Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Childlessness and the Social Network

I wish social networks would spare me the impending motherhood,and 'Pampers' advertisements, plus all the baby and motherhood related apps springing up left,right and centre! 

I'm well aware of my age, gender, and that I 'should' be having a baby or 'should' be a Mum by now, but I can't ever be.  

Today alone, on a social network I've seen adverts for 'Momjunction', 'Mumsnet', 'Pampers', a brand of follow on milk, a week by week pregnancy tracker and 'Cow and Gate' baby food. It's so hard and frequently leaves me on the verge of tears.

I never once hit any ads that might make you think I would be interested in such things, so it is based purely on my age and gender.

I didn't choose not to be able to have children. I won't go into the whys and wherefores, but I'm surrounded by people who have done it, will do it, are doing it, with the greatest of ease. I do not need to be targeted by advertisers, as well.

I can't tell you how painful it is.

I have tried every single 'remove ads' app that you don't have to pay for, and guess what? They don't work for more than a week.

At this point I am seriously considering leaving social networks, because it's hard enough living in the real world, seeing pregnant women, babies, adverts about babies...and more babies. I don't need to be reminded of my failings any more than I already am, just because they want my money!

Unless this is happening to you, you have no idea what this feels like. It's like the whole world is privy to a secret that they won't let you in on - and no matter how hard I try to accept it, (and some days I even think I have), it doesn't take much to send me hurtling back to having a knot in my stomach or lumps in my throat, as I come face to computer screen with another image.

My situation has already put strain on my friendships, and in some cases I've lost them entirely, because when friends get pregnant - become parents, it hurts me so much, It's difficult on both sides, because quite rightly the life of the new parent is different. The pregnancy, baby, child becomes the centre of the world, and I'm the friend who can't identify with that.

I do all the right things. I stay off social networks on days when I don't think I'm going to be able to handle all these types of issues, - seeing a newly pregnant friends baby scan, the bump, to pictures of newborns and toddlers. It all hurts.  I keep my pain private and try with every fibre of my being not to resent people that have been luckier than I have, After all, it's not their fault that I can't ever be a Mum.

It's made worse by the fact that childlessness is such a taboo issue. It can feel so lonely, I've joined support groups of course, but I found that actually made things harder for me sometimes so I left them, - having decided that I needed to focus on what I could do. I want to make the best of my life, despite a lifelong disability to cope with as well. 

Not that talking about such a painful issue (with people who understand) doesn't help, it does -and we should absolutely be doing more to raise awareness so that people can be honest, (and they can feel a bit less like a misfit), but sometimes (for me anyway) it's all a bit overwhelming!

What I don't need, are any more reminders than I am already subjected to on a daily basis!Just because I am a thirty four year old female, advertisers target me and thus, rub salt in my wounds!

I want to remind people that there is more to life than having children - and the assumption that everybody can, wants to or has fulfilled their reproductive obligation, is incorrect, hurtful, - not to mention tedious!

It makes my battle to accept my situation a million times harder than it is already.


(Image: Pinterest)

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