“Jane had firmly decided that if she ever had a child, she would definitely give them up for adoption. Everything changed in an instant when she took her son into her arms.”

As the mother of two daughters, both of whom are now married and living separately from me, I have always cherished solitude. When my second daughter got married and moved away four years ago, I felt a great sense of relief.

I became my own homemaker, making decisions about what to cook, when to clean, and how to spend my free time. I’ve never felt lonely; I always find ways to occupy myself when I’m alone. I read books, watch movies, go for long walks, or simply sit by the window, sipping tea and contemplating various thoughts.

Now, at the age of 59, I have three grandchildren – two from my older daughter and a newborn from my younger one. Both of my daughters have wonderful husbands, they live comfortably, and provide for their families. However, when my daughters were getting married, I made it clear to them not to count on me as a caregiver for their children. I conveyed that I had no intention of becoming a nanny, even in my old age.

“I have my own interests and my own life,” I told them. “I have started a relationship with a man, and he often invites me to go out. I didn’t allow myself to have any relationships before because of you girls. I devoted all my attention and time to you. Now, I want to live for myself and even enjoy my later years.”

Recently, my older daughter mentioned to me that she wants to return to work but is struggling to find a nanny for her younger son. She suggested that I quit my job and take care of him. I declined, explaining that I have my own life and can’t take on the responsibility of caring for her children. I don’t allow my grandchildren to stay overnight at my place, and I don’t want to be their nanny. I understand that my daughters may need my help in the future, but for now, I need to live life on my terms.

My older daughter views me as a bad grandmother because I don’t make pancakes, dig in the garden, or take care of her children. However, I believe it’s selfish of her to expect me to do these things. I hope that as my daughters grow older, they will understand and support my desire for peace in my later years.

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