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

I would dearly love to have more than one grandchild, but that may not be in the cards. I’m very sensitive to the reality that plans may not go the way you think. I had one child because of multiple miscarriages. I can see how a woman might change her mind after having one child under difficult circumstances and not wanting to have another. If I had been willing to become a human pincushion with hormonal injections and endure possibly several more miscarriages after the three I had, I might have had another child, but I was not willing to go through that. I was happy with my one healthy child. It’s a valid choice.


I call my son a miracle child, too. Miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy, cancer. Ya, I’m thrilled with one.
Fortunately, my son had a small group of friends who I liked a lot. There was usually a sleepover every weekend. I took one friend to Disneyworld with us, and my son joined other families for events.


I have three kids. If one of them decided not to have kids I don’t think I would mind. If all did I would be very sad. My parents have been a huge part of my children’s lives. My dad was super successful and loved his career but I saw him really enjoy my kids during his later years. Fun trips, outdoorsy stuff. I think having grandchildren can really be a joy. But of course having kids is a huge amount of work and it is hard to manage it all so it is obviously up to them.


My D is a very type A personality, and she has always worried about things. Amazingly, she is an incredibly laid back mom. She & SIL are leaning on the side of one and done. I get it … she has found a balance that works for her, and she doesn’t have a burning desire to have a second child. I respect that, and I trust that whatever they do is best for them.


I don’t get the negativity toward only children. (I am one of 4 and I have 2). I know several only children and they are some of the nicest and well adjusted people I know. I’m also aware that many people planned to have more than one and it just didn’t happen. Whether it is by choice or not no one should be shamed for having one child.


We never know why someone chooses or doesn’t choose to have one child.

My dil is an only child, I’ve never asked why and it never occurred to me to. She and my son have my first grandchild and if she’s an only, that’s their choice.

My daughter on the other hand, her medical team says one pregnancy only. She’s hoping for twins but if that doesn’t happen, does anyone think it’s ok to question that?


Based on number of people here reporting kids not planning to have kids I asked my DD if her long term boyfriend plans to have kids. Her answer was “Of course. He is a traditional guy from close family and wants to have kids “. I don’t know if he is the one but if he is, good to know. I have two kids and would be ready upset if they don’t have kids because they both want to so hopefully it will work out that they have as many healthy children as they want.

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I went to see Frozen today, so many cute little kids in costume. I’m glad somebody is having kids. They were all very cute.


Like kittens, they’re cute when they’re little…


And they are always cute when they are not your own - haha!

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I had to laugh at your “met cute” comment. Someone very close to me met their now spouse via on-line dating and it’s a very “cute” story, including meeting for coffee and staying for 5 (or more) hours. Story was part of speech of one of their attendants.


With regards to ages of moving into independent/assisted living, my mother lived in the house we grew up in until age 92. She drove until age 90 when she voluntarily gave up her car (gave the car to our niece). She moved into an apartment with my brother from 92-95. She was still relatively mobile and cooked, but my brother became increasingly helpful (and necessary) over time. She then moved to independent living at 95. She moved into assisted living shortly when she was 97 and 9 months and died two months later.


Our daughter just turned 21 and has said for years that she doesn’t ever want to have kids. Our son turns 18 in a couple of weeks and has long maintained that he’d like to. Neither has had a relationship yet, though both would like to. As for how I’d feel, I just want them to be happy. My wife and I would be excited to welcome grandkids, but we would never put pressure on either child. An added factor for me is that I’m a III and our son is a IV, and I think it would be neat to have a V in the family. But if he has girls, or he and an eventual partner decide they’re happy without kids, of course that’s more than fine.

I’ve seen various sides of the equation in others. I have a good friend who’s 54 and has never wanted kids. She’s in a long-term cohabiting relationship with a great guy who’s on the same page about children, and they also feel no need to get married. On the other hand, a single 60-year-old female friend of mine has confessed after a few drinks that she greatly regrets not having had children. She split up with a fiancé at around 30 (he went on to marry someone else, have three now-adult/college-age kids and get divorced), and she wonders if they should have stayed together. She’s never had another serious relationship. She’s had a great career and lots of friends, travel, etc., but she does have regrets.

I’m with @ChoatieMom in that my wife and I would be appalled to have our children ever feel obligated to support us. My mother has gone through a lot of struggles with severe depression since her late 30s (she’ll be 80 soon) and spent many years only spottily employed, and my wife and I ended up supporting her to the tune of about $100,000 over the course of four or five years. (My younger brother is something of a ne’er-do-well and wasn’t a significant help.) My mother sold her apartment in New York, paid us back and moved to a sublet in Miami Beach, and we took the remaining sale proceeds after she settled various other debts and invested them in a segregated account with our financial adviser. She’s living on disbursements from that, along with her Social Security, but the account is dwindling and she has absolutely no other savings beyond it. She intends to do some consulting work and has some other dubious business idea, but within two or three or four years, she’ll be out of money and dependent on us. We’d plan to find her some Medicaid facility, but I really don’t know how it’s going to go.

It’s hard when you have to plan your finances to support more people as they age—tough enough to support yourself and any partner. We support ourselves and D since D still has a chronic condition and never knows how much time she will be out of bed.

I observe that, on her visits, my daughter faces constant questions from friends and relatives about her personal life (and she just finished a PhD). All three of my kids are over 30 and it is painful to watch this kind of thing.

Of course, I am divorced, and I had a friend who looked at me sadly and said she was so sorry I had not found the love that she had found. I am fine! My kids will be fine. They may find someone to spend many years with, or not. There are many ways to live life.

I support one kid with significant health challenges. Luckily my mother has money but I support her with daily visits and management of her care. That is what family is, to me. I don’t want to be a burden to my kids, but I believe it would also be a burden on them, emotionally, not to make sure I am well taken care of if i should make 90.


Did anybody see the news that Hilary Swank is pregnant at the age of 48, our kids will have time. One of my mom’s neighbors got pregnant at age 50 without modern intervention, so there’s hope for our kids, they may change their minds later on.

I think it is great you model this positive lifestyle for your children. Life can be totally wonderful single or without kids in tow!

While this is probably not true in most cases, I’m sure there are plenty of “parents” out there who are parents out of expectation or obligation.

Love you life with kids and a partner. Respect those who have life’s without kids or without a partner. Neither is a pity party.


I saw this article: Why Americans are not having kids: It's not about climate change and thought of this thread.


Fascinating article. I wonder how old those people were though?

H and I married at age 23. At that age we were not ready or willing to have kids, but we were 10 years later. I suspect some of the younger adults will change their minds.

In addition, social policy in the US means making a lot of sacrifices for a family.


I find it to be a very biased conclusion regarding what “needs to be done” going forward to “fix” this issue. A peek at the leadership of the Institute reinforces that for me. There is a lot I think about this article, but it leans too much toward religion & politics so I will zip it.