For lack of any grandchildren....

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
For lack of any grandchildren....
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 6:28pm

I am apt to smile at little tots and babies when I'm out and about in public.  Today I was in the grocery store and a mom with a couple of tots in the grocery cart (upper portion where children sit) was going by me, and I particularly noticed the younger brother, a babe of maybe a year and a half at most.  He was looking straight at me so I gave him a big smile and a little wave.  His mother turned the corner to the next aisle in the produce section, so I could still see him over the mounds of vegetables and he kept looking at me but with the sweetest smile!  OMG, I practically melted!  I can't tell you how much that smile just made my day!

So that is what I must do to get my substitute grandma jollies from stranger's little tots...babies in particular!  My kids (all getting way older now...way older)...don't know if they will ever be parents...all four of them, for heaven's sake! 

Anyway.... I know not all of you here are grandparents...anyone here delight in the sweet smiles of other people's babies? Smile


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 8:02pm

 I also like to admire babies at the grocery store. But it has nothing to do with not being a grandmother; I am in no hurry to be one.

Your kids are not that old.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 8:28pm

Shirley, don't get me started!  Yesterday (Sunday), the town next to me had a street fair for the 1st time in history, so our office had a booth along with all the other vendors.  The street fair was great - plenty of people turned out, weather was great too.  Then I saw one of my friends from back when our kids were in elementary & middle school together.  I've known her a long time & we've kept in touch over the years off & on.  Since our kids have graduated college & settled in their careers, I don't see her as often.  While catching up with our families, she & her husband are telling me they're grandparents now & her youngest one is engaged!  My heart just sank to the bottom.  Another friend telling me she's a grandma or telling me her kid is married now.  So there I was having to tell my friend & her husband that my kids are not married or expecting any time soon.  I pretty much told them we've given up hope.  So the engaged daughter was with them.  Couldn't believe how grown up she is.  I haven't seen her in years.  And now she's engaged!  Well, that's life I guess.  We can't predict the future.  These days, my son is working long hours & hard.  From what I understand, he uses the weekends to rest & relax.  Dosen't sound like he has any time for a girlfriend or romance.  He'll be 25 this Sat.  As for my daughter, she's still unemployed & living with her boyfriend's parents in their 2 bedroom apt.  She doesn't like it, but my family thinks she made a poor decision & is living the consequences.  Briefly, she had a job for 7 yrs. working in post production.  The last yr. management  made cost saving decisions and had my daughter doing low level clerical work + her management job.  No increase in salary but no decrease either.  Given the state of the economy, she should have stayed.  She ended up quitting her job in May, taking a month long vacation to Australia, spending more money than she budgeted for & now she's unemployed & living off her savings.  She's 29 yrs.  At the time, her boyfriend was planning to go to graduate school & get a Master's degree in marine science.  Well, the Univ. of Miami had him registered, etc. but at the last minute, they realized they are $8,000. short.  What hurts is my husband & I could have helped them out, we have the money, BUT my daughter & I have a cold - lukewarm relationship, so asking us for help would be a last resort.  So now, she's searching for employment.  Next, can I just bury my sorrows & start a new life or change course somehow?  These days, I'm keeping busy starting my real estate career so I don't have to think about my kids 24/7.  My husband is busy since school started today & with the new standards, he's figuring out how to teach high school kids Math & have them pass the State exams next June.


Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 9:28pm

Shirley, even though I'm a grandparent, I still love the smiles of the little ones. They are so sweet & honest without all the negative vibes that we teach them as they grow. I love to smile & wave but am very careful to make sure the Mom/Dads seem ok with it. I try to compliment the parents as I remember how hard these days were with all the stresses of work & family life. I was at the grocery store last Fri at 5:30 & there was a big, tough construction worker behind me in line with 2 adorable little girls who would have been about 2 & 4. He had a cart full of food & was chatting & playing with the girls. I wanted to compliment him on being so engaged in his family life but chickened out.

Also, you never know what your kids will do. They may surprise you. My DD swore she would never get married & have kids. Wasn't interested. Had Noah, said that was it - no need for marriage or another child & now she just celebrated their 2nd anniversary & she has little Fynn. I knew my youngest DS would get married as he has always needed a family & stability. Frankly, I'm at the stage where I hope they delay having kids at least 3 or 4 yrs. Even my eldest DS has sworn he will never get married but overheard a conversation between he & his partner before they left for Holland & sounds like it would need to happen in a few yrs if he stays with his partner.

Hopefully there are little ones in your future or if not, baby a grandcat or two. lol


Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 10:07pm

I LOVE that other people love making over my granddaughter.  She is very social, and when we are out, she sits in the cart waving and shouting HI to people 3 aisles over.  When they wave and talk back, she is delighted.  When they ignore her, she is heartbroken.  And I see how much her interest means to some people, when they talk to her.  I would not take that away from them, or her.

And as for becoming a grandparent, the only thing I ever said to my kids,was IF they wanted me to sit for them, they shouldn't wait till I was 70.  I can't deny that I am very attached to Bree.  HOWEVER, I am VERY glad my kids waited to get married, and have kids, till they were older and had decent careers, and if it had never happened, as long as THEY were happy, that would have been just fine, too.

