• By: admin
  • August 16, 2016

“But who will take care of you when you’re old?”

Anyone who announces their intention not to have children has
inevitably been asked this question. Here is my response:


Who will take care of me when I’m old you ask?

Well, if I’m so incapacitated that I can’t do it myself then it will
probably be the nursing staff at a nursing home that I’ve saved money
to pay for.

The same nurses will probably take care of you when your children
decide you’re too much of a burden for them to take on.

And even if I’m in a nursing home and you’re still at home I won’t be
breaking anyone’s heart or asking my family to put their life on hold
for mine.

Because most adult children with half a heart take on the care of
their aging parents. Even if it means months or years of adapting
their lives, moving closer, turning down promotions, burning the
candle at both ends and putting their dreams on hold.

When I near the end of my life I won’t be asking anyone to put their
life on hold for me. I won’t be breaking anyone’s heart when I forget
their name or sending them home sobbing, burnt out and guilt-ridden
because they’re trying to care for me while trying to keep their own
lives afloat.

Instead I’ll be cared for by those who are paid to care for me. And if
no one comes to visit it will be because all whom I knew are now gone,
not because my children and grandchildren have left me to wither alone
and die.

You see, you and I may both feel loneliness when the time comes but
I’m sure there’s no deeper loneliness than knowing you dedicated your
life to raising people who no longer care enough to stop by and help
you pass the time.

So who will take care of me when I’m old if my flame doesn’t burn out
long before then? For me it’ll be those who have chosen to spend their
careers taking care of the old like me. They will come in, care for
me, and then go home to their own families without me weighing heavily
on their hearts. For you it will be people who love you but who are
woefully unprepared for the years of heartache, guilt and
work that they had no choice but to take on. They’ll spend their days
walking around with a broken heart and their nights staining their
pillow with tears.

So yes, I do know who will take care of me when I’m old. Now please
tell me again how I’m the selfish one.



  1. Anders Kanten says:

    I am glad this shit is free in Norway. We dont pay for retirement-homes at all. Just grow old and also get free money from the government in pension no matter if you worked hard all your life or if you wore a mootch.

  2. Profile photo of HelenHelen says:

    Wonderful Article…put me being childless and worrying about old age in a different light.

    1. Profile photo of adminadmin says:

      Thank you so much; I’m so glad to have been able to help you see a different side of it 🙂

  3. Paula Frazier says:

    Good points!
    Now how do I “UN-Have” my kids?

  4. Deb Thompson says:

    And I do my darndest to stay healthy. I have a vegan lifestyle and philosophy, which helps to reduce stress and encourages a compassionate heart. I try do as many of my outdoor and indoor chores without help, including caring for several rescued horses, dogs, cats . I stay engaged in volunteer work, read a lot of books, mostly nonfiction, and try not to get overly concerned about what others think of me. Staying active in rewarding activities, with likeminded people keeps you looking forward to getting up every morning too.

  5. Thanks for sharing… it’s a scary thing to contemplate the time when breaking a hip is on the short list of Things Not To Do and most of our marbles are rolling in different directions. And it’s scary to think about how alone we might be.

    1. Profile photo of adminadmin says:

      Definitely! I think we all have those fears as well but I just remind myself that children are definitely not a guarantee that someone will be there for you when the time comes.

  6. Nicx says:

    WOW, thank you so much for writing this! I dare ANY self righteous parent to even try to come up with a good response. You literally just put them in their place.

    1. Profile photo of adminadmin says:

      Thank you so much; that means a lot!!

Post a comment

Comments Protected by WP-SpamShield for WordPress