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Feeling alone. Feel like because I'm childless I have no value to family

(20 Posts)
raindropstea Mon 29-May-17 14:15:12

I'm early 30s and childless and in a relationship that is making me unhappy. I feel very anxious. All around me I see people having babies. My facebook is deactivated because every time I log-in, I get anxious by the pics and feel inadequate and knowing myself and that seeing this will get me down, I just can't be on it. My relationship with my family (blended family, parents remarried, mum tries to be mum to her stepkids) has always been difficult. I'm the youngest. Older siblings (5 in total including step) all have children, etc.

Went on facebook today (then quickly deactivated) and saw that my mum (though I don't have her added) has featured photos of all her grandkids and a couple include my stepsister, brother, sister in law. There is not a shred of evidence I'm her daughter or even in her life. I've tried really hard in the past year to improve our relationship and communication. I've purchased nice gifts for her,s pent time with her.

I felt sad after seeing that. Told my partner and he took her side and said it's about the grankids and that I'm overreacting and that "you're just mad because you don't have a baby." I can't explain the feelings I'm feeling but there is something so painful about hearing that said to you. He didn't even try to relate to me.

He tells me that we could fix that problem and he could get me pregnant, but he is horrible with money and I have doubts about him. I dont' want to have a child with him and thought it would improve, but it isn't. A breakup is inevitable. That's besides the point. I'm still hurt that my mum did this. It's not as though all the pics are just of her grandkids. There are two with my siblings and their kids. It's embarrassing quite frankly because it's like an announcement to everyone that I'm not included, and because I don't have children I feel non-existent and like I have no value.

That really is how it makes me feel.

My partner's words made me feel even more upset and I began to cry. Somtetimes I just feel so lost and alone in the world. Since I have isolated myself and am not on fb, I don't really have any friends to talk to at all since all of their livse seem to revolve around their online lives. It's just maddening. I don't know what to do anymore.

I'm well off financially, put myself through uni, have a good job, thinking of doing postgraduate, I'm a good person, compassionate etc but I feel so empty inside. I see other women who are successful and don't have children and seem happy. But in my case my family does these things where I feel so alienated because I don't have kids. Siblings all put together an annual calandar and organize it with one another to give to the two sets of parents and it has pics of their kids in it. I don't have close relationships with any of them and during those situations they seem to gravitate toward one another and leave me out... they assume we have nothing in common but I'm always a loving and caring aunt to all of their kids. My birthday is all but forgotten by all of them even though I make a point to remember theirs. I really don't mean to come off as self-pitying but it's all just piling up.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Mon 29-May-17 14:47:42

You are focusing too much on them. Get on with your own activities and be busy enough to not have time to dwell on them. Stop compairing your life to theirs-live your own life.

I know it hurts to feel left out by family. But as an adult, imho, you would do well to lessen the need/dependence/expectation from them and thrive completely independent from them. Any contact might then be a bonus rather than a test that always ends in disappointment, iyswim.

I would not expect that you would immediately be brought into the fold, so to speak, when you have your own child. The organism of the grand kids and adult children may be at capacity already and the habit of being dismissive towards you may be hard to change. Their clique would not be a clique if they couldn't deny someone. Unfortunately, you have fallen into that role by being the last childless one.

Are they jealous of your success?

You are right about Facebook. I am not on and never was.

Your bf sounds pretty mean. If you can tell he isn't a keeper then it may be better to end things with him sooner rather than later.

The childless adults that seem happy probably are happy; but they probably have some not so happy times as well. Everyone does. The folks with children are not happy all of the time either. The fatigue puts a serious drain on that 24/7. You are not getting the whole picture from just looking at the superficial top 2% of "happy families" that get posted on FB.

raindropstea Mon 29-May-17 17:34:24

Thank you for your helpful advice. I agree with you that I need to be busy with my own life. Most of the time I am and I don't think about it, but it's those split seconds that take me by surprise. I guess like the saying, "if you go looking for trouble, you will find it" applies here. I probably shouldn't look at my mum's facebook at all. I don't have her added on there and have mine deactivated for a reason. I try to remind myself that FB is mostly all fake and you're only getting to see the best of peoples' lives, but it's not always easy to remind myself of that.

I'm much younger than all my siblings (by 6-10 years), so I guess it was maybe highly likely that I was going to be the last one to have children anyway, but I never gave it much thought or thought it would hurt this much. I've had a couple failed relationships now (and both have ended with the guys being emotionally abusive toward the end but great in the beginning)...

