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Extended Family and "Real" Family

A couple of posts yesterday made me think about this topic. I've never had a strong desire to procreate. Luckily at 38 I'm nearly to the point where I won't have to worry about being hassled anymore. The only thing that would make me want to is finding a partner I really loved who could share the child care responsibilities equally, as I'm a person who would need to balance work and a family, and that hasn't happened. Watching the way parents are treated in the US doesn't make me eager to join them, and my mother ordering me at age 20 to produce babies in the future and to be a stay at home mom didn't help matters much either. (My sister had been married a couple years at that point but wasn't get to kids "fast enough," though she has them now.)

One of the sad parts of being ordered to get married and have kids is that I no longer associate my genes with love, and one of my big worries is not being able to love hypothetical kids, just because I associate a biological family so strongly with being told I'm a disappointment, that I'm too old, that I only exist as a means to an end. I have always loved the idea of being a stepmother or guardian to kids though - I used to have fantasies about it. Maybe because I feel like I would avoid some of our society's garbage about motherhood, or maybe because my own family is a blended one, I don't know (although I do realize there would be other big issues in that kind of family set-up). Anyway, I mentioned that I might like this to my family, and the immediate response was, "how about your own children?" For most of us, that's a huge attachment, sharing your genes.


How would all of you feel about not getting the grandkids of your dreams, or having your kids want some other kind of family setup? Would you consider stepchildren, or any nonbiological kids, part of your family or part of someone else's?

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