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Coming in hot off Thanksgiving and heading into December festivities, maybe you ended up in the same seat so many have sat in before when home for the holidays. Your mom subtly, or maybe not so subtly, brought up when you may be adding a few little ones into the mix. What started out as my own mother casually mentioning that the upholstered rocking chair in my old room would be great for nursing, has evolved into her just straight up telling me that having kids before thirty is better for avoiding delivery complications and I should probably find someone to settle down with. It’s not just me either. When my brother and his wife had “big news to share” and it turned out to be a puppy, I thought my mom was going to die from disappointment.
I am looking forward the idea of starting my own family someday. I plan on being a cool mom that puts fruit roll ups in my kid’s lunchboxes and goes to every little league game. I would consider myself motivated by this future prospect, and I get pumped up about it for a hot second when I see a cute baby in the grocery store and happen to be ovulating. However, my mom is a million times more excited than I am, or probably ever will be, and it isn’t even her unborn kids she’s fangirling over.
I can say with absolute certainty that all your moms are in this boat. She’s just waiting for the day when you finally share a pregnancy announcement. It’s her dream come true, and she’s been playing it out in her head since you graduated college. As I write this, moms all over are probably thinking about whether they want to be called Grammie, Gramma, or something quirkier like Baba, Nonna, or Yaya. Being a grandmother is her life mission, and she will dedicate all her energy (i.e. nagging) to getting it done.
Being a grandparent does seem like a great set up. You get a lot of the fun moments without all the dirty work of being an actual parent. You can spoil your grandkids with gifts, play with them and enjoy all their adolescent loving during long weekends and vacations, but then go back to your peaceful Playskool free home in the end. It’s only fair. Your parents already went through all the leg work of child rearing for you and your siblings. They now want you to have to do the suffering while they enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of an extended family member.
The bragging rights are also a huge motivator. You can read the jealousy between the lines on Facebook comments tied to grandchildren pictures. When your mom says, “Oh look at how cute they are!” What she really means is, “It should be me sharing photos of my grandbabies with food all over their face, I deserve it more than this dumb bitch in my book group.” Be aware that once you do finally get the deed done, especially if you provide the first grandchild, it’s going to be the only thing she talk about with anyone for ages.
Every year that you don’t produce an heir, you’re siphoning away your mom’s will to live. While she cares about your financial stability, relationships, and career, she selfishly would rather you just put all those things on hold and prioritize starting a family. With the average age for having children slipping up into the early thirties, your poor mom is probably sweating it out as your twenties slowly roll away with no little ones on board. Our parents came from a different generation where you could get married, buy a house, and have two kids by 25. Your mom’s expected timeline for your spin around the game of life may be a little skewed because of this.
There’s no use trying to run from it or avoid the conversation. Just remind your mother that you can barely take care of yourself, and it wouldn’t be fair to bring a child into your flailing world. Or explain that kids just aren’t part of your life plan and probably never will be. It’s not going to stop her from bringing it up or hoping, but at least you’re being honest. Enjoy your child free years, and if you/your significant other end up “in the family way,” You can save some money on a Christmas, Birthday, etc. gift and just wrap up a peed-on pregnancy test. It’s so disgusting, but it seems to be the most loved gift by future grandparents..