Are you getting pressure from would-be grandparents? When people want to be grandparents they can be very vocal on the matter, dropping heavy hints that they'd like you to get cracking. Hearing this constantly can be very irritating, whether you want a family (but not right now), or don't want children at all. Here's how to handle pressure from would-be grandparents without a family fallout …
1. Children Must Be Wanted
If you're getting pressure from would-be grandparents, remind them that children must be wanted. Whether you're not remotely interested in being a parent yourself, or simply want to wait, there 's absolutely no sense in having kids because someone else thinks it's time you should. It's for you and your partner to decide.
2. You Don't Owe Them
Parents can act like you have an obligation to provide them with grandchildren. You're not a vessel for fulfilling their hopes; you have the right to make your own decisions. You don't 'owe' them grandchildren, even if you are an only child. If yours make out that it's your duty, tell them that you can't have children simply to keep them happy.
3. When You're Ready
If you decide to have kids, you'll do so when the time is right for you. There are many reasons why you may want to put it off for a while. You may feel you're too young, you want to establish yourself in your career first, or save up enough to finance a career break. Ignore remarks that they want to have grandkids while they're still young enough to enjoy it. You control when and if you procreate, not your parents.
4. It's Not Selfish
People often call others selfish if they decide not to have children. But if anything, it's doing the right thing to not bring children into the world if they're not 100% wanted. 'But you'll love them when you have them!' could be counteracted with 'and you can't take them back if you find that's not the case.' There is no room for regret. Children are wonderful, but you can still have a fulfilled life without them.
5. The Right Choice for Them
Remind your parents that what was right for them may not be right for you. Perhaps it worked out well for your mother to have her children young. You may need or want to prioritise your career. Everybody is entitled to make their own choices. You are a different person from your parents and have the right to decide when or if you want a family.
Not all women are maternal, and if you're more interested in a career that's perfectly reasonable. Career-minded women are often told that they'll be lonely when they're older and regret not having a family. If you want both and can find a way, fine. If you don't, that doesn't make you an empty person. Besides, nobody tells men they shouldn't put their career first.
7. Repeat Your Stance
Don't get into a debate unless you are genuinely interested in hearing your parents' opinions. Otherwise they may come up with a counter argument for every reason you give. Maintain your stance and repeat the same response every time; say something like 'we've discussed it, and we agree that it's not for us'. Eventually your parents should grow tired of asking, or the message will sink in.
You and your partner are the only people who should decide if or when you have children. Are you getting pressured to reproduce?