Good Reads

The Great Expectations

My husband has this habit of massaging my daughter’s legs before sleeping. It lulls her fast into sleep. The other evening, as he was massaging her legs, he commented, “Do you think she will do the same for us if we ever need it?”

great expectations


I shook my head and said, “We should be glad if she even calls us once a week to inquire about our health.”

He sighed and then said, “I guess gradually we should shed our expectations and try not to revolve our life around her. This way we will be less dependent on her when she grows up and leaves the nest.” I silently prayed for that day to never come. I am sure all mothers think and wish the same.

But there was another doubt nagging me. So I asked my friend who is a single child, “Did you ever miss having siblings growing up alone?”

Instantly she replied, “No, never.” But after a moment’s reflection, she added, “But now I wish I had one.”

I was surprised at this sudden addition.

My parents are old and don’t keep well. With my busy professional and personal life, I can’t be with them all the time. However, when I am not by their side when they are ill, I feel guilty. A sibling would have shouldered the responsibility.”

I understand the dilemma of a single child but we can’t have a second child for that reason alone. So my husband and I have decided to invest in our future. That not only means a secure financial investment but investing in health too. We take care of our health so that we are fit and healthy even in old age. And if one of us outlives the other, he/she will go to a Home. Nothing wrong with that, is it?

We wouldn’t want to impose ourselves on our kid. Let the great Indian story of expectations die a slow and natural death.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you expect your kid(s) to take care of you in the old age?


  1. What a thoughtful post. With my 10-week old baby, this hadn’t even crossed my mind, but it’s certainly something to think about.

    • We were not happy with the chain of thoughts. But looking at the shifting world today, it would be better and wiser to do that.

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