Carolyn Hax: I want my empty-nest life to be about me, not this baby

DEAR CAROLYN: Maybe you can suggest some ways I could shake myself out of ambivalence regarding the birth of my first grandchild. I have observed friends ecstatic over such news, and I wish I felt the same way.

My daughter and son-in-law are just starting out, with much financial juggling and career exploration. They live in a third-floor walk-up rental 300 miles away that they contentedly share with my son-in-law’s brother. All three are very pleased with the pregnancy, which was planned. I know people joyfully raise children in such circumstances, but I cannot help seeing many hardships ahead.

Even worse: I am pretty sure I am projecting my own difficult time as a young mother with very little support.

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Add to that my joy since gaining my empty nest, finally finishing a long-anticipated degree, and starting my own cherished career trajectory very late in life: health of one of my children prompted my decision to be an at-home parent and put my goals on hold. I feel a sort of grief over the very real possibility I might have to give up (or gear down) my newfound agency to help care for this child.

I longed for my children to have engaged, helpful grandparents, but I lost my parents fairly young and my in-laws still had children at home when ours came along.

My tickled-pink husband is already buying baby equipment for our house. I am at a loss for where to start dealing with the ambivalence and angst I feel, while also wanting to support my

Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle


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