mother and daughter 1950sA parent’s love many be consistent, but their approval is a mighty, mighty fickle thing — and can usually come in two prominent flavors of concern: kids and marriage. Such is the essential takeaway from a fairly open-ended, yet swelling Reddit thread that was prompted with a simple question, “What aspect of your life is a disappointment to your parents?

After an exploration of sibling rivalry, gender expectations, and career choices, the online conversation gets down to the real parenting doozies. The classic and timeless “settle down and gimme grandkids STAT.” One commenter writes:

[My parents]

won’t admit it, but it’s that I’m single at 26 and most of my friends and family are married and popping kids out. They just discreetly ask if I am seeing anybody when I go over for dinner and looked crushed when I say “not right now”. I am pretty sure they think I am going to die alone.

Edit: Just to clarify, my parents know that I want to get married and have kids (at some point) and are just worried that I will let work get in the way like it has in the past. That and they want grandkids :)

And that was the floodgate:

My mom recently told me to “get my shit together, I want to have grandkids.” I’m 23. Apparently graduating from one of the best universities for my degree, having a 6-figure job and paying off of my student loans is not “having my shit together” since I’m single. Haha

From there, the dialogue predictably turns the avenue of when is the “right” time to have kids:

 I don’t even understand this. I have friends married and having kids at 26-27, and I’m only like “WHY SO YOUNG YOU CRAZY!?!?” My parents weren’t married and having kids until their late 30′s early 40′s. This is the only age where it gets to be all about you, and not about several little people.

Mageboy adds:

In my opinion, having kids younger means that you won’t have them in your house as you approach retirement, a time when debts are generally paid off and there is a lit more expendable income. I don’t want to be having kids in my 40s, I want them moving out. 

And Firmly_Grasps_IT rounds it out nicely:

As a person who will be thirty five when her daughter goes to college and or moves the fuck out at 18, don’t stop believing.

And there we have the full circle of life.

(photo:  Nava Atlas)