Dear Grandparenting: My two daughters are a study in contrasts. They were never what I would call “fast friends” even when they were little. Each wanted to go her separate way and that was that.
Fast forward 20 years and they are still very different. Charlotte is married with three children. Those kids are her life. Lindsey is married and “childfree thank goodness,” and a partner in a Miami law firm. That job is her life.
Charlotte has a problem with that. To her way of thinking, Lindsey is under some kind of family obligation to give me more grandchildren.
You should hear the verbal grenades Charlotte lobs at Lindsey! “Think you’re tired? You have no idea, cutesy career girl!” Or, “You don’t know what real love is. You don’t have children and wouldn’t understand!”
Charlotte even drags me into it when she’s going at it. “Mom had you! It’s your turn now but you are too selfish!”
I don’t like these squabbles of course, but I do enjoy thinking about how lucky I am to have two daughters in totally different orbits. One is the traditional girl, one the more modern girl. I still think Lindsey wants to have children later, and that might give me another set of grandchildren to look forward to. You can disagree, but I think it makes life more interesting. Sally Martinez, the Villages, Florida
Dear Sally: The world abounds with grandparents and wannabes who can relate to your situation. In many households, working women are the rule, nevermore the exception. Whether they bring home the bacon or continue their education to train for higher-paying professions like law and medicine, more women are choosing to delay or opt out of childbirth.
According to some, America is actually in the throes of a baby crisis. We’re not turning out enough of them to replace an aging workforce and sustain tax revenues. And the big hold-up, as reflected by 2016 government data, is the declining birth rate for teens and 20-somethings.
Then there are the more traditional types who elect to obey their maternal instincts, adamant they wouldn’t trade the joys of motherhood for anything in the world. Count on them to keep the grandchild factories humming.
Thanks to modern medicine, it’s not too late for mature career girls either. Advances in fertility treatments have widened the childbearing window, as the spike in birth rates among women aged 40-44 demonstrates.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Treat Turner, of Everett, Washington, checked in with his impressive array of nicknames for granddaughter Madeline, 2.
“I know I forgot some, but here goes: Baby Girl, Cutie Patootie, Maddy Mouse, Sweetie Petitee, Silly Goose, Little Miss Pants On Fire, Teeny Weenie Dearie, Speedo and Little Curly Girlie.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.
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