Treated differently without children

Discussion in 'Long Term TTC & Fertility Issues' started by phonixgirl, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. phonixgirl

    phonixgirl Well-Known Member

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    Hi ladies

    Do you find you're treated differently by friends and family if you don't have children to those who do?

    Some of my friends had children quite young (before I'd planned on having them) so I've got used to that side of things. They meet up so their children can play together and swap Christmas presents etc. Obviously I can meet to do family things or give them their presents but a lot of it is very child-based and I have no child to take along with me. I don't see my friends much because they have children and I don't, sad as it sounds. (I try, but they are always busy with other people and their children.) As I say, I've kind of got used to this now.

    However, in September my sister had her first baby. I was really upset when she told me she was pregnant but then I was excited to be an auntie, and I adore my little nephew. Since then, I've found my parents have treated us quite differently (I thought they treated us differently before but this is on a whole new level). They hardly ever ask us over (today was the first time since he's been born), they went on holiday with my sister and left us to look after the cats (that pretty much sums up our relationship), and now I find she's buying a very expensive house around the corner from them but keeping her old place to rent out (my parents must be having a hand in this).

    Is this normal? It's like we don't exist anymore. It could be our choice not to have children and I'm wondering if they'd treat us like this if it was our choice.

    Katie xx
     
  2. Syd43

    Syd43 Well-Known Member

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    Phonix I'm so sorry, that's awful. I could write a book on being treated differently because I don't have children, by friends, collleagues, strangers etc. It's a real soap box subject for me, I can rant for hours! Never experienced it with family though, my brother and sister don't have children but I'm positive my parents wouldn't treat us differently if they did. What you are describing is grossly unfair - is it something you can bring up with them?
     
  3. snowbee

    snowbee Well-Known Member

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    Sorry it is your parents treating you like this. We have certainly been treated differently by many, although not my parents as they don't have any grandchildren to treat us differently over. We have lost/drifted away from many friends and work colleagues have also treated us differently too.

    I agree with Syd, can you let them know how left out you feel?
     
  4. MoominGirl

    MoominGirl Well-Known Member

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    I'm so sorry you're having such a rubbish time phonixgirl. I totally get the being treated differently. I find it tends to be more subtle like someone needs to stay late at work - everyone looks at the childless person even though the ones with children already have childcare arrangements in place!! Or being asked if you're sure you need that annual leave as it's school holidays.

    Thankfully we have a small family and only my sister has a little boy. He's the only grandchlid in the family. Although I don't think my parents treat my sister and I differently since he came along, he definitely takes priority in their eyes which sometimes indirectly favours her if that makes sense. I'm lucky that her and I have always been very close and I don't allow it to affect my relationship with her or my nephew but it can be very frustrating if I'm in the wrong mood!

    Can you talk to your parents or your sister about how it's making you feel? It really sounds like it's putting a strain on your relationship with all of them.
     
  5. phonixgirl

    phonixgirl Well-Known Member

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    It's definitely not my sister's fault. We didn't get on when we were younger and didn't really speak much until my nephew was born (we are very different). He's brought us much closer together.

    I don't know if I can talk to my parents but I guess I'm going to have to mention it at some point. They've offered to pay for my egg storage, but that's just £150 and tbh I'm reluctant to accept. It feels like they're only doing it because they're helping her buy a house, but what's £150 really?!

    We have never been treated the same but the baby has just exacerbated things. For example, their existing mortgage is with my parents at a next to 0% interest rate. We had to get one with a bank like everyone else (although they did help with the deposit). I just can't help feeling that my parents are contributing financially again to help her buy this very expensive house (it would be different if she was selling her existing property, but she's not!). She's talking about extending it too.

    I should focus on what I have, not what I've not got - a nice house in a lovely village, my little cat, my DH, a job I love. We don't need a bigger house either because we've got no kids! The more I think about it, the more I want to just move abroad to get away from all that. If I didn't love my job so much, have my kitty and get free prescriptions (epilepsy treatment could be expensive abroad...) then I'd be out of here! Xx
     
  6. Sparklegirl

    Sparklegirl Well-Known Member

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    Yes I definitely do feel that people without kids are treated differently to those with them. My in laws are a prime example- my husband and myself have our birthdays ignored while his sister with 2 kids get many gifts and taken away on holidays. Everything (understandably) centres around the kids for the in laws but its like we dont exist at all. Not even a wedding anniversary card let alone present, it is really starting to make us feel like second class citizens with them.