You also make a good point that I probably shouldn't expect to be brought right into the fold if I ever do actually get to have a baby. I should prepare myself that that might not happen. There are already so many grankids for my parents anyway. But by the time I do have a baby, the others will not be babies anymore, so I think my parents might take some interest.

I just feel overall that seeing that was like a punch in my stomach and it's just another reminder that I don't need to be on FB. I feel a bit glad that I'm not the only one who doesn't care for FB! smile

Tiredofstruggling1 Mon 29-May-17 20:26:26

Don't have a kid with this guy.

Children should be wanted by both parents.

Facebook causes huge unhappiness. Step away from it and fill your life with something else.

Tiredofstruggling1 Mon 29-May-17 20:27:39

My mother has pics on the wall of my siblings. None of me. I don't exist. It hurts. It is not your fault. Get toxic parents by Susan forward.

GavinsStacey Mon 29-May-17 21:33:00

I understand how you feel as I'm childless as well; don't depend on your family and make some good friends for yourself for example, Meet Up is something I belong too. Having kids isn't the be all and end all!

josuk Mon 29-May-17 23:06:26

OP - i am so sorry. You sound so terribly sad and lonely.

You also sound a bit depressed to me. I have been there, twice, so i am not just saying it.
Another point may be that you have always been the 'baby' of the family - younger than all other combined siblings. And now you are not.
Sorry to point this out. But it must play a role here.

Not being on FB b/c of baby pictures - would have been understandable, had you really wanted one right now and we're failing to get pregnant.

But as it is - it seems you have some hurts and issues that you need surfacing and dealing with.
Feeling down like this, and living with this craving for love and attention from family - this is something not easy.
But you can learn to deal with it.

raindropstea Tue 30-May-17 08:20:21

josuk - It's not about not being the baby anymore. My oldest niece is 8, so I'm used to it by now. I can see why you might think of that as a reason. But I don't really feel like I was ever treated like the "baby" of the family anyway. My family isn't the coddling type and since it's a blended family, my step siblings didn't baby me or anything like that. My older siblings went off to uni while I was still quite young.

I'm not on FB for a variety of reasons, but the baby pics are a more recent reason. I feel like I have nothing to show/nothing anyone would be interested in. I've traveled quite a bit, but that's about it.

But I don't agree with you that I should only be upset about not having a baby if I were failing to get pregnant and couldn't. I think that would be awful and sympathize with anyone in that situation, but I am also allowed to feel how I do... my partner is not in a position to become a parent right now. He wants a child, but I don't want to have a baby with someone who doesn't have their finances in order and I won't do that. I have my finances in order, but I want an equal partner when it comes to parenting. So knowing that my situation doesn't lend itself to allowing me to become a mum right now still hurts me because I wish my situation were different. And it makes me feel miles away from the day I can become a mum.

picklemepopcorn Tue 30-May-17 08:47:20

Lots of useful things already said. Also this: children change from month to month. That's why people do lots of pictures. The calendars are a record of changes, children growing up, families changing.

I think you need to end your current relationship as you don't think it is right. You are wasting time, if what you want is a family but not with this man.

I'm afraid life does revolve around children a bit. They change everything for the parents, and the grandparents hopefully understand this and get involved. Every activity you do, every visit you make, the needs of children have to be accommodated. Have you tried to build a relationship with your nephews and nieces? That may help you.

LorLorr2 Tue 30-May-17 09:01:13

It sounds like your mum put her grandkids as her featured photos and they just so happened to include your siblings? X

raindropstea Tue 30-May-17 09:10:24

Pickle, I have gone above and beyond for my nieces and nephews. My siblings are selfish and rarely even say thank you. I give my nieces and nephews gifts, help tremendously with them, and take them to the park etc. My siblings don't even remember my birthday or utter "Happy Birthday" or send a text at all. This is part of why it's hurtful.

It's kind of like an announcement to all my mum's friends on fb when she has posted literally a pic of every single grandchild, two with my stepsister and her husband and one with my brother and his wife. There is not a trace of me. It's like announcing to everyone that I'm the only without kids. That's how it feels anyway. I know people do a lot of photos because children change quickly, but that's besides the point here. I'm left out of everything because I don't have kids. This isn't feeling sorry for myself, but it is downright painful after a while. By the time I do have a baby (crossing my fingers), the other kids will be much older and nearly grown up... and I don't know if my parents will even be interested anymore because they have like 8 grandkids already.

pottered Tue 30-May-17 09:16:12

have you told them how you feel op? My parents used to do this, I think they just find pictures of their small relatives cheering - when I talked to them (we were having trouble conceiving) they started including many pics of my pets.

