Grandparenting: Are you pressuring your children to have babies?
|My iphone screen!|
Veronica James and her husband David sold their home and travel full time these days. They are poster children for the boomer's dream life. Travel, adult children, free to live the adventure. But, as with all things, they are finding that as time passes, their peers are beginning to move into the grandparent mode. Their children are even wondering why their parents aren't demanding the next generation be born and soon.
I remember back in the days when my children were leaving home how excited I was for them. The adventure they were embarking on was so full of promise and success. We were close to our children in a lot of ways so we were invited to share in their life just enough. It was a happy time in our life. I was in no hurry to have son/daughter-in-laws or grandchildren. We never talked about it.
Jame's words resonated with me as an echo of my past feeling:
To be honest, one of the reasons for my lack of longing is unabashed selfishness. I like having my kids all to myself when we visit. No husbands, wives or diaper changes to disrupt my time with them. I feel I'm just getting to know them as adults, and I am loving the process. I don't want to share.
But as time went by I found a biological clock ticking...grandmother's have those too you know. I never mentioned it...well maybe a little bit...but not a lot. I was torn between that longing that women get for grand babies and the selfish desire to have my children all to myself. We traveled together and spent school breaks on vacation with them. As they grew older we visited them and enjoyed days of shopping or just hanging out. Still the clock was ticking somewhere in the back of my mind.
The funny thing was, I would wake up at night naming babies. Wesley and Harrison for the boys. Annali and Kate for the girls. I did voice those preferences when the girls were pregnant but none of them actually took my suggestions. Naming unknown babies in my sleep told me that something was going on in my mind. I began to realize I think that time was not on my side and wanting to see at least part of my grandchildren grow up was a deep seeded desire.
I am now the grandmother of 12 grandchildren. The youngest are probably going to grow up without me but it is fine. However, I am very grateful for the grown grandchildren. They have given me a taste for what our next generation will be like.
As for having our children all to ourselves, I will have to admit that I long for a quiet dinner or even a glass of wine without interruptions. The idea that we might all gather together as adults just for a while is hard to imagine or even make happen. We think about our family in a different way now. We are not in charge of the grandchildren and remind ourselves of that fact as we fall off to sleep each night. Life is different...not bad...just different.
What would I say to those of you that are not there yet but seeing other parents pressuring their children to have babies? Don't judge...wait. It appears that for some of us the notion that having grandchildren cannot be denied.