    They have always been pushing us to have kids even before we were married, they seemed disappointed when we said we were engaged- they had hoped that I was pregnant instead. His mothers partner was best man at our wedding and he even got it into the speech how we must come back with a honeymoon baby.. at the time I thought it was just vulgar and so very unnecessary but now I discover they have been discussing this with other people how much they want us to have a child. It is not only wearing thin now but its getting painful given that we were not TTC earlier but now we are its rubbing the salt into the wound.

    Lots of people are happy to give leeway with anything concerning people with children but those without seem to fall into the abyss. I understand that parents naturally have a different set of priorities and needs to those without but it does make the chasm feel even wider especially when we are TTC with little success
     
  7. phonixgirl

    phonixgirl Well-Known Member

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    Oh Sparklegirl :-( yep, it's exactly like that. At least it's not just me i guess.

    I went for tea with my mum this afternoon (prompted by me) and we had a good discussion which made me feel a bit better.

    I understand, like you, that life rightly revolves around the children but people like us do still matter!
     
  8. MoominGirl

    MoominGirl Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear you've managed to chat to your mum phonixgirl. Hope things start to get better for you.

    That sounds awful Sparklegirl. Until we started officially TTC I didn't realise how insensitive people can be! I'm lucky my parents have one grandchild to keep them busy and they know better than to pressure me haha. Though I've really started to notice how people with children seem to take priority in general and I'm definitely getting more irritated by it!! I get their priorities but those of us without still have lives too!!
     
  9. Clementine

    Clementine Well-Known Member

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    The reality is couples without children are treated differently, it ends up so much harder to integrate with couples who have children as you just don't have that common factor, when babies are small Mums get support from other Mums, then toddler children make friends & then the parents get to know each other via play dates / bday parties / school gate etc If you are childless it's harder to break into the circle. We have found it hard to meet new people in our village pretty much everybody of our age in our estate have children who go to the local school & they've gotten to know each other via the kids. My sister has 3 grown up kids who I love dearly I always get them B'day / Christmas gifts yet my sister would say to me that we shouldn't bother with gifts between myself & herself she has no awareness that I happily buy lots of presents for all her family every year yet she can't be bothered buying me one small gift (it's not about the cost it's the sentiment) I know I'm sounding petty, I don't think it's anyone's fault it's just life, society is built around having children. I try to focus on the positives we get to sleep at night, we get to go to nice restaurants & hotels, we go on good holidays, we have freedom and we love our friends children & have lots of patience with other people's children, I have a number of friends children who call me their fairy godmother. I think you have to make a real effort to take up hobbies that allow you to meet other people in the same situation but it is hard especially when you'd really love to be a Mum.
     
  10. Syd43

    Syd43 Well-Known Member

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    You're not sounding petty at all Clementine, what you say is absolutely right. How are you getting on? Have you made any decisions about trying or not trying again?

    I've found that I've built a network of friends that either don't have children or have older children, it's just too hard being around people with young children for so many reasons. And I love my lifestyle - as you say we get to do nice things, I have 2 or 3 holidays a year and I really love time to myself, I often think when I'm stretched out on the sofa on a Saturday morning watching rubbish on tv, "couldn't do this if I had children". As I'm about to start IVF... :)
     
  11. Clementine

    Clementine Well-Known Member

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    Lots of luck with your IVF Syd, I so hope this is your turn to become a mother xxx
     
  12. Sparklegirl

    Sparklegirl Well-Known Member

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    For me, it all comes down to that sentence. I see a lot of people on my facebook complaining constantly about their 2 children and how much of a mess they make and whining about little things which are to me, irrelevant. I would love to comment on her post saying that she has been granted 2 children and she should sound a lot more grateful for being able to have them.

    I know that parents are allowed to complain and have days where things get too much for them but she seems to be having a go at everything all the time. It just gets a bit much when she says things like how she would love to be able to go on holiday wherever she wants to but cant because of the kids.

    Things like that kill me, I cant go wherever I like because I am broke on account of the fact that I am putting money away each month to help us if I ever do get pregnant. I dont have much but what I do have goes in an account to save for a baby which sometimes feels like a pintless task.

    It feels like everyone runs to support her 'oh how awful it sounds, i really feel for you etc' when all I see is a young woman who was lucky enough to find the right man early in her 20s and have so far been blessed with 2 children and I know they are trying for more. I guess it comes down to jealousy with me, I hate the fact I am so much older than her and she has pretty much the only thing I want. I need to man up and get over it but its a struggle seeing how people like her get treated like some sort of queen and those of us who have not yet been blessed with a baby just have to make adjustments and pretend to be fine with everything.

