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FamilyOfMe
Nov 5

Being excluded from family gatherings

1 comment

I don't normally worry about things that haven't happened yet, but I feel that this is something that I need to get off my chest. Recently, my boyfriend's sister got married which, of course, spurs the question of having children. She and her husband think they will have children in a few years. This got me thinking about mine and my boyfriend's future. We are both vehemently childfree and are quite unlikely to change our minds. My mother is very aware of my choice and has always been very supportive. My boyfriend's mother, on the other hand, really wants grandchildren. However, he and I do not feel obligated to give her any since his brother and sister both plan on having children.

My concern is that once my boyfriend's mother is finally a grandma, my boyfriend and I will slowly start to be excluded from family get-togethers. I worry that once the grandchildren are here, all of the focus will be on them and no one will care if my boyfriend and I are present. I know how selfish that sounds, but I fear that since family gatherings will become kid-friendly, no one will feel any reason to invite us. As the years go by and gatherings become more kid-centered, we will be excluded from conversations and eventually get-togethers. Sure, we may be invited if we have something to offer such as gifts, food, or free babysitting. Otherwise, we'll receive no invitation or a strictly obligatory one. Over time we will receive fewer and fewer invites, until we become the spinster aunt you call once a year on Christmas. At first we will be pressured to have kids. Then, we will be made to feel less important for not having them. Finally, we will slowly fade away from the family forever.

I realize how dramatic this may sound, but I don't want my boyfriend and I to be forgotten by the people who supposedly love us the most. I don't want to be made to feel unnecessary because I made a different choice. Most of all, I worry about how this would affect my boyfriend. His family already thinks he nuts for not wanting kids, and I can't imagine how it would hurt him if they slowly cut him out of family life.

Perhaps I'm being melodramatic, but has anything like this ever happened to anyone else? What was it like, and how did you deal with it?

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