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To be a bit sad my parents might not meet their future grandchildren?

(31 Posts)
NervyNualaaa Wed 13-Jan-16 03:49:45

My parents had me fairly late in life (46 and 47). I'm 24 now and just about to embark on a professional career... I'm dating casually but no DP at all (in fact not yet had a serious boyfriend) and obviously no DC.

My parents keep young and healthy and are (touch wood) doing well. They both look like they're in their 50s still.

Every now and then my mum will say somewhat jokingly "don't leave having kids as late as I did!" and get a bit broody for grandchildren. I would love love love children but obviously need to meet the right person and get things in order first (career, spending time with DP before kids, travelling).

I just get a bit sad sometimes when I wonder realistically if they'll be able to meet their future grandchildren sad My dad in particular is getting a bit depressed and cranky as he ages and I just know grandkids would give him a second wind. They both adore children and would make brilliant grandparents.

Anyone else been in a similar position? I've always visualised my parents being hands-on grandparents and as time passes I feel like I'm denying them the opportunity. Sad really sad

araiba Wed 13-Jan-16 04:02:53

they chose to have kids at a late age and maybe missing out on grandchildren is a consequence of this.

not your responsibility

but yes, its still easy to feel sad

Ipsos Wed 13-Jan-16 04:04:37

I know what you mean. I think that there are some families where everybody just grows up late and reaches the marrying and children stage much later in life than other families.

For example I know many families where everyone is ready to marry and have kids by the age of 15, but I also know many families where they were not ready until mid-40s. The late developers very often have much more money to support kids, but much less family support, because late starting families are generally smaller families (fewer siblings) and the older generations are more likely to be gone.

I was in your shoes 15 years ago and I did finally find a nice chap and now we have a lovely little son now. I do worry for my son at having so little family as he also has no cousins. I really have no idea what the solution is. I wonder - could you talk to your parents and say that you wish that you could give them gcs, and have them be there to enjoy that phase of your life, but that you are just not there yet?

I found that when I was where you were my relationship with parents was strained because of their frustration and it was a waste of time really. There was nothing that I could have done to make myself mature faster.

One of the things that they teach that we should do with children who want what they can't have is to play at imagining what it would be like if we could give them the thing. You could talk to your parents about all the lovely things that you would do together if there were gcs and the books that you would read and the places that you would go, and even write it down as a gift to give to your children when they do come along?

Ipsos Wed 13-Jan-16 04:08:00

My inlaws are also writing a little biography of their family as a story book suitable for reading to a four year old and it is very popular with ds. Perhaps your parents could do that?

treacledan71 Wed 13-Jan-16 04:15:07

It is sad but it is just how life pans out and totally understand what you are saying. My mom had me at 25 but died when I was 21 so never met my Ds. My dh parents never did either as both died. My friend's dad had her at 45. She had kids at 16 and he is 80 now and a dotting grandad. Good luck in your career

Ipsos Wed 13-Jan-16 04:18:00

treacle that's wonderful about your friend. I would love to have my parents live on for donkeys years and see my son grow up.

We have geographical separation too, which is a massive nuisance. Separate thread though.

knobblyknee Wed 13-Jan-16 05:28:37

YANBU. Its ok to be sad for things that will never be. I cant see anyone thinking thats an unreasonable thing to feel sad about flowers

saffronwblue Wed 13-Jan-16 06:04:11

Yanbu to be sad but ywbu to change your own life plans to accommodate their time frames. Think of the advantages you have had from having older parents - perhaps they were more financially and emotionally secure, more relaxed as they had adult child free years to pursue interests etc before they had you. You can't change the structure of their lives. Just enjoy them now.

Tinymrscollings Wed 13-Jan-16 06:21:44

OP, my husband is a decade older than me and his parents became parents at a relatively late stage. DH didn't become a father himself until he was 40. DH's dad was 80 and 84 when his grandsons arrived. You're right, they can't do as much of the hands on down the park grandparenting as younger people would do, but they offer such a lot of other things instead. They have plenty of time for us because they are well past working age. They have been able to offer us a bit of financial support that has allowed me to work flexibly around DS1 who has some additional needs. Age is no barrier to talking, eating, drawing, watching films etc with the children. It really isn't all bad.