    Sorry to be so agitated and green with envy but I suppose whatever the hell this bleeding is this morning has attributed to my grouchy mood
     
  13. MoominGirl

    MoominGirl Well-Known Member

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    Sorry you're having a rough time sparklegirl. I get what you mean when there always seems to be allowances for those with children and also as you say bringing out the tea and sympathy when they're complaining about how being a parent restricts them. All you want to do is shout at them and tell them to be grateful for what they have!! In my experience, it's usually the people who fell pregnant easily and have no understanding about how difficult it can be for others.

    At the moment, we've still chosen to keep our TTC journey private so people don't make an effort to be sensitive round me. I suppose that's the draw back of not making my feelings known as I can't blame people for being insensitive. I wouldn't say I'm very obviously broody on the outside so I wouldn't expect others to pick up on it. Would be good to know if others on the forum have been more open about their journey. I'm thinking more like work colleagues rather than close friends and family and whether it was helpful or not?
     
  14. Syd43

    Syd43 Well-Known Member

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    MoominGirl I made no secret about the fact I wanted children when I was in my early 30s (wasn't ready for them early than that but knew I would want them eventually). As I got older and didn't meet the right man I got more and more closed about it. I did genuinely go through a phase for about two years in my late 30s when I thought I actually didn't really want children but I was fooling myself. However, I was vocal about that at the time and have never corrected it so pretty much everyone I know things I'm fine with not having children and I would rather keep it that way. I just can't bear people's pity, I know it's a bit stupid but I can't cope with that.

    Of course two recent miscarriages has got people wondering, not that we told loads of people, and hardly anyone knows we're about to start IVF because again, I don't want the pressure or the pity.

    For me not being open about wanting children is the right route but it will vary from person to person.
     
  15. MoominGirl

    MoominGirl Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Syd43. I think I'm doing the right thing keeping it private. Like you say I just couldn't bear the pity, the pressure or the questions. If anyone asks me directly I admit that I want children but I just say it in a way that doesn't give a timescale and no one ever pushes further!! It's just nice to hear other thoughts on it as I know I can't have it all ways and keeping it private means I can't expect others to be sensitive.
     
  16. phonixgirl

    phonixgirl Well-Known Member

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    Wow I agree with everything said on here!
     
  17. Casey

    Casey Member

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    Hi Pheonix, so sorry to hear of your struggle.
    I experience something similar - my parents have a lot more to do with my older sister, she has 2 children, than they do with either me or my sister. I have to say this was also true before my nephews arrived but has been exaggerated since their births.
    I also have similar experiences with my friends, theya re completely lovely but just hav e very different life styles to mine. I try to fit in and my closet friend loves our time together without the children too, but inevitably it's difficult.
    My sister brought this up with my parents, it caused a lot of problems and upset, my parents became very diffensive. It's really difficult though.
     
  18. Potternutter

    Potternutter Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree with all of this, it is so so difficult. I was TTC for over 2 years, and was shocked with how many people think it's their business to ask when we will "hurry up and start a family" �� I am a really private person and didn't want everyone knowing, so I had to accept i was going to hear things that I would be sensitive to and other people had no idea there was a reason to be sensitive, but at the same time it annoyed me how people are so brazen about questioning you, especially after a wedding!
    Both my sister and sister-in-law got pregnant whilst I was secretly TTC- I tried to be happy for them but looking back it was the worst time of my life. I was literally green with envy and had to pretend I wasn't. And both sets of parents made such a huge fuss of them, it just makes it worse!

    Eventually we made the decision to tell immediate family, as I was looking at jobs in other countries, I was so desperate to get away from them all. The pity was awful and I ended up feeling bad around family in a different way to before- but it was slightly better. I also got so much support from my mum and MIL, and our relationships are much better for it these days.

    I also agree people on Facebook etc who rant about their children all the time- having been a LTTC it irritates me to see it (even though I now have a threenager who can drive me crazy at times) but I honestly think the only good thing about struggling to get pregnant is when you do you appreciate your little one so much more, because you went through so much to get them, they are a true gift. Just have in mind that whatever you are going through now will be completely worth it one day, and it will make the hard times so much more bearable! xxx
     
  19. katie88

    katie88 Well-Known Member

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    Heya gang. well after a few months off from the boards im back. needed to get my head back into gear. now on month 20 of ttc....joy!

    but yes, i know how you feel phonix. my parents love spending time with my brother and his wife as they have 2 boys. trying to get the to do things with us is a nightmare - even though we only live 25 mins away.... ahhh families!
     

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