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 11:00pm

I fully agree with you, Sabr.  I would  never want my children to have children of their own until they are truly wanting to have children, are ready for that experience (as anyone can be...though we all know it's not always what we think it will be like!) and well, ideally to be financially prepared to some extent and have a stable enough relationship.  None of my children have S.O. at the moment, so no, I wouldn't want a 'surprise' grandchild to show up because of some 'error' in judgement was made or whatever!  So far the best candidates of my children to have children are my eldest in Berlin (should he ever find a love of his life) and maybe DS3 who is more how I see the type to want to settle down with a partner... Not that DS2 wouldn't want a child, as he's mentioned this not so long ago, but I can't see him at this point in his life (not really being gainfully employed) to venture into the world of child rearing!  DD is not in any position to have children - I would have to see her truly happy in a relationship, but so far she's not had but one short-lived one!  But up to now, she's more or less said she doesn't want to have children.  All she tends to see are the children in public who are crying or whining and that just turns her off!  And yet, well, she does know some friends who have children, and I think she's more favourable toward them, having got to know them better. LOL.

Anyway, I am not looking to my children to fulfill any of my desires for grandchildren.  They have to do what they want to do and of course I do want them to be happy in their own way.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 7:27am

I have never been much for babies.  In our household that is DH.  In church one Sunday the minister was talking about the differences between men and women and said that when  a baby enters a room the woman will all stop what they are doing to hold it.  Our DDs all started laughing, in our household it it daddy who does that.  It is well known where he works that anyone who brings in their new baby to show off has to go to his office.  At the annual Christmas party they have pictures of life events of the last year (babies, weddings etc) a lot of the pictures are of him holding the new baby.

I have no buring desire to be a grandparent.  If it never happened to me it would not be an issue.   Different with DH, he would love to be a grandparent.   DD1 has no intention of ever having kids.  DD2 would love to have them but because of medical issues it may not happen.  DD3 has not made a decision yet.  It is possible that we will not have any grandkids which makes me sad for DH.   

The young man that DD2 is dating does have a couple of sons (way past the baby stage) so it the relationship continues that may be where we get our grandkids. 

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 9:37am

DS just turned 21 last month so I'm not quite ready to be a grandparent yet - at least I hope he's not ready to be a dad.  He has a gf that's 2 years older than he is so my concern is she could push before he's/they're ready. And he wants to live in another state so I don't know that if/when the time comes, I'll even be near.

I've ALWAYS been the kind to have fun with other little kids.  As a kid I loved looking at Oriental children - always found them particularly beautiful in my eyes.  I enjoy making eye contact and smiling and getting a reaction to any/all little ones; always have. 


Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 09-10-2013 - 11:23am

I like smiling and waving at stranger's babies to some extent, especially when they are engaging as Bree sounds to be. But I'm not really a "baby" person, I prefer somewhat older kids. However, show me a kitten and I melt. Go figure!

As for wanting grandkids, I would like to have some but if I don't then I don't think I will feel a great loss....of course, never having had that particular relationship its hard to know what to expect or what I would be missing, if that makes sense. I guess that part of my attitude is driven by the fact that both of my kids live far from us so I probably wouldn't see said grandkids very often. That was the case with my kids and my parents, because of distance they didn't really know each other and it wasn't the warm and fuzzy relationship we like to imagine of grandparents.

Ds has been with his gf for 8 years or more? I don't know how long but they are definitely an established couple but no talk of marriage or kids so far. Both are 30 but still students, then will need to establish careers. A lot of their friends are married and some are starting families so I know they feel some pressure from the outside. Dd is 27 and currently not even dating anyone as far as I know. She loves kids and a few years ago had a "plan" that had her a mom by 30, unfortunately her love life has not cooperated. She's had a lot of bf's, some that she thought might have longterm potential but obviously none have worked out. And now she's trying to get a college degree so having a baby in the near future would complicate that quest.

I definitely would not want either kid to have a baby before they are settled enough to provide well for it. I've seen relatives in the situation where they feel the need to do things (usually give money) because they don't want the grandchildren to suffer due to the parent's poor choices. It really complicates the relationship between a parent and adult kid...I certainly wouldn't want to go there.

Shirley, have you thought of becoming a "surrogate" grandparent? Volunteering at the hospital to cuddle babies in NICU or something like that? Since you seem to love the little ones you might find something like that very fulfilling.

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Wed, 09-11-2013 - 11:49am

I guess I didn't really mean this original post to sound like I was craving grandchildren.  Oh, well, maybe a bit!  But rather I do enjoy seeing little ones when I'm out and about - I guess I just equated it with the grandchildren I thought I might have at this point in my children's lives.  Funny how you think your kids will turn out when in reality, things have not turned out at all like I thought...(at least as far as their being with a partner and eventually marrying and having children!).  In truth, as I said, I wouldn't want them to have children until they are ready for such a committment. 

And I have thought at times of doing something along the lines you've suggested, Elspeth.  Just haven't got off my butt to do that - for whatever reason... maybe someday...or well...?


Avatar for nora_mcl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
Fri, 09-13-2013 - 8:18pm

I always figure I'm a young mother's worst nightmare-I talk to all babies & little children but only if the parent is there. I would not dream of talking to them if they didn't have someone either pushing them or holding their hand (unless they seemed lost & then I'd ask). I have grandchildren-but I do love me a cuddly & cute little one. Then I usually say to the parent how awful it is-that as a parent we teach our children not to talk to strangers & then this very strange lady starts talking to them!

Adam used to be scandalized because I talk to almost everyone. He'd say "Mom-do you know that person?" & when I'd say No, he'd remind me that I always said "Don't talk to strangers". Yes, but it's different-not sure how, but it is!