We've also noticed that in return our boys have offered a bit of a new lease of life for DFIL who retired young and seemed to have lost his love of life in his later years. They bring noise and mess and laughter into their home.

It's sad that DH's parents are unlikely to see their grandsons grow up, graduate, find partners of their own etc but that's just life. I wouldn't over think it. Your mum will be joking about the grandchildren and will have known that she will be an older grandparent since you were born. Just enjoy your life and relish this time when your career and experiences can be the number one priority. If you do intend on having a family then there will be all too much time when your needs are at the bottom of a very long list of the needs of others.

You sound like a lovely and thoughtful daughter.

Katenka Wed 13-Jan-16 06:58:31

I hardly had involved grandparents. One died before I was born and 2 were alcoholics. The one decent one my nana, died just after I got engaged. I was completely gutted that she wouldn't see me get to see me get married or meet my children.

So I do get you worrying.

However I embarked on a professional career, straight out of college. Wasn't going to get married until after my twenties etc.

I met dh at 19, by 20 we were married and at 21 I had dd. It happened really fast (I also kept my career). So just because isn't happening now doesn't mean it definitely will be many years down the line.

My dd got lucky. When she was born she had all four grandparents and 3 great grandparents. 1 passed away after seeing her once. But dhs grandma and grand dad were wonderful people. She remembers them now. Dhs grandma died just before I got pregnant with ds, his grandad passed away before ds was born and I was gutted he never got to meet them.

I think what I am saying is that I understand you worrying, a bit. But don't worry too much. Don't let it influence your decision, don't settle for someone who isn't right to give your parents the grandchildren they want. But don't assume it's not going to happen.

scarlets Wed 13-Jan-16 08:02:25

I know exactly what you mean. Yanbu.

Your mum is BU if she's putting pressure on you to settle down, but NBU if she's sensibly warning you of the pitfalls of very late parenthood.

Katedotness1963 Wed 13-Jan-16 08:13:08

Due to fertility problems, not choice, my first was born when I was 36. My mum died when I was 7 months along, she was in her 50's. My dad died 5 years later. Nothing is guaranteed in life. My kids have grown up with no grandparents on my side and grandparents on the other side of the world on their dads side.

Finola1step Wed 13-Jan-16 08:13:50

YANBU but there is nothing you can do. I had my dc in my mid to late 30s. Both my parents and my ILs had myself and DH at a similar age. So both sets of GPs were nearly 70 when ds arrived. 7 years on, both my Dad and MIL have died after very long illnesses. Mum has significant mobility issues but tries to get involved.

It is hard when I see friends of dc with their active GPs in their late 50s early 60s. But the flipside is that dh and I were financially secure before having dc.

But in your situation, you must simply live your life as it is and see what comes.

nextusername Wed 13-Jan-16 09:22:37

> they chose to have kids at a late age and maybe missing out on grandchildren is a consequence of this.

Why are you assuming it was by choice araiba? There are various reasons why people might not be able to have children when they're younger, such as not having met their partner, or fertility problems.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 13-Jan-16 09:31:07

Oh dear, it's a hard one.

See, my Mum had me at 23 - so should have happily expected to see grandchildren. She did, in fact, from my siblings - but not my DC, as she died while I was pg with Ds1. My "fault" for not having Ds1 til I was 40 - but you know, I never thought she would die at 63 either, as her own mother was 82, her maternal grandmother was 80 and her paternal grandmother was 96 when they died - Mum should have lasted well into her 80s, we though. No, cancer got her.

Point being, you can never know what's going to happen so there's no point in either dwelling on it, or beating yourself up about it.

(((hugs))) though. x

amitha Wed 13-Jan-16 09:53:26

Me and my mum both had children quite young (26) and she still didn't live long enough to see then- she passed away at 50. My kids are 5 and 9 and only have ons grandparent. Do wish I had more family and kids had grandparents but it is what it is.

FrozenPonds Wed 13-Jan-16 10:00:49

I think life is sad, no matter what your route.

