Looking for some feedback here...does anyone have good advice on how to deal with parents (or in-laws) who want to be grandparents and don't make any secret about it?
This is on my mind because my parents visited over Easter. I have a very good relationship with both of them and in general enjoy their company. I know both of them really want to be grandparents, and (no surprise) I want them to be grandparents too! I wish they were grandparents already, and they could spoil my kid(s) and we could all go to the zoo together and have a lovely three-generational time. But that's not the reality right now.
(I should also note that my only sibling, who is married, is in med school and hasn't given any indication of wanting to have kids any time soon. My parents know that we, on the other hand, are trying and so far failing.)
Lately, my mom has spent a lot of time with one of my cousins, who has 7 children, including one born this January. Before I got married, my mom would make comments like "are you going to end up like M [the cousin] with all those kids?" (My parents aren't Catholic and have some skepticism about the whole not-contracepting game plan.) But now I think the grandparent bug has bit them big time and they (esp. my mom) are like second grands to my cousin's kids. They buy them goodies and take them places and do puzzles with them, etc. - all the things I'm sure they'd like to do with their own grandkids.
I don't mind this, really. My cousin and her husband are grateful, I'm sure! And I don't begrudge them that. But I do get a little annoyed that my mom seems to like giving me a play-by-play of everything she does for my cousin's family. Worse, sometimes she'll move directly from that topic to the topic of my childlessness: "So, what's the latest prognosis for you and Mr. M having children....?" or the like. And that's getting a little old. I get it. My cousin is super-fertile and I'm not. I get that my parents are the next-to-last siblings in my dad's family of 9 to be grandparents, and I'm sure that's tough for them. None of us are getting any younger here.
Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. I know they are so needed in relationships, even with the people we love the most. Mr. M is of the opinion that I shouldn't share with my mom at all about what we're doing IF-wise because it's too personal. It bugs him that sometimes if my mom and Mr. M are alone, she'll start asking him all the questions about our IF she wants to ask me but doesn't. Triangulation.... I know my mom cares about us, and I do believe she cares more about our health and well-being than about being a grandma. And I generally share a lot with her about my life. I don't mind sharing bits and pieces with her about how we're doing a blood test, or when I had surgery.
But I can't deal emotionally with the thought of her and my dad never being grandparents - it's hard enough to think about the possibility of me and Mr. M not being parents! And it occurred to me that becoming a grandparent is even harder in a way - not only do you have to have your own kids (not a guarunteed thing), but then your kids have to have kids of their own (also not a guarunteed thing - they could discern a religious vocation or have IF, etc.) I think my parents need to deal with their own issues re: grandparent-desire just like I'm dealing with my desire to be a mother.
Anyway, those are my jumbled thoughts. I want to stay close with my mom, and share things with her, but I also don't want to feel like I have to give a monthly account of our IF journey, or add to my own emotional heaviness her sadness at not being a grandma yet. Etc.