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Childless "auntie" in pandemic

(467 Posts)
katrinbaker Tue 19-Jan-21 11:30:39

I am early 30s + isolating alone in the pandemic

All my friends + family are with their young families and many have been sending cutesy updates of their iso, with pictures of their young children, home projects + family baking. We are in constant contact and this also revolves around child updates and daily life. I am not expected to contribute but just coo at the right times.

Aibu to think this is insensitive? I had a nice life before all this happened but obviously much of it is now banned. Holidays, drinks out, dating. I am over it and think it has impacted the single lot disproportionately.

OP’s posts: |
Marzipan12 Tue 19-Jan-21 11:33:18

I can assure you life is not all roses for thise of us with children. Sharing more than likely brightens their day because homeschooling and managing often stressed isolated children is not fun. If it upsets you ask them not to include you but don't take this one bit of joy from them.

formerbabe Tue 19-Jan-21 11:34:08

I wouldn't be too jealous...their cutesy photos are probably a total facade and they're probably tearing their hair out.

Put your feet up with a glass of wine and take photos to send to them...will make them green with envy

In all seriousness its shit for everyone right now...flowers

HilaryBriss Tue 19-Jan-21 11:34:12

I can't see what is insensitive about it tbh. What are your friends and family supposed to do? Not contact you or not mention their kids/family when they do? Are they supposed to fib when you ask what they have been up to?

OwMyNeck Tue 19-Jan-21 11:35:57

Aibu to think this is insensitive?

If they weren't doing it, wouldn't you then be complaining that your friends were ignoring you? Everyones world has shrunk, they likely have absolutely nothing else to say if you remove the stuff about kids and family. What would you want them to talk about?
Why not take the initiative and start conversatiions about whatever you want? They'd probably be happy to have another topic!

2020iscancelled Tue 19-Jan-21 11:36:22

Yeah I feel for you.

I am not childless but I was for most of my 30s and no we didn’t have covid then but I do understand the role you have to play with the babies and the cooing and the parties and gifts and baby showers ..... then if you’re lucky they will come out for a couple of quick drinks for your birthday but then have to leave because of the kids. Or if you’re like me, you won’t even get to have a night out and you’ll instead have to suffer going to theirs for a bottle of wine whilst the kids are asleep upstairs (if doesn’t even end up a bottle because the baby wakes up half way though)...

Sorry went off on a tangent. YANBU to believe this is really affecting single people and probably more so than anyone else.

I hope your friends are making time to check up on you and ask you how you’re doing? If not then you might need to pipe up and tell them (if they are those type of friends) and if they aren’t making the effort to reach out unless it’s about their own lives then it points you towards finding more suitable relationships when this is all over.

PurpleDaisies Tue 19-Jan-21 11:37:17

It’s a bit shit.

There are only so many times you can say “awww” to a cute WhatsApp picture before it makes you want to scream.

I don’t think they’ve got it easy at all. There are challenges for everyone. When the conversation is so excluding, it’s hard not to get a bit down because of it.

ComtesseDeSpair Tue 19-Jan-21 11:37:41

I think anybody posting regular updates about how much fun they’re having in lockdown is, is trying to convince themselves and put on a show for others. I’ve really not had a bad “lockdown” year at all, many parts of it have been pretty great, but it still hasn’t been good enough to be social media worthy.

So I really wouldn’t be too envious. Things are definitely tough on single people who’ve had very little social contact, but I also don’t think that’s being trapped at home with restless and irritable children, often also trying to homeschool, has been a walk in the park either.

pepsicolagirl Tue 19-Jan-21 11:38:26

I am a mum of 3. The idea of having a empty house seems blissful to me.
Last week I did my shopping online, on click and collect, but I didn't mention this to my family. I went to "do the shopping" (took 10mins because I was just collecting it), bought a drive thru coffee and sat in a car park for nearly an hour just staring out of the window people watching in silence.

It is shades of shit for everyone. Full house, empty house, meh

Pinkdelight3 Tue 19-Jan-21 11:40:15

Not disproportionately, just differently.

OhCaptain Tue 19-Jan-21 11:40:26

How is it insensitive when it’s all they have to share?

I don’t understand your need to play pandemic top trumps.

It’s not disproportionately worse for you. It’s just bad in a different way.

And nine times out of ten there’s someone worse off than you.

Tell them you don’t want their updates if you don’t want them, but then don’t moan that your friends aren’t in touch! 🤷🏻‍♀️

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Tue 19-Jan-21 11:40:45

You are just seeing it from your side.

I'm home with dh and two school aged kids. We don't have any single person households to bubble with and have no childcare needs. So it's the four of us. That's it. For a year now (in an area which has been in lockdown for the majority of the time since March 2020).

Do I get bitter at the single people who can bubble with a family to see a change of face? A bubble which, each lockdown, they can change so keep it mixed up? A single person who can go for a walk with another perspn (which I can't do as I have the kids)?

We are all having a shit time OP

LizFlowers Tue 19-Jan-21 11:41:14

You don't have to look on social media. People are bound to post about their daily lives which personally I think is silly and tedious but each to their own. It isn't their fault that your life is different to theirs.

