Have any of you been broody for Grandchildren?
One sunny day in the garden, the light was fluttering through the beech trees and I was watching my Mum, a young 40 year old, hanging upside down, gymnastics style. She was grinning widely into the delighted eyes of my first born who was sitting wobbly on the grass. That’s when I decided I absolutely wanted to be a young Nan. I was 22.
This seemed perfectly reasonable. Women seemed to be having babies young in my family for generations. It simply didn’t occur to me that I’d be pushing 50 and still no grandchildren appearing, no chubby cherubs I could spoil (and give back).
This isn’t about being sad or feeling any loss at all, more of a change in perspective. My expectations and longings hadn’t changed over all these years because I had processed my own ideas and filed it away as a done deal, when I should have left it in ‘pending’.
I hadn’t considered that todays generation would be doing things their way. That there was even a ‘their way’. It seems to me that going to uni (not exactly a new phenomenon, but involves higher numbers than in my generation), has delayed ‘adulthood’. Therefore, pressures such as building careers and grasping at that slippery housing ladder come later, let alone finding that ‘one’ to settle down with. So, having a babe in arms isn’t a priority for many and the generation above wait patiently for Grandchildren.
But also, Pinterest, Instagram and the like has a huge impact. They know probably more than any other generation what is out there. All the places they could travel to, the wedding styled beyond their dreams, home interiors that make you swoon. Not only that, the UK is now filled with an incredible amount of tantalising restaurants and bars and the young today seem to have both the freedom and cash to enjoy them. Babies come later, and this Grandparent-in-waiting can’t help but think ‘good on them’, for striving for everything else life has to offer, first.
I have a confession. Once, a number of years ago, my daughter asked me to sit with her, while she took a pregnancy test. She was there, sitting on the edge of her bed looking like she’s having a prison visit with Mother Nature, and I may have clapped. Yes, clapped and bounced my ‘nan’ bum on the bed. Beyond delighted that there might be a chance of a mini-her entering our little family in 8 months 31/2 weeks time.
It was Charlotte who was the grownup on that instance, looking at me sternly and stating that it would be entirely bad timing for her.
Now, with both my grown children in loving and committed relationships I have come to cherish each and every occasion we are grownups together, free to enjoy trips away, dark sultry restaurants, getting giddy on cocktails and lazy Sundays all crammed onto sofas. Knowing that this stage is in it’s twilight.
So now I’ve adapted, rather than teaching my grandchildren how to do a headstand and my pretty awesome one handed kart-wheel, I shall be tutoring them in the art of baking. Particularly the classics. We shall be wearing aprons made of linen and eating our creations hot out of the oven. Now older and a little wiser, I have sensibly put this in ‘pending’, just in case they are destined to be mechanics, then I’m all in with the lego.
As far as my broodiness is concerned, well we’ve grown our family with a little pack of dogs. Bilbo being the latest, who lets us cradle him with his wide eyes staring unblinking into our adoring faces. If you are broody for Grandchildren this is not a bad solution!
I wouldn’t want to rush any stage with my family. Each is different and special and as a group at the moment we are living it up every chance we get, knowing that when Grandchildren do come, indeed if they do come, we will be putting them first. If, for whatever reason they don’t, then it’ll be a family full of fur-babies and swish restaurants. Bilbo, tho’ might get a bonnet.
Let’s stay in touch x