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Going to be a Grandma, don't know whether to weep for joy or regret

(487 Posts)
GrandmaWeLoveYou Thu 11-Jul-13 19:00:39

Have NC for this.
It's a bolt from the blue.

DS (23) announced yesterday to his Father that his Girlfriend (of 3 years) is pregnant.
DH gave me this news this morning at breakfast.

Both of them are at Uni therefore not financially independant and DH has decided that we will fund them both for next 2 years until DS has qualified.

They've got it all sorted.

It's like history repeating itself only we were financially stable when our happy accident (DS) happened.

I've spoken to DS who said it was an accident. In this day and age accidents don't happen do they?

I don't know whether to jump for joy or cry my eyes out.
They had all the time in the world to have kids.
This is life changing stuff.

Can't help but think they've left it this long (3 months) to tell us because over here that's the cut off for abortion.

My beautiful boy is going to be a father before he's had time to really enjoy life and girlfriend will be a mother at 23 (i find 23 year olds in general lacking the maturity my generation had)

I sound like an awful person i know. I'm sure once the baby's here i'll be overjoyed, but for the moment feel raw and sad.

Please give me reassurance.

TalkativeJim Thu 11-Jul-13 19:37:41

'Can't help but think they've left it this long (3 months) to tell us because over here that's the cut off for abortion.'

What a very odd thing to say. It's perfectly normal to wait until the 12 week mark to tell people about a pregnancy, isn't it?

That sentence speaks volumes unfortunately - firstly, the implication that your opinion would carry any weight whatsoever when it came to deciding whether a 23 year old couple would be keeping a pregnancy - whether they would even discuss such a thing with you if they were in any doubt. Secondly, the implication that you would feel it appropriate to make your feelings known on such a personal matter.

I know this isn't the question you are asking, but do tread carefully. Your dismay doesn't seem to me to be so much about them 'throwing their youth away' as more about feeling angry that your son is now not your baby boy anymore. Do you dislike his girlfriend, or is it a more general anger at loss of control or closeness? It's obvious from your post, you know. You speak of your 'beautiful boy' losing out on opportunities, but when it comes to his partner, it's a barely disguised dig at '23 year olds'. Is he not a similarly immature 23, and she - your DIL to be, presumably - not a beautiful girl who you also fear will lose her youth to babies?

23 is not young. They will be described as 'mid twenties' by the time their baby is born. I would really urge you, if you want a close relationship with their family, to change what appears to be your perspective on their relationship - they are adults, nowhere near even teenagers. You're right, it very possibly wasn't an accident. If so, your son is already feeling the need to keep you and your influence at what he sees to be a healthy distance from his new family. Don't be that MIL!

noddyholder Thu 11-Jul-13 19:38:42

Talkative I think that is a very OTT response and there is no way you can make such assumptions about someone you have NEVER met

GrandmaWeLoveYou Thu 11-Jul-13 19:39:12

specialsubject degrees in Veterinary Science and Medicine !!!! blush

MrsOakenshield Thu 11-Jul-13 19:40:06

congratulations!

I am an older mother (late 30s when DD was born) and I so wish we could have had her younger. Not only do I feel exhausted and less up for chasing and rough-and-tumble and so on, but it's unlikley we will have another which makes me so sad. My mother was also an older mum, (though not as old as me) and is getting on (77) and not very fit, FiL is really very dotty and MiL has been having health problems. My dad died before he saw either of his GC.

I can totally see this is not what you had envisioned for your DS, but I do feel that there are so many benefits to being both young parents and young grandparents. And I'm sure your youngest will be thrilled to be an uncle or aunty.

Embrace it, and them, for what it is - a moment for celebration.

GrandmaWeLoveYou Thu 11-Jul-13 19:40:29

Thanks all for your lovely words.
Feeling better already.
Think DH's enthusiasm is also working on me.

MrsOakenshield Thu 11-Jul-13 19:41:12

what an unhelpful post, Talkative.

AdoraBell Thu 11-Jul-13 19:42:40

To me your OP read like they delayed telling you because if the abortion cut off, I can understand delaying telling someone she thinks may try to force her into a course of action she doesn't want, especially if that person is her own parent.

DD was 20. The way I see it I get more years with my beautiful grandson before I pop me clogs.

Just watch other people volunteering you for childcare duties though. Just do what you want. Babies/toddlers are messy and exhausting, especially when you're middle aged!

ImperialBlether Thu 11-Jul-13 19:43:33

I think before I came onto MN I would have thought this was an unmitigated disaster. All of those dreams for my children, of freedom and travel and careers etc would have seemed to be impossible if there was a baby.

I think I was completely deluded.

When I read on here of the struggles some of the women have, losing their children to dreadful illnesses or drugs, and read in the papers about children lost to violence, I think I really had a skewed vision of what I wanted for my children.

Do you remember when you were pregnant with your son? I remember all I wanted was for my baby to be healthy and to lead a happy life. Think about your son now. He's entering an incredibly exciting time of his life. He's obviously clever if he's studying for something that will take so many years. He's got a lovely girlfriend. He cared enough about her beliefs not to use medical contraception. They obviously cared enough about each other, too, otherwise Catholic or non-Catholic, they would have made sure she didn't get pregnant. And now they'll have a baby - the most lovely thing that could happen.

