DEAR ABBY: You were right on in your response to "Wants to Be a Grandma in L.A."
When we decided to get married, my husband and I agreed that we would have no children. We informed our parents of our decision shortly after we made it. I know they were very disappointed. We firmly believe that having a child should stem from a desire to be parents, not from pressure from prospective grandparents or anyone else. To bring a child into the world for the sake of someone else's happiness or expectations is wrong.
It's possible that "Grandma's" children may not know how to tell her that they just don't want children and are using inability as an excuse. It's one that's been used successfully many times. Grandma should stop being a "yenta," and let her children live their own lives. -- A FAN FOR LIFE
DEAR FAN: Whether or not to have children is a private matter between husband and wife. So is whether to share their decision with others or keep it to themselves. Your families have earned your confidence, but not all families are so understanding regarding a couple's decision to have no children.
Read on for some suggestions that may help couples and prospective grandparents alike:
DEAR ABBY: I would like to respond to "Wants to Be a Grandma in L.A." She had no grandchildren and wanted to ask her son and his wife when they were going to start a family. My husband and I have three grown children in their 40s, and we also have no grandchildren, so I understand her feelings. I have some suggestions for her:
1. Concentrate on how fortunate you are to have children, and consider how sad your son and daughter-in-law must be to be unable to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term.
2. Learn about infertility. There are many good books on the subject, and if you learn more about the testing, various procedures for aiding conception, the emotional turmoil of infertility and the physical difficulties of conception, you'll come to understand what your son and his wife are experiencing.
3. Do not mention adoption to them. If they really want children, they'll have already considered it.
4. If you want a good relationship with your son and daughter-in-law, never discuss wanting grandchildren unless they bring it up and ask your opinion.
5. Stop dwelling on yourself and your fantasies. Find something useful to do that involves children. Many schools are crying out for volunteers to help a few hours a week.
6. If you and your husband are so desperate to have youngsters in your life, why don't YOU consider adopting? -- MARGARET IN ROSEVILLE, MINN.
DEAR MARGARET: You have offered valuable advice and I'm printing all of it. Infertility causes devastating emotional pain for the couples involved, and questions and comments, although well meaning, only add to the pain. If the mother-in-law pursues the subject, she will alienate herself from her son and his wife.
CONFIDENTIAL TO ECOLOGY-MINDED FASHION DESIGNER: In light of the following, perhaps you should reconsider your Earth-friendly designs:
There was a young girl from St. Paul
Who wore a newspaper dress to a ball.
But the dress caught fire
And burned her entire
Front page -- sporting section -- and all.
Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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