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Grandparenting

No grandchildren

(33 Posts)
mrsmopp Sat 15-Feb-20 11:04:22

We have finally given up hope - there are never going to be any grandchildren and we feel so sad. We are 75 now and our two sons have never wanted marriage or children. The subject is never mentioned.
We hardly see either of them, they are getting on with their lives - we might get a phone call every couple of weeks, but they seldom visit and we’re not asked to see them, they are so busy. One is two hours drive away, the other is more than 3 hours away.
I’m glad we have plenty of friends, it certainly helps.

V3ra Sat 15-Feb-20 11:27:59

That does sound sad. Have you talked to a good friend about how you feel? Do any of your friends have grandchildren you could "share" an interest in? Any young neighbours with no family nearby who might appreciate your friendship? Schools that might welcome a volunteer to listen to the children read?
So hard when life doesn't work out how we'd been quietly hoping for.

Sara65 Sat 15-Feb-20 11:41:46

Mrsmopp

I’m lucky enough to have six grandchildren, but if it was left to my son , there certainly wouldn’t be any, as he has no interest in getting married, or having a family. I always thought it would happen eventually, but now in his mid forties, I think it’s unlikely.

We work together, and get on well, but I know absolutely nothing about his life outside of work, and if we didn’t work together, I doubt I’d hardly see him.

jusnoneed Sat 15-Feb-20 11:55:57

I think more and more younger people (especially the chaps it seems) are deciding to stay single or not have children.
My eldest has a family, we don't see any of them - haven't for 11 years.
My youngest has said he is never doing the "getting married/kids" thing. In his early 30's he may change his mind, but as long as he's happy that's all that matters. A few of his friends seem to be thinking same way, all busy enjoying being single with the occasional fling!

Doodle Sat 15-Feb-20 12:07:04

mrsmopp sorry you feel so sad about missing out on grandchildren. They are a great joy in our lives but also a constant source of worry (just like having your own all over again). Our DGS is autistic and I worry about him constantly. Life has not been easy for him or his mum and dad. Having said that I love him and my DGDs to bits and wouldn’t be without any of them.
If it is not to be for you, then concentrate on enjoying the life you have. Best wishes.

sandelf Sat 15-Feb-20 12:14:03

Same here. This is the first generation where people have a realistic choice to have children or not. And more than expected are choosing not. Cannot blame people - we all live our lives doing the best we think at the time.

kissngate Sat 15-Feb-20 12:15:01

It might happen one day! Our former neighbours like you thought it wouldn't happen. Both in their 70s two sons in 40s one married one not. Dil surprised them at 43 and 44 with two gc then son 2 met someone shortly after and they now have a third gc.

We have a married son in his 40s with no children. We dont pry if it happens it happens.

sodapop Sat 15-Feb-20 12:25:28

It's a shame you don't have more contact with your sons MrsMopp , can you have a Whstsapp group with them or something similar so you can have more continuous contact. As for the grandchildren, that's their decision and you can't live your life through them. My daughter made the same decision and will not change her mind. Time to stop fretting about it and get on with your lives, good friends are a blessing.

Sara65 Sat 15-Feb-20 12:28:17

I agree Sandelf, I’m sure many couples have had children in the past, simply because it’s the next step. I know a lot of couples who don’t have children, can’t or won’t, I don’t ask, though I think it’s probably not choosing to in most cases.

Starlady Sat 15-Feb-20 12:40:26

I'm sorry you and DH (dear husband) are disappointed in your lack of GC, Mrs.Mopp. I'm also sorry that you don't have more contact w/ your sons, but think sodapop's WhatsApp idea is a good one. Meanwhile, glad you appreciate your friends and hope you continue to enjoy many activities w/ them.

mrsmopp Sat 15-Feb-20 12:54:26

Of course I understand it’s their own business and we have never raised the topic with them, it’s their lives after all. My mum had four grandsons who she saw frequently and had a great relationship with them. They were her pride and joy and they all adored her.
We do accept the situation, just feel sad that our family will come to an end. I have traced the family tree back to 1600.

Starlady Sat 15-Feb-20 13:00:36

Awesome that you've traced the family tree back that far! Will the family really come to an end though, just b/c your DSs (dear sons) don't intend to have kids? Are there no other relatives in their generation who do have/plan to have children?

Grammaretto Sat 15-Feb-20 13:21:29

Perhaps your sons sense the desperation you have and are keeping away?

If you want to have children in your life how about sponsoring a child's education ? A friend, in the same boat as you, did that and had much satisfaction.

I volunteer at a community garden and we have school visits etc.
Ok I'm sure you know all this and it's your own DGC you want.

On that note, it may yet be possible, one of our DS and his partner waited until they were over 40 before settling down to children and a friend's DD has just become a mum, for the second time, naturally, aged 48.
So don't give up yet.

As for the family tree. You are not the end of the line. I just had my DNA tested and immediately found dozens of new cousins. Our DC are not very interested.

mrsmopp Sat 15-Feb-20 14:38:56

Have never mentioned kids to my sons and I’m not desperate Grammaretto. Just a bit disappointed.

