General > Coping With Infertility

Where do we fit into modern society?

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CopperBird:
Hi all and apologies if this is a depressing post. Its just something that's been bugging me for a while now and I'm just wondering if anyone else feels the same?

I just don't feel like part of society and because I don't have children I am expected to do nothing but work, pay my taxes and ultimately support those who do have children.
All you hear about is how hard it is to parent, how we should all feel sorry for single mothers and the 'family friendly policy' in the workplace that ultimately discriminates against childless people, with the assumption that those without kids have chosen that life and are perfectly happy to be treated as second best to those with children.
That's how I feel, second best. When I take my friends children to the park I am treated so differently by those around me. It's like people suddenly respect me because (they think) I'm a parent and therefore I understand the reality of life. Yet when I'm on my own no one smiles in the street, no one talks to me and they probably just assume I have no worries and stresses because how can you possibly understand the reality of life when you don't have kids?
People are literally defined by their parenthood status, they are referred to as 'a mother of two' or 'a father of one' but what am I? A parent? A career woman? No, I'm neither, I'm just a useless 35 year old with a pointless existence.
Those without children with never have maternity leave, never get a year of work and if we want one we have to forfit our rights to a yearly pay rise and get less of a state pension at the end because we didn't pay our contribution for a year. And that's if you're lucky to work somewhere that allows career breaks, other people have to leave their jobs entirely whereas all their 'parent' colleagues get a paid year off.
I've spent all my savings on fertility treatment so I guess I'll just continue doing all the unsociable hours no one else wants, whilst I watch everyone else live the life I want, but has been denied to me by own bodies in capability to implant embryos and science just not being on my side :(

Does anyone else feel like this or am I just bitter?

Tincancat:
Copperbird I felt exactly like this and was well over 40 heading for a lonely existence as no partner either.  I'd honestly have another go at double donation after a review by Professor Brosens or Professor Quenby at Coventry who are NHS consultants who are researching multiple IVF failure to implant.
I honestly felt nothing would work and my body was incapable of carrying a baby.  You are not some useless existence you just haven't found your path yet.
TCCx

katehe:
Hi Copperfield.
I finished my fertility journey years ago but your post popped
into my email and resonated.
I have been there..and the isolation was probably the worse part for me and  I lost a best friend over it whilst I grieved and she was pregnant.. Years later, I still struggle with my work colleagues that are struggling to cope with workload 'because they have kids' and I struggle at work events because everyone makes small talk about their children- think I'm gonna pass on xmas do for that reason . All I can say is that as time goes on, it hurts less and I can see parents struggle too  ..its just that they can't see ours.. invisible that we are.
I try to remember that 1 in 5 women are childless/children by the time we get older, but society hasn't caught up yet. I fully intend to retire early but I get you..I would love some MEternity leave!x
when u r going thru hell, keep going!! xx

Me, Myself and I:
Hi
I am a solo parent. So you may be thinking you don't want to read my take.
Like all the ladies on this board I struggled. I was diagnosed as infertile in my late twenties, so spent so long trying to believe that I didn't want/need children. So when I decided to embark upon TTC I tried so hard to get all my ducks lined up and I was incredibly lucky 4th cycle.
I wont pretend to suggest that motherhood isn't amazing, that would be insulting your intelligence.
However, what you don't see is that motherhood means that I am no longer a person in my right, as according to others. All I know is "Mummying", somehow the 20 plus years before lo came out of my vagina count for nothing. Honestly, as a mother I am quite often dismissed as just a Mum; this was something that no one would have ever dared to do before my lo.
So though in all honesty I can put up with this as my child is my world, it's not all how you perceive it to be the other side.
Likewise at work, you're treated as though you're undedicated because shock of all horrors you have limits on how much unpaid overtime you can do because you have to get back to the person caring for your child that you're being charged for this "unpaid overtime". Likewise though illegal, being overlooked for promotional opportunities.
That is before you get into the whole society's perceptions of how you're going wrong as a parent. Too lenient, too strict, breastfeed in public, formula feed, return to work, childcare, spoil the child etc, wrong to bring a child into the world without a father. Honestly the world and it's proverbial mother have an opinion on everything connected to your child and how you parent.
As well as those who state things like "I'm paying for your child's education, child benefit, medical treatment etc", ignoring that I have probably paid more in taxes in my lifetime than they ever will.

Honestly, the only difference between your side of the fence and mine, in terms of society, is the focal point for the criticism.

As for the friendliness when you have a child. I sometimes think this is because when you have a child you tend to be more open in your gestures. But it doesn't always follow that child = friendliness. Maybe test it out - that if you make an obscene effort by smiling all the time and being open in your body language to see how many people back?

What I will say is you'll never know how many of those mothers looking adoringly or equally at the end of their tether at their child have trodden the same path of you before they succeeded in having the angel/devil!

Clara Rose:
Hi CopperBird,  I know how you feel, I was exactly the same. I always wanted children but was never lucky enough to find a partner. When I eventually decided to go it alone, I had six cycles of IVF before I was finally successful. My life before having my girls was the dullest of the dull...every day was the same, I would go to work and then go home. I didn't even socialise because most of the time I was too miserable. And, of course, there were the never-ending pregnancy announcements from work colleagues to deal with. But...for me, life without children was not an option, and in the end, that's what got me through...staying positive, believing that one day it would all work out.

You are 35, which is still very young with regard to infertility...I was 49 when I had my successful cycle! Please, please don't give up. I can thoroughly recommend the clinic I went to, Newlife in Thessaloniki, Greece. Their success rates are amazing, especially with double donation. The cost is reasonable too.

Good luck xx

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