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If you are childless (not by choice) and have unsympathetic parents….

(92 Posts)
alltoomuchrightnow Wed 09-Jul-14 01:53:09

(Or parent singular )
how do you cope?
how do you deal with this (or not)
I should have perhaps posted in Relationships too
In a lot of pain right now
Wonder why it's so hard for those who are meant to be closest to you, to show empathy / sympathy/ support when you need it the most
How many of you have parents you love , but really don't like?
Do you distance yourself, cut off completely, or just grit your teeth and carry on seeing them?
My parents have been pretty harsh over the years. First the pressure and blame, but now the acceptance (that they won't have grand kids in this country - they do have three by my DB, but the other side of the world; they see them once a year at most)
Their acceptance comes with the fact that I have no right to be sad (in their view), no right to grieve and no right to even mention any of this any more. It actually leads to anger if I even bring up my sadness or any mention at all yet they were like a stuck record for years, that as i'm the oldest i should be the first to provide grandkids, after all, all their friends are now grandparents, blah blah blah
Why could they put that pressure on me for years, and now we know for sure I will not be having children, I am not allowed to mention it? Why should I be met with anger if it's ever mentioned.
It feels like a double punishment.

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 09-Jul-14 02:48:02

I'm sorry you feel this way. I have no first hand experience, but am bumping for you.

Makes you wonder why your DB and his kids are the other side of the planet though eh?

AcrossthePond55 Wed 09-Jul-14 03:43:51

My God, I can't believe the insensitivity of your parents!! I'm so, so sorry you're having to deal with this. It's very unfair. Your parents should be empathizing and holding your hands, after all you've lost the dream of having children, they've lost the dream of having nearby grandchildren.

I'm dealing with the realization that my newly married DS1 does not intend to have children, ever. It's broken my heart but I have to keep it to myself because it is, after all, his decision to make.

So, as one brokenhearted woman to another, I'm quietly holding your hand as you work through this. I wish you peace, my dear, as I try to find it for myself.

TheXxed Wed 09-Jul-14 03:59:43

I am so sorry this is happening to you, I don't have any advice but I just wanted to say that you are entitled to your feelings and I hope your relationship with your parents improves. thanks

AggressiveBunting Wed 09-Jul-14 05:01:46

Next time she brings it up I think I'd get my wallet out and say 'mum, here's a tenner. Go and buy yourself some perspective'

Hissy Wed 09-Jul-14 07:34:33

Guessing there's no coincidence that your DB is so far.

So sorry for you to have parents like these, my sympathy too for all of this happening to you.

I'm so sorry that you have had this response.

It doesn't even begin to compare to your experience but my PIL spent years asking about when we would have a second child. We told them that we had no plans to have another, but still it continued (still does from time to time). They watched me go mad from PND (quite literally), they saw me tear my marriage apart for 9 months, they know I had drawn up plans as to how best to kill myself. They watched their son holding on to the belief that I would get better and return to being a reasonable person.

Apparently their sadness about us only having one child was more important than that.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 09-Jul-14 14:13:42

thanks for replies. It's not deliberate DB is so far…he followed his australian girlfriend back to oz and later married her. It was cheaper to build a new life over there.
I got the brunt of it… the years of moaning about grandkids being so far away. And that they'd never have them in this country (wouldn't say that to him, of course!) they are lucky they have three lovely GC (staying at the moment - all the family is over)

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 09-Jul-14 14:14:08

sorry Queen that's terrible

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 09-Jul-14 14:24:29

It was all they talked about for years and now i'm not allowed to bring it up at all. Now I'm 43 it's only really now i'm going through the 'acceptance' stage (and obviously missed the boat for funded IVF. when i could have had it i was in an abusive relationship) . I try to be positive, e.g. I now have a wonderful partner (he doesn't want kids and is probably infertile, and went through a lot of fertility traumas with his ex), but i want to have a happy life with him, he's an old friend, not someone brand new, and we both really believe we have a wonderful future, but it will be childless), I escaped DV and building a new life etc etc. Things are good. But there are times I have triggers and sadness . e.g. I love spending time with my brother's kids. but it also brings its sadness. it's been three years since i last saw them, which doesnt help (we do Skype etc). I can't even mention my sadness to my own mother without her screaming at me to 'shut up' (nice reaction eh)
Part of my acceptance is to grieve but it seems I'm not 'allowed' to do this except privately. ( i don't have friends to share this with as the last childless friend had successful IVF, ) And most of the time I'm fine. but having DB"s kids over does bring it home that i'll never have my own. My parents mistake it for jealousy. It's not. Im happy for my brother. I'm so happy to be an aunt , i just wanted both DB AND I to have children. I'm sad i see so little of his kids as would love to be a hands on aunt . So it's part sadness they live so far (though I don't blame him, and they have a lovely life out there) and part that it brings it home, it won't be me. I always had a dream of our kids playing together.
But the biggest sadness is how harsh and cruel my parents seem.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 09-Jul-14 14:28:14