I don't think her parents should be told when you're all there too. It will hurt them to know they've been told last. It will be awful for them to not be able to take the news in without people looking at them. Your son and his girlfriend should talk to them together.

But congratulations on your new grandchild. This child will bring you so much love and so much happiness. Don't think of regrets, think of ways you can help them both achieve all of their dreams.

Hassled Thu 11-Jul-13 19:43:35

Another congratulations from me - I think being a grandmother must be amazing.

23 isn't too young - or at least, if it is, you manage. I was only just 21 when I had my oldest - as with everything else, you cope, you learn. They're clearly a committed couple, so they have an advantage over many people stumbling into parenthood. And they have committed, interested parents, which will help. Your lovely boy will still enjoy life - just a different life to the one you imagined.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 11-Jul-13 19:50:55

Congrats! They sound like a lovely couple and you and DH will be wonderful grandparents. I echo others' comments about being young grandparents. I am pregnant at 37 and my parents are in their 70s. I feel so sad that their health is deteriorating and they may well not live long enough to enjoy their grandchildren.

GrandmaWeLoveYou Thu 11-Jul-13 19:51:45

TalkativeJim What a delightful post, thanks thanks
As i have already said neither DH or I would have advocated abortion.
Her parents ............?

This is not a planned pregnancy (how naive) and they are still not excited about it.

This messes up their plans. Not only studies but travel etc.
As it is, DS will have to join DH's practice as soon as he qualifies. A life of working long hours.

Jaynebxl Thu 11-Jul-13 19:52:40

Once you're over the shock I'm sure you will be delighted. I'm sure it was a huge shock though.

However I doubt very much they waited to 3 months to get over the a oration cut off rate since it is much later than 3 months. I'm sure it is more to do with waiting til the scan.

maja00 Thu 11-Jul-13 19:53:03

Mid-twenties is a great (and totally normal!) age to have a baby, especially in a long term relationship.

Sounds like they are going to have a tough couple of years while they finish their degrees but then they will have a lovely baby and great careers.

Jaynebxl Thu 11-Jul-13 19:53:04

A oration? Abortion!

GrandmaWeLoveYou Thu 11-Jul-13 19:53:06

I'll be a 47 year old Grandma. DH 52.

TalkativeJim Thu 11-Jul-13 19:54:24

'DH already talking about my giving up work to look after baby!!!!'

Um. Do remind him that this might just be a decision that the child's mother might have some opinion on, won't you?

If I were your son's girlfriend, my hackles would shoot up at my FIL-to-be suggesting this.

And I would be incensed that either of you were aware of the details of our contraceptive choices.

ImperialBlether Thu 11-Jul-13 19:55:23

I wonder whether your husband is taking too much control here, OP. He has decided when and where the girl's parents will be told. He has decided you will stop work to care for the baby. Maybe her mother would like to do that? Maybe the girl would prefer nursery? And has he decided now that your son will work for him immediately?

K8Middleton Thu 11-Jul-13 19:55:57

Congratulations! My ds was a happy accident. I was 26 and just starting out in many ways but it will all work out for the best in the end. My DM was shocked at the time but came round very, very quickly and adores ds and we have dd now too.

I look forward to enjoying about 20 years of lovely holidays while I'm still earning but dc are grown up and being able to devote myself to work without a break to have babies very soon.

Don't mourn for a future that is lost. They still have a future, just as three instead of two.

RNJ3007 Thu 11-Jul-13 19:55:59

Grandma My mum was also 47 and my Dad was 52... How's that for a coincidence!

It'll be ok. My parents now love the fact that they have the energy and strength to be able to cope with a giant 4 year old and parks and day trips and the occasional sleep over!

Boosterseat Thu 11-Jul-13 19:57:27

18 when I had DS. My DD and DSM supported me when my own mother and exp parents called me a whore and tried to make me ashamed of myself and my son.

DD,DSM and my DS are incredibly close, I grew up pretty darn quickly and I am now married with a very successful career.No more Dc yet,we have all the time in the world.

No regrets here, but boy am I grateful for the amazing strength and support my parents gave me - bless them I could never thank them enough.

Congratulations Granny wink

MrsOakenshield Thu 11-Jul-13 20:00:39

oh, for goodness' sake, can the OP's DH not be excited! If the parents are both fulltime students they are going to need all the help they can get - maybe they'll be dead chuffed to know that Grandad is ready and waiting to help them out. Nothing definite has been decided by anyone! Goodness.

RNJ3007 - that's a good point, my mum, who looks after my niece one day a week, had to stop taking her to the playground when she was 3 and she couldn't lift her in and out of the swings.

GrandmaWeLoveYou Thu 11-Jul-13 20:00:43

TalkativeJim My DH gets carried away with himself and his enthusiasm on most subjects. We have a very healthy relationship with our 4 boys and also with potential DIL.

The contraception conversation was between me and my DS. He needed to "tell all". He's in a hard place at the moment (they both are).
It's our job now to reassure them and get them excited.
They're scared. They've been at Uni now for 5 years living the life of Riley.......time to grow up.

GrandmaWeLoveYou Thu 11-Jul-13 20:01:24

As far as the 3 month thing, over here them's the rules.

mummytolucas411 Thu 11-Jul-13 20:01:25

Honestly 23 is not that young.. I had my son at 20 and it upsets me to see on here that I would be viewed as not mature enough to be a parent.

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