In the endless circle of life, you raise your children and then have the blessing of watching them do the same. Since people live longer today than they did years ago, you may get to know your great-grandchildren. Each generation anticipates the joy of passing the torch to the future.
Also, every generation wants their children to have it better than they did. In many ways, technology has enriched the lives of your children and future grandchildren. They will, no doubt, earn more money and have more opportunities than you did.
As your children reach adulthood, you hope they settle down with the right person. After the wedding bells, you probably expect to hear the gentle hum of a lullaby. You long to hold those little ones in your arms and bless them as your family’s legacy.
After all, weren’t these the things your folks wanted for you and your mate? You want your adult kids to be happy, prosperous, and have a house full of babies. Isn’t that all part of the American Dream?
Why did you save many of your children’s baby clothes, furniture, and toys? It was in hopes that you would be outfitting a nursery for a new generation. Some couples start college funds for their future grandchildren.
You dream of holding that precious little one in your arms and wondering which derivative of Grandmother and Grandfather you’ll use. You hope the baby looks like your adult child because it takes you back to the day when you were a new parent.
Maybe you made some mistakes when raising your children, and that’s normal. Perhaps with having grandchildren, you feel you’ll have a chance of redemption. Maybe you hope to be a better grandparent than you were a parent.
Having a bevy of children may be your dream.
But what if your adult children have different ideas? It’s not always easy to change parental roles. When it comes to your grown child becoming a parent, it’s a touchy subject for some.
Infertility can be devastating for couples who long to have children. Recent statistics say that at least 12 percent of women in the United States either have trouble conceiving a baby or carrying one full term. Of those, about six percent are never able to conceive.
Of course, modern science has proven that infertility is just as much a man’s problem as it’s a women’s issue. Fortunately, we no longer live in the times when women were ostracized, divorced, or even executed for the inability to conceive an heir, i.e., King Henry VIII. Studies conclude that one-third of infertile couples in the United States results from male infertility.
Discussing a couple’s infertility is off-limits, even if you are their parents. Suppose they come to you with their problem; then it’s best to listen compassionately rather than give advice. It’s often a painful subject that can cause a family rift if mentioned.
If your adult children talk to you about infertility problems, don’t be the first to suggest adoption. While adoption is an ideal and loving way to have children, let your adult children come to that conclusion. Just being there for them is the best thing you can do in this situation.
Five Things You Never Say To Childless Couples
In past generations, prominent families were the norm. Since most people were farmers since colonial days, families needed lots of children to help with chores around the land and the household. Birth control wasn’t a topic until the 1960s, so the more children you had, the better.
Now, couples with no kids needn’t worry about big farms and tedious house chores. Modern technology, conveniences, and safe birth control make it easier to decide if you will be a no kid household. Being childless doesn’t hold the stigma that it once did, especially for women.
When you were making plans for your children growing up, did you ever consider that they may be against having a family? It’s a bitter pill to swallow when you realize that you may not have grandchildren unless you have other children who want kids. How you react can make a big difference in your relationship with your adult children and their mates.
Before you get impatient and start with the third degree, maybe you should reconsider. Is this situation about their happiness or yours? Here are five things you should never say to your adult children who have no kids.
1. Aren’t You Even Trying to Have Kids?
Just because you are a parent never gives you the right to ask such a rude and intrusive question to your adult children. Think of the message you’re sending. It’s practically asking the couple to have enough intercourse or doing things to help the process.
Don’t allow your desire to have grandchildren to make you stoop to asking such an inappropriate question. What if the couple is battling infertility?
Try to remember when you and your mate first started. Do you remember worrying about finances and having enough space for children? Just hold your tongue and allow your adult children to make their plans and decisions for their lives.
If you want to add insult to injury, then saying things like this can sting deeply. Not only have you intruded into a touchy subject, but you’ve insulted them, too. If you need to know, today’s women well into their 40s are birthing healthy babies.
Saying this rude comment also digs away at your adult children’s self-esteem. Are they somehow flawed in your eyes because they haven’t conceived soon enough to suit you? Remember to be a compassionate and considerate parent, and never ask about biological clocks.
3. I Bet You Save Tons of Money with No Kids
Do you believe that you raised a child who would put money over people? An inexcusable comment like this assumes that the couple is stingy and thinks only of money. Some couples wait to have children when it is more financially viable for them, and that’s their business.
According to recent statistics, a couple can expect to pay at least $233,610 from birth to age 18. Yes, that is a strong financial commitment to make. Some couples may wait a while, and some couples may say they want no kids from the beginning.
Another blow from this statement is the hint that you’re trying to ask how much money they make. It may have been acceptable to ask them when they were teens working a part-time job, but not once they’re on their own. Unless your adult children offer to tell you their financial business, the topic is off-limits.
4. Having Children Is More Important Than a Career
Until after World War II, women were stereotyped as the dutiful mother and housewife. Very few women worked outside of the home, let alone chose a career over having children. The Equal Rights Amendment and the Women’s Liberation Movement changed the family scene forever.
Now, it usually takes both people in the relationship working to make ends meet. It’s necessary and acceptable for couples to pay for childcare while they do. It’s also acceptable for couples to have no kids, so their careers aren’t hindered.
It doesn’t make them greedy or selfish. The decision is for those two, and they don’t need a third opinion. Learn to be proud of your adult children’s achievements, with or without children.
5. You’ll Never Be Complete with No Kids
Think of how cruel and devastating this comment would be to a couple who is silently battling infertility. It’s also a rude thing to say to a couple who has decided they won’t have children.
Most parents will tell you that one of their fondest achievements in life is being a parent and grandparent. That’s a heartfelt statement that’s true for them. However, it’s not true for everyone, especially those who have no kids.
It’s a grave mistake to raise your children to think that they are only worth anything if they have kids. How do you explain that to an infertile couple or to couples who choose to be childless? It sets your kids up for low self-esteem and a skewed sense of personal worth.
Yes, having children is a blessing that will enrich parents’ lives forever. The blessing of children can add to your adult children’s lives, but it may not complete them. A couple with no kids is just as whole and respectable as those with children.
Even as adults, your children need to know that you love them unconditionally. If they choose to have no kids, working against them will only destroy your relationship. When you accept your adult children as they are and respect their decisions on having kids, everyone will be happier in the long run.