Back in 2013, I read in the local gossip blogs and magazines that the former Secretary of State and soon to be the presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, has been asking about her daughter Chelsea Clinton's baby plans daily to determine when she will be a grandmother. Chelsea gave the usual daughter's response (awwhh mom!) but did say she would be making baby plans in 2014.
Well, yet again this year at the most recent Clinton Global Initiative University conference, mother Hillary again put the pressure back on Chelsea (albeit very lightly!) hinting that she would like to know what it's like to be a grandmother. Of course, Chelsea just seemed to smile with the pressure as mommy dearest anxiously awaits her offspring.
But maybe you are not the daughter of a former President of the U.S. or of the former Secretary of State but are the proud daughter of a beautiful, strong, and intelligent mother whose primary mission in life right now is to become a grandmother. I think it's really interesting to know that regardless of our worldly or economic status, we as women all share the same pains of a mother who becomes concerned about our baby making responsibilities as soon as the clock strikes 30! Well, Chelsea, welcome to our world. We are the world of childless women with parents who we love but annoy us daily about the next little "chubby cheeks" in the family.
All of my friends with kids say they've been through it but would never place this responsibility on their children. I beg to differ. I think that as a mother you want your daughter to share the same joys and pains of raising children as you did becoming a mother. There is a sense of bonding between mother and daughter when the daughter grows up and has a kid of her own that connects them in a way that they may have never experienced prior to this event. That's why I don't blame mothers for their behaviors because they do have good intentions and really do have the family's best interests at heart.
As daughters, we believe that we are living the dreams that our mothers never got a chance to live in raising us. We want to set the foundation for a legacy in our own family that will last throughout the generations. Shouldn't that be enough for our mothers to be proud of? Unfortunately, no!
There's something about seeing your daughter having her own kids and doing well that makes you feel that you have done what you've come in this life to do. It's like our final mission in life. That's why our parents (particularly our mothers!) cry at our graduations, proms, weddings and the birth of our children. It's just that special to them.
So, to all of us childless women who have to deal with mothers who are anxiously awaiting their change of status, from mothers to grandmothers, I have noted a few survival tips below.
1. Give Your Mother Respect
First and foremost, your mother deserves the ultimate respect for laboring hours upon hours to bring you into this world. There is no amount of money you can pay her for her love and nurturing when you were too feeble to make it on your own. But with that being said, respect goes both ways.
As a grown woman capable of bringing a baby of your own into this world, you deserve respect too. But if you want respect, you'll have to show her some respect. This requires a lot of understanding on your part. Mothers simply want to see their daughters happy. They don't mean to be overbearing but they do want their daughters to pay attention to their biological clocks before it's too late for them to have children. Having this understanding will allow you to have a better understanding of your mother and where she is coming from to not allow this matter to get out of hand.
2. Openly Share Your Feelings
Secondly, you'll need to be open with her about how you feel about the pressure to have kids. This is particularly true if you do not want to have any kids. Or maybe you simply have not found the right person to have kids. Either way, she needs to hear the truth, even if it isn't what she wants to hear, so she can process that information. The more you can be open and honest with her about having kids, the more she will develop an understanding of you. This may actually reduce the amount of pressure she puts on you or that you feel whenever this subject comes up.
3. Buy Your Mother A Dog (Seriously!)
I figure if all else fails and mommy dearest needs some little creature to care for, this may be the perfect solution. Dogs are loyal, cuddly and require constant attention just like grandbabies! Having a dog will give her plenty to do while she waits on your timeline to have kids. Who knows, by that time, she may be so tired of taking care of a dog, she may forget about a grandchild!
Again, I would like to welcome Chelsea into our club and hopefully we've provided her with a few tips during her stay here. It won't be long until she has kids of her own and perhaps Hillary has other worldly duties (like POTUS!) and will simply just stop asking. One thing is for sure and that is a mother's nurturing and caring instinct for her offspring will never change. They say mothers are the souls of the earth and if you think about it, where would we be without them. Food for thought!
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