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  1. Hello, I am new here. This is a little strange but a time-sensitive question – I am 38 and am looking marry my boyfriend and to have a child and suddenly my own mother has expelled me from the family for doing so. Has anyone ever heard of this? Can anyone recommend any books, websites, etc. of what life will be like if I don’t go through with parenting? Thank you.

    • lakeT, I responded to you on the other thread but in case you don’t see it – I suggest you post in the latest open thread of the day as I think more people will see it.

      I don’t have any website suggestions for you, but I am sorry that your mother is being so controlling. Your decision whether to become a parent is yours alone (and your boyfriend’s), not your mother’s. You’re a grown woman (38!) and you get to make your own decisions about how you want to live your life.

      Your post reminds me of people who write to Dan Savage with stories about conservative parents who reject their children when they come out as gay or lesbian. Dan’s advice is that essentially the only leverage the adult (or teen) child has is their own presence. He advises people in this situation to not be afraid of their parents’ rejection, but to make the parent afraid of theirs; i.e., “Mom or Dad, you will accept me / my decision or I won’t see you.” (And often but not always, the parent will come around in the end.) But it takes standing up for yourself, which is not easy if you have an extremely controlling parent to deal with.

      I’m not at all telling you what to do. That decision is up to you. But it needs to be your own decision, not your mother’s.

      Best wishes to you and feel free to email me at patofbutter at gmail dot com if you like.

    • Hi lakeT

      I don’t have any better advice than PatofButter gave you. Most parents I’ve been around get excited about having grandchildren, as long as their kids are adults. I’m sorry that your mom has treated you this way. Do you understand what her reasoning is? In any event, I think PatofButter is right, if this is what you want to do and believe is right for your life, then you have to stand up for yourself.

      Many people choose to not become parents — I have several friends who do not have kids by choice — and those people are happy in their lives. Not everyone has to have kids ot be happy. But if you WANT to have kids, then it may be that you won’t be as happy if you don’t. Good luck!

  2. lakeT, I just want to agree with everyone that PatOfButter said. Especially that I’m so sorry you’re having to experience this.

    I don’t know about books or websites that talk about how one goes through life without parenting, but I do know many people who wanted to be parents and who never were, and they carry that with them throughout their lives. Sometimes they carry it as grief, sometimes as anger, sometimes as resignation….but it’s a loss. (Again, that’s IF someone wants to be a parent. I’m not suggesting that all people who aren’t parents feel a sense of loss, because I also know many people who never wanted to be parents and are really happy with that decision. But those who wanted to be parents often do carry this with them.)

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