Thursday, March 7, 2013

When Family Fun Days Are Less Than Fun

Three times in the last two days I have had to explain why I don't attend family events to people I don't know very well.  Not events for my own family.  And not dinner at a friend's home with her family.  I specifically mean events and fundraisers that are for families to attend.  Where everyone attending will be in a family unit.  Except me.

I avoid them like the plague.  I just don't do family fun days or family bowling events or park play dates for the whole family or family apple picking or any of that jazz.

And I used to feel a lot of guilt about it.  Now I am down to a more manageable amount of guilt.

I want a family.  I can't have a family.  I have not yet accepted this and am currently very heartbroken over the matter.  Salt in wounds doesn't improve things for me.  So I stick to non family specific events.

I am bringing this up not because I need support to justify my decisions.  But because my "group" is so often over-looked.  The 30-something who just might be single forever.  And as a result, insensitive comments abound.

Listen, I'm working on my issues.  I know that I need to come to a place of acceptance.  This is my lot.  I am trying hard to make progress.  But not everyone is in a place of realizing she needs to accept her lack of a family. 

So when you tell her she is being ridiculous, needs to get over it, or needs to be patient, it hurts.  When you tell her that you know someone who got married in her 60's, she wants to die a little inside.  When you tell her you would never have kids after age 34 or 35, she probably sheds a tear right there with you overlooking it.  When you tell her that life is so much more fun without a husband and kids and then look at your watch to see if it's time to go home to your husband and kids, it cuts her to the core

It's not about jealously, though that's certainly there a little bit on dark days.  It's not about setting the bar too high, either.  Though I also get that we don't all receive the same blessings.   

99% of the time I do not sit around and wallow about what I don't have.  But in great part, it's because I take care to avoid salty wound situations. 

My point is that everyone has a story.  So if someone tells you she isn't comfortable attending an event, good golly, just leave it at that.  Just because you don't understand or agree with her reasons, doesn't make them invalid. 


Dr. Blondie said...

Friend, everyone has salty wound situations, and I applaud you for taking good care of yourself. People will always try to make you feel guilty if your choices differ from theirs. Don't let them get to you -- they're not worth it!

Flo said...

Great post, and I wish people would think more before they make comments. My husband and I have no children--by choice--but I can't tell you how many people make such a big deal about it and have throughout our marriage. It just annoys me, but I think about people who would love to have children and can't for reasons out of their control and how devastating it must be everytime someone makes a comment.

Hang in there! Just when you least expect it, soemthing big may happen and everything falls in to place and makes sense.

lnipaver said...

I agree with Rebecca. Keep your head up KK:)

Yvette said...

You are so right, everyone has a story and we should be more sensitive to their situation. Please know that there are salty wound situations for the married with children too. I wish we were more supportive of each other as women. You have to take care of yourself and you don't owe anyone an explanation, those that really care about you will never need one.

Yvette said...

Please know that there are salty wound situations for the married with children too. Those "well meaning people" always have opinions. You take care of you! Those who care about you don't need an explanation, they already understand.

Sheila said... be 30 again :)

Seriously, you need to do what is best for YOU. By 40 you'll realize this (I promise). You can't care what others think, they are not you. And Dr. B is right - everyone has salty wound situations. It's OK to say NO.

Ruth said...

I totally get this post. I am tired of the I am sorry looks or those who say such comments about how bad it is to be single. I have slowly weeded most of those out of my life. Though the bestie has been pushing me to join online dating.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the unsolicited, unhelpful advice that cuts into your heart while the other person thinks they are just imparting wisdom on you that you had never heard before! You're doing great. And you are caring for yourself by knowing your limits and knowing what kind of events you don't want to be involved in. Don't let people make you feel bad about choosing what is right for you.


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