Being in your early thirties is young, when the pandemic is over you may find your life changes quite a bit for the better.

PurpleDaisies Tue 19-Jan-21 11:41:41

Tell them you don’t want their updates if you don’t want them

Tell me how to have that conversation. Please stop sending me photos of your children because it’s making me feel desperately lonely is not something you can really say to someone.

2Kidsinatrenchcoat Tue 19-Jan-21 11:41:52

Any cute/happy moments with their kids might literally be the only bright parts of their days at the moment, so they can talk about their kids or they can talk about the crushing misery of day to day life. There’s nothing else happening. In my case anyway!

OwMyNeck Tue 19-Jan-21 11:42:06

I don't think its fair to say its affecting single people more...parents have so much more to worry about, and to do, with homeschooling etc. Having only yourself to worry about is not being more affected, but less. And all those things you miss, holidays, drinks out, fun...well parents miss all those too!
Yes I imagine its lonelier, but plenty of parents would kill for the time alone. Everyone is dealing with their own stuff, its not a competition for who has it worse, we all just have to deal with it as it is.
If you don't like the communications, either step out of it or change it. Take control of yourself.

NameChange84 Tue 19-Jan-21 11:42:42

Oh I feel the opposite way.

I’ll be 37 in a short while and I’m devastated that I might have missed out on having kids. I mean, wake in the night sobbing my heart out devastated. And yes, no prospect of meeting anyone all year as I’m also Shielding. Quite a few of my married friends have had lockdown babies and others have older children.

I love seeing the pictures and videos they send me. I love that they are thinking of me and trying to keep the “auntie” relationship up. I think I’d be more hurt if they excluded me from their kids lives because I’m the “childless” one. The updates honestly cheer me up no end and I feel less on my own.

I do appreciate everyone is different but I don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. They are probably just trying to include you and help you feel less lonely.

Icanseegreenshoots Tue 19-Jan-21 11:42:42

It is insensitive to be bragging about anything right now, and I certainly wouldn't dream of it - I would mute the chat op.

None of us are enjoying endless family fun trust me, you are just seeing snapshots.

We all miss holidays, theatre trips, dinners out and time with friends. Even those of us with children. The lockdown will be over soon.

I would find a hobby and spend less time on family whatsapp personally.

OhCaptain Tue 19-Jan-21 11:42:42

I don’t post my kids activities to friends or onto SM but I will say their teachers expect constant photos of “fun activities” after their school work, and want updates when they talk on all the fun things they’re doing...🙄🙄🙄 when I’d love nothing more than to leave them the fuck alone and get my job done!

So believe me, the photos of fun are NOT that fun!

luxxlisbon Tue 19-Jan-21 11:43:14

It is their life, not quite sure how it is insensitive. I think you are being dramatic when you say you are not expected to contribute. I'm sure they are only sending you messages and photos to involve you in their life when the intention of you contributing and conversing with them.

OwMyNeck Tue 19-Jan-21 11:44:16

Tell me how to have that conversation. Please stop sending me photos of your children because it’s making me feel desperately lonely is not something you can really say to someone

Thats precisely what you can say, to a friend. If a friend said that to me, I would say I'm sorry you feel that way, I will stop immediately, would you like to talk about something else or would you like me not to contact you for a while, either is fine. Anything you need?

Bananachip Tue 19-Jan-21 11:45:34

Yes it is insensitive but I'm sure it's not meant that way, have you mentioned to any of them that it makes you feel a bit down?

I really do agree that single people have been forgotten about. Yes it's stressful for everyone but there's not focus on people who can now end up having a week without a face to face conversation and spend every night in on their own. My best friend's in your situation and is finding it hard in just the same way, life on hold and zero distractions.

Marlboroandmalbec34 Tue 19-Jan-21 11:48:10

Oh op I do get it. I’m a single mum of 2 v little kids and tbh most days are horrific. I do get a day a week when the kids go to their dad so I cling onto that. I don’t have a bubble as everyone who would be is shielding or living with a vulnerable person.

It is hard for single people. I miss flirting, laughing, having a glass of wine with another adult, dating, sex.

MaMaD1990 Tue 19-Jan-21 11:49:29

Hahaha ohhh be under no illusion that people with children have a better time of it - in their eyes your time is YOURS, you don't have to up at night, deal with home schooling, entertaining a small toddler, dealing with tantrums, trying to work as well as do childcare, cleaning cooking. You are on your own, yes, but you have all the time in the world to video chat in peace without a kid trying to take the phone off you, you have time to take up a hobby should you wish, you can stay up past 9pm to watch a film and not think about the consequences of being exhausted the next day. You are only responsible for yourself and don't have to worry about how the hell you're going to organise your family's life with the next big govt announcement. I have sympathy for those who are single at the moment, but it's not easier for anyone else either. Be grateful for what you have.

Cherrysoup Tue 19-Jan-21 11:55:28

It’s not all about you! Would you rather they ignored you?

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