I think you should seek some therapy about your relationships, and ditch the horrible bloke - you are young and you've got plenty of time to find someone better. Talk to your parents though, they may not realise the effect of what they're doing.

My DC were GC 8 & 9 - my mum was still excited, people that love babies tend to love babies.

picklemepopcorn Tue 30-May-17 09:20:05

That's sad, raindrop. Are you the poster whose siblings use her as a cash machine? There was a holiday and a train trip and food shopping? If so they are a lost cause!

I'm sorry, it must hurt.

raindropstea Tue 30-May-17 09:33:32

I have tried to talk to my mom about it and it has done nothing. I've even given her pics of me traveling, pics that I actually like of myself. She doesn't put them in her house (nevermind fb). She has pics of everyone else in the house. When I asked her, she said "Those were all given to me." (The ones I gave her I sent her through whatsapp). But she has this subscription service that lets you print off pics from your phone and mails them to you, so I see that as just an excuse. Pottered, I'm in my early 30s... so sometimes I don't feel young anymore. Your parents sound nice that they actually listened when you told them how you felt and it was sweet of them to include pics of your fur babies.

Pickle, nope that's not me. My siblings are older than me and all successul. They have never asked me for money. They just generally act like I don't exist. I ask myself sometimes if I should stop bothering doing things for their kids.

Loopytiles Tue 30-May-17 09:39:51

I'm sorry you're treated differently. Is your mum receptive to feedback? If so you could try telling her how you feel. If there are deeper issues about how your parents and family treat you perhaps the "stately homes" threads here on MN might be good.

I think a priority should be ending your relationship: if you might want DC but not with your DP you're just wasting time with him.

It sounds like you're doing well in many aspects of your life, eg career, which is great. Your nieces and nephews will know you care and appreciate you by the effort you've put in.

Loopytiles Tue 30-May-17 09:41:27

Do you actually enjoy spending time with the kids? If not, no harm in stepping back a bit, but if you do, IME DC do know who cares about and is there for them and can have very nice relationships with uncles, aunts, friends.

pottered Tue 30-May-17 09:44:00

it was quite amusing - I suddenly found pictures of my dog everywhere. Your parents do sound cold rain, and you should only do things for your siblings' kids if it's making you happy if the adults are not being nice. My advice would be to focus more on your friends and sorting out your relationship situation - invest in rewarding relationships you get a kick out of, if you've told someone that they're hurting your feelings and they've not responded in any proper way, that says a lot.

raindropstea Tue 30-May-17 09:58:13

I do enjoy the kids - SOMETIMES. They can be right brats though. Their parents don't teach them to say please or thank you. My brother has a couple times asked his sons "Did you tell Aunt raindropstea thank you?" But my mum (aka nana) never tells them to say thank you to me. They are all very, very spoiled children and my mum runs the show. My nephew tried to tattle on me to my mum when I took him to the park because I muttered that someone in the road parked in a "stupid" way under my breath and kept saying over "Aunt raindrops tea said stupid!" The last time I showed up at my mum's to visit them when they were in town, I walked in and my nephew said "We have to have YOU here again?" But then at other times he will tell me how much he will miss me before he has to get in the car and leave with his parents. He can be sweet, but they are ALL bloody spoiled brats though I love them dearly. If I buy them something, it's quickly tossed aside and forgotten about because they have so much crap to play with.

I'm really conflicted at times about whether to invest time and money into my nieces and nephews because my siblings are so cold and rude. They include one another in what their kids are doing, but leave me out and I'm the one aunt who puts the most time into all the kids because the others are so busy with their own kids. My nieces and nephews know me most than all of their other aunts/uncles including their other parents' side yet their parents just sort of snub me.

pottered Tue 30-May-17 12:16:40

doesn't sound like much fun - i was in a similar position of being child-free for a lot longer than my siblings, and one of them has pleasantly surprised me and helped with my DC as hers were teens by the time I had mine. Of the other 2, one isn't in a position to help out and the other one I wouldn't trust to, but one sibling being a positive influence for my DC was a good enough return.

Is there one sibling that reciprocates more than the others?

On the spoiled front: all normal loved kids can act a bit ungrateful and spoiled from time to time - but I'd never allow my DC to get away unchecked with implying they were bored to see you.

picklemepopcorn Tue 30-May-17 14:22:34

I'd really take stock. Neither your DP nor your family are meeting your emotional needs. Put some boundaries in place with your family- when you are not looking for anything from them (validation, interest, warmth) you'll find it much easier to cope.

And check out your relationship. It isn't doing anything for you, you'd be better off alone and starting again.

IMO. Sorry, I sound a bit bossy I know...

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