Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Second Class Citizen

So I was informed the other day that the family will be descending upon my house for Mother's Day brunch this May. Okay. No prob. I was a little surprised at the proclamation. Oddly enough I thought I should have been consulted in this decision, what with it being my house and all. It's not that I mind, and had I been asked the answer would have been yes either way, but still, it's the principle of the matter. A courtesy, as it were. But here's the kicker. While I’m being told that the brunch was at my house, I was also given the reason.

We're having it at your house because you're the only female in the family that isn't a mother.

Riiiight. Okay. So thanks for inviting yourselves over and making me feel like a second class citizen in the process because I chose to do something different with my life other than spew forth a spawn from my loins. Thanksssss.

It's funny, no matter how many times someone says they are okay with the decisions and choices you made, even if they are maybe a little out of the norm of what society expects, and no matter that they tell you they think you did the right thing, when it comes right down to it, you really don't have the same standing as a woman in their eyes if you haven't had a child. You can always tell by the side comments they slide in there. The ones they claim innocence over when you call them on it. The ones where they tell you that you're being too sensitive and that's not what they meant at all. Yet their denial is never enough to disguise the truth. That whether or not you are married and have children is the yard stick your life is measured by if you don't own a penis. And if you didn't, well I guess you're not a real woman then.

Right. Well I'll just turn in my vagina and be on my way then.

Arrrrggghhhh....I better stop now. I feel a rant coming on and I don't have the time before I have to leave for work to let loose. Suffice to say, it's a pet peeve the way one gets treated when they buck society's norm and have the audacity not make full use of their womb.

14 comments:

Tess said...

I hear you on this big time, Kelly. My sister always says things about how if she hadn't had children she'd be able to do all the fun things I do. Yeah, well, my childless life ain't always the bowl of cherries she envisions and it's not my fault her kids are constantly demanding food/attention. Sheesh.

Tess said...

Also meant to say, I'm so sorry your family is so insensitive on this topic.

Kelly said...

It isn't so much that their insensitive (and sadly this attitude does stop with them), so much as it is that they say one thing, but then there are all these little hints that contradict what they say. On the one hand, they are proud of what I've accomplished, but on the other hand, I know there is nothing that I will accomplish, no matter how great, that will ever equal having a child, which both of my siblings have done. And somehow, those little comments that get made just seem to rub in that fact, even though when you bring it up, they'll deny it to high heaven. So maybe it's just a subconscious thing. I don't know. But it drives me.

Peggy said...

I'm sure your family only wants you to be happy, and no matter how much you try and convince them you are, it's built into their thinking that one cannot be truly happy or complete without a family. As long as you are where you are because of a choice, then try and let their comments roll right off. It is your life, after all, and no one but you truly knows how to make it fulfilling.

julia said...

The Motherhood Myth is a kind of trap for both women who choose not to have children, and for those who do. The myth is cherished by our society, however, because it feels like one of the basics on which existence is built. The sun rises in the east, sets in the west, and all mothers are madonna figures. Well, I'm sure every woman who has a child has many moments where she regrets the day she became such a figure. Society is just as uneasy with her quite natural frustration levels as it is of the woman who rejects motherhood entirely. Somewhere in between are real women who sometimes love their children, who sometimes want to run screaming from their children, and there are even some women who find children to be fascinating creatures but none for me, thanks. As a woman who has been unable to have children so far, I can relate to the Broken Woman Syndrome, especially around Mother's Day. I too have an unconventional family which consists of a husband, dog, mother and grandmother where we all look after each other. I just call ourselves The Waltons. But it always requires explaining, whereas if I had a 'normal' family I would just say 'family'. But I'm so used to being outside the norm, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if it were otherwise.

Maxx said...

You can have mine if it'll make ya feel better. I don't mind. Really.

Tess said...

Funny thing is, for years I too believed the whole thing about being a mother being the only worthwhile thing I could do. It was tough coming to terms with the fact it wouldn't happen. Now, however, I'm really happy and enjoy the freedom we have to say, pick up sticks and move across the country. After all, cats don't go to university *vbg*.

Kelly said...

Mmm...yeah I didn't say I wanted one, but thanks.

Maxx said...

Let me know if you change your mind. I'll check back with you in a few days.

Tess said...

LOL, Maxx - my sis has been known to offer hers on occasion *g*. Now if they lived closer, I might be willing to take one on from time to time (note I said one, not all three at once *g*.)

Melissa Marsh said...

Sorry you have to deal with this, Kelly. And yeah, it was insensitive of them to say that you're the only one who DOESN'T have kids. A bit of a slap in the face. But they're family so you can't dislike them TOO intensely!

Erin said...

Yikes, what a way to put it. I get invited to Mother's Day shindigs, but because I'm the godmother to one of my nephews (since, like you, I've declared my womb to be permanently out of service) not because of a lack of children.

Hope they'll at least stick around to help with post brunch cleanup...

Michelle said...

Kelly--hugs on the family. You're doing just fine and don't feel guilty for anything. Try to ignore their comments as best you can!

Nikki said...

I have no idea why women without children are always faced with weird comments about their choices ... you're my fourth friend who doesn't want to have kids, and they all feel the same way ... like they're meant to feel ashamed of it somehow. I'm sure I've even said things to them that might be taken the wrong way, but I don't think it's 'cause they're too sensitive .. it's just that they're constantly hearing things like "why wouldn't you want children???" ... like they're horrible, selfish people or something.

Anyway, this is rambling, but I think it's waaaaaay better to realize you don't want 'em and stand up for that rather than do what 50% of the people do ... have children and then stick 'em in front of the TV all day long!

Which reminds me, my little guy needs a little more Spongebob Squarepants today ...

Good luck Kelly!!!!!! That's all I can say...