A few years into my first marriage, family pressure for me to have a child was growing. My mother had my back, as you can see in this excerpt from the Childless by Marriage book.
Perhaps the baby showers got to me, or maybe my ovaries were feeling neglected, but I did start thinking more seriously about children. My cousin Marian, whose mother had just died, clasped my hand as she met me in the aisle after the funeral. She was finally pregnant after years of trying. “Susie, don’t wait too long. Don’t wait until your mother passes away to have a baby.” I knew she was right.
But not yet, Jim always said. And indeed it did not seem like the right time. Wait until I have my degree and we have a house, he said. That made sense. When grandparents and nosy aunts wondered aloud when Susie was going to have children, my mother ran interference. “Oh, they’re not ready yet.” “Yes, of course she wants them.” “They will.” God bless my mother.
And God bless Jim’s mother, who went to her grave without grandchildren. Much as she tried to micro-manage every other aspect of our marriage, she kept her mouth shut about babies.
I was lucky to have parents who didn’t push too hard, who didn’t harass me about having children. I’ve heard horror stories about other families where parents and other relatives have made the situation more difficult than it already is. I’d love to hear your experiences with baby-pushing relatives and how you have handled them.