Be honest: Would you be sad if your kids decide to forgo marriage/parenthood?

My husband and I were not within the distance to help. For my family, one brother helped my mom the most, but she died of cancer, was in hospice care for 3 months. For my husband’s side, the NHS sent somebody over to look over my MIL 3 times a day, she was living alone, and then one day she had a stroke between lunch and dinner and then she’s gone in 4 days when they took her to the hospital. Nobody in my husband’s side was in nursing home ever. His dad died slowly but with cancer, one day he checked in the hospital and died.

That was “lucky” - I started looking at nursing homes near MIL in London. With maxed out help/day - approx 12,000GBP/month.

I believe this pricing is back in 2011, she paid £60 a day for 3 visits, plus they did some light shopping for her. They came and heated up her food for her breakfast, lunch, and dinner, made sure she took her medicine, and that’s all they did for maybe 1 hour at most each time. My husband’s sister lived in London, only came down once a week. My MIL had mild dementia, but she knew who we were.

This. But not the “don’t put me in a nursing home” thing. Because sometimes that is realistically the only/best option.


Both of my younger sisters became grandparents in their mid-40s. They’re having totally different experiences with their grandkids than I ever will, if it were to ever happen. It feels greedy to want grandkids. I wasn’t even supposed to be around to see my sons graduate from HS, and I’ve gotten so much more time than that already.

While I’d be thrilled to have grandkids, I’ll NEVER say anything to my sons about it. They both live far from us, so it would be difficult to be hands-on grandparents or to help with child care. When I was a kid, we saw grandparents once or twice a year – Dad was in the Army, so we moved a lot. We were the “away” cousins. Was hoping things could be different.

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I bet you are helping - calling and texting your parents. Being a sounding board for your siblings, researching x or Y, etc.

I have a brother 30 min away who never visits my 80-something parents. And a retired brother a couple of hours away who has not seen our parents in 6 months.

I am sure they would both be there in a heartbeat if either parent goes to the hospital/has an emergency, but I want to tell them that their parents need them more now…


@kelsmom The hard thing is that having money is not the whole picture. I am my uncles PR. Plenty of money but dementia has made him unable to make decisions and frankly it was going on for a while before people were aware because he had a routine. (Had friends he spoke with daily and still not noticed until crisis). But we are lucky no one tried to take real advantage of him. So be sure your friend has safeguards in place in case the mind goes before the body.

Now back to children marrying,:blush:

Nope. Their life, their choices. Only way I’d be sad is if they were not happy.

My cousin became a grandma in her 40’s as well. Her daughter became a grandma in her 40’s too. So my cousin was a great grandma in her 60’s. She is very close to both her granddaughters and she talks with one of her granddaughters everyday. That said, her daughter had kids when she was 18 and it wasn’t a good situation. The father was not a good guy. And my cousin and her husband had to support their daughter and her family for a long time.

I honestly haven’t thought much about this issue as my kids are only 19 and 17 (both boys). It would be nice to have grandkids some day, but I don’t think I’d be sad if that doesn’t happen. I have no idea what they are thinking - if they’ve even considered it at this point.

I’ve seen that too! It’s really amazing how social media distorts reality.


I absolutely do not want to be a financial burden on my daughter and we have done everything we can to avoid that.However, elderly people need advocates and decision makers eventually if they live long enough, and paid help can’t necessarily provide that. My own father (93) has a lot of money, but he lacks the energy and focus to handle many administrative life tasks. My sister and I have to do that for him. Sooner or later, if we live long enough, we need help with life management. I do think that children owe their parents consideration and care in this regard. I guess I do think children owe their parents support, and it’s also incumbent upon the parents to not be a financial burden by planning and saving. But no one can avoid the neediness that comes with aging, and it’s an act of reciprocal love to care for the person who brought you into this world.


no, of course not

I agree. However, I have observed that the carefully considered plan my in laws made has given way to doing what’s easiest for my MIL, now a widow and lacking energy & focus to handle administrative life tasks. The family members she now relies on aren’t the best choices. They aren’t going to do anything “wrong,” but they have never been able to handle their own affairs particularly well. But it’s the easy way for her. I can see how some seniors can get involved with people who don’t have their best interests in mind. Smooth operators who convince the elderly that they will look out for them could pretty easily take them to the cleaners & they wouldn’t have a clue. It’s a scary thought.


It is indeed scary. Aging people get tired and go with the flow. I’ve seen it with my own father, who is an intelligent, disciplined and accomplished person. He’s just old. We’ve had to ward off a “friend” who offered help for which there was a price: marriage. He was drifting into an arrangement with this woman because she was taking care of him for “free.” She really just wanted his SS and pension. Ultimately it is his life and decision, but we helped him realize that things were going in a direction that he did not really want. I think loneliness is a big factor in the psychological vulnerability of the elderly to various forms of manipulation, and that’s one reason why I hope to be able to live fairly close to my adult child when I’m very old.


I agree with several that yearning for grandchildren now is seeing time running out for me to be as involved in their lives as my parents were with my kids. Mom and Dad were in mid 50s when they were born and were so present in their young lives. And now the oldest grandchildren are 30 and still have their grandmother around. She now even has a few great grandchildren. It makes me a little wistful that that will not be me from a practical standpoint. And I would love to be an active grandparent. At this point (if D got pregnant within year) the youngest I could be with my first grand is 64. So doubtful I’d have as many active years as my parents had with grands.

Aside-this also means I’m hopeful my girls live fairly nearby so that I can help as much as possible while able. (Older H with health issues a whole ‘ nother issue🤪)


I hear few arguments from my DD aged friends, specially in medical schools or those who wants to advance their careers before thinking of having kids that they will freeze eggs and one day when ready they will have kids. Interesting reading regarding this How effective is egg-freezing? New study reveals 2 major lessons. | Fortune

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Ditto to what you wrote. However, my DIL said just one child after giving birth.

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I don’t know about sad but I would like it better if my only gets married. I need to retire from being her closest relative.


My dentist agrees with you. Among his patients, an only child is almost always the best. Well adapted, pleasant, etc.