Child and childfree


Dear Grandparenting: My husband wants a grandson in the worst way. He is obsessed with keeping the male side of the family going and he’s down to our last daughter.

Our two older daughters are married with five girls between them. Both put a permanent stop to their baby making. That leaves Jodi, still going steady with the same guy for close to five years.

We like her boyfriend. My husband makes no secret about what he wants. He keeps firing away. “Hey Jodi what’s the date?” or “Be sure to invite Uncle Walter.” Jodi never responds.

They both make good money. We can’t see what’s holding them back. Got any ideas to get the ball moving? Tiffany Branch, New York, New York

Dear Tiffany: Love them as we do, children aren’t for everybody. Once considered the crowning achievement of a women’s life, motherhood is increasingly seen as an option, especially for career women.

According to the last U.S. Census, nearly half of all women between the ages of 15 and 44 were childless. Some call it childfree, of the opinion that parenthood is too expensive, stressful and generally overrated, or find their job more rewarding than a life of housework and childrearing.

It’s hard enough to make it all work when couples have children for the right reasons. When the wrong reasons prevail — like deciding to have children because it’s expected — the situation grows more challenging. The work that good parenting is simply too intense and demanding to be undertaken without being inspired from within to do so.

Other problematic reasons for having children, at least to our way of thinking, include having someone to love you, fitting in with societal/cultural norms, keeping a marriage together, establishing a legacy and giving one’s life meaning. A child shouldn’t be about making adults feel better.

Grand remark of the week

Billy Murphy from Battle Creek, Michigan reports that things are going “really great” with grandson Liam.

How great? The last time Liam visited “he asked if he could stay with me when his mother gets old.”

Tom and Dee and Cousin Key

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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