Why I wish I’d had kids

March 24, 2016

grandkidsLooking around, I can see that this having kids thing is pretty much a crapshoot.  It hardly ever goes as planned. My hat is off to any and all parents who have had the strength to make the kind of sacrifices that parenthood requires.

So, at this stage of life with a more realistic view, it’s easier to be at peace with the fact that I didn’t have children.

Most of the time.

But wandering around San Francisco the other day I was hit hard with a “wish I’d had kids” pang.   And I wish I’d kids for…


It’s not necessarily for the kids, because kids are a huge responsibility. A lifetime responsibility.

No. I wish I’d had kids for the ability to buy adorable little sparkly dresses for little girls. Like this one.

grandkidsOr beautiful florals like this, which would make such a cute Easter dress for a little girl.  Isn’t this just the most adorable frock?  I wish I could wear it, myself!

Am I shallow? Maybe.
grandkidsI’m not leaving boys out. I’d buy this–it’s colorful and fun and not too foppish for a little boy. Pair it with some navy blue shorts or pants–I love it.

boy suitAn adorable striped set for a boy.  I would dress a grandson in this, for sure.

grandkidsThis one has a distinctly retro feel, like I might have even worn it in my 1950s childhood.

So, to my nephews:  “Get on the stick, boys! I need some greats!”

I have no question for you today, but I’d love to know what this post brings to mind for you. Yes, consider this a writing prompt.

22 comments on “Why I wish I’d had kids
  1. Rachel says:

    Hi Carol,
    I’ve always thought it incredibly unfair that those of us who don’t have children also don’t get to have grand kids. Of course, that’s the way that it works, but it sucks that the two things have to be linked.
    I’m childless not by choice, having gone through 8 years of infertility. It may still happen, but I’m not doing anything about it, beyond the obvious! Nieces and a nephew are some consolation, although they live too far away, on another continent actually, for me to see them much. Thank goodness for Skpe and whatsapp. The babies can’t do much with that, of course, but my five-year-old niece now gets her Dad to send me photos of her latest coloring!

    The clothes in your pictures are cute. I’m definitely drawn to cute clothes for little people. At the same time, it’s still too painful for me to be able to think about buying them, even for my nieces and nephew. It’s all too easy to imagine my own children wearing them. I’m sure there will come a day, maybe post menopause, when I’ll be able to let go of that. In the meantime, I absolutely love children’s books, always have done. And that’s something that I do enjoy having an excuse to buy, and to read. My nieces and nephew can look forward to books for every single present, ever! Haha. I hope they end up enjoying reading as much as I do.

    I had a great aunt who never had children, also due to infertility, and we were all like grandchildren to her, even though she lived in another country and so we only stayed with her once. I wrote to her regularly and we talked on the phone too. So, I guess there’s hope for us both that we could have that kind of relationship with our own great nephews and nieces.

    Great to read this article today Carol. Have a good day,
    – Rachel

  2. Julie says:

    Along with cute clothes comes fun toys, too. And the ability to send the grandkids home. Otherwise, no regrets here.

  3. You are right on the retro dress. I can remember lots of dresses from my girlhood. Velvet at Christmas. Seersucker in summer. Jumpers for school. A watermelon on the pocket of a sundress and dresses that came with purses or hats. Good days! The fabric and patterns of our early life.

  4. Stacey says:

    My mother used to refer to grandchildren “the dessert of life.” She was right!

  5. Carol Graham says:

    Of course. this post would strike a chord with me and I appreciate you posting it. When I was in my twenties and told if I did not have a hysterectomy I would die, I would not accept that prognosis and swore to the specialist I would come back pregnant one day.

    It took 14 years, but I came back, cancer-free and pregnant. He had the audacity to be angry for defying him. In the meantime, I became a certified health coach and symptomologist and have spent the last 40 years helping women get pregnant. Years ago I was labeled “Dr. Fertility” in our city and have enjoyed helping so many couples to have a family.

    I appreciate what you and your commenters have said. For many it is a choice but for others, it is very painful. I was one who knew I had to have children (and now grandchildren) and was able to find a way to fulfill that dream.

    I am glad that you and many others who do not have children of their own can enjoy their nieces, nephews or friends kids.

