While I know intrinsically that my decisions in life invariably affect someone else – the ripple in the water effect – it is not usually very apparent to me that this has happened. It’s rare that you hear from someone that your actions in turn dictated theirs. Although, in some cases, feedback is immediate – you stopped and so I crashed into you!
Despite the Clomid Challenge (and yes, the bombardment), I have still been giving thought to the option of throwing in the proverbial towel and living childfree. As I have gotten farther down that road, though, I have realized that this sentences not just us to living childfree, but our parents as well. Which is a little awkward.
For myself, I have to say that my parents have been overwhelmingly supportive of us – regardless of the decision we make. In fact, I think my father believes it is a bit of folly to even consider having children: “they take so much time, so much money and you guys have such a great life together!” is what he would (and has) said. He is the anti-parent in that respect. There is zero pressure for us to reproduce, in part, I think because they were under the mother of all pressure cookers to have children from my grandmother (my mother’s mother).
I have no idea what was said, because I wasn’t around, but my understanding is that she made a real stink about not having any grandchildren and my parents resented this for years to come. Not that they had me to placate her. But, they have often told me that they knew that they would not and could not do that to me because it was so awful for them. As awful as it sounds, I have to silently thank my grandmother in some respects for being such a harpie in the matter because it has ensured that I don’t have the same treatment.
Mr. X’s parents are equally circumspect when it comes to the question of Grandchildren. They are very eager to have grandchildren, but they are also very respectful of what we decide, and what we have gone through.
We are supremely lucky in this respect.
But, with a decision to live child free, I am making a decision for our parents to live grand-child free as well. What a responsibility. On the other hand, it would be wrong to have children just for them. Somehow, though, making the decision to have grandchildren for them seems less selfish than making the decision not to have children and depriving them of that opportunity.
I know what my parents would say now about this: you are crazy! But, what will they say 20 years from now?