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Everyone doesn’t get grandkids, and we need to be okay with that. Times have changed. But it still hurts my heart.
My Grandma used to have big parties once a month. She had 5 kids, and each of them had at least two children. Grandma and Grandad’s house sometimes had over 30 people in it when the grandkids started arriving.
Grandma always made great food, and we brought potluck dishes to go with her spread. We never went hungry at her house. As everyone piled plates high buffet-style to find a corner to eat, she sat in her chair by the stove and enjoyed her tea. You could see the enjoyment and love in her eyes while she watched the family. She lived for these gatherings.
Those times were full of laughs and food, and family. But that’s a thing of the past for my wife and me.
I have three adult children, and they tell me they won’t be having any babies. They “might” adopt someday, but having biological children is off the table, period. So unless things go astray for them, I won’t get grandkids.
There won’t be any big family parties. My wife and I don’t get to hold newborns, play with toddlers, explore with preteens or give advice to teenagers that aren’t really listening. None of the traditional grandparent stuff is gonna happen, and it makes me pretty sad. My wife is taking it even harder.
Millennials Are Putting Off Starting Families, Maybe Forever
All across society, people are deciding to put off having kids. For some, it’s because they want to be in a better financial position. But many don’t feel that procreating is right for them. Some will change their minds as situations in their lives evolve. Others will be happy without children.
Everyone is entitled to make their own life decisions, especially when it comes to their bodies. Children are a long-term commitment in time, energy, and emotions.
If you are one of those that decide to forego child-raising and work on your career or other pursuits, I support that. You can’t let family or society pressure you into making decisions that will crush your hopes and dreams or put you in the poor-house.
In The United States, almost half of people delaying having children do so because of money. With unemployment rates high and low opportunities out there, this is totally understandable.
But there are other reasons. These include not wanting to go through pregnancy because of what it does to the body. As I guy, I can’t imagine the number of long-term troubles it causes. All I can do is look at my wife and be amazed that she was willing to go through it more than once. I don’t know if I would have chosen it!
Image by Dan/Kelli Oakley from Pixabay
Many Think The World Is Too Overpopulated and Dangerous
The world has always been dangerous for humans. But it seems like humans are a danger to the world now, and this argument against children is a solid one according to science.
The easiest way to pollute less, consume less, and slow down greenhouse gases is to have fewer people. So choosing to go childless and save the environment makes sense.
Each new kid uses a massive pile of resources. In theory, having one less child per family would save up to 60 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
A baby needs diapers, bottles, bedding, toys, medications, and baby food. The amount of plastic and manufacturing we use up for children is mind-boggling. So if your son or daughter chooses to go childless, they really might save a big chunk of the environment.
Unless their lifestyle expands to fill the void.
Some people spend as much on their pets as any human baby. Everyone doesn’t save all their money if they don’t have kids. They spend it in other ways.
Source: The AARP Grandparenting Survey, 2002
What About Carrying On The Family Line?
It feels like a tragedy if your personal genetics is a dead end. What if there won’t be anyone to carry on the family line? Does that make your life a total waste? It makes it seem like you might as well throw in the towel.
If you’re a parent who thinks this way, you’re setting up a no-win scenario. What if your kids don’t share your beliefs about the all-important family line? Are you going to try to force them to change their minds?
We got this line of reasoning beat into us by society when I grew up. But that doesn’t make it true or useful.
There are plenty of humans on Earth right now. What makes your genetics so special?
We need to think these things through and come to our own conclusions. While I would love one of my children to carry on the line, I have to face the fact that in the grand scheme of things, one more biological link in my chain really isn’t an earth-shattering deal. In fact, the world won’t even notice.
Image by genielutz from Pixabay
You Can Add Meaning Without Babies
Our feelings of insignificance are exactly what makes us want the family to continue into infinity. We want to feel like we matter. But there are better ways to do that instead of popping out babies.
Ways to make your life count:
- Be a mentor to those who need your knowledge.
- Help a charity and support those in need.
- Share your insights with others through writing and art.
- Be excellent at your chosen craft.
- Create instead of consuming.
- Rescue animals and change their lives.
- Learn to uplift, inspire and create smiles everywhere you go.
- Explore and learn new things daily.
- Support human beings and their diversity by giving them the space to make their own life-affirming decisions.
If I don’t get grandkids, I need to be okay with it.
When my children were little, I pictured that someday, they would bring me their children. I was ready for it.
I love kids. I love playing with them. I like taking care of them. I cherish the time I spent with mine.
I don’t want that part of my life to be over, but it is. In my circle of friends, no one is having babies. I don’t know any new families starting.
I can’t get my little kid fix at the playground, either. No one wants an older dude hanging out by the swing set because he’s jonesing for some kids to push.
I’ll have to take those paternal urges and put them into some other area of my life. Maybe a rescue puppy?