For Patricia: How Do I Get Grandchildren?

>> Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Patricia asked: Is there anything a mother can do to get her two adult children (one male age 38 and one female age 25) to even consider getting married and producing grandchildren (preferably in that order) without appearing pushy?

Ah, Patricia, I'm sorry. The short answer is, no.

I'm hoping to be a decade at least from grandchildren myself (my eldest is 14), but I can understand the urge. My baby is already growing up and I'm going to miss her babyness. I can understand wanting to get some more baby time (and not having full responsibility is a plus, too).

But, having a child is a big deal, not a decision to make lightly. They are cute and cuddly, but delicate and challenging. Being a parent (as I'm sure you know) is the most rewarding, frightening, frustrating, miserable, joyful, challenging, painful role in the world. And not a role to take on before one is ready or for any reason other than one's own wants and needs. Your kids would be the ones living with the consequences and responsibility - they would need to be ready for them.

This is just as true for finding a spouse. Pressure just increases the chances of "settling" on the wrong one, and that's not good for anyone. Not your children, not the prospective spouses, not the eventual grandchildren.

I'll bet they know you want grandchildren. Any additional "hinting" is superfluous. Now, I know you're not pushing them, just wistful, so don't think I'm criticizing. And you already know why waiting is necessary, even if it isn't fun.

But, I truly believe that, if that if it's meant to be, it will be. And when you have the grandchildren you'll have when your kids are ready and (hopefully) happily involved with people that make them complete, you'll be as glad they waited as they will be. I hope it works out for you and you get the grandchildren you want, but only at the right time for your children.

In the meantime, you can always get a part time job in a daycare.


  • Mark

    Actually, getting your children to marry and have children of their own is - in most societies - illegal, and therefore should be actively discouraged. Even if Patricia isn't concerned about breaking incest laws there is an increased risk of genetic abnormalities in any offspring from the union to consider. Does she really want three-eyed grandkids? Okay, bad question: who wouldn't? But, still, think of the stigma at school.

  • flit

    I cheated to get mine... married their grandfather :)

    Still waiting on my own girls to get round to dating or something at least (they're 23 & 24) ...but Ross' daughter has provided us with 2 gorgeous baby boys

  • Stephanie B

    Mark, I'm pretty sure she didn't mean it that way.

    flit, that's always an idea, but, if one is happily married, it may not be an easy option. When I was a kid, though, I had several honorary grandparents. "Adopting" local kids to fawn over is always an option, too.

  • Kelly

    That's such a great question and I may know which Patricia you are speaking of! (mark, that was a really funny answer!)

    My take, the more you "urge" the less likely they will comply.


  • Patricia Rockwell

    Oh, Stephanie, even the thought of working for even a brief period of time in a daycare center has quickly dampened my enthusiasm for grandchildren. Good job!

    Mark, I hadn't considered the incest angle as my son and daughter don't really seem to even like each other.

    And for everyone, I am the soul of discretion as far as hinting about marriage or children are concerned.

  • Carl

    There's always and

  • Aron Sora

    Many people in my generation are join into the childfree movement, your problem is going to be a common problem. No population growth is another fairly popular movement among students in my high school. I've heard my generation described as "green" and I think my generation is going to the extremes of climate support and not having babies to save the planet.

    For full disclosure, I support the childfree movement. Also, i'm only speaking from my experiences in my high school, this might not be a national trend.

    What do you think?

  • Phyl

    Aron, we're in the difficult position that in order to maintain social programs in the society, we can't have the resources coming from a small population base. So technically speaking, we need at least some new babies born over the next few years.:-)

    Perhaps the old phrase "moderation in all things" is a good guide, even in this.

  • Stephanie B

    Hey, Aron, is that an official question?

  • Aron Sora

    I can rephrase it: Is it weird that me and my friends, all high school seniors, support the childfree movement. We want to save the Earth and view babies as another thing consuming resources. We also view babies as roadblocks in a career. Mind you, we are all type-A people, always working. Full disclosure: I'm not sure myself, but there is a possibility that fear is influencing my opinion on the matter. I join the cause after reading "Too Many: A Study of The Earth's Biological Limits"

  • Aron Sora

    *I joined the cause after reading "Too Many: A Study of The Earth's Biological Limits"

  • musing

    None of my four grown kids look like they'll be having children anytime soon, if ever, and that's perfectly fine with me. They're free to live their lives however they wish.

  • shakespeare

    My husband is one of four children, and at this point it looks likely that our two children will be the only grandchildren... so that means our generation within his family--which includes four seriously dating or married couples--eight people total--will create only two children, thereby depleting our human footprint by 75%.

    I believe adults who seriously want to raise children should have children, and adults who prize their careers and their freedom should not have children. Nothing is harder for a child than feeling as if they are unwanted or a burden. However, my parenting is my priority (as my readers know), and I take it more seriously than I do a full-time job. That is why my writing has taken second place for so many years.

  • Stephanie B

    Congrats, Aron, I think your response merits another post.

  • Patricia Rockwell

    Jeez, you guys are tough! I feel really guilty now. Never thought just wanting to be a grandmother would make me an anti-environmentalist.

  • Stephanie B

    Don't feel bad, Patricia.

    It was an interesting question and an interesting discussion. I don't think wanting children/grandchildren makes you anti-environmentalist. Procreation is a natural part of all living things. We need a next generation.

    That does not mean that overpopulation isn't an issue, of course, but that it's more complicated, which is why I'm addressing Aron's comments in a new post.

  • Phyl

    I realized when I was in my early 20s that I wouldn't be a very good mother. Not in the sense of being a bad person, but just knowing that I wouldn't be able to give the kids the priority that I myself thought they should have.

    That's when I decided that those who do want kids, and are capable of being good parents, should go for it, while I cheer them on. It's mainly a matter of knowing yourself and your goals and priorities.

  • Baron von Rochester

    I tend to think that folks who really want grandchildren can benefit from volunteering with kids who could use a grandparently presence. Mentoring children can be hugely rewarding, and while those kids may not share your genetic makeup, you and they can have a lifelong, and in some cases life-saving impact on one another. Craving baby cuddles? Volunteer to hold neglected newborns at a hospital. There are so many children whose emotional and psychological lives are being stunted and ruined by neglect and poor parenting ... there's no need to wait for one's own children to procreate. It's rewarding to impact a life that's already here.

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