Post # 1
there’ve been a lot of “why do you / don’t you want kids” threads floating around lately, and I’ve noticed a trend being that people say they want children so that they won’t be lonely in old age…do you agree with this sentiment? why or why not?
personally, as an only child, imagining my parents aging stresses me the F out to the point where I often just avoid thinking about it. my maternal grandmother moved in with my parents and I when I was a child, and my mom was her caregiver while also working full-time. my parents’ relationship has always been shitty, but I know that wreaked havoc on their marriage even more. I did not have my own room growing up until I was about 13, as I shared a room with my elderly, immobile grandmother. she is still living and is currently in a care facility, but my mom still goes to visit her every single day and does more caregiving than the workers in the facility. my mother has expressed that once she ages, she expects me to make all the same sacrifices for her.
if I ever have children, it is certainly my goal to have enough money saved so that they can hire someone to be my caregiver so that I won’t be a burden on their lives. but what are your thoughts on this?
Post # 2
happiekrappie : sadly a lot of people in assisted living have kids who don’t come to see them, so I don’t think that’s a great plan for everyone. I mean, hopefully it works out but it’s not a guarantee.
I wouldn’t want to do that to my kids. Luckily, when my grandparents needed help we were able to hire help to come to their home and rotate among family members to check in on them. It’s too much for one person, IMO.
Post # 3
BalletParker : I agree. I see so many people (my mom included) stressed to the max over being the sole caregiver for their aging parents. It’s so sad to see, because a person can only handle so much. But I know that expectations vary across cultures, so I just don’t know how some people can handle it all.
Post # 4
Nope. I hope I’m not too stubborn when I get old to resist moving to some sort of assisted living place. My grandma moved into one about a year ago after a health scare and she is having the time of her life. It’s like being in a college dorm 60+ years later. There’s meals and friends and activities- I used to call her and we’d chat for 45 minutes and now it’s like I can barely keep her on the phone for 10 before she has something to rush off to.
I imagine the assisted living/nursing homes 60 years from now will be stocked with video games/consoles and classic 90s movies. It’ll be a blast.
Post # 5
That’s not why I wanted to have kids. I can extrapolate how I feel to how my kiddo feels—Just as I don’t define myself solely as being my parents’ child, I can clearly see that while I may think of him as “my baby”, he doesn’t and will not think of himself solely as “camenae’s son”. To him, I am the one whose identity revolves around HIM, and not the other way around. Kids are sooooooo self-absorbed lol. They’re definitely their own persons.
He’s a big big part of my life but he is not my entire life. I was already having a full life for 30+ years before he came along and that person hasn’t disappeared. So I definitely don’t expect and don’t want me and my husband to consume HIS entire life when we’re older.
We’re working our asses off, trying to build a college fund for him, saving for retirement. I would like to think that if my husband and I were truly destitute and our kiddo were in a position to help us out, then he would. But what if he’s not in a good spot either? It’s just safer to depend on oneself.
Post # 6
no.. my grandparents saved a lot of money which allowed the family to hire 24/7 in-home care for them.. I mean we still visited them a ton (my aunt actually just lived the floor above them, and saw them daily!) but it really made it so family just *visited* rather than provided care–and also meant they didn’t have to provide any financial care for my grandparents.
Similarly, my parents have saved up enough for their own 24/7 in home care when the time comes, again so my brother and I can provide them with emotional care, but not be financially burdened or need to move them in to our homes. We may need to financially provide for my in laws, it’s unclear for now, but one set is easier to provide for than two–that’s for sure!
Like my parents, I’d like to provide my son with the freedom to live without us as a burden, though I hope he loves us enough to care for us emotionally.
Post # 7
I think that’s a bit of a self centered reason to have children so that they can care for you when you age. (I mean no offense, it’s only an opinion that I hold) That’s naturally how things USUALLY flow, but not always.
I saw that thread and I’m honestly unsure why I had my daughter. There was no reason other than I always wanted to have children.
I shower her with love and attention (and too many stuffed animals) and my purpose now is to give her a life where she feels loved, safe, and secure. I’m giving her everything I never had (I’m not talking materialistic)
It’s never crossed my mind that she will care for me when I’m old. I guess it would be awesome and I’m hopeful that she will want to care for us… more in a visit us a ton, not sole caregiver way… but that wasn’t even close to being on my radar when I got pregnant
Post # 8
My grandparents were lucky enough to be independent and simply drop dead one day. I believe that’s the way most people would want to go – live to an old age, be mobile and independent and then suddenly have a massive stroke or heart attack or aneurysm while you’re making tea and die on the spot. Of course, no one can predict, but I hope to go the same way. I certainly would not expect to be cared for by my children, but I would know that I’d raised them a whole lot worse than I’d imagined if I were in assisted living and they never visited.
Post # 9
echomomm : oh my gawd. I laughed out loud at your response but funny thing is my husband I would rather go like this too. No losing our bowels, wearing diapers, taking 100 medications, being immobile, not being able to hear or see. It’s not a life either of us would want to live.
Post # 10
I helped to care for my grandfather who believed that putting a family member in assisted living/convalescent home was a sin and am now accompanying my mother on doctor visits, etc. There is no way my mother can ever live with me; she has no plan for future care so who knows what will happen.
I did not have children as a long-term care insurance policy and I don’t expect them to take care of me. I hope they will care about me but I can’t imagine expecting them to make career and other life decisions based upon the burden of elder care.
Post # 11
No, I’m not comfortable putting that kind of stress and pressure on my kids. They’ll have families and responsibilities of their own.
Post # 12
Don’t have kids and we only want one but no we do not expect this. We’ve actually had this conversation and it bothers us personally that people have children specifically for this reason. I hate when the “well your parents took care of you so now you need to take care of them,” statement is thrown out. No child asked to be brought here so that’s unfair to them. Of course if you choose to have a child it’s YOUR responsibility. Your kid/s shouldn’t have to go through life waiting for you to bust out your arsenal of “you owe me this and I did that for you” etc. My mom did this to me and it’s absolutely toxic and wouldn’t create another human being and do this to them. We plan to set up our lives where we can pay for care kids or not if it comes to that.
Post # 13
happiekrappie : I think it’s horrible how these so many people (westerners?) who just leave their parents in a home and don’t come and visit, ever. I understand you can’t visit as often when you live interstate or something, but never is just terrible.
I would be fine with my Future Mother-In-Law living with us if it was needed. I would not be okay with being her nurse, such as showering, wiping, giving medication etc. I think if gets to that stage then assisted living is for the best, however we would still visit as often as we could.
Post # 14
Hard no. I’m convinced 90% of why my mom had me was just to take care of her in her old age (emotionally, financially, etc.) and that burden and guilt-tripping is something I will never put on my son. Nope nope nope.
Post # 15
No. I see how my brother treats my parents and wants nothing to do with them when they need help, and I know I will be the one who takes care of them into old age. I don’t want to have to rely on my child(ren) in my late years and hope to be independent for as long as posssible.