July 2, 2012

"You've Got the Perfect Little Life"

This is what my father and stepmother said to me last night over the phone.  They had asked me what I was going to do on Sunday and I said I was going to meet my walking group, then take a class, do my grocery shopping and work in my garden.  Ok, so yeah, maybe it does look like a nice life but the next statement was kinda weird, "....no one to look after but yourself".  

I guess this is how they see dependents.  My dad just turned 70 and my stepmother is 12 years younger.  My stepmother's grandson is staying with them this summer and they also have an adopted daughter who is 15 (she is the half-sister of the grandson but different father.  They adopted her rather than see her go to foster care.).  So yeah, maybe my life, without dependents, appears to be perfect to them.

To me however, it's not the life I want nor ever wanted.  Like many I always thought I would have at least a couple of children.  Now that I've been fighting for quite some time to have one, my life is far from perfect and in fact, is quite little (so that part of their assessment in true).  I do not enjoy all of the joys and challenges of having a family.  It's just me, and to them, that's perfection.

I guess there's also a generational difference.  My stepmother had her first child as a teenager so to her children were, have been and will always be a burden.  At this point my dad is too old and has health issues which prevent him from being a parenting parent.  

My dad and his wife have no idea that I have been ttc-ing and I haven't formulated what I will say when/if that time comes.  I know I will not be sharing the donor egg angle and am not sure what I will say about the "father".  Although have a close relationship, it's rather shallow due to many issues from my childhood (a much, much longer story).  

Also part of this disconnection in our relationship is their view of me as someone in suspended animation.  I have not passed through many of the rites of passage that most adults pass through.  My stepmother has never planned my bridal shower, my dad has never walked me down the aisle and I have never attended any family function as a married daughter with my own family.  Thus, they still view me (and sometimes treat me) like a child.  I guess it's only natural under the circumstances but it can be suffocating and irritating at times.  I can only guess that any announcement I am ever lucky enough to make will shock the hell out of them.

I can only hope they will see this as my life and accept my choices and my path.  I can only hope that should I ever become a parent I will do the same.  That's what parents do, right?


  1. I can totally relate to this. I'm not close to any of my family (we talk and we do love each other, but it's a shallow connection in that they don't know my hopes and fears or really, ME) and have not shared any of our infertility or conception efforts as I am too afraid of being an object of ridicule and judged.

    For your dad and stepmom, I wonder if the idea of choosing to have kids wasn't even a choice - you have sex, you get married, kids just happen? I totally agree they are jealous of your freedom. Also the fact that you also have had time to really, really be your own self without being defined as a wife/mother is pretty amazing. I look back on myself in my teens/20s/30s and am blown away at how much I've changed, but looking at family and friends that married and had children early, their paths were restricted, and personal growth and life experience outside of those narrow parameters is practically nil. Mostly, they have not changed significantly in YEARS. I find that very, very sad.

    I do hope you get to make your announcement of a child to come soon, tho. And that they are thrilled and excited for you too.

  2. I can relate to this post only my folks have never said anything like that to me. They know about my journey and have experienced it with me. We are close. I think at this point my mom wants me to stop TTC because she sees what it's done to me.

    I hope, and believe, that your folks will be thrilled when you get pregant.

  3. It's odd how perspective factors into life. Because they miss freedom possible, they see the lack of responsibility as a good thing. Because we want the family and the responsibility, we see our lives as incomplete. I get it from some of my friends who don't want kids. My family knows nothing.

  4. I know exactly what you mean. I often think how great it must look from the outside. I do what I want, when I want, for how long I want and until infertility raised it's ugly head I had money to do these things. From the outside it doesn't look lonely or like a dream has been denied.

  5. Good post -- I too can relate. I am sure that when you give them the good news they will be very happy for you.

  6. I always get: "Are you sure you want kids?" from those who of course have like 3 kids.