Sorry it's so hard Across the pond. I just read a book called Beyond Childlessness. It's not brilliant but does have a few gems of positivity in it though I couldn't entirely relate to it. Trying to find something a bit more suitable.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 09-Jul-14 22:39:41

finding things hard today
So many hypothetical q's go through my head (might be hypothetical but were they to happen, I know 100% what the answer would be…. (I'm writing on here as I can't say these things in RL)

Today they went to Legoland, it's been talked about for months , it was me that did the research on it, e.g. coming on MN to ask q's etc. It got booked without asking me so i missed out. I think DB and Dsil assumed I would not want to go. My mother knew how much I did want to. They are staying there, she had discussed it with them, they booked it in her home… yet not once did she ask them to include me. Hence today she went (and didn't want to) and I didn't go(and did want to)
Hypo q is.. would I have been invited if i had DC?? I know I would have.
I feel worthless and unwanted. They could also have done with another pair of hands (my father did not go) e.g. to help with the baby whilst the older two went on rides. I wanted to see the fun the older two were having, also as an ex photographer I'm always the family photographer.

They have just been away for ten days, with my parents (a holiday within a holiday, if you like). As they are only here for a month, that's 9 days i've lost with the kids) I dearly wanted to go, and really need a break after the year I've had. I was not invited as 'there wasn't room for you' (not in cars…in the house they rented). I'd have been fine in the lounge (sofa or blow up bed). My parents made the decision for me basically. Again I know if I had DC, I'd have been invited. They'd want the cousins to play together. They'd have got a bigger place or arranged for me to stay locally. (is this crazy, to have all these 'what ifs' eating me up?) I was particularly gutted as where they stayed (different part of country) is five miles from very dear friends of mine. Friends were gutted I couldn't come and found it v odd re my family (i couldn't stay with the friends, their cottage is minuscule and their dog sleeps in the lounge.. and is not good with people it doesn't know)

And all the other day trips I've missed on (my mum - 'why would you want to come? you don't have kids' ) yet to contradict that, I have been begged many times by my parents to come and help with the babysitting as they can't deal with the baby as well as two older kids, it's too much for them . The emotional blackmail - 'the kids really want to see you and for you to put them to bed' etc etc. Well Im happy to do all that. I just wish I had been involved with some of the more fun things to, the days out . Especially to places i'd suggested! and researched. (not just Legoland - several other places. Some of these ideas got poo poohed.. then I found out they ended up going)

I really think my parents don't communicate with my bro and sil. I live 22 miles away so not on the doorstep but not like other end of country... but if things were planned i could be at theirs or meet them somewhere. Sometimes they just get up early and go on spur of moment but it turns out other day trips had been i could've gone with them if asked in advance. I think bro gets the idea I just don't want to do certain stuff… because my mother is not telling him otherwise.
Yet before they came over my parents were asking me to not work whilst the family were here, so i could 'spend time with the kids' and help them with the babysitting.
I'm out of work and have had to try and keep the job centre off my back in order to not be working this month. I really can't afford to not be earning but I put family first, that's what hurts so much. I could have been doing temping most days. And then been able to afford a break myself, after they went home.
They go home a week today and I'm gutted. I've been excluded from so much. I have loved seeing the kids..whatever we were doing. I know my parents are v v stressed with having a full house (i.e. going from two people to seven, in a two bed house) and taking it out on me, yet i'm the best person to help! and it seems i'm only there for the babysitting and none of the days out.
I am so hurt and disappointed. I've been looking forward to the visit for months. Three years is a very long time since the last one.
I won't even be able to talk to my parents properly about this, but if i did they would dismiss it as being 'stressed and confused', all i hear is how stressed they are and 'it's a madhouse' with three kids being there and two disorganised adults (i.e. DB and Dsil)
Im just starting to feel, family is not really family unless you can reproduce. Otherwise, you're only fit for childcare..and later it will be parent care i'm sure… my DB won't be around for that.
Sorry so long…sigh

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 09-Jul-14 22:40:24

I meant they are staying with my parents.. not that they are all staying at Legoland! They all went for the day only

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 09-Jul-14 22:44:25

I'm sure some of you will think, WTF why would anyone want to go to Legoland, it's hell!
but I did . I wanted to share that with my elder niece and nephew and see their excitement. And it's not far away, so not too stressful a day out.
Why do parents think childless people don't want to do child things, yet still use them as babysitters?! And they know the things I do with friends kids!

Hissy Thu 10-Jul-14 07:26:44

I'm sorry, but you are being treated abysmally by your family.

