Re­gret­ting not hav­ing kids Dear An­nie

Sherbrooke Record - - LOCAL SPORTS -


Dear Read­ers: All week, we’ve been hear­ing re­sponses to my un­sci­en­tific poll, in­spired by a sim­i­lar poll by Ann Lan­ders in the 1970s: “If you had to do it all over again, would you have kids?” First I printed re­sponses from the most com­mon group (77 per­cent): par­ents who would gladly have chil­dren again. Next we heard from peo­ple who didn’t have chil­dren and would choose the same way if given a do-over (12 per­cent). Yes­ter­day I printed re­sponses from par­ents who said that no, they would not have chil­dren if given the chance to do it over again (9 per­cent). To­day we’ll hear from the fi­nal (and small­est) group: peo­ple who didn’t have chil­dren but would if given an­other chance (2 per­cent).


I am in my early 70s and have never had any chil­dren of my own. I was an only child and there­fore never had any nieces or neph­ews. I was blessed to have three great step­sons from my former hus­band’s first mar­riage. We were al­ways close; they con­sid­ered me their se­cond mother. We watched them grad­u­ate, serve in the mil­i­tary and marry and have fam­i­lies of their own. Thirty years later, my hus­band fell in love with an­other woman and wanted a di­vorce. My step­sons were shocked and up­set in the be­gin­ning but even­tu­ally learned to ac­cept the new woman in their dad’s life. Need­less to say, I did not take the di­vorce well, and it was a rough two or three years, but I have moved on and es­tab­lished a new life.

Although I have re­mained on good terms with the “boys” and their fam­i­lies through texts, emails and oc­ca­sional phone calls, it sad­dens me that things are no longer the same. I am no longer in­cluded in fam­ily events, even though I now get along with their dad and his wife, and I rarely get to see them when they come to visit their dad, who lives nearby. Of­ten, I don’t know that they were in the area un­til they are al­ready home and I am hurt that they never both­ered to get in touch with me. I only have one liv­ing blood rel­a­tive, with whom I’m not close, so I truly feel that I no longer have a fam­ily. So do I re­gret not hav­ing chil­dren of my own? Ab­so­lutely! As the old say­ing goes, “if I knew then what I know now...”


I am in my 70s, and I re­gret not hav­ing chil­dren. If I could do it all over again, I would.

Dear An­nie: This is in re­sponse to “Can’t Give Away Gifts,” who finds her­self un­able to part with things peo­ple have given to her, even if she doesn’t wear or use them. I had stor­age prob­lems with my col­lec­tion of chil­dren’s science projects, va­ca­tion and con­cert T-shirts, and all man­ner of other col­lectibles.

Our beyond-her-years-wise daugh­ter sug­gested that I take pho­tos of my ex­cess trea­sures and then do­nate, re­cy­cle, re­use or dis­card them. What an awe­some space-sav­ing idea! It works; my trea­sures are as close as my cell­phone. — Lis­tened to My Daugh­ter

Dear Lis­tened: Wise in­deed! This is a bright idea that I’ll rec­om­mend in the fu­ture. Here’s an­other let­ter ex­pand­ing on that same idea.

Dear An­nie: I started tak­ing pho­tos of items that were gifts from friends and fam­ily. Then I la­beled each photo with who gave me the gift and why and put the pho­tos in my scrap­book. I also did this with hand­crafted doilies and lace my grand­mother made, which would not keep well. — Au­drey

Dear Au­drey: I love the idea of cre­at­ing a scrap­book to cat­a­log such items. With gifts, it re­ally is the thought, not the thing, that counts, and you’ve found a way to hold on to the thoughts with­out the things.

“Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite columns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ for more in­for­ma­tion.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.