Before I start my rant, let me make it clear this is not directed at any one person. This is just a general post directed more at an attitude than it is one person. Please do not take offense to this rant as it is not meant to be an attack on anyone.
The infertility community is great for those in need of support. We all root for each other to succeed in all walks of life. Though some do leave once they have their child there are those who stick around. What makes it special is that when someone falls everyone is there to help pick that person up. You can’t find a better group of selfless people that look out for one another. They all have the best of intentions.
With that being said there is this feeling that those who aren’t so lucky who don’t end up with children that are encouraged that other things in life can fill the void that that their childlessness has left. It’s implied that certain things that would be passed down to children can be passed down to other people’s children either who are relatives or children they contact through volunteer work. With me it was implied from my Father’s Day post yesterday that I could pass certain things on through my volunteer work.
The reality is that I can’t, others can’t. It’s not the same. That void can never be filled the way you have filled the void with the only thing that will fill the void. Being a mentor, uncle, aunt or babysitter for your friend’s kid does not fill the void left by Childlesness.
At the end of the day when I go home there is still an empty bedroom in my house. On Christmas morning my house is quiet. At night instead of helping our child with their homework, I am playing on my IPad watching TV. On the weekends, I’m going to the gym in the morning rather than soccer or baseball/softball practice. My life is still the same as your was before children. Only difference is your life changed mine didn’t and likely won’t. And your children will remember you once you pass the children I contact through volunteer work will forget about me within a few years if not sooner.
These people should ask themselves if volunteer work or being an aunt/uncle is the same as having children or fills that void why didn’t they choose that instead of having kids? Maybe because it isn’t.
I volunteered for Big Brother because I had the free time to do so and because I like to help people who need someone to believe in themselves. I didn’t volunteer to fill the childless void. It would have been selfish of me to do so. It would have been very unfair to my little who needs and deserves better than that. I’m not supposed to be my little’s parent anyway. He has parents. I’m supposed to be a friend/big brother. I’m supposed to set examples for him not tell him what he should do.
Like I said people who say this to others have the best of intentions. They want to help lift others up. I can’t fault them for that. My advice for them is to the best way you can lift that person up is tell them you’re sorry that they hurt and that you’re there to listen. You can’t fix that person’s problem that’s up to them to address themselves. Recognize that your situation and theirs are not the same nor will the resolution to your infertility journey.