Chestnut Sat 15-Feb-20 14:52:22

mrsmopp - fabulous family tree, well done. Try and find a nephew, niece or even cousin's children to pass it on to. It won't be exactly the same tree, but you can pass on the bit that applies to them.
I do know quite a few people my age who have no grandchildren. It seems the next generation are enjoying life with no commitments, working and often travelling all over the world.
However, every cloud has a silver lining as they say. Those of us with grandchildren do spend a lot of time worrying, especially about the future of our planet. Global warming and overpopulation worry me dreadfully. I think about my grandchildren as older people and wonder what it will be like for them. In a way you are fortunate not to have that worry.

Newatthis Sat 15-Feb-20 15:42:23

I remember seeing in our local paper many years ago that a family was looking for (local) surrogate grandparents as they felt it a very important role within a family. Both of their sets of parents had died and their children were left without grandparents. They were inundated with offers. Perhaps you could write to your local paper and ask them to do a small article. You may have to get background checked but this is not intrusive.

BlueBelle Sat 15-Feb-20 16:23:58

Dear Mrsmopp I can understand how disappointing this is for you and it would me too You sound very fair about it and are not sitting wringing your hands it’s just a sadness that’s there
Like another poster said Don’t give up My friend was in her very late 60s her eldest son gay, her daughter had a hysterectomy and never wanted children, and the youngest son a bit if a playboy she was like you not being hysterical but a bit sad roll on 5 years and she has two grandsons
It’s a shame you’re not closer with your sons but I find with most boys they don’t think of your feelings too much especially if they are busy with work or young ladies (or young men) you may need to be the one calling them or inviting them over
Good luck and I hope you suddenly get a call

endlessstrife Sat 15-Feb-20 16:26:23

Yes, Newatthis, I would have liked that for my children, as we never had good relationships with their natural grandparents. I was going to suggest the same thing. There must be loads of families who would love the input of older people in their children’s lives. Perhaps you could contact Social services.

GagaJo Sat 15-Feb-20 16:30:26

My bloke has 2 adult children pushing 40 that don't look as if they're going to reproduce. I feel sad for him, but he shares my only grandson with me. Not as good as one of his own but better than nothing. Sad, because he loves kids and is wonderful with them.

Floradora9 Sat 15-Feb-20 17:34:14

We had given up on granchildren but DS married at 40 and produced the granchildren in short order . Or at least his good wife did . They are a joy but we were resigned not to have any and had accepted it.

M0nica Sun 16-Feb-20 16:41:09

I am not sure that surrogate grandchildren, or contact with children is the same as having your own biological children.

Our daugher decided very young that living with a partner or having children were not for her and she is happily single and living alone. Job insecurity meant that our DS and DDiL delayed it and we had more or less given up all hope when on the cusp of 40 she had two children in quick succession.

Had they not had children, no surrogate children of any kind could have filled the hole. We would just have had to rebuild our lives to a different pattern.

Franbern Mon 17-Feb-20 08:58:30

I was never very enthusiastic about having g,children, Wold have been more than happy if all my children had decided (as my son and his wife have) not to have children.
I so wanted my children and loved having them at all stages of their lives (even, most of the time during their teens!!!), was not keen to having anything come between them and me - as partners and then children have.
Okay, my g.children (all planned) make my children happy and anything that does that gets the thumbs up from me. But, I really would have been quite pleased not to have had any of them.
I would say that the OP should make every effort to have closer contact with their sons. Probably difficult for young men to get to see them too often, but could not Mr and Mrsmopp go to visit them on some sort of regular basis. Much easier for you to spare the time in travelling and visiting than for them.
IN a world that is overpopulated and in a time when the future of our planet is so uncertain, think not having to worry about direct descendants can be good.

Hetty58 Mon 17-Feb-20 09:13:23

mrsmopp, look on the bright side.

There are no little kids to worry about, no terrible anxiety when they're poorly. You don't have to reluctantly babysit when you'd much rather be doing something else.

You can spend your own money with no guilt about depriving them. Your life is unhindered by fitting in with or anticipating their needs etc. etc. - be grateful for your freedom!

Eglantine21 Mon 17-Feb-20 09:34:17

We all have a little vision of how life will be. Maybe not the closely planned, somewhat obsessive vision that some have, but a kind of universal expectation. Someone to love and grow old with, a home, children, being part of a continuing family. A successful, fulfilling career, travel, being active , whatever.

Then life happens and visions and expectations are just what they always were, something we conjured up in our own minds.

I have found that the way of peace is to let go of the hope and expectation and to live life as it is given to us. So I disagree with those posters who have tried to comfort by saying don’t give up hope.

I read once that hope is an anchor. It can hold you fast and give you stability in a storm but it can also be the thing that holds you back, keeps you tied to your longing and if you discard it you can be set free.

Enough philosophising 😬 mrsmopp, I wouldn’t wait for your sons to ask you. Just tell them you’re coming to London or wherever and you’d like to meet up. Just a meal. They’ll probably say yes, they just won’t think of it on their own. Because they are men.....

V3ra Mon 17-Feb-20 09:59:14

Wise words*Eglantine 21*.
The other saying I find helpful is:
"Happiness isn't getting what we want,
Happiness is wanting what we get"