Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Confessions of a Childless Wonder: Why is being Auntie not enough?

It's been said that weddings and funerals bring out the best and worst in people.  This is generally a true statement in my experience.  In fact I find that it applies to most life milestones and events and for some reason it also seems to be true when it comes to sex.  I never thought, however, that it would apply to the happy occasion of the birth of a child, or in this instance two children.

I am, of course, talking about the birth of my sister's beautiful twins.  For what it is worth, everything went well and everyone is doing fine.  It seems, however, that instead of sharing in my joy at the recent arrival people are more concerned with showing me their ass  shit stirring  sharing their opinion with me Re: My Reproductive Status.

Since the announcement of my sister's pregnancy I have felt interrogated, attacked, pitied, and even degraded.  It has felt like an emotional warfare to me.  The first shot was fired when upon learning that my sister was expecting twins, a family member proceeded to ask me when I would be contributing to the family legacy.  While I'm sure it was meant as good-natured ribbing, it was mostly just irritating especially coming from someone who didn't biologically contribute either.  All I could think to say was, "I'm not. I ovulate sand".

Since that first inquiry into my contribution to the family mud hole tree, it's been a real shitshow of ASSumptions and rude questions.  I've been questioned as to why I don't have children yet.  I've had well-meaning people reassure me that my time will come and not to worry about the fact that my sister has a three child head-start on me.  I've been asked why I don't want kids, why I hate kids, and if I would have the baby if I got pregnant.  If I say I didn't want anyone in my past to be the father of my child or express that I have horrible taste in men people have been offended;  I've also received eye rolls and ridicule about the decisions I've made regarding my personal sexual responsibility (read: BIRTH CONTROL).  Some people have taken my childless status as some kind of negative statement about my sister's status as a mother, some have taken it as a negative statement about me  that I haven't yet chosen to be a mother.  I've been told the ways I'm inadequate for motherhood.  I've been told that I can't handle children so it's best that I don't have any "and that's ok".  I've been accused of being jealous.  When I've tried using the "tried and true" method of saying I'm waiting for the right time/place/person, people think I'm a snob or that I'm unrealistic instead of merely wanting to make a conscious decision to be a parent when I'm ready (though from what I hear no one is every actually ready).

Unfortunately there isn't really anything you can say in defense of yourself without giving some kind of "proof" or "evidence" that you're jealous and/or sensitive about the issue, or that states how you feel without incurring more of the same treatment.  In many ways it feels like you just can't win for losing, but the truth about how I feel about the recent arrival is this...I'm sad. 

I have two absolutely beautiful new nieces who came into this world safely, not all twins are as lucky.  I have a sister who is pretty unselfish with all of her children and she lets me grab them, hug them and love them as much as I want.  I love my nephew like crazy, and two more babies means three times as much love.  I choose to believe my sister is slowly but surely birthing me an army of Auntie-loving minions.  I love my nieces and nephew and I love my sister.

So, why do those things make me sad?  Because some people have felt the need to try and cut me down instead of seeing how thrilled, proud, excited and outright joyful I am and joining me in celebrating.  I feel like there have been people who have attempted to pit me against my sister, or goad me into a competition that doesn't exist between us and tell me that I can't simply be happy with how things are right now and I can't believe that people are actually like that.  People have talked down to me because I'm happy to be an Auntie as if I'm settling for being something less but just being an aunt and not a mom. 

It's sad, really.  That we live in such a world where love and happiness can't just simply be that, where people have to look for the nastiness in a situation where there isn't any or that people think it has to be that way.  I am my sister's sister, and I am her children's Auntie.  I'm proud to be who I am.  In fact, I'm thrilled and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Why is that not enough for some people? 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your new nieces. Enjoy it - they get big so quick!!