I don't know who's driving this, but it appears to be your mother/parents.

Their attitude is not normal towards you.

Was this always such an unbalanced relationship? Was your DB the favourite? Or were you until he had DC? You'dd be better talking to your DB directly, and distancing yourself from anyone who isn't anything less than 100% supportive of you.

If your db falls into this camp too, then sorry but he's not someone that you'll find much benefit having in your life either.

Have you spoken to your dp about this? What's his perspective of your family?

sommerfugl Thu 10-Jul-14 07:29:26

That's awful. And it's exactly the kind of subtle 'what? who? what did I do?" thing that parents can never understand.

i feel for you

Nerf Thu 10-Jul-14 07:42:05

Why didn't/don't you talk to your brother? You're both grown ups - how weird to not say to him you'd live to do stuff. Why not ring him and offer to take the kids to the cinema?
As for not working, you do sound in a bad place, because you've really martyred yourself but not taken any control.

ParsingFlatly Thu 10-Jul-14 07:49:37

It sounds like your mother is in charge of your relationship with DB. He may not realise that you'd like to come, and welcome you if you did.

Can you be assertive and deal directly with your DB this for last week?

Speak to him or SIL away from DM. Say you'd really like to see more of them and the children for this last week. That you've taken time off work specially for this. Ask what their plans are for the week, and where you can join in. If they don't have any, make one with them. You can even add something like, "I know it was a misunderstanding, but I was really looking forward to going to Legoland with you after all the planning I'd put into it."

Don't sound like you're blaming him, but be really positive about the coming week.

Cut DM out of the decision-making, and when she whines or tries to stop you, smile sweetly and say "DB and I have decided..."

(All easier said than done, I know.)

harverina Thu 10-Jul-14 07:52:41

Op you need to speak directly to your brother and completely bypass your parents. Tell him you have taken time off, that you are available to do trips and that you would like to spend as much time with them as possible while they are home. Tell them that with a little notice you will meet them and help out. Do not go through your mum. You are an adult and have no need to run things past her.

paddlenorapaddle Thu 10-Jul-14 07:58:14

I really do feel for you as someone who experienced childlessness and infertility for years being virtually ignored and even told at times "you're not a mother" you can't possible understand until you're a mother hmm

Please tell your brother you'd like to be included even in days out you're happy to pay your way but you've missed him and his family and really hoped to go

Fwiw sounds like your mother is toxic and excluding you on purpose her reasons are her own don't try and understand her or why.

Try and focus on building stronger bonds with your brother

SocialMediaAddict Thu 10-Jul-14 07:59:21

Talk to your brother. Why is it all through your mother? She sounds cruel.

ballinacup Thu 10-Jul-14 08:01:49

That sounds absolutely awful OP, totally heartbreaking.

As I was reading, I had this mounting realisation that you need to move away too. You need lots of physical distance from your parents. I know you said you don't work but does your partner? Would/could he relocate a few hundred miles away?

You're right in what you say, one day your parents will expect you to care for them but they won't be any kinder to you for it. Distance would prevent this and you might be able to find a new job elsewhere in the country.

I also think you need to build a relationship with just your DB/DNs that is separate from your mother. Then perhaps he will actually ask YOU if you'd like to come along for outings, rather than taking your mum's word for it.

Lottapianos Thu 10-Jul-14 08:01:51

Loads of sympathy OP. I have similar parents - their feelings are also more important than mine and I have never been allowed to have or talk about my own feelings. Its horribly painful. They are treating you terribly.

I also sympathise with how isolating it can feel to not have children. At times I feel like everyone else is in a lovely fun club that I can never be a part of. Its really tough. I highly recommend a website called Gateway Women - its for women who don't have children for a whole host of reasons and I find it very supportive.

What has worked with my family is to drastically reduce contact. They will never become the kind reasonable people I want them to be so I have to protect myself. You need to find your own way through this but please remember that lots of people on here have every sympathy for you and that you are entitled to your own feelings.

RedToothBrush Thu 10-Jul-14 08:12:50

Your parents don't want to share their time with the kids with you.

Its as simple as that.

JackieOHH Thu 10-Jul-14 08:42:58

Sounds to me OP like your mother is punishing you. ( she sounds a lot like my mother). Deep seated resentment that's built up for years. You say that when you could've had IVF you were in a dv relationship? I bet 100% your mother blames you for not seeking out a better relationship and therefore being able to have children.
There may be more to her reasoning too, but she blames you, she resents you and now she's punishing you.
I agree with PP, speak to your brother. Take the older kids out to the cinema, park, whatever. Spend time with them.
And yes, eventually, the elderly parent care WILL fall to you, and you'll possibly have to spend time caring for a woman who is vile towards you, and isn't grateful for anything you do speaking from bitter experience here as my mother is currently being a pita

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