I hang out with a bunch of old farts just like me on Facebook from time to time. Inevitably, someone is always bragging about this grandchild or that. One lady asked me to like her post if I was proud to be a grandma, so I asked what if I’m proud not to be a grandma. She said she didn’t know how to respond to that. Really?
I am happy for anyone who loves their family and receives love from them. This is a good thing, but I am ecstatic to hear when people wait until they are established in life before bringing more children in the world. Life is tough. Life without money and constantly worrying about how to feed small children and how to keep them safe borders on hellish. I know many people who were teen parents or had children out of wedlock who were so ill prepared both financially and emotionally to care for their children that the children suffered. Some of those kids grew up raised by grandparents, strangers, siblings or raised themselves more than any parent. Others, not so much. Some young people cope quite well with those tiny bundles of joy who spit up, cry, poop and demand constant attention no matter their circumstances. The children of this second group are fortunate.
I think those of us who are proud not to be a grandparent should stand up and praise our kiddos for taking precautions to prevent untimely pregnancies. It isn’t because I don’t want grandchildren, but I do think there is a time and a place for everything. That my children are wise enough to realize that as well is extraordinary and a sign that I have instilled in them some strong values and life coping skills.
I am just as proud not to be a grandma as I’m sure I will be when my children bless me with a sweet smelling, dribbling, pooping, giggling new person who will become as precious to me as their parents always have been.