    Then there are those people who make you wonder why they ever had them in the first place — but we won’t go there 🙂

    Thank you for sharing from your heart.

  6. I have the best of both worlds! No biological kids, but so far, one of my step children has had two kids of her own, so I get to be Booboo! That said, I am not a traditional grandmotherly type. I don’t go all gaga over baby clothes and such, but I do have a silly streak and they seem to love that 😉

  7. Pam says:

    I guess children aren’t for everyone, but I can not imagine not having one. Never considered it a sacrifice. And grandkids are just the best! I bought my grandson the seersucker suit you have in the picture above. He’s adorable in it!

  8. Theresa B. says:

    I completely understand! I have step-kids and my parents are always wanting me to have children of my own with my husband. The question of “what if your step-kids don’t want kids? and then you never have grandkids?” I always reply maybe my biological kids wouldn’t want kids either! That aside I have 2 sisters so if they have children I will be an awesome Aunt to them. That I truly get excited for my friends when they have kids and love attending bridal showers to share in their joy. That’s when all the cute outfit buying occurs 🙂

  9. Joanne says:

    Having a child is no guarantee there will be grandchildren. I, too, have pangs that grandchildren are not in the cards for me, but my wonderful friends share their grandchildren generously and while I know it is not the same, I treasure every relationship I can develop with that generation. You are a loving friend and caring aunt.

    • Thank you,sorella, for generously sharing your handsome and fun (now) grown son with me. And especially for letting us have him this year for Thanksgiving! We are looking forward to his company so much!

  10. Hi Carol! Your title on this post is great so you know I had to jump in here with a comment! I also don’t have kids and do think those outfits are cute, but little ones have never much interested me. Besides, as I know you know, there are lots of little ones out there that you can buy things for if you look around. About the only time I think it would be nice to have kids is when they get older–and you like them! (I’ve seen plenty of times when they aren’t that likable!) But again, there are lots of young adults in the world that we can connect to if we take the time. ~Kathy

  11. Paula Kiger says:

    I don’t think you’re shallow – you’re human! It (having kids) IS a crap shoot. I have two and I love them more than life itself but I often have the “this isn’t exactly what I anticpated” vibe in my head. That’s the only way I can say it. Whoever you DO end up treating to those lovely items will have a very grateful set of parents. There’s nothing like someone who unconditionally spoils your kid IMO.

  12. There are certainly those up and down times with children, but now my grown son and I are great friends. Grandchildren aren’t in the cards for me either and I do miss that.

  13. stacy says:

    i feel ya there, i am 43 years old(tomorrow), never married, and i have no kids. I dont really long for the “birthing” a child aspect of it, bit buying cute things and having them around to fulfill the purpose of life( my blog kinda has been started to find my purpose) is what i am starting to regret. but anyway, thanks for sharing

  14. Here’s the thing: no one ever tells you how hard parenting will be. And if they do, no one listens. Why? Because how can it be so hard to raise a little person you love? Hard. And remember, when you have a child, you give a hostage to fate. I love my children with everything I am…and the worry is always present.

  15. Lisa Froman says:

    What did your post make me think of? Well, seeing the boy’s Easter outfit reminded me I still have my son’s navy blue blazer from when he was about four or five. Color me sentimental. Lol

  16. Liv says:

    I have three of my own…and it is fun shopping for them. But the good thing is, you can always borrow kids. Nieces, nephews, neighbors. Someone always needs love if someone is able to give it.

  17. Katie Paul says:

    I don’t have kids and neither does my only sibling so my poor old mum and dad have had no grandkids.

    My boyfriends does have 3 kids though, but because he started late, they are still teenagers. Plus they live in a country on the other side of the world. But when the day comes that babies arrive, I’m definitely buying and sending over inappropriate clothes and toys.

  18. I like your honesty here about not having children. And I can see why being surrounded by these adorable outfits had you thinking….

  19. JCS says:

    Noted…And hopefully coming sooner rather than later!

  20. Quin says:

    I’m a big believer in the notion that you don’t have to give birth to someone to be their momma. I have two biological kids and a whole bunch more who call me “Ma”. It’s about showing concern, compassion and, when needed, correction. These are the things that create the ties that bind.

  21. Gary Mathews says:

    Sloane would love all those outfits if you are wanting a surrogate grand kid LOL, and no your not shallow :).

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