Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Road Goes Both Ways

This is one of those posts that I have worked on for months now. Its one that I'm worried will hurt feelings. But I remind myself I have feeling too. Sometimes the only way I can express those feelings is by writing them out. That being said, I am ready to talk about one of the sore points of our infertility.

My husband and I joke that we are the least favorite in our families. I don't mean that literally, but let's face it, when you don't have kids, you get left out.

A lot of the time, if we don't make an effort to keep in contact with family, we can go weeks and weeks without talking to them. Seriously, once the holiday's are over, we won't have much contact with our families until usually the summer months when everyone is doing family reunions and picnics.

I can't speak for all infertile couples on this topic, but a lot of them that I do I know, this fact bothers them. Like I stated, we don't have much contact. But I've noticed a trend. A lot of the time when I contact my sister in-law about something, she'll mention her mom being there in the last day or two.

Here's the thing. We live literally a mile from his sister. We have lived in our home for almost 2 years now. In those 2 years, we have gone to his parent's house several times. I won't lie; sometimes a month (or two) passes between those visits, but we do go occasionally. There are members of my husband's family that haven't even seen the inside of our house.

Let me clarify, this post is not an attack against those people. I just want to make a point. Remember, the purpose of these posts are to bridge the gap between infertile people and fertile people. I'm just trying to show the other side of the coin.

To quote a dear friend, "I wish family would realize that the road goes both ways." Sure, we can come there and visit. But they could do the same.

Another friend pointed out, "Well, if you're hostile or grumpy towards them, maybe they don't feel welcome." To which I responded "Well, if they would make more of an effort, maybe we wouldn't feel grumpy about being forgotten."

I couldn't tell you what the turning point for me was, but lately, I have noticed I have become more  brash about this issue. I no longer ignore the fact that family gets weekly visits, while we, only 1 mile away, never see anyone.

My husband claims he likes our quite life. And I couldn't agree more. But its just one of those things that bother me and I can't seem to be quite about it any longer. I don't need weekly visits, I just want to know we aren't forgotten.


  1. I hear you. A few years ago my father-in-law was trying to get all his sons back under the same roof together, for a major birthday of his wife's. But he tried to claim that the main reason was to see all the grandchildren spend time together (they all live in different countries). Not his wife's 90th birthday. Not a reunion of brothers. No, it was the next generation. Made me feel that we didn't even need to be there. I ranted about it here - You are not alone!

  2. This same exact thing happens to us. I found out that one niece had a birthday party and that my newest niece was born on Facebook. To be honest, I'm sick of being the one who makes all of the effort.

    Anyway, I'm sorry it happens to you, too. Being so close (in terms of distance) must make it even more difficult,

  3. This happens far too frequently. A dear friend of mine, also childless, does not see her parents visiting her brother from out of state unless she goes to his house. She lives 3 miles from her brother! Even when she lived within 10 minutes from her parents, her brother and his kids took priority. Its frustrating that there is this divide between child-blessed and child-less in receiving attention from our own parents.

    I have the same issue - doubled with my siblings acting as caretakers of the beloved family ranch AND producing the only blood grandchild. (They never accepted my husband's children...).

    It is most disheartening. Thank you for opening up and encouraging the rest of us to do so. It is cleansing.

  4. My parents live 1,000 miles away -- about 35 hours by car or train, or 2.5 by air (not including travel time to/from the airports). My mother used to come to see me at least once a year, during her spring break. Since she retired about 10 years ago, she's come ONCE, and that was more than six years ago now. My dad has come three times in 30 years, the last being for our daughter's funeral, almost 17 years ago. Neither of them likes to fly; my mother used to come a lot on the train, but they have changed their schedule, and she would now have to leave from a slightly unsavoury downtown area at around midnight (!).

    Meanwhile, dh & I trot back & forth every year at Christmastime & in the summer. I don't mind, I like to go home, but I sometimes wonder whether they'd come more often if we had kids. :p I would certainly be upset if we lived closer and they never came.