kids and none of them made her a grandma.  She raised them to be very picky about who they dated/married [specific nationality], so none of them married young, and only one of them even had a chance to get pregnant (she miscarried and didn't try again).  I do think the mom was kinda sad about that, but what can ya do?

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I have two grandchildren I will never know (Son divorced. Bad, messy situation). None of my other children want to have children of their own.  It's OK. I am not a parent eager to become a grandparent. I have a 12 year old that still needs a lot of parenting. I love babies and children. If I feel the need to spend some of that grandma energy on someone, I am going to find a kid that needs that kind of love and care and indulge them.  

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Is there anyone here who is not a grandparent, and knows they will never be one?

 

How did it make you feel when your child/children said they would never have any kids of their own?

 

I have two older children. A son who is almost 26, and a daughter who is 23. My 23 yo is very, very, very adamant that she will never have any children. At first I thought it was just a phase, as she has stated this since she has been about 16 yo. But now I know it is not. I know that this is what is right for her, but I admit I am disappointed.

 

My son right now, has stated he does not want to get married. And no kids. That "might" change, but I doubt it.

 

I do have a younger daughter who is 17. She is young yet, so who knows what might happen with her.

 

I love kids. I always looked forward to being a grandparent. I had wonderful grandparents. Unfortunately, my kids did not.

 

My 23 yo daughter loves kids. She is a dance teacher. She just does not want any of her own.She admits she is selfish, and wants to live her own life and not be tied down with a child.

 

My son has not really given me a reason for his choices. But it is his choice.

 

We are a very close family, and as far as I know, my kids had a great childhood.

 

I guess I am just sad seeing all my kids friends grown now, and married with kids. And I see the proud grandmothers!

 

It seems like all the grandmothers all brag about their grandchildren. I guess I am selfish and want those bragging rights as well. Does that sound bad????

 

Just looking for input from those who do not, and will not ever have any grandchildren and how you felt about it.

At those ages, I'd say you have a good 10-15 years before you even have to consider resigning yourself to this. It's VERY "in" right now among the 18-25 set to declare themselves Intentionally Childless. MOST of them will end up with children.

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1. Life has a way of changing minds. I have a friend who never wanted children, and had her first at 39.

2. I have a lovely coworker (D) who was asked to be grandparents to another coworker's (S) younger, adopted children (M&J). Her and her husband are grandparents in every way. One of the older children (K) even asked them if they would be her grandparents, too, so they got a bonus bonus grandchild, lol.

3. I have only one child, and she has had numerous surgeries and a medical condition that make it likely she might not have children or be qualified to adopt. I would love to a grandparent some day, but I accept that might not be in the cards. At any rate, I hope to be an awesome great aunt to my niece and nephews' future children.

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This is kind of an idle thought, but I wonder if adult children realize how potentially empty their lives will be without children or grandchildren when they are older?  I know that is not always the case, but when people are much older (90s) and friends start to die off, there is no one left to share your history with you, and few younger will seek you out.  Not saying that should be the only deciding factor, and it is certainly their choice to make, but I think young adults don't think of how life will be when they are very old.

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This is kind of an idle thought, but I wonder if adult children realize how potentially empty their lives will be without children or grandchildren when they are older?  I know that is not always the case, but when people are much older (90s) and friends start to die off, there is no one left to share your history with you, and few younger will seek you out.  Not saying that should be the only deciding factor, and it is certainly their choice to make, but I think young adults don't think of how life will be when they are very old.

 

I don't like to think this way. I think it's unfair to imply to childless adults that their lives are less full. I mean, heck, someone could die early on in life and what does any of that future stuff matter? In fact, on the other end of the spectrum you could be saying, "I'd have to leave behind orphans."

 

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Just like I was always going to work, we were going to have 2-3 kids and I thought homeschooling was a bit overprotective. :D

 

There's no way in the world a young person can say with certainty what will never happen. I know folks that were adamant they didn't want children. Until all of sudden, the clock ticked and they did. 

 

Release it as much as possible b/c it's out of your hands. Don't take it personally or own it and just see what may in store down the road.  :grouphug:

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This is kind of an idle thought, but I wonder if adult children realize how potentially empty their lives will be without children or grandchildren when they are older?  I know that is not always the case, but when people are much older (90s) and friends start to die off, there is no one left to share your history with you, and few younger will seek you out.  Not saying that should be the only deciding factor, and it is certainly their choice to make, but I think young adults don't think of how life will be when they are very old.

 

Honestly, that was one of my (many) reasons for not wanting children - I'm pretty sure I will never BE old (say, 70+).  And it doesn't seem fair to make a person only to bail out on him, you know?

 

Sorry, this is probably too far OT....

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This is kind of an idle thought, but I wonder if adult children realize how potentially empty their lives will be without children or grandchildren when they are older? I know that is not always the case, but when people are much older (90s) and friends start to die off, there is no one left to share your history with you, and few younger will seek you out. Not saying that should be the only deciding factor, and it is certainly their choice to make, but I think young adults don't think of how life will be when they are very old.

I've seen people lead fulfilling and desperate lives with and without children. However, you raise an interesting point. WHO is spending the bulk of the day with people in their 90s? I don't really know but I'm willing to bet that 95 percent of the answers are either family or healthcare workers. Even with no guarantees either way, it's worth considering which you prefer. Of course, I'm guessing most people in their late teens and early twenties can't even get their brain around the possibility that they might not have a nest egg at that age.

 

I'm trying to remember the last time I spent time with someone in their 90s who wasn't related or a neighbor. I perform in a few nursing home shows a year, but I don't really count those. My grandmother is 92. She lived in her own home until a few years ago, but now she lives with my mom.

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It's okay to be sad and disappointed and still be respectful of your children's choices.  An older person who would like littles/younger generation in their life has options other than biological grandchildren, it's just more effort to make it come about. There are probably a lot of creative ways that you can be a "grandparent" to some wonderful children that do not have that in their life.  Here are a few:

 

Being the grandmother/father neighbor

Being an involved great aunt/uncle

Volunteering in elementary schools

Mentoring at risk youth

Tutoring

Being respite care for foster families

Being a babysitter for before or afterschool care

 

 

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