My mother knew my eldest for 12 years, then was diagnosed with cancer, and died six weeks later. She loved them so much, and was so sad to leave them.

Her constant theme as she died was not getting to see her beloved grandchildren grow up. She tried so hard to prepare them to carry on, but they are bereft.

We may have a child she will never know in life. We are catholic, and believe she lives on somewhere. It doesn't make up for the lack of hugs.

VocationalGoat Wed 13-Jan-16 10:09:29

My dad only got to know my eldest then died when my eldest was nearly 2. He's nearly 14 now, my DC1 and in between all of that time, 8 grandchildren including my DC have come into the picture.
It is sad but it is what it is. And you never know, your parents may live extraordinarily long lives. You just can never tell.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 13-Jan-16 10:15:22

My MIL died when mine and DH's first born was 3 months old. She'd been ill will cancer and in fact only ever held DS the day he was born.

It makes me incredibly sad that DS will never know his grandma. The same applies for any future DC.

She was only 62.

Sometimes grandparents not meeting their grandchildren isn't always because they had children late themselves.

As a previous poster said, your mum made her choices and potentially not meeting grandchildren is the consequence.

I know DH often feels sad though about the fact that if we'd had children earlier. (We were still only 30 and 31 though) then his mother would have gotten a chance to get to know a grandchild.

Life is unpredictable unfortunately and as people say, hindsight is a brilliant thing.....

whois Wed 13-Jan-16 10:18:45

My mum had me late (early forties) and I have no current plans for kids (early thirties) so this is a real possibilities for me as well. Although she is currently in great health, say I had a baby at 38 she would over 80.

roundandroundthehouses Wed 13-Jan-16 10:23:36

I think all the replies show that things can work out in so many different ways, that whatever we picture for the future is never likely to be the way it really turns out. My own parents were older, too, and this means that by the time I had children, three grandparents were dead, and my mother was already becoming elderly. They've had plenty of contact with their granny, but it's a very different dynamic to what their friends have, as I am her carer. They are teens now, and it gets harder and harder as the years go on.

I can't pretend I don't wish things were different, but there are just too many unknowns. For example, if my parents had been younger, then my father probably wouldn't have died when dd1 was small, leaving my mother needing help. So I may well not have moved back to my home area to help my mother - meaning that my dds wouldn't have grown up close to any grandparents at all.

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Wed 13-Jan-16 10:29:18

My parents had me late in life too, but they never expected grandchildren from me - my much older sister (15 years difference) had already provided on that front smile

I now live 4 hours from them, with 2 young DC. Sadly, my parents only see them every few months - my dad can't drive anymore due to advanced Huntington's disease, and my mum never learned how. DH and I don't drive either. They depend on a good friend of theirs to ferry them about.

It makes them incredibly sad to feel like they're missing out. Youngest DS is 17 months, and my dad especially feels as if he'll never really know him, thanks to his rapidly declining memory and mobility.

Personally, I believe it's easier to miss something that's actually there, as my family do - your parents can't really miss/mourn the nonexistence of your children, if you see what I mean. Don't feel you have to accommodate their desire for GCs just to please them. As PPs have said, they may have many years left in them yet!

ComposHatComesBack Wed 13-Jan-16 10:36:56

Your parents had you at a late age which brings advantages and disadvantages. One of which was that their parents (your grandparents) would have been older and potentially missed out on playing an active part in their grandchildren 's life. It seems a bit rich of them to put pressure on you.

roundandroundthehouses Wed 13-Jan-16 12:42:20

Yes - however loving and well-meant, and whether or not their situation re. grandchildren arose by choice - it isn't your job to 'resolve' it by having children earlier than whatever is the right time for you.

Minniemagoo Wed 13-Jan-16 12:46:53

Life throws curve balls all the time. Dhs parents are much older than mine and when DD the first grandchild was born we actually had a conversation about how lucky DD was that mine were so young. Well my very fit Dad died suddenly when DD was 5 at 57 years old. On the other hand FIL is 80 this month and still a very active grandparent. Don't live